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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey, like many others I am looking to buy gear for the first time. My 3 factors are (in order:protection, price, comfort), although I live in Texas and it would be nice to have some good ventilation for those 100 degree days we will be having. Most people say get leather, all the way around. To tell you the truth I don't think I've even seen a textile jacket/suit yet, nor do i know what it is, but nonetheless I beleive I will be getting leather(unless there is something better). I definantly want something that has elbow/arm, shoulder, back/spine, and knee/shin protection. When I looked online for gear such as alpinestars, icon, spidi, teknic, etc, It appears to get leather, and the 4 protected areas, its going to cost around $700 dollars. This is $700 I do not have, I could go used. Also when comparing suits (one or two peice) vs buying a jacket and then pants, it seems the suits are cheaper for the same protection.


So my question:

1)What would be the best bang for my buck gear for me to get?

2)I also need boots and gloves, which ones for them?
(I already have a helmet, which I will upgrade after I get my body protected more)
 

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I can't comment on full suits for best bang for the buck. I make a trade-off that I'm comfortable with and don't go with a full suit. It sounds that you should get a full suit by the protection level you want. Leather is the best, hands down, so just get it. Save up if you have to. My small suggestion, since I'm a puss when it comes to the "melt in the sun" heat, is get a suit that has lots of perforated leather and/or vents. That should be a nice compromise for heat release and the protection level that you want. Good luck, and let me know if you get something you like. I want to get a track suit for a track day, but gotta have LOTS of these little holes for me to survive!
 

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definitely 2 piece leather of some sort...just one of many possible suggestions but you could try alpinestars stunt vented leather jacket and zip them up to alpinestars bat or track pants. those pants are great, and zipping raises the safety factor quite a bit.

I use velocity gear armor suit underneath a leather jacket, it has a great articulating back protector for 100 bucks on ebay. You can remove the back protector and wear that by itself with an armored jacket on hot days.

If you want to save money I would search on ebay for a good combination, it may take time but you will save big. I ride a kawi and got 2 ninja factory jackets...one used for 70 and another new for 140....they are great. both were $329 MSRP. they also have pop up vents in the shoulders that really work on the road, it's like "ram air" cooling. if I want to turn on the "a/c", I just sit up into the slip stream and the air flows right in.

a trick with leather in the heat is to wear something that wicks underneath and dries quickly, because cotton just absorbs the sweat and makes you miserable. other companies sell stuff like this, but I know adidas sells clima-cool material that is really awesome. wear long sleeve so your skin doesnt stick to the inside of the leather. if you are in austin they have great deals on this stuff at the san marcos outlet, me and the girl went there and bought some...her for running and me for riding.

dont neglect the boots and gloves, these are really important items that you really cant get used. on a budget I would get used leathers of some sort and get good new boots with ankle protection and armored gloves.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
1) So 2 pc is better than 1 pc?

2)I go to school in san marcos, so i'm down there all the time. Which outlet store sells this adidas shirt you are talking about, should I get pants like that aswell?

3)I found these gloves, they look like a pretty good deal: http://www.newenough.com/tour_master_robomax_carbon_gloves_page.htm

4)How do I know what size I should order? After work i am going down to my local powersports store and going to try on what they have to get a rough estimate, but every manufacturer fits differently. How am I supposed to get a good fit?
 

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like slave said, 1-piece will always be best for protection, but if you are on a tight budget and can only afford one suit, 2 piece is more versatile for the street...because you can wear the jacket by itself with some other pants and you can take off the jacket easily when you are, say, eating lunch out on the weekend backroads with your riding buddies.

those gloves look good. if you want the absolute best gloves, I always hear that HELD is the one, like the 2935. starting out though just get some for 75 bucks or less that have armor, like olympia or icon. if you can find them on ebay for under 100, the icon timax gloves offer a lot of protection. you can read about other brands here:
http://www.motorcyclegearreview.com/

and decide for yourself. I would suggest not buying everything at once because you tend to discover things for yourself over time by talking with other riders and reading through reviews on the internet, then decide what works for you. but you absolutely must get a decent helmet, good gloves, and decent boots before anything else.

as for the climalite stuff, the adidas outlet is in san marcos. I have thought about the pants for going underneath leather pants, but I havent gotten them so I cant comment on how well they work...I just know that the shirt does wonders for comfort. and I play volleyball in it too, versatility is a plus.

for fit you will have to try things on at a store. cyclegear is a good place to start, or a local dealer. I would not buy anything blind unless I fitted it locally, if it doesnt fit properly it wont protect you right.
 

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(Quality) leather will generally offer more protection than textile/mesh. Most leather suits either come with perforations/vents or they can be perforated afterward by someone like Barnacle Bill http://www.racingleather.com for around $75 or so.

A 1-piece suit is better if you intend to do track days/track schools/racing. A 2-piece is nice because you can just take the jacket off during longer breaks. But a 2-piece generally won't be quite as fitting, and that is one of the most important things in crash protection. Loose or baggy areas won't offer as much protection because the armor can slide out of place in a crash. Also, the suit can bunch up and cause you to roll instead of slide, and that's a very bad thing. If you decide to go with a 2-piece, make sure that it has a full circumference zipper to join the jacket and pants. They won't even let you onto the track for a trackday or school if your suit doesn't have a full-circumference zipper.

Good quality suits are made from cow leather (at least 1.4-1.7 mm thick) or kangaroo leather (.6-1.4 mm thick). Low quality leather suits to avoid are made from goatskin which doesn't offer nearly as much abrasion resistance (the teknic chicane, for example).

You really have to try lots and lots of suits on to find one that fits you "just right". If you don't have a traditional european or asian body shape, you might not fit right in an off-the-rack suit. In that case, you may need to go the custom route. You can get a very nice custom full suit (1 or 2 piece) for as low as $1000 (see below).

A suit should fit very snug, especially at first. It will stretch out and loosen up over time as it breaks in (as much as a full size larger). When you stand up straight, it should make you sing soprano. That's okay, because it isn't made for walking around. It's made for riding, and it's cut to fit you in the riding position.

When you're trying suits on, crouch down in a stance in your riding position. Now grab the knee pads and try to twist them around on your leg. If they rotate off the knee, the pants/suit is too big. Same thing with the elbow pads. If you can twist them around your arm so that the armor comes off your elbow, the're not going to help you as much in a crash. The suit should feel really snug at first, but as it breaks in, a quality suit will start to fit you like a glove and you'll hardly notice it's there.

One of the biggest problems with the Icon/Joe Rocket/Alpinestars/etc. jackets you see online and at the gear stores, is that they are simply cut too big/loose for most riders. They're cut to fit more loosely because it's more comfortable for the average joe and each size fits a wider range of people. Even though some of them have CE approved armor in the elbows and shoulders, the arms are cut so big you'd have to be popeye to keep them from rolling around your arm in an impact. Generally, if you find a suit that fits, you won't have that problem.

You can find quality 1 and 2 piece leather suits on closeout for as low as $250-$500. You can also buy a new "junk" leather suit for about the same price, so it's worth doing some research before you buy.

Things to look for:

1. CE approved armor (at least in the elbows, shoulders, and knees);
2. 1.4-1.7 mm thick cowhide (unless you're forking over the $$ for kangaroo); and
3. a perfect fit on your body.

Suits with all the bells and whistles tend to run higher. A removable, washable liner is very nice, but not all good suits have them. If you don't want to pay for the bells and whistles now, you can always add perforations or an aerodynamic hump later if you want for $75-100 each (by Barnacle Bill)

I have a set of Kobe Carbonstar 1 piece leathers. They have all the CE armor and 1.6+ mm leather. They're very comfortable after breaking in, and they fit me very well. They are perforated and seem to cool fairly well in the temps I've ridden in so far this year as long as I keep moving (90+ degrees so far). I'm going to add a neoprene liner to the collar area to keep the leather from chafing my neck, but that's the only real complaint I have about them.

As far as what to wear underneath, definitely get a long-sleeve Underarmour type shirt and shorts. If you wear a 1 piece, they are invaluable in helping to get into and out of the suit by yourself. You can buy the Underarmour brand stuff or just go get the same thing for less than half the price at someplace like Walmart.

Here are some links to get you started.

Customs:

Barnacle Bill's - http://www.racingleather.com
Syed - http://www.syedleathers.com
Z Leathers - http://www.zcustom.com
XES Leathers - (custom and off-the-rack) http://www.moto-heaven.com/store/ca...oduct_list&c=57
Vanson - (pricey) http://www.vansonleathers.com

Off the Rack (roughly in order of quality, IMO. But everyone has opinions, so take it with a grain of salt.):

RS Taichi - http://www.rs-taichi.co.jp/
Dainese - http://www.dainese.com
Kushitani - http://www.kushitani.com/
Spidi - http://www.spidi.it
Kobe - http://www.1888fastlap.com/store/cu...ome.php?cat=255
Spyke - http://www.spyke.it
BKS - http://www.bksleather.co.uk
Alpinestars - http://www.alpinestars.com
Hein Gericke - http://www.hein-gericke.de/
ixs - http://www.ixs.de/
First Gear(Hein Gericke) - http://www.intersportfashions.com
Fieldsheer - http://www.fieldsheer.com
AGV - http://www.agvsportsgroup.com/
Teknic - http://www.teknicgear.com
Joe Rocket - http://www.joerocket.com

You can often get good deals on closeouts at http://www.newenough.com. They sell a lot of lower-quality stuff too, so be careful. Check around at different sites selling the same gear. I've seen the same suits going for $500 on one site and for the full $899 msrp on another. Good luck.
 
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