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Old 26 Apr 2011
Wheelie's Avatar
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Casual Riding Gear - reccomendations?


I'm looking for comfortable riding gear that provide decent protection while riding, but that can also be worn off the bike. The benfit of not having to change clothes when arriving at my destination, and the benefit of being able to pack lighter and smaller, is very appealing.

In 2006 I purchased two pairs of Draggin Jeans zip-off cargo pants - one to wear, and a spare for while the other was being cleaned - riding pants, street pants and shorts, all in one! In addition I brought a light weight rain suit for rainy days or really cold days where wind protection was needed. Over all, I was pretty satisfied with the set up, especially with the zip off feature. But, the pants were not entirely perfect and I am looking for other options. Some of the major shortcomings were:
  • The canvas combined with the Kevlar liner (bum, hips, knees and front of the thigh and front of the upper leg), made for a hot pant with poor wicking properties - too hot to walk around in comfortably on hot days
  • The removeable knee pads were attached with a small peace of velcro to the Kevlar liner. The fit was uncomfortable, they secured poorly, and it was cumbersome to attach them in the right position - in the end, I dropped wearing them
  • The removable hip protectors were comfortable enough, but made the pant look very bulky and also required that I purchased an oversized pant. They were not something i would walk around in, and in the end, I dropped wearing them altogether
  • The front pockets were very deep and very tight fit as there was no surplus room in the pocket liner. The pockets were almost useless.
  • Even as shorts they were quite hot - but being able to unzip them half way to let a breeze in without removing the leg completely was a very nice feature
  • When washing, they took a very long time to dry
  • Being canvas, they stained quite easily, with the stains being difficult to wash out (but this is no biggie for me)
Draggin jeans may have improved since then, but I would very much like to hear of other options and any experiences/thoughts you have about the alternatives.

I am also looking for casual looking upper body protection. On my last african adventure I used a hooded jacket from Corrazzo, which looked good, offerred great protection, but that was a bit too hot and heavy as it was built for rain, wind and sunny days. I have various other multi purpose riding gear, but nothing casual.

My two cents and contribution: For very long trips that cross different climate regions I prefer layering up than to have a multipurpose jacket and pant that attempt to serve all riding conditions and climates. Instead of having a zip off liner, I would much rather have a fleece that could be worn by itself or underneath the riding jacket, etc. Instead of having a water and/or wind proof jacket, I would rather have something which breathes easy and bring a water/wind proof shell to put on top when conditions require it. For this reason, it is important that the riding gear is suited for warm weather, and that layers can be added when conditions demand it.

Please share your thoughts, links, pictures, experiences, advice...
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Old 29 Jun 2011
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I know this isnĀ“t popular opinion but here is what worked for me.

Sahara Riding jacket with plenty of vents.
Good pair of jeans
Hiking Boots

I used this from canada to argentina. At colder points such as the andes I layed under the jacket with a heated vest and another jumper or thick shirt to stop wind flow.

Minimal gear and I could wear this gear around mayan sites or walks around without having to change.

I did have a slide in peru at about 100kmh, I positioned myself in the slide to take most of the heat on the jacket. I got away with a barely grazed hip. Like I said, not the popular opinion but it worked for me even in a pretty intense slide.
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Old 29 Jun 2011
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About 3 years ago I bought a Corazzo Mens 5.0 textile jacket:
Men's 5.0 | Corazzo

I find it excellent for 3-season riding. The jacket has removable armor in the shoulders, elbows, and spine. When zipped up tight it is relatively warm and snug; but also has plenty of zippered venting for warm weather. The white strips you see in the pics are 3M reflective vinyl, so it has excellent night-time visibility.

It has held up well over the last three years and I think it was excellent value. I paid $220 plus tax for it, but the price has probably gone up since.

As for lower body, I find that this is a lot more difficult. For short trips around town I usually wear some kind of denim jeans or heavy cotton trousers with light rain pants over them. Not ideal, but I find that for putt-putting around town at 50 KPH heavy riding gear is, well, too heavy.

For longer trips out on the open road, I wear a pair of Bering overpants: they are a pair of heavy cordura nylon overalls that slip on over my jeans. They have removable armor in the knees and hips.

And I always wear a pair of good Alpinestar street boots with a Goretex lining, gauntlet-style gloves, and a helmet.
Bruce Clarke --- 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 250R (black)
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Old 29 Jun 2011
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But where are you riding ??

What climate ? What temperatures ??

It makes a huge difference....

In my experience... LAYERS, LAYERS, LAYERS !! Nothing is more fine tunable.
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Old 16 Aug 2011
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I quite often just wear some tight denim jeans that are pretty thick and durable, some big boots I got from a second hand shop a few years ago, then a couple of thick jumpers underneath my (cliche) leather jacket. Does the trick in terms of warmth and safety for a casual rider like myelf.

Last edited by BigWheelsKeepTurning; 19 Feb 2014 at 15:00.
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Old 16 Aug 2011
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I've got all sorts of gear depending where I'm going!

Klim Dakar pants are awesome for the hot places, with zips that run the entire length of your thigh. Body armour with a Joe Rocket 3 way jacket on top (mesh, zip in panels and zip in waterproof liner) kept my top half cool.

For normal UK / Europe I wear a HG Explorer goretex two piece, which is fantastic. Tend to wear a base layer under it if I'm on a tour, or jeans if I'm just going somewhere.

Summer time I wear Hood jeans with the kevlar lining. Seem fine for temps up to about 25c...

As Ted says, it all depends where you're going?
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