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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a bike and started the process of piecing together my gear. Generally, everything I found comes in 2 unfortunate styles:

Cruiser gear - Black which means low visibility and high heat on a sunny day. Many items sold offer questionable protection (chaps, half helmets, fingerless gloves). Can be stylish, but can also look "Mad Max", "Village People" or "Gay Bar".

Racing gear - High visibility, high protection, high price - makes you look like an astronaut or power ranger. Tends to be colorful, which looks ridiculous when matching different pieces. Looks even sillier driving a cruiser.

I live in Ohio, so I need at least 2 sets of everything if I am going to ride in 100F weather and 40F weather and everything in between. Being able to mix/match between sets would be helpful as well.

I am not obsessed with fashion, but if I am going to pay good money, I want something I will wear for a while, not something I am going to replace later.


So far I have:

Black and White full face helmet: Anything other than full face is not an option for me. Generic enough to look okay with almost anything.

Black Sketcher boots with a low heel, I bought these to wear in winter long before I owned the bike. Minimal ankle protection, but no heel to catch anything.

Black Leather chaps: Under $100, I am a runner so protecting my legs is important. Very warm.

Used Phantom Held Gloves: Under $100, should give me an idea whether to eventually invest in a pair that hasn't been dropped 4 times. I am a computer programmer, so I want to protect my hands at all costs. These look ridiculous.

Fingerless black leather gloves: Came free with the chaps, not much protection, but keep my hands cool and better looking.

Retired black lambskin jacket: Not much protection in a fall, but too worn out to wear for normal use, so I won't miss it if it shreds on the pavement.

I am thinking of replacing the jacket next. I wish I could find a white leather jacket (like the 1950's style) that offers reasonable protection - I may even try bleaching a black one. Everything I've seen so far is either black leather, looks ridiculous or offers no protection.

I am also going to pick up some sort of "Kevlar Jeans" for when it too hot to wear the chaps - and give my butt and crotch some protection. I plan to eventually replace the chaps with more modern and better protecting overpants for winter.
 

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I bet if you got a white jacket, you'd regret it. Road grime would stick out like a sore thumb. My opinion, white doesn't look white for very long. Check out the fieldsheer products. Very good quality and stylish looks for just about anyones preference.
 

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There are plenty of other options than the "biker" or "racer" styles you mentioned.

Take a look at NewEnough.com - there are plenty of textile jackets and pants that are made for the average rider who doesn't want to dress like either a Hells Angel or Valentino Rossi.
 

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Kevlar jeans aren't a substitute for chaps. Chaps offer some wind protection but minimal crash protection. The most important thing in boots is ankle protection.

In addition to New Enough, take a look at Leatherup. It's mostly Chinese made stuff, but a lot of it is very good for the price. I've been wearing a pair of their Tornado boots for more than two years to commute in.
 

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I ride with a textile mesh riding suit from Olympia.

I've ridden in a range of 30 degrees to 100 degrees. it's armored and essentially a space suit.
It's silver, and does get dirty quick, but i bought silver to reflect the sun light so i don't boil... it does a good job in the desert.

I've spent a lot of money on a lot of different gear, but now that i know what i want, i'm never going back.

boots... the alpinestars i have are awesome. they were waterproof until i got lots of holes in them, but are still warm, even when i have wet feet.
full face helmet. always. currently exo1000. love it.

I do ride a KLR now, but rode with the same gear on my cruiser last year. it helps. :)

buy a good suit. i've had a crash with it on, no damage to the suit or myself... sure, i look a little goofy with it on... someone thought i was an astronaut. lol.
go textile...

chaps are useless in a crash... all they do is keep you warm and keep the bugs off your jeans.

gloves, i have 3 pairs on me. one pair is winter, one for cooler weather and one for hot weather. keeping the sun off you in hot weather keeps you cooler more than anything.
 
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