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Gerbing Heated Clothing- lifetime guarantee on the heating ElementsDraggin Kevlar lined jeans- the look of denim with good abrasion protection

Advice

Read this BEFORE you buy any kit.

Now you don't buy leathers because you aren't going to fall off or get knocked off you're bike, otherwise you'd just wear an 'Eat my dust' or 'No Fear' T-Shirt, so what do you want from your leathers if you hit the road?  Basically you don't want any broken bones, and you really need to keep your skin it is an organ and its loss can kill.

Abrasion

My sister-in-law was a nurse with over 25 years mainly in A&E so this is from her.  Most people do not realise that their skin is an organ, and a pretty important one at that, this could be why they don't bother trying to protect it with decent thickness leather. 

Would you do this? Put on a T-Shirt.  Run along as fast as you can on a road.  Now throw yourself down on your back on the road!!  I can hear what you are saying, "don't be bloody stupid", but every day people ride bikes at speeds 10 times faster than you can run with little or no abrasion protection.

Abrasion protection has to be the highest priority, and time and again good leather has proven to be one of the best materials to protect from this.  Cordura and Kevlar can also be used, but I would not recommend them for primary contact areas such as Shoulders, Hips Back etc.

Impact

On hitting the road, what is important?  Well if I said to you that I wanted you to drop on one knee, with the full force of your body weight behind it, what would you like to drop onto?

The road surface will generally speaking be very hard and unforgiving so you want something to spread and absorb the shock and energy of impact.  What you should be looking for is rubbery and pliable protection (like T-Pro) which will a. Absorb as much energy as possible and b. definitely mimic the shape of your knee or whatever.

You wouldn't put a hard piece of plastic on the floor and drop onto that, would you? So why go for this type of 'Robocop' protection.  It might look the part, but will not protect as well in a spill.  The other down side of this type of 'Armour' is that it is just that, Armour, not energy absorption.  Unless you're planning on riding in a war zone 'Armour' shouldn't be necessary.

The other problem with impact and abrasion is Layers of leather and Stitching.  In primary areas there should be up to 4 rows of stitching of which 2 are visible and 2 layers of at least 1.2mm leather.

How many suits have you seen with multi coloured panels on the back, front and legs.  Now ask yourself "Were the panels just overlaid and stitched or properly joined with 4 rows of stitching?"

Summary

These points apply to 1 and 2 piece suits.

  1. Is the leather at least 1.2mm and strong, resistant to stretching and tearing
  2. Is the stitching good quality and slightly sunken so that initial abrasion won't rub through it
  3. Is there sufficient stitching at joins
  4. Are panels just overlapped
  5. Is the Armour hard or flexible and CE approved
  6. Are there any unnecessary hard plastic blobs or knobs which you could land on (these will concentrate impact into you)
  7. Does the Armour come out easily or is it adjustable, avoid Armour that is glued in.  In the event of a spill, repair and or alterations may be impossible if the suit cannot be turned inside out.
  8. Do the cuffs and ankles have close fitting and secure fastenings (the sleeves and lower legs should not easily ride up
  9. Avoid metal zips, high quality nylon is better

And additionally for 2 piece suits

  1. Make sure the joining zips are suitably attached
  2. Preferably go for a full length joining zip
  3. Ensure that the bottom of the jacket fully covers the joining zip at all times

Whether you agree or disagree with these points, they are based on our analysis of customers experiences (and my own, 3 spills with leather, 2 in the same one piece which barely showed any  signs of damage after sliding along the road in excess of 60 mph)

 

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Last modified: Sunday, 20 December 2009 13:00