Suggested Gear - First time rider | Page 2 |

Suggested Gear - First time rider


Well-known member
Two things that most first-time gear buyers overlook are fit and comfort.

If the gear doesn't fit you properly, the armor might move around too much and not protect you in the event of a fall. Leather stretches, especially gloves and pants. Leather gloves will typically stretch one full size up after the first season, so I typically buy them a size smaller when new and then they're perfect after the first few rides.

Having said that, if the gear is too uncomfortable (too hot, too tight, etc), chances are you'll leave it in the closet when you go out for your next ride. Toronto summers get very hot and humid, so if you decide to go for leathers, there are perforated leather jackets and pants on the market that allow air to flow through. Another option is to look for a hybrid gear - leather covering the high abrasion areas (elbows, shoulders, knees) and mesh in the chest, thighs, backs of calves, to let air flow in.

If you bike long enough, you'll probably end up owning at least two sets of gear, one for hot weather riding, and another for early and late in the season when it's cooler. Trying to find a single outfit to cover off all seasons will probably get you gear that will be too hot in the summer and too cold in the early spring/fall.
All true. And I learn't the hard and expensive way when starting.

Got a Shoei RF1200, tried it in store and got the right size according to head size, everyone said it will break in and get more comfortable. Never did, even got the smaller cheek pads, there were no pressure points, just uncomfortable. Got an Arai, and never going back, like putting on a pillow, fit and comfort are very important.

Started with a leather jacket, stiff, not comfortable for long distance riding, and hot, also snug for layering when cold. Then got a waterproof touring jacket, only one size at sale for 50% off thinking I scored the deal of a lifetime, was too big and flapped around the wind, also hot, and probably used it in the rain for like 10% of riding time, spend 90% of the time over-heating. Now, I've been to GPBikes and so, seen amazing sales, like 80% off a Klim jacket I wanted, it was one size off, most would try and make it work, I skipped it without thinking twice.

There is no perfect do it all gear, my conclusion. Spend good money and get a comfortable helmet, gloves, and boots.

As for jacket and pants, I've moved onto a layering system. Base layer, then Armour, then windproof shell, and if raining a rain shell. SO much more flexible, easier to control temperature, and diverse. This is what all other sports do, from skiing to hiking, why motorcyclists look for a one-piece do all system has baffled me and I learn't the hard way. I'll also be leaving moto specific pants because they are too bulky and stiff, a pair of forcefeild Armour pants underneath something like fjallraven pants is more than adequate. Build around 1. Protection, 2. Weather protection, 3. Comfort, 4. Versatility. I can use all the gear on a bicycle now, or while hiking or at the campsite just chilling not feeling like a storm trooper.

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