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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm all new to this and as you well know there are as many choices or jackets, pants, helmets, etc. as there are bikes. I would like to hear some suggestions on what you guys like/dislike etc.
I'm not looking to break the bank here just average stuff. Any must have features or useless features to be aware of. Not looking for cold weather gear right now just some basic items to start with. Suggestions on where to buy as well including XL tall stuff.
Thanks
 

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Boots, gloves and a helmet are mandatory IMO. And if the helmet doesn't have a good visor then add goggles to the mandatory list. The boots and gloves don't have to be anything special. Leather hiking boots that cover the ankles and a pair of leather work gloves are fine. "motorcycle" gear always seems to be black, and when it's the middle of summer you really don't want to be wearing black leather. Light colored leather work gloves without any lining are great for summer.

Ear plugs are a good idea too, especially if you use a half helmet that doesn't keep the wind off your ears.
 

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Hi Summer,
My two cents worth is this. Figure up what you need for now and an approximate budget. There are as many places to shop now more than ever. Helmet wise, make sure its DOT approved and that it doesn't effect your peripheral vision. Jacket wise, for the warm weather make sure it breathes and doesn't have straps or zippers that flop around while riding. I use gloves all year round. I don't have a fairing so my hands are more vulnerable to anything that flies up and hits them. Ive bought several pieces of gear off of fleabay with no issues. You can always add more gear as you see better and better pricing. Again, just my two cents worth.

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Cycle Gear is my favorite place. They carry a budget , medium and premium line. Most of their stuff has a 5 year or more replacement warranty. A few pieces I have bought the cheep stuff then returned it and used the credit to upgrade. Lots of stuff to try on in the stores and much more online. RevZilla has a great online store with tons of product review videos.
 

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Everyone has their own list for gear, but since you asked here is mine:

Warm Weather
Mesh riding jacket with armor & removable water proof liner. Removable liner also useful for cooler temps. I wear a Joe Rocket Jacket. Boots, ankle high. Gloves as necessary, leather, fingerless or with fingers as temp calls for. I always wear an armored jacket...or armored hoody when weather is a bit cooler.

Colder Weather
Heavier Textile jacket with removable quilted liner. Mine is Strength and Speed brand from Cycle Gear and I wear it down to 35-40 degrees and reasonably warm. Leather Chaps and full finger leather gloves or heavier gloves as the temps require.

Helmet
Open Face GMAX G67 without clear face shield, shatter resistant riding glasses in warm weather
Full Face helmet (from Cycle Gear) in cold weather.

Other than warmer under clothing I think that about covers it ... and me ;)
 

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The only thing I could add to the list, depending on the length of your rides, would be rain gear. There are many brands and prices ranges but I wouldn't invest a great amount.
 

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Summer, I like www.revzilla.com . They have many many product videos and guaranteed exchanges for sizing that doesn't quite fit. IMHO, they are worth checking out even if you never buy from them. There product reviews and information answer questions you may not have even known to ask.

As far as gloves are concerned, I look at knuckles and palms. Knuckle protection mostly for what can hit you while riding and palms because your reflexes tend to leave you palm down trying to stop yourself while sliding down the freeway. If you can get decent comfortable protection suitable for the weather you're riding in, you've won the biggest part of that battle. And a fairing can certainly count for some of that protection. My 2¢.
 

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A few guidelines I use for gear.

1) the more stuff between me and the road the better in an accident.

2) get the best you can afford. Limbs can be replaced.

3) more expensive isn't always better.

5) if it doesn't fit right, its not comfortable or its too complicated I won't use it.

6) gear in the closet is useless when you go down.

A mesh jacket might not be quite as strong ad a heavy leather and my military issue boots and jeans may not work as well as leather or track pants and touring boots but if its too hot or bulky or I can't operated the bike safely and comfortably the. What's the point. A comfortable mesh is better than no jacket.
 

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Like others have said, Leatherup is a good place to shop just be prepared to send things back if they dont fit...I hate that. I would shop around locally if possible. My list is a GMAX 35s half helmet, River Road (I think) textile armored jacket, nice soft leather gloves with Kevlar knuckles (not sure of the maker) and River Road boots. About the only thing I wear all the time are the boots and helmet. I rarely wear gloves and the jacket unless its cold out like today. Where I would spend the most money would be in the helmet and jacket.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the great advise guys. Turns out there is a cycle gear about an hour from me so I will be visiting them soon. Would much rather buy in person than online anyway.
I hate it when your all excited about a box from the big brown truck only to find out ya gotta send it back!:(
 

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That's exactly why I do cycle gear. And any product not in store they can order for you and it arrives in a few days. If it doesn't fit or you don't like it they return your money or get you something else. I am always nervous buying things I can't touch and try.
 

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River road has some great quality stuff that won't break the bank.
I previously used River Road's Guardian ankle height boots. Found the same boot under the Dexter brand name at Payless Shoes. Reg price $49.99 and got them on sale for $39.99. River Road MSRP is $79.95. Stitch for stitch, tread for tread they are the same under the Dexter brand. Just an FYI
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I am always nervous buying things I can't touch and try.
Yep exactly. I know lots of people do it, hence the success of fleabay and amazon, but If I can't touch it and look at it in person I don't like to order it no matter what it is. Now if I have seen it in a store first then I have no problem buying online but I just hate buying blind.
Plus I'm just a tad impatient and willing to pay a few dollars more and drive a few miles just to have it today.:D
 

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I got my lace up boots from shoe dept and love them. I was talking mostly about jackets from river road as that is all I've purchased from them but I was very happy with it.
 

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Always get leather for protection if you can, especially if it has armour plates sewn into the crucial points. It takes a while to grind through leather on the pavement. Our local farm store (rural king) carries several lines of leather stuff for cheap. I always wear leather gloves. If I bang up my legs, arms, or whatever, I can still drive a car, open a door, and use a computer(all things I have to do in my job). If I mess up my hands, I can't do much of anything. I had a broken hand once; it's amazing what you can't do with a bad hand.

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Always get leather for protection if you can, especially if it has armour plates sewn into the crucial points. It takes a while to grind through leather on the pavement. Our local farm store (rural king) carries several lines of leather stuff for cheap. I always wear leather gloves. If I bang up my legs, arms, or whatever, I can still drive a car, open a door, and use a computer(all things I have to do in my job). If I mess up my hands, I can't do much of anything. I had a broken hand once; it's amazing what you can't do with a bad hand.
In addition to that, skin grafts on hands are even less fun than skin grafts anywhere else. Plus there's the natural tendency to put your hands out when falling.
 

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It looks like you have lots of good suggestions, but I'll add my two cents anyway. I really like a armored mesh jacket and mesh gloves for warm weather. Competation Assessories www.compacc.com have several nice mesh jackets and gloves, some with Kevlar to add abrasion resistance. I use my leather jacket as long as I can, but once it gets hot I really like my mesh jacket. I also wear Kevlar reinforced jeans (Slider Jeans from Competation Assessories ~$80), since my legs have skin too!
 
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