Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Hot Gear

After getting the basic gear and riding as soon as snow was off the road, I'm now wondering how the summer will go. I've been wearing jeans when I ride in to work, but they aren't particularly comfortable, though they are cooler than the bike pants I got on sale.  Those pants, other than a zip up the side, are solid with no venting.  They're great on a frosty April morning and they are nice and wind proof, but the thought of putting them on in a thirty-five degree summer day is daunting.  I didn't even need the liner in them when it was 5°C, I can't imagine when anyone would need that liner (riding in a snow storm?).

Now that I'm getting a sense of what sort of kit I'm in need off (I tend to be warm by nature, so cooler is always better) cooler gear is what I'm looking for.

I get the sense that the super touring pants (the kind you see on TV) offer a kind of cooling that my cheaper ones can only dream of.  I wish I could get my hands on a pair of the super pants and see just how good they are, but they are expensive and no local retailer in Southern Ontario seems to have any on shelves.  My only option to buy is online, sight unseen, and that makes me uneasy when you're buying a pair of pants for upwards of three hundred dollars.

My ideal pants would have armor where you need it and lots of ventilation up and down the legs and in the seat.  They would also be a light colour so they reflect heat as well.  The Olympia pants (below) seem like a solid choice, but again, I'm only able to go off the description online, and that's a lot of money to sink into a best guess.

I like the monochromatic Star Wars
Storm Trooper look
, but the jacket
adds a nice splash of colour...
I was in Toronto recently and stopped by Cycle World in Scarborough.  They actually had the Alpinestars S-MX 1 boots in white there, so I tried them on.  Nice, light weight, low cut boots that breathe well, but for some reason they are $40 more if I drive over to Scarborough to pick them up, so I didn't.  At least I've tried them on and have a tactile idea of how they feel.  I'd have been happy to pick them up right then, if they weren't so price inflated.

I'm still happy with the Joe Rocket jacket I got.  It fits well, has a removable liner (which I've had out for a month now).  With the liner in and a sweater on, I'm toasty and windproof.  With the liner out and the vents open, I need only get moving to cool off.

The Zox helmet I got is working well, though the wind noise is something I'll address in my next helmet.  In the meantime, I'm loving the swing up face, the drop down sunscreen and the inside of the helmet is very comfortable.  For the money, I don't think I could have gotten a better lid.

Having the right kit on does a couple of things for me.  It puts me in the mindset to ride, and makes me feel like I'm ready for it.  Windproof clothing is worth its weight in gold when you're up at speed.  If you've never tried it, you'll be amazed at what you've been missing.  Being comfortable while riding is an important part of having your head on straight and avoiding problems.  So many people tend to ignore the gear you need to ride well, which is a shame, because with the right stuff, you're likely to get out and do it much more often.

My next purchase?  Then I hope I'm ready to ride in the heat... from CANADA's MOTORCYCLE