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Work commute gear?

Guest Ho89

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Hi, sorry if this has already been answered else where.

I'm going to purchasing a motorbike for my work commute and will have to wear my suit under my gear as I have no facilities to change in at work.

What would people recommend? Would normal textile trousers be ok? Or would I need over trousers?

I don't have a large budget and not a fan of leather


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Is their not even a staff toilet cubical that you could squeeze into and get changed, I wear formal trousers for my job under my textiles and quite often they end up scrunched at the bottom where I tuck them into the boot, you might take the gear off and find a not so tidy look, although folding it in a bag with locks etc would probably do more damage in that aspect.

I'm personally in the middle of upgrading from my first set of textiles to a more expensive set makes the world of difference, although the cheap items will see you through until you need to upgrade.

As tango said above, everything needs to be tried on.. there's no point going of top or jacket sizez etc becuase they all have armour in, padding etc.. a local shop is the way forward, I use J&S because it's the closest one to me.

Ideally you'd want to commute with a jacket/jumper on as well unless you're going to get a jacket that has a thick thermal layer because it can get surprisingly cold at this time of year ot the point of fingertip freezing (i've been there and it's not nice), also waterproof is a must.

If you find something you like in the shop then you can take down the name and search ebay, I use sportsbikeshop's ebay store if I've tried the product on and want a cheaper price, looking around can help.

Get yourself to a shop and get trying them textiles on, for my first set I went with a frank thomas jacket, trousers, boots, gloves and helmet.. budget option from J&S although not really very much protection in any of the items.. so if you do visit J&S try and stay clear of that brand, really waterproof through the worst of weather and the jacket keeps me warm but I wouldn't want an off in one (not that it's the aim of the game).


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Cheers guys, I could but the toilets aren't kept in particuly good conditions. I will defiantly go to shop and get a feel for each item and then go to eBay after unless they can give me a good deal for a full kit.

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I think I paid £360-£380 for my first full set of gear, so what you get depends on what you're able to spend.

Be sure that you don't search ebay for any old motorbike gear as despite the fact you'll find some cheap gear that looks nice the question of size and also comfort is one to ask, I only advise searching ebay for brand names that you've tried on via verified seller to ensure that if you can you get a better deal as J&S don't always charge the cheapest prices.

You'll need to ensure you have a bag to put your jacket/overcoat,tie and trousers in or purchase a topbox if you're unable to find one big enough.

I wish their was a check-list I could give you with all the advice on what to look out for with each piece of gear, taking someone who rides bikes or even taking your time can prevent you from ending up with buying the equivalent of a lump of coal.

Quick tip; get gear with CE approved amour if you can, just means you're not buying something that feels no safer than your bare skin :thumb:

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I was hoping to spend no more than 350, don't realise how much stuff there is to get at first all starts to add up. Good idea about taking someone with that knows what there on about because I dont :/. Completely forgot about what I'm gonna do with it once I take it off lol

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I had a flashback to when I first started riding and a few months latter there's so many small things here and there that you buy and pick up that you wont even start to predict.

£350 is a healthy budget for the gear, means that £70 is your max on each item (Boots, trousers, jackets, gloves, helmet).

I only advise taking someone else as I walked into the shop with a pocket full of money and basically paid for what they suggested, needless to say that know i'm upgrading I soon see how useless the gear they sold me at the time is (in terms of level of protection).

As for the topbox don't worry about it unless you plan to carry huge amounts of items or want to put everything inside the topbox and then leave the box and unpack it at work when you're done, like a suitcase I guess.

I use the following backpack "http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/2989071.htm".. cheap, holds my work shoes, locks, and a jacket, fully waterproof (and more, but that's just in the main compartment), and plenty of extra pockets/storage, also has a buckle that goes around your waist once on so no worries about slipping of your shoulders mid ride.

Here's the basics for gear looking (if you're going on your own);

Helmets - they get loose over time and shape to the size of your head so when trying one on (get someone who works in the shop to help you once you've found a good looking model and affordable to help you) it's best to get a tight fit, shouldn't be able to get any fingers between the top of the helmet and you're forehead and once the buckle is done up properly move the helmet left to right and up and down it shouldn't move without taking your face with it (again make sure someone at the shop does this for you, I must add check check and check again that when the helmet is fastened up on the chin but if you look up and pull the helmet from the chin area up and it moves get a size down as it's not normal, despite J&S telling me it was.. basically first helmet was a XL and my current is ML medium large.. you get the importance, sizes vary dependant on brand and model).

Jacket - Ensure it's tight and snug (wear a jumper on the day when trying on if you're going to wear one while riding) and ensure that it has a suitable level of armour and padding on the shoulders and elbows and covers a decent area of the back, ensure that (especially applies to budget options) the protection is not held together inside compartments held together by velcro (like my frank thomas jacket is).

Gloves - style, protection, features vary.. honestly down to preference, gortex maybe, something waterproof defiantly, a decent looking knuckle protection area at the very least, as well as some palm and wrist protection (multi fastening gloves work best for me, one Velcro strap around the wrist and another further up the arm).

Trousers - Waterproof, thermal layer (if possible), waterproof (a must), decent knee protection and is overall comfortable, ensure the zip mechanism won't get caught in the textile of the trousers and has a strong firm zip (my frank thomas zip broke after two months leaving the trousers useless), multi-zip/locking ways is dependant on trouser.

Boots - Ankle protection, toe slider, gear shifter panel (found on the top of the front of the boot, often a patched area stitched on top), rear protection, shin protection, and a decent locking mechanism (mine has a zip and Velcro, often the case on most boots even "high end/expensive" gear) my basic pair of frank thomas boots had all of the above and for I think it was between £70-£80 (all the above features are just things that are integrated into one boot, they'll either have them or they wont and can be found on more sport style boots, best ones IMO even on basic 125 commuter's such as mine).

Sorry it's a long reply, hope it helps.

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Alpinestars do a textile trouser called "drystar express" which is designed for wearing stuff underneath without ruining what's under it. High quality as well. Here is a small review I wrote on them viewtopic.php?f=79&t=53531

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I bought a large pair of trousers from J&S accessories (size above me) and they fit over my work trousers just fine for around £50. A pair of boots that cost £40 (and i have shoes at the office to change in to when there). Other than that a Jacket i use a rev'it jacket that cost me £130 and it keeps all but the most ridiculously heavy rain out and a caberg V2RR helmet cost me £130. A nice pair of warm gloves will do you a world of good and a set of waterproofs (jacket primarily but trouser to) to hide under the seat of the bike or in your backpack. A topbox would be helpful if you have the money so you can put your helmet in there save carrying around the office =)

As it's been said go into the shops and try haggle a little, May be able to get a whole set of gear if you haggle right ;)

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