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with spring at the doorstop, i will have to be purchasing my first pair of riding pants and jacket. frankly, i have researched it to death but cannot seem to come up with the "best" choice. i just began riding last fall, and am looking for a light mesh jacket that i can wear all summer, and layer additional items for cooler rides. same thing for pants/jeans. but . . . want to maximize my protection. not planning any long rides, just some short weekend jaunts. thanks for any input. ps anyone ever purchased a pair of HOOD jeans? they look like the best denim pants out there. thanks again. :)
 

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I like Icon or Joe Rocket leathers

In case of an tumble the leather would hold up better than the mesh gear.
The Icon and JR leathers have zippers that will let air flow through the jacket that will keep you cool when you are moving (not so much when sitting still.)
If you are wanting to get leather pants to ride in as well get a jacket with a zipper at the waist, this will let them zip into the jacket.
I also went with a bright color jacket to stay visible.
 

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I have a First Gear jacket that has a zip out windproof liner for cooler days. Very good for riding on warm days without the liner, as long as your moving. It has armor padding in back, elbows and shoulders.

Got it on sale at newenough.com for around 100 bucks if memory serves.

(Although I have to admit, when it's really hot, 80+ I don't wear it that much.)
 

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I don't know what summer riding conditions you have but I live in extreme SW Indiana and the summers here get into the 90's with humidity not far behind.

Although I think leather is a superior choice, it is simply too hot to wear so the inclination is not to wear it. Chaps don't give full coverage. So what I ended up with was a First Gear Kilimanjaro Air Jacket and First Gear Air II overpants. Both are armored and both are as cool as you can find. Nothing will be cool enough sitting at a stop light when it 90 degrees but you won't go into heat stroke like you can with leather.

Both come with rain liners and I've found them to be good insulators all by themselves down into the mid forty degree range. Colder than that you have to layer under the jackets but it is about as close to a three or four season setup as you can find.
 

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rockyjr,

The one basic thing that you will discover as you ride and gain experience....there is NO one "personal protective gear" (jacket/pants/gloves/boots/helmet) that will work in every weather condition/season. Hence one has a "wardrobe" of gear. :shock:
Not knowing which part of the country you live is difficult to help with your needs for riding. :roll:

If your in the temp ranges from the low teens to high 90's, one may have at least 2 or maybe even 3 different sets of gear. NO, you don't need to buy all this stuff now...but as you ride more to extend your season you will "feel" (cold/hot) and then decide how many new pieces of gear you need. Many of us "old geezers" have at least 2-3 or even a 4th set of gear! :shock: This gear was purchased over the years for the very reasons I mentioned before. I always buy what I could afford, but it had to be "adaptable or expandable" for my riding/travels.

Sometimes looking "cool" is not the way to keep warm/dry/cool. :wink:

Bullzeyet
 

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Just for info I use Leather Jacket and chaps for cool weather ridings which I also have an electric jacket liner and gloves for cold weather, then for warm weather I use this http://search.ridegear.com/ a Cortech DSX Denim Jacket (which comes with a jacket liner) and this combo works for my riding season's.
 

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I have waist cut air mesh kevlar jacket from Motoport. I bought it and the 2 part liner at the end of last summer. Between this jacket and my Gerbing liner, it is my all weather jacket. I've riden in temps up to the mid-90s or so in this jacket and it performed well. Stoplights are still miserable in that heat, but while moving I get a ton of air flow. For cold temperatures, I've riden in the mid-30s with this jacket, the windproof liner, and my Gerbing. In the 50s I put the windproof liner in and wear a sweatshirt underneath.

Before I bought this jacket, Sparc and I did some pretty extensive gear research. There are several reasons I shelled out the extra money for this jacket.
1. No polyurethane. Polyurethane is used as a coating in most (if not all) cheaper jackets and it has a rather low melting point. Because of this, it has been reported to melt into skin while sliding across pavement due to the heat of friction. Information about polyurethane can be found in this article and on the Motoport website. There used to be several testimonials on the Motoport website with people reporting polyurethane melting into skin as well.
2. Armor. You will be hard pressed to find a jacket with armor covering as much area.
3. Abrasion resistance. Kevlar offers excellent abrasion resistance. When I went to the Motoport factory, Wayne (the owner) was kind enough to show me the facilities as well as several garments that had been "crash tested." Their owners had sent them in to be checked over and have any repairs made. None of clothing had holes in them - just scratch marks where they had abraded on the pavement.
4. Seam strength. The best fabric and armor in the world will do you no good if the thread used to sew the seams is not strong enough to hold up against the tearing and abrasion forces experienced during a crash.

My next purchase will be the air mesh kevlar pants.
 

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If you are looking for an All Season set of riding gear, the Air Mesh type is tough to beat. I have both the First Gear Mesh tech jacket and overpants, and the Olympia mesh jacket and pant set-ups, and they do a pretty good job of nearly everything.

In normal weather - 70 degrees more or less, I just wear the jacket and pants. When it gets a little warmer, the liners come out of either one. And about the 90 degree mark, I stick in an evaporative cooling vest under the jacket. If its a little cooler, the liners do a decent job under the mesh stuff, but if it starts to get really cool and you are hard core, a set of Gerbing heated liners make the world round again.

In either case, the jacket is cooler than a tee shirt under the sun, because it blocks the sun from your skin, but lets the breeze blow thru. And they are disigned to put the armour where you will need it in the event of an unscheduled get off. Leather is great for cows, but good engineering and materials work for accidents.

As for brands, Olympia, First Gear, Courtech, Aerostitch, and half a dozen others make it. I think the Olympia is a little better designed, but not sure if the price justifies it. First Gear is also good, and pricing a little better. Joe Rocket has the better prices, but not quite the quality. Others I have not owned, so will not comment on.

Here is a start http://www.newenough.com/browse/closeouts/mesh_jackets_and_pants
http://www.olympiamotosports.com/index.htm
 

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Sparc's Hotchick said:
I have waist cut air mesh kevlar jacket from Motoport. I bought it and the 2 part liner at the end of last summer. Between this jacket and my Gerbing liner, it is my all weather jacket. I've riden in temps up to the mid-90s or so in this jacket and it performed well. Stoplights are still miserable in that heat, but while moving I get a ton of air flow. For cold temperatures, I've riden in the mid-30s with this jacket, the windproof liner, and my Gerbing. In the 50s I put the windproof liner in and wear a sweatshirt underneath.

Before I bought this jacket, Sparc and I did some pretty extensive gear research. There are several reasons I shelled out the extra money for this jacket.
1. No polyurethane. Polyurethane is used as a coating in most (if not all) cheaper jackets and it has a rather low melting point. Because of this, it has been reported to melt into skin while sliding across pavement due to the heat of friction. Information about polyurethane can be found in this article and on the Motoport website. There used to be several testimonials on the Motoport website with people reporting polyurethane melting into skin as well.
The link you provide is an excellent review and the reason I have not bought one of the cheaper mesh jackets and instead suffer in sweat until I can afford a Motoport.

Hotchik, do you carry the liners with you, even in hot weather, in case of rain? (or a separate rain suit?)
 

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Also, Olympia now makes a 1 piece suit (called the Phantom). I've read good reviews about its waterproofness, venting, and price, but doesn't sound as easy to get in and out of as an Aerostich would be. I believe it also comes with CE approved armor.
 
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