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Old 05-16-2010, 07:53 AM   #1
JMcDonald
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Default Protecting your Lower Half when daily driving a bike?

I just finished purchasing my first set of Head to Toe gear (boots, jacket, gloves, over pants, helmet). The over-pants are for when I ride to work, so I can just put them on over my slacks / dress pants and take them off when I get to work. However, I will also be riding to school (which is like 1 mile away with a max speed of 25mph...) and don't want to be wearing that same pair of pants every day.

So, my options are:
1) Buy two or three more pairs of riding pants / jeans. I have an odd body shape (30w / 34l pants), so it is already difficult enough for me to find regular pants. Finding specific riding pants that not only fit me but that I like enough to wear as everyday jeans will undoubtedly be extremely difficult, not to mention probably pretty expensive since I will have to buy locally and thus pay a premium. I'm guessing $125ish per pair of pants, so $250-$375 for two or three pairs, if I can find any at all...


2) Wear pads or at least abrasion-resistant material underneath regular pants every day. I don't mind getting a set of low-profile knee pads to wear under regular pants. If I am going to be somewhere for a while, I can just slip them out in the bathroom or whatever. For my butt and thights I would probably make a few pairs of riding shorts out of layered demin to go over my underwear and under my pants, giving some abrasion protection for my butt and thighs. This would probably cost about $75 total for the knee pads and material for the shorts, and is something I could much more easily get taken care of.


3) Sew additional material inside abrasion areas of a few pairs of my regular pants. I would likely just get some thicker demin or leather and sew it into the knees and thigh / butt areas of a couple pairs of jeans, and call it good. At the relatively low-speed crashes I'd be likely to experience in my commutes, I'd imagine they would last long enough before shredding to keep my skin intact.


One thing I learned from dirtbiking is you never realize how important each part of your gear is until you crash (or in some cases), just ride without it. I slid in some hard-packed dirt in jeans once because I forgot my riding pants, and I never forgot those pants again. My stepdad forgot his boots once and was riding behind me my tire kicked up a small rock, which proceeded to smash into and bruise / cut his toe (which wouldn't have happened with the riding boots). So, I always want to make sure I have at least decent protection on all parts of my body.

*edit*

Also, how do you guys think each of these options would hold up to highway-speed crashes?

*edit*

And btw I am leaning toward Option 2. I would get about the same protection as riding jeans (more in the knees and shins, but perhaps less in the butt and thighs), at much much less cost and without the hassle of driving all over the place trying to find pants that fit and look plain enough to wear everywhere. And it would be a whole lot cheaper. Finally, it will be more versatile than adding material to existing pants, because I could then ride in any of my pants and still have the same protection.

Last edited by JMcDonald : 05-16-2010 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:29 AM   #2
sarnali2
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Well I'm the first one to advocate proper riding gear, however in your case riding 1 mile at 25 I'd say you're probably OK in jeans....... There has to be a balance between practicality and safety. While jeans don't offer much in the way of protection I think if you look at helmet, gloves and boots as a minimum then you can tailor the rest to the situation once you get a little more comfortable on the bike. On option I use is just a pair of cargo shorts under my riding pants, you might try that in warmer weather
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:40 AM   #3
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I always thought most crashes with the most injuries occur when the rider was just making a short trip and thus not very well-prepared. I have already told myself if a ride is not far enough to justify getting all geared up, then I will just take my bike (which would probably be faster than gearing up, unlocking the bike, etc) for a lot of locations around me. I remember I used to live 2 miles away from school, and it owuld always take me 10 minutes door-to-door, while it would take my roommate 15, heh.

So yeah, not protecting every impact area from at least abrasion is not an option with which I'm comfortable at this time. Even at 15 or 20MPH, if I go down with just jeans I'd imagine it will at least ruin my whole day.

And of course, there is always the possibility of running unplanned errands or even just going for a spur-of-the-moment ride around town, in which case I would definitely not want the minimal protection just jeans or pants.
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:32 AM   #4
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Well fair enough, you're better off being geared up than not. Like I said a pair of cargo shorts under riding pants works for me in warmer weather but by all means do what you're comfortable with. A couple of places make armored and Kevlar lined jeans for riding like Draggin' jeans and I think Aerostitch markets a pair now, that may be an option for you too.
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Old 05-16-2010, 10:27 AM   #5
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Yeah I mentioned the riding jeans in my first post. My main problem is the lack of my size and the high prices.
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMcDonald View Post
I always thought most crashes with the most injuries occur when the rider was just making a short trip and thus not very well-prepared. I have already told myself if a ride is not far enough to justify getting all geared up, then I will just take my bike (which would probably be faster than gearing up, unlocking the bike, etc) for a lot of locations around me. I remember I used to live 2 miles away from school, and it owuld always take me 10 minutes door-to-door, while it would take my roommate 15, heh.

So yeah, not protecting every impact area from at least abrasion is not an option with which I'm comfortable at this time. Even at 15 or 20MPH, if I go down with just jeans I'd imagine it will at least ruin my whole day.

And of course, there is always the possibility of running unplanned errands or even just going for a spur-of-the-moment ride around town, in which case I would definitely not want the minimal protection just jeans or pants.
Well, yes but as always the severity of the injuries are proportional to the speeds involved. A lot of motorcyclists ride 60mph all over the place and that sort of skews the statistics. If you ride cautiously and observe speed limits in town that reduces the risk of injury. But it is always best to gear up. wear shorts under mesh armored pants. They are easy to put on/take off.
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:32 AM   #7
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When I got nailed I was wearing armored jeans, and armored jacket with a slip-in back protector that went from the t-1 to the t-12, a $500.00 Arai helmet and steel toed boots with a steel arch support. Also had armored gloves with a 4 inch gauntlets.

I was going about thirty, when the SUV rear-ended me at sixty. The impact was so great that it broke the Buell's frame off at the steering head, along with the front motor mounts, and folded up the back of the city-x like a cheese omelet.

I was five miles from home on a quick errand run.

But I didn't have a mark on me, the Arai saved my life, and while my T-12 exploded, I'm sure the protector saved the rest of my back from being pulverized. Broke every rib, & shattered my left scapula, but I'm sure because of all my protective gear, I was able to survive an otherwise fatal accident.

Suit up like you are going to war, because that's what the streets are like now. With rolling IED's that have names like Ford, Nissan & Toyota.
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:34 AM   #8
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Why not get a pair of lightweight armored overpants? Look at Riderwarehouse (Aerostich) for a few options, though there are a number of others out there from many manufacturers. This way, you're not tied to any specific clothing, dealing with undergarments, or compromising safety in any way.
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:01 PM   #9
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You don't want to be wearing the same pants every day? Then get two pair. I always wear my Joe Rocket Alter Egos. If it's hot, I don't wear the liner. If it's going to rain, or it's cold, I make sure to insert the liner. The Alter Egos go over whatever normal clothes pants I'm wearing, so there's no issue for me about whether or not I'm wearing the same motorcycle pants every day.
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejis View Post
Why not get a pair of lightweight armored overpants? Look at Riderwarehouse (Aerostich) for a few options, though there are a number of others out there from many manufacturers. This way, you're not tied to any specific clothing, dealing with undergarments, or compromising safety in any way.
(+)1 on the overpants. Look at Fieldsheer or Tourmaster. Easy on/easy off.

My brother has the Joe Rocket Alter Ego overpants and I can put my Fieldsheer pants on and take them off in the time it takes him to put his JRs on. The zipper on the JRs are not full length (despite what the description says -- unless they improved the latest models).
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