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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I figured i would give a testament to the cold weather ability of my riding gear for those looking to extend their riding season. For those that don't know from the other thread, I have a Tourmaster Transition jacket, Tourmaster Caliber overpants, and First Gear Winter Dakota. I rode my bike to work this morning (35 miles) in 32 degree weather. The car windshields had thick coating of frost and the grass was a bit frosty as well. I also wore a pair of thermal underwear under my pants and a lightweight fleece zip-up jacket under my riding jacket. The Tourmaster gear is supposed to keep you warm down to 35 degrees, so the addition of the fleece and thermal underpants should be expected for 32 degrees on an unfaired bike. I stayed pretty comfortable up to 70 mph, but anything over this and I began to feel cool air on my chest. I really wish the thermal liner on my jacket offered full frontal coverage, but instead, it stops where it zips into the jacket. This leaves about 4" down the middle without thermal coverage. On a bike with fairing and shield, this shouldn't be an issue, but on my 109, I think it may be a problem on real long rides or if the temp gets much colder. My legs stayed very comfortable with just a light pair of thermals under my pants, so I have no doubts the coolness on my chest was from the area not covered by the thermal liner. For my neck and face, I used a cheap fleece balaclava that I bought in the hunting section at Wal-Mart. Surprisingly, it kept my neck and chin very warm to be as thin as it is. I can truely attest to the warmth it gave, because I rode home in 36 degree weather the other day before I bought it, and the skin under my chin/jaw literally felt like I had a block of ice pressed against it. It hurt. The only part that was truely uncomfortable this morning was my eyebrows, which were not covered by the balaclava. This was from the wind blowing up under the chinguard of my Bell Zephyr helmet. Even then, it was only uncomfortable at speeds over 70mph. I still had air on my face at lower speeds, but not so cold as to be uncomfortable like it was when riding over 70mph. My fingers and hands stayed cool, but tolerable. I imagine I would need to stop every hour to give them time to warm back up if I was on a long ride, but for my 35 mile commute, they were ok. That being said, I'm not real impressed with the $58 Dakota gloves, as I expected more Thinsulate lining. They only have 40 grams of Thinsulate, which is the same as a $14 pair of leather gloves I bought at Wal-Mart. The only difference from these over my cheapos from Wal-Mart is they are waterproof and have a little wiper thingy on the left index finger (good for foggy conditions). They also have a larger gauntlet, but this becomes an issue in heavy rain like I experienced the day I rode in the huge downpour (when I ran into the flooded road). The reason I was not real impressed with them that day was, the gauntlet is too loose, so the rain runs down your sleeve and right into the glove if you take your hand off the bar, instantly negating any waterproof properties of the glove. Also, I'm not real sure the gloves would stay on in a sliding wreck since the velcro closure isn't very big or tight. I gave a more indepth review of the jacket and pants at www.cruisercustomizing.com if you wanna read it. I will review the Dakota gloves today also.Â

Here's the links to the gear and reviews.

Transition Jacket http://www.cruisercustomizing.com/d...ory_ID=8&manufacturer_ID=442&product_ID=20267

Caliber Overpants http://www.cruisercustomizing.com/r...ory_ID=8&manufacturer_ID=442&product_ID=22963

Dakota Gloves (Will have review up later) http://www.cruisercustomizing.com/d...anufacturer_ID=61&product_ID=17411&model_ID=0
 

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Medic....thank you for the detailed gear review. :bigthumbsup: It's that time of year where I ride and last Saturday's ride was just plain frigid after about 4 hours. Helly Hansen thermals normally do the trick under my leather gear along with a balaclava with windstopper material in it. This one, I found, keeps my chin from freezing. The deflector on the Arai doesn't really help that much when the temp gets below 36.
I am looking for a good pair of cold weather gloves for longer rides and will watch this post to see if there are glove recommendations. We are getting frost pretty well daily now. :verymad:
 

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I only wear mine in the cold weather so bugs aren't really an issue. Never tried a washing machine. Ususally just a little water and a scrub brush keep mine clean.
 

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So these coats and pants are for cold weather riding only, if so what would be the temp cutoff that you would wear them.
 

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I wear Tourmaster Winter Elite Gloves which I recently purchased. It was 39 this morning when I left and I swear my hands were sweating. They are well thought out with the sqeegee on the thumb and a polar cover contained in a zippered pouch. They have two velcro straps to customize fit and excellent padding. They are a bit clunky, but I'm getting used to them. I love them. I've ridden in 14 degree weather with much less gloves, I'm sure these will be fine.
Check them out:
http://www.newenough.com/tour_master_winter_elite_gloves_page.htm

I love my balaclava - soft and warm - with an extra large yolk which makes all the difference. That's here(BTW this company also makes a great digital tire pressure gauge, something called a "sidekick" which is a small metal plate to put underneath your kickstand on hot pavement, and a helmet extender which makes locking up a full face helmet easier - all must haves!) :
http://www.roadgear.com/catalog/index.cfm

And lastly my coat which I just received this week. It's a FirstGear Scout IV jacket and I can't stop raving about it. Incredibly warm, comfortable, and well thought out. I could go on and on about this jacket. It's so warm and comfortable, you forget you're wearing a coat. So much warmer than the M109R coat we got with the bike. It has better insulation, more pockets, better vents, and fit. It has two buttons at wrist and collar for fit, and two zippers to pick from depending upon how many layers you have on. A very smart jacket. Looks great too. A bit pricey though.
http://www.newenough.com/firstgear_scout_iv_jacket_page.htm

Hope this helps.
 

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I have two jackets I wear most the time. One is a blow through style with removeable liner. I wear it until the temps drop below 60 degrees. The Tourmaster also has a removeable liner. It can handle the rest down to about 32 degrees. I go to work with the liner in and come home with it out. I usually call it quits once we get to freezing temps though. I hit a patch of ice a few years back on a sport bike and almost lost it. That was enough for me. 32 degrees or lower and I cage it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Crude said:
I was wondering how hard it is to get bug guts off these coats and pants or are they machine washable.
It's easy. They just wipe right off, or if need be, you can scrub them with a fine brush like an old toothbrush or such. When all else fails, I've found one of the absolute best things to clean minor stains off clothes, carpet, couch etc. That's baby wipes. Obviously they're very gentle, so you don't have to worry about them damaging fabric or fade colors. I have been using Huggies baby wipes for years to clean food off mine or my baby's shirt. They also clean tennish shoes very well. My girls come home with enough sand in their shoes and pockets to fill a small play-yard. Baby wipes get those shoes looking good as new on the spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Crude said:
So these coats and pants are for cold weather riding only, if so what would be the temp cutoff that you would wear them.
Remove the thermal liner, and you can ride comfortably in mid-80s temps. The jacket has plenty of vents, so when you are moving, you stay nice and cool. The pants allow you to unzip the legs a bit from mid-thigh to allow more air flow. That, and leavin the ankle adjustments loose will allow enough air to circulate and keep your legs comfortable. If it was very muggy outside, and you were in stop and go traffic, then they would be a bit uncomfortable. For those conditions, I'll be purchasing a set of mesh ridin gear from Tourmaster/Cortech.
 

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Joe Rocket Phoenix gear is good stuff for hot and humid.. Very nice open mesh design, and they come with liners that are both wind and waterproof for when you gotta ride in the rain. I give mine a :bigthumbsup: :bigthumbsup: :bigthumbsup: :bigthumbsup:
 
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This year for the first time I am trying heated gear. I never thought I would go for it, but I have several friends who swear by it. I got the Eclipse jacket liner and gloves with a dual thermostat. It controls the jacket liner and gloves independantly of each other. It really does a great job. I put it under neath my 109 jacket or my First Gear Evolution jacket and it keeps me toasty. I wear chaps and long underwear for lower body and that does jut fine, but without a shield the upper body gets alot of air and at high speed (sorry honey) it gets cold here in PA. The wire tucks away nicely in the battery compartment when not in use.
 
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Last winter I rode a GL1800 Gold Wing from Ohio to Florida. When I left Ohio it was snowing and about 30 degrees. The thing that made a huge difference for me was the neck cover called a turtle. It completely blocked any air from getting into my helmet or down into my jacket. I was actually warm and toasty but I did have heated grips, heated seat, and ducted engine heat onto my feet.
 

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Alpine Stars makes killer textile cold weather jackets. Mine was the Tech Road but I think they discontinued it but something just like it took it's place. Not for anything above 80 degrees even with the liner out. with the liner in I have never got cold where this jacket covers me down to below 32 degrees, my fingers nearly fell off though. the thing is completely water proof too and the liner has aluminum or something in it that keeps your body heat in. They are pricey but you have to watch for close outs like when I bought this one for $199 instead of MSRP of $399. I have experimented with gloves but so far the only non electric one I have found that works is a snowmobile glove and I never did get matching pants for the jacket but I hope to remedy that tomorrow. Not matched up with my leather pants and this jacket and the worst part is the leather stuff still gets cold. Boots are just cheap SWAT team side zip jobbies but they work year round and are comfortable to walk in too. Arai helmets are good, just make sure and close off the vents because they do vent well and as one other said the built in chin spoiler only works down so low so a neck warmer or face mask is needed on the low end.
 
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