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Discussion Starter #1
My "fitting a jacket" thread has turned into a "leather pants are safer than jeans" thread, so I may as well run with it.

Fillmore, Retro, and others have convinced me to start looking at leather pants, so I have some questions for anybody who cares to chime in.

If I am to wear leathers, I want something that won't make me look like an alien. I would also like something that I could be comfortable in after I get to wherever I'm going- I'm not going to wear tight leather riding pants around all day. So that pretty much rules out Dainese (I have been considering a Dainese jacket). Vanson seems to have a fairly wide selection of leather pants, including street-type leathers and leathers that can go over jeans.

Does anybody have anything to say about leather pants that don't scream "gay bar on wheels" (as Retro so aptly put it). I will just not be comfortable being Mr. Leather all day- and I'll be hot as hell!. I know some people stash their work clothes at work or bring them with them, or whatever, but that won't work for me. I need something that I can either wear all day long or that can be worn over regular clothes.

Any ideas?
 

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For wear over regular clothes, you may want to look into Aerostitch suits. I've only seen one set and it was at the track (approved for substitute for leathers). I have read either here or another forum that Aerostitch makes something good for wear over work clothes for the commute.

The problem with wearing leathers for the whole day is that they are shaped for comfort in riding position, and if they fit well for protection, that shape won't work as well in the fully upright world.
 

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I'm with Mark: I don't think the leather-over-jeans really makes sense. I have cordura for my "over pants" and leather for wearing alone.

I don't wear the leather for long off-the-bike streches. It goes on when I'm GOING RIDING.

Another thing to think about: you suggested looking for leather that doesn't stand out, make you look like an alien. The problem with that is those generally have minimal armor and padding. Many even dispense with the hip armor. That's not a compromise I like. I've had MANY bicycle racing crashes and discovered the hard way that the hip is the first point of impact. Even at only 30 mph, the impact causes the skin to RUPTURE. It's messy, painful and takes a long time to heal. I personally don't understand riding pants without hip armor.

So with my cordura, I can wear something underneath and just strip the riding pants off. I have cable-locked them to the bike when going to a concert before.

I got cordura jacket and pants first because of their flexibility. I added a leather set later for better sport riding protection and, honestly, because I think they feel and look better. I like the snug fit you get from leathers. Cordura is never cut as close and it billows around a bit at speed. I somehow feel less "one with the bike" in my bulkier kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nice replies. Cordura does seem like the best bet for me at this point. The Aerostitch Darien Light may work well.
 

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Another vote with Mark and Don... When you compromise that "Ricky Racer" look with leather, you typically loose the safety features first.

I've wanted an Aerostich Roadcrafter for a while, but since it's "leather expensive" and I can get away with wearing leather to work, I'd just be wearing it for a few weeks in the fall and spring which doesn't quite justify it (yet... :))

When I wear textile gear, I've been wearing stuff from Fieldsheer and I've recommended to several friends who are either looking for textiles or even looking to get a first set of safety gear and can't afford or don't want leather. I'm not under the assumption that it's as effective as leather (or probably even Aerostich...), but it does provide some level of abrasion resistance and it does have GP (hard) armor.

I wear the Highland pants. They zip right over my street clothes and have kind of a cargo pant look so I don't feel too out of place if I wear them into the store or something (and I like having all that pocket space). They're relatively wind and water resistant, so they keep me pretty warm and dry in most weather that I'd venture out in on a motorcycle.
http://www.newenough.com/mens/fs_textile_pants.htm

In hot weather I zip them to a Fieldsheer Titanium Air jacket.
http://www.newenough.com/mens/fs_mesh_jackets.htm

When things get cool or wet, I switch over to my Fieldsheer Spiga Jacket. With the liner zipped in, this jacket's good into the 40's.
http://www.fieldsheer.com/products.php?display=spiga

Although I think leather is the ultimate in protection when done right, I don't have a problem recommending the Fieldsheer gear to people. It's ~$350 (less than the price for most decent leather jackets) for the three items I've listed which gets someone comfortably covered with cordura and hard armor from neck to ankle in most riding conditions.

--Fillmore
 

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As an addendum to my earlier comments, I actually wear Joe Rocket Pheonix jacket and pants for warm weather.

I've read about equal amounts of negatives and positives about this gear, including a lot of first hand experience reports on crashes. The only real consensus I saw was that if you do crash, you'll probably have to replace one or the other pieces, but you'll also probably fare pretty well.

Fitment comments: I'm 6'00"", 215 lbs with 46" chest, 40" beer belly. and 36" waist. I wear the XL jacket and it's tight enough to stay in place. I wear L pants, and the waist is just right and the legs are about right, but the hips and butt are too baggy. I feel like in a slide, the hip padding will wind up anywhere but over my hips. The pants are comfortable by themselves or over jeans.

I'm seriously considering having one of my sisters who is a professional seamstress with the right kind of machines to sew mesh fabric take the slack out of the baggy areas of the pants. Hopefully that will keep the padding on my hips and butt when I need it.

So this outfit would be one to consider for wear over work clothes. But it definitely won't keep you dry in the rain - I got caught in a downpour on the expressway, and when I got home and took off the jacket I could see the mesh weave pattern on my T shirt from the road grime washing out of the jacket ;D
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the replies. The textile pants you have all mentioned seem like a good compromise between leather and jeans.
 

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I have an older pair of Dainese pants that are leather and some padding, but no hard armor. They are very comfortable.

I know I would be better off with armor, but these provide a lot more protection than the jeans I used to wear. The leather pants I have tried with armor were horribly uncomfortable.

I put up a message here earlier about undergarments with armor. I plan to get some of these for track days.
 

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I have another one for you to check into...
I have a TourMaster Cortech Sport 2-piece suit ive been happy with. (pants and jacket are sold separate)
i wear it over my work clothes, and on longer touring trips.

they only downside is they are hot over pants in the summer.
 
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