Get In Gear
With more and more women riding everyday you would think that there would be more gear options available for us to buy and there are a few companies jumping on board but remember that we are women and that means we need a lot of options. Plus we come in a lot more shapes and sizes then men do. I also don’t think that we should have to sacrifice style for function and with a little effort we should be able to have both. I like to keep my feminine status while doing what’s considered “manly” activities so taking something that was made for a man and making it smaller will simply not work.
I get a lot of women who write in asking me what I wear for gear so I thought I would compile a list of some of my favorite things. Pre warning though, I alter everything I wear to make it suit my needs and riding conditions. Also, I ride mostly in rain and extreme heat year around so my knowledge on cold weather riding is not as expansive as others. This list also changes often as more products get released on the market or I encounter a situation riding that I haven’t before and have to create a new “moto-hack”.
As much as I love and am proud of being a biker I don’t always want to look like one. When I get off my bike I like to maintain some style without screaming to the world “Hey Everyone I’m a chick and I just rode a bike so notice me!” Not that all gear is like that and I’m not insinuating that we wear it for attention I’m just saying that I don’t own a car and I ride my bike to the store, cross country as well as dinner parties and leathers aren’t perfect for every occasion. So here it goes….
Pants: Ugly Bros. I love every detail down to the adjustable rotating front button. The jeans offer me the most comfortable and protective ride I have ever had. Sounds crazy but I think these jeans made me actually ride better. When you feel safe and comfortable its just one less thing to worry about and you can direct your focus on actually riding. Plus you can push the limits a little if you know that you’ll be protected while doing so. Rocks and raindrops hurt less while wearing them. They stretch in all the right places, don’t give me plumber crack when I’m bent over riding my bike and they are durable enough to withstand the elements of the road and multiple washings. I wear the Twiggy pair in Black.
Hack: Waxing. Remember, I ride in the rain daily so waterproofing is a must for me. Plus I love the way denim looks waxed. It takes some elbow grease and some time but it’s worth it. I like to use Martexin Original Wax.
Boots: Frye. I haven’t found a pair of boots specifically made for riding that I love wearing everyday yet. Frye’s are made with high-grade leather, have steel toe options and a ton of style choices. I have a few different pairs but just got the new Veronica Tanker and freaking love them.
Hack: I re-sole them with a Vibram sole to make them more durable.
Gloves: RSD. I love my Gezel Gloves, they are the best blend of performance, comfort and style and (as cheesy at it sounds) they fit like aglove. They protect me without limiting my mobility while wearing them. I use to never wear gloves because I like being able to have full control while riding, being able to feel the bike was important but these gloves allow me to do all of that and stay safe.
Hack: Latex Gloves. When riding in cold weather I wear Latex gloves underneath to seal in my own body heat. They are like a second skin that doesn’t add bulkiness.
Jacket: I have a few options here….
Warm weather: Vanson Leathers Mota Jacket. It’s not as lightweight and cool as a mesh jacket but it’s light enough that it doesn’t kill me with heat while riding in 100 degrees. It’s stitched so well, durable with the waxed cotton and it’s shaped for a woman’s body. It’s one of those jackets that you can go ride in and wear out as well. The more broken in it gets the better it looks too.
Hack: Kevlar lined by Ruste Protection. This company takes anything you send them and adds protection elements like Kevlar and D30. Basically you could make your underwear safe to crash in with this company. (www.rusteprotection.com)
Colder Weather: RSD Riot Leather Jacket. Honestly I wear this jacket in warm weather too. I feel the safest in this jacket so when I’m going distances over 100 miles I wear it, hot or not. It has a feminine cut but an aggressive riding fit with a dropped length back and pre-curved sleeves. It’s stylish and has stitched so well it won’t blow open if you were to go down.
Hack: First Gear Vest Heat Pump Vest and a good sweat shirt. If it’s really cold I wear something under my Jacket. The Pump Vest as adjustable air chamber technology that locks in your own body heat when activated. How cool is that?! Plus it’s a vest so your arms stay less bulky with layers and can maneuver your bike easier.
Helmet: Lots of answers here, I have more helmets than I have shoes and I own a lot of shoes.
I have this motto that I go by “I will never Groupon plastic surgery or helmets”. It’s your face and your life and that’s not something you want to be saving money on.
Around town: I like to wear my Biltwell Bonaza with a bubble shield. This allows my makeup to stay in tack and my hair to stay somewhat fixed. By around town I literally mean a 5-mile radius. Anything more than that means I’m going faster and I want a full face for that ride.
Next is my Biltwell Gringo S, it’s comfortable, looks great, meets safety standards and I love the ability to lift my shield when I stop at lights. I rock a chrome shield so I can bounce sunlight and blind horrible drivers who aren’t paying attention (totally joking) It’s actually because I don’t want anyone to see that I didn’t wear any makeup that day. They just came out with a bubble version for the S but I don’t always want to look like I’m ready to walk on the moon, I keep this helmet somewhat simple.
HJC Motocross Helmet. This may sound crazy to a lot of you but I rock my moto (aka “The Chrome Dome”) while on rides 400 miles or more. It may not fit the look of my sporty but it makes for a super comfortable ride. It’s aerodynamics are meant for racing so it cuts through the wind like butter and it has a breath guard that helps keep the wind, dirt and bugs out. I was designed by racers it made to be crashed at high speeds in and I’m am use to motocross so it’s a comfort thing for me.
Socks: People never think about this but socks are important! Mine get wet all the time so I always have a dry pair on me. Stance makes a ton of comfortable option, I prefer any that are knee socks because it’s just one more layer of protection over my skin. Fuel makes great socks too. I prefer Fuel socks for colder weather riding since they are a bit thicker.
Knives: My daddy always said that a person can’t have too many knives so I carry a lot on me at all times. My favorite is my Gerber money clip knife. It holds my ID and some cash but ejects a knife with the push of a button just incase I need to stab the person who is trying to take my money. They discontinued it though so you’ll have to find this gem on eBay. I don’t just carry knives for safety though I use them for a lot of things. We all have MacGuiver moments when we’re on the road and a good knife will always been needed.
Tool Bag / Blanket: Cotter Pin Gear. They worked with Vanson Leathers on this and came up with the most durable and stylish blanket and tool bag ever. Both are waxed cotton, the inside of the blanket is wool lined though for ultimate warmth. The tool bag has multiple organization options and will keep your tools stored with ultimate easy to find accessibility. They get better with age and wear and tear so be as rough as you can on these guys, they are meant to be use.
Like I said, this list changes often as I encounter new terrain and meet other riders who offer advice on what they like to use. If you have a “moto hack” or gear that you can’t live without please leave it in the comments below. I would love to hear what you use so I can test it out too!
Thanks for reading!