Another Damn Leather v. Textile Question - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2006, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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Another Damn Leather v. Textile Question


So I've been reading you guys' posts on textile v. Leather.

It seems that it's 50/50 on this or that. The general consensus appears to be that if it's for city use, textile is okay, but racing requires leather (of course).

However, some people say textile can melt your skin from sliding, as well as making you slide FURTHER. So far the only con for leather is price and that it can be hotter during those warm summer months.

Okay, now that I've shown that I did my research here is my question:

What should I get?

I'm a beginner cyclist planning on getting a 500 bike (600 at the most). I was originally going to get a 250, but because of my size (6' 2"and 230) people have reccomended larger.

I plan to use the bike for commuting purposes in all types of weather. I don't own ANY type of vehicle so either I'd be in the rain on a 500cc bike or a 10 speed bike :P.

I would drive 10 miles to work at the least. I would also ride to San Francisco, friend's house, etc. I don't plan on racing, however it's easy to say that when I haven't even had any bike experience.

Well this thread is getting a bit long, so I'll end it here and wait for responses before I ask anything more.


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2006, 05:24 PM
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To date, I've had no problems at all with my textile gear. I've not had any get-offs, though, so I can't vouch for its handling under those conditions. I trust it to provide a certain degree of protection, but I know it will never be as good as leather.

It has stood up to all kids of weather, without anything more than the cuffs of my long-sleeve shirt getting wet. (No BS on this!) In my understanding, leather doesn't work as well.

I think it's a perfect entry-level material, with a view to upgrading at a later date. I would like to have a set of each, with some mesh gear, giving me a choice of attire to suit weather conditions.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2006, 07:45 PM
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I own a pair of Joe Rocket textile pants/jacket, and leather jacket/pants.

1) The leather pants aren't as comfortable, but would definitely hold up better in a crash.

2) You mentioned riding in all weather. The thing I like about the textile is it's very water resistant. I've been caught in the pouring rain wearing it, and it kept me completely dry. Don't think you want to wear leather in the rain for any extended periods of time.

Yes, leather is going to hold up better in a crash, but you can find some good textile gear that has plenty of armor, and is better for all-weather riding.

Or you could invest the extra $$ in leather, and buy a rain suit to throw over it when it rains?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2006, 07:57 PM
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I currently wear leather year round. I have an Alpinestars Stunt jacket (perforated) with black Alpinestars Track pants, Alpinestars GP Plus gloves, Sidi Vertigo boots and my black Shoei RF-1000. My kids call it my Power Ranger suit

I think this Xmas I am gonna ask the wifey for a Cortech HRX jacket and HRX Pants for the summers. They are mostly textile with leather reinforcement at the typical impact points. We are seeing temps in the high 90s but with the heat index it feels like 100+. There are 12 stop lights one way on my daily commute and I am suffering at each one as it seems I never cut a break and always get stuck in a line of traffic at each one.

Last edited by bobio; 08-08-2006 at 08:01 PM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2006, 09:35 PM
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all i have worn is textile gear and it has held up fine. mind you i have only gone down at very low speeds (little to no damage to the textiles). But if you do go down in a decent crash the textiles are definitly a one use product, much like your helmet. Leathers can last you through multiple crashes (hopefully not to many) even pretty bad damage can be repaired on leathers, not so for textiles. if you have the money a perforated leather will serve you just fine in the summer. espicially in the bay area where it really doesnt get hot to often.

Where abouts in the bay area are you anyway? I am right across the street from monster park (49ers) let me know when u get a bike and we'll go for a ride.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 08:20 AM
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As others mentioned textile works better at resisting rain. It also does fine in most crashes. You have to consider the differences between street and track crashes. On the street, you are much more likely to hit another vehicle (in which case gear wont do a whole lot of good, textile or leather), will probly have lower speeds invovled, so its less likely to heat up to the point of melting. Track crashes ussually happen at much higher speeds and involve a long slide when coming to a stop. Under those conditions leather is preferable.
To whomever mentioned perforates leather. I recently purchased a perforated suit, and I gotta say I'm dissapointed. Its only minorly cooler than a full leather suit, and is absolutely nothing like a mesh jacket. It certainly offers more protection, but no where near as cool.
In your situation I'd save a few bucks and invest in textiles.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2006, 02:50 PM
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Since your plans are mostly commuting another advantage of textile is you can get pants that are 'overpants' more readily. I work in a 'casual dress' environment and my First Gear equipment has been great. Removable liners for when it gets colder (I ride till the snow sticks to the pavement), vented for when it warms up (100F heat index a couple days ago), padding in all the right places should you have a get off, waterproof (if the vents are closed) and goes on and off without a wrinkle. That said if I got them again I'd make sure the jacket and pants attach to each other (I found a work-around for mine) and I'd size the pants longer so they didn't ride up the ankles as much while seated. As stated too, consider ALL your gear disposable in a get off and consider it a bonus if you save anything (helmets being the exception - if it hits the pavement, toss it).
Good luck
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2006, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Great, thanks for the responses.

So here's what I was looking at getting.

I'd like to hear you feedback.

E-5 Sport Jacket
Jet Road Pants
Bionic Jacket
Orion Kidney Belt
Knee Sliders

I think the last 3 are overkill, but I’m open for suggestions.

I was considering Aerostich because the author of “Motorcycles for Dummies” recommended it, but from what I read here, Alpinestars is more popular.

Also looking at gloves by Held and boots by Sidi. I’m thinking go leather in these departments.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-10-2006, 07:09 PM
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Jet Road

I have the Jet Road Gore-Tex Pants and they are FANTASTIC! However, they aren't great in anything over 85 degrees even with the liner out. I would optimistically say they are a 3-season pant. I live in New Mexico at 5300 ft. with a high desert climate.

Also, be advised that A*stars pants have a Euro cut which means they fit snug.
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