LOL @ the thread topic....
Q: Question about when to wear gear
A: Anytime there's a gastank between your legs...
Seriously, there doesn't have to be that much of a tradeoff between gear and "real life" - depending on your lifestyle, ie what you have to be wearing when not on the bike. As I teach and study at a university, I've got some flexibility, but here's what I've found works:
Helmet & Gloves
- all the time, obviously. I still see guys here riding w/out gloves...
- I have a fancy leather jacket for all-but-rain riding, and a used $50USD textile jacket (armoured) for rain riding. One of these is ALWAYS on if I'm riding. If it really
gets too hot here this summer (ie in 6 mos) I may buy one of those draggin' jeans kevlar shirts for short rides around town.
- I have two pair of Draggin' Jeans brand pants - one a pair of black jeans, one a pair of black cargo pants. Kevlar lined and a lot better than nothing, but so comfortable I actually wear them on days I'm not riding. Just like slightly thicker jeans.
- I have a pair of Alpinestars Web boots for "real" riding, or a pair of caterpillar hiking boots for when I need to look normal. They're steel toe, steel shank, and protect my ankles (and the laces tuck under the tongue nicely) and are a lot
better IMHO than just wearing sneakers.
Point of the story is that when I get off my bike, I've got a helmet in one hand (gloves in the helmet), and when I take my jacket off, I'm just a guy in jeans, a t-shirt (or whatever) and hiking boots. In my mind, unless its REALLY hot, there's no excuse not to wear decent gear. Spend any time reading on this site and you'll see why decent gear is a MUST. If it weren't for this site I'd probably still be riding around in a t-shirt...
Oh and as for the sizing of the draggin jeans, I found the cargos to fit normal, but the jeans to fit small, ie I wear a 36 in the cargos and a 38 in the jeans, whereas I'm normally a 34-36 sized guy. Mind you, I'm wearing the made-in-australia ones, the US ones may be different.