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Off road gear recommendations

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So I've found myself in need of some off road gear, and there are so many different products out there that I am overwhelmed. Something to keep in mind, I have to ride an hour and a bit at least to the trails and it gets balls hot here in the valley so I'm looking at more comfortable things or things I can keep in a backpack till I arrive. 

 

BOOTS: GOOD LORD PEOPLE ARE SO DIVIDED ABOUT BOOTS. I've been looking at alpinestar tech 3s and there are so many reviews of them being either excellent or terrible. If you have any input on these boots or other boot recommendations for someone just starting out please go nuts. 

 

Chest Protection: I've been looking at the Leatt Adventure Lite Body Vest because of the lower back protection and that it looks not too bulky. Plus I could maybe wear it under a jersey or jacket while stopping at a store or for gas without getting weird looks

 

Everything Else:????????

 

I have NO idea what I'm doing so if you have any sort of advice please let it loose.

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You in the San Fernando Valley?

 

Boots ive been wearing the Bilt explorer boots for a couple of years now,  comfortable as a tennis shoes,  love it,  $79.99 on sale,  regular price is $159.

 

+1 on those body vests with armor,  i had one and they are great,  back, kidney, shoulders, arms, etc,  and you can wear anything over it.

 

knee/shin guards,  i like the kevlar jeans,  helmet,  some gloves,  you're set. 

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for the summer:

pressure suit with elbow, back, kidney and chest protection = awesome

whatever for knee/ shin guards, but something 

boots  - spend some money here. the hinged style boots provide a good deal more protection and still allow walking without looking like an abominable snowman. the only reason i stress getting good boots is i've experienced not having the ability to walk before, and it sucks majorly. protect the feet. 

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I wear an Ogio Flight Vest....like it alot! It has built in hydration, is totally balanced on your shoulders and can literally carry anything. Saw it in the dual sport section and got it.....awesome!  :thumbsup:

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BOOTS: GOOD LORD PEOPLE ARE SO DIVIDED ABOUT BOOTS. I've been looking at alpinestar tech 3s and there are so many reviews of them being either excellent or terrible. If you have any input on these boots or other boot recommendations for someone just starting out please go nuts.

Boots:

I have the AlpineStars Tech 3 boots (All Terrain version, more rugged sole and metal tip). They're great, serve me well and hold up! :D

But then again, I'm rather new to off-road riding... I have no idea how they compare to Tech 8 / Tech 10 in more extreme riding situations than I usually experience.

 

Chest:

I have the Fox Titan Sport jacket: http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/fox-racing-titan-sport-jacket

The thing on the back is longer, meaning it covers your tailbone too. On top of regular chest protection, it also has hard plastic over forearms, elbows and shoulders. Also has some padding on the sides (over the hip area).

 

Knees:

http://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/fox-racing-titan-pro-kneeshin-guards

Sturdy... Also they have a hinge and three fastening straps, making them stay in place nicely.

 

I also use some Scott underpants with hip and leg padding, because the foam thingy that came with my riding pants was kinda sucky.

Edited by Paul_
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I prefer adventure riding gear, rather than motocross style gear.  I have Sidi Adventure Rain boots, Klim pants and Jacket, Arai XD4 helmet, and a Camelback for hydration.  I ride in any weather. And based on the links above this post, I must ride in a more tame fashion, as that Fox racing jacket is highly armored and rugged looking. I don't ride that fast off road - I explore forest roads and such. 

 

For more affordable gear like this, Cycle Gear sells a full adventure jacket and pants set, and some very affordable boots, which I just got my son.  The jacket and pants are pretty well ventilated, but they definitely do not breathe like mesh gear.  Also, be sure to get upgraded back armor, no matter which way you go with the gear.

 

I think you should evaluated how you ride, what weather, etc, to help guide your choices.

Edited by MR5627
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They don't make enough off-road gear for big guys :(

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I prefer adventure riding gear, rather than motocross style gear.  I have Sidi Adventure Rain boots, Klim pants and Jacket, Arai XD4 helmet, and a Camelback for hydration.  I ride in any weather. And based on the links above this post, I must ride in a more tame fashion, as that Fox racing jacket is highly armored and rugged looking. I don't ride that fast off road - I explore forest roads and such.

 

I'm not that fast of a rider either! ;) I use this type of gear because I do (try) lots of technical stuff that can easily get me into.. tricky situations. I like to constantly challenge myself in doing things I thought I couldn't do, and this kind of gear gives me confidence and safety in that.

Edited by Paul_
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I wear a lot of gear and it sucks... the time to put it on, the bulk, sometimes it gets hot, but once I'm out riding I forget about all that.  And really it’s not that bad.  For me getting home in one-piece, relatively unscathed, is the most important.  If I get hurt too bad I won’t be able to work or more importantly ride :devil: 

 

Helmet: Shoei VFX-W; Great helmet with very good airflow, is light and high quality.  Previously used an AFX FX-39, which was alright and did the job for a season.

Goggles: Oakley O Frames; They were an old pair of snowboard goggles that I bought MX lenses for.

Boots:  SG-10s;  Super comfortable, lots of protection, quality and hinged design.  Bought them almost new and all the good reviews are true. 

Pants/Jersey/Gloves: Alpinestars Techstar Gear; Bought used on forum, high quality and breathable.

Knee Guards: EVS Option Knee/Shin Guards;  They work, only complaint is the strap rides into the back of my knee at the joint.

Elbow Guards: EVS Burly Guards;  They have a spandex sleeve that keeps them in place and they are low-profile.  Previously used an old pair of lacrosse elbow guards, but they kept sliding down and where a little bulky.

Chest Protector: Thor... something w/ an EVS R3 collar; Was a gift from a friend.

Backpack: Camelbak Mule; Holds 3L of water and space for snacks/wallet/cell/tools/etc..  Bought from Army surplus store for ~$30 new.

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Thank's for the tips and recommendations. I'm gonna go try on boots and stuff later this week and hopefully find something good.

You in the San Fernando Valley?

Nah, I live in fresno. 

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Here's my two cents:

 

I used to have Tech 3's.  They comfortable and have more of a tennis shoe sole, the come at a pretty good introductory price too.  This Christmas I stepped it up to Tech 7's.  I bought last years model, so it was a good $100+ in savings.  They're extremely comfortable, no break-in time.  People have complained that the buckles are hard to open and shut, but I haven't had this problem.  They're not hinged, but I can easily walk in them.  So far two rocks have surprised me in tall grass and bashed my foot as I went past them.  I felt the rock, but it didn't hurt my foot or damage my boot.

 

I used Fox Titan elbow pads and knee pads/shin guards.  Both have taken quite a bit of abuse from me and are still going strong.  Neither slide around on my arms/legs, nor do the straps irritate my skin.  For $20, they're really hard to beat.

 

In my experience, some of the "cheap" helmets (around $150) are quite nice.  If you can find one that's CE rated, they typically offer a little more protection because they'll meet US standards, plus other European standards.  For arguments sake, I have never owned a "high end" helmet.

 

Goggles I use Scott X89's.  They're meant more for desert and sand riding, but they work great in the dirt.

 

Lastly is my hydration pack.  I used to have a Camelbak MULE.  It offered lots of storage space for tools and snacks, plus plenty of water.  My wife liked it so much that she snagged it from me.  I upgraded to the Camelbak Octane 22LR.  To me, this is the mac daddy of hydration packs.  It has sternum and waist straps to help take some of the load off.  You can cinch it snug against your back, but it still breathes pretty well.  It has even more storage than the MULE and even some small pockets on the waist strap.  It's also extremely light weight.  My favorite part is the bladder.  It has a quick disconnect on it, so I can disconnect the hose for easier filling without spilling water everywhere.  I also don't have to keep re-routing the drinking hose.  The bladder is removed from the outside and has it's own zippered compartment.  The 3L badder has a "T shape" to it, so most of the weight of the water is kept very low on your back.  Hopefully I'll never have to use it, but if I were to get injured on the trail and not be able to use my phone, it comes with an extremely loud emergency whistle.

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Man you guys get way into this stuff!

Boots- Fox somethin rather.. Got off Craigslist for $40 have had for 5 years.

Goggles- $25 Scott's Have had

Nice crowbars but can't tell the difference.

Jersey/pants- Fox t-shirt, Fox pants I got a long time ago

Gloves- cheap Fox gloves

Knee pads- some cheap Fox ones from cycle gear, work great

Chest protector- Thor Sentinel, only use it on the track... So never lol

For me once I got gear I never saw the point of buying the latest greatest thing to come out

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For your knees, get the MSR knee protectors. They are super comfy and offer 180 degrees of protection. With a good pair of boots, you're covered from your toe to mid thigh.

 

A good compliment to the MSR knee protectors is the 661 elbow protectors. Same idea; a pivot hinge to add mobility and keep the entire joint area covered with a high impact material and padding.

 

I don't like any type of chest protector that has a seam or zipper up the middle of my chest; protecting your zyphoid requires something solid. This is VERY important.

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Check out atomic moto. They do lots of videos and reviews just like revzilla (who are also excellent) but they do a lot of off road and enduro / dual sport gear. Lots of really nice gear and very honest reviews on all of it.

They preach about the thor impact rig pressure suit even though its not one of the more expensive suits they have. I am still between that and the acerbis cosmo (more $$$) but either one will be better than the nothing I currently wear under my jersey...

Wear your boots! And get the best pair you can afford.

Most of my gear is pretty standard. Nothing too great or noteworth. Except my goggles. I have had quite a few pairs of goggles over the years and none have compared to the 100% racecraft goggles my girl got me for my birthday. I got a double layer lense with them and that might be part of the reason they are so great. No fogging at all ever, and I sweat a lot. Worth the money 100% (pun intended)

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