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Riding Gear Research (Leather Suit & Gloves)


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Hey Guys,

 

My wife and me run a riding gear store in India. We currently stock several brands including international ones (Alpinestars, Knox, AGVSports, HJC, SAS-tec etc...)

 

I'm working on manufacturing leather suits & gloves for track use and would need your help in understanding 1 piece suit & gloves, features and drawbacks of the one's you have used... I already have the manufacturer decided but wanted to make sure the best safety features are incorporated in the product.

 

If you can answer few questions would be grateful :)

 

- Have you had an injury related to spill/fall/crash from motorcycle, wearing a full leather 1 piece suit?

- If so what / how / which suit? Can you explain what happened, if you don't mind?

- Do you know someone who had broken any bones other than collar-bone or wrist(Scaphoid)?

 

- Do you remove the armor in your suit and check what kind of armor it is?

- How much research have you done on the armor used inside 1 piece leather suit?

- Is the armor manufactured by recognized armor companies like Knox, Alpinestars, SAS-TEC etc.?

 

Do you prefer wearing an additional Back armor or would prefer the one which is build-into the suit itself?

 

- What kind of gloves do you use on the track? (I assume full gauntlet one's)?

- Have you had any injuries to your hands during a spill/fall/crash wearing the gloves? If you can explain it would be useful.

- What features do you like on your gloves, specially from safety point of view?

 

After going through several leather suits and gloves from different manufacturers, I've noted down several safety features required... but I'm also interested to learn from people who have gone through those unfortunate incidents.

 

Thanks in Advance!

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I've fallen a couple of times and mostly the injuries are crubbed skin because of abrasion between the skin and the inside of the underwear/suit - I think this would be (very) hard to avoid.

In August 2011, I highsided (a very small one though), and hit my wrist on something while going over the bike and broke the radius bone in the wrist. Braking any bone in a joint like the wrist is really really bad (I have reduced movement and strength in the broken wrist now, thanks to doctors not paying enough attention to bone bit dislocation).

 

Armour: my suit (from dragtdesigneren.dk/d-wears.dk, which have them manufactured in Pakistan) had some simple removable foam rubber "protections". I removed them and use a Knox back/chest protector instead.

 

As for general strength, make the suit out of as few pieces of leather as possible. Use hidden stitchings.

I used to use Held Phantom gloves, made of Kangeroo leather. They were "pre-formed" and the entire palm and fingers were a single piece of skin, so there we not stitchings to annoy the palm and the fairly thin leather gave really good feeling for the levers and gas. They took two lowsides with hardly any damage to them. I retired them after about 6-8 years due to the stitching dying.

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Gloves:

 

I hyper-extended ("bent backward") my left thumb during a crash last summer. It still bothers me occasionally. I was wearing AlpineStars SP1 gloves at the time. I would like to find a pair of gloves that have some sort of protection built in that allows fingers and thumbs to move in the direction they are intended to move, but does not allow them to go the other way. My son plays hockey and his hockey gloves have a rigid support that will keep thumbs from bending backward but does not restrict regular, forward movement. I have not seen this on any riding gloves.

 

For this season I bought a pair of Held Titan gloves but thankfully have not "road tested" them. The Held Titans have the two smallest fingers sewn together to provide additional support. They also have a very rigid gauntlet section to help protect the wrist better. They still don't offer the thumb protection I would like, but they include several features I had not seen on any others. After buying the Held gloves, I saw that AlpineStars is offering a model with the ring and little finger sewn together, also.

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I've fallen a couple of times and mostly the injuries are crubbed skin because of abrasion between the skin and the inside of the underwear/suit - I think this would be (very) hard to avoid.

In August 2011, I highsided (a very small one though), and hit my wrist on something while going over the bike and broke the radius bone in the wrist. Braking any bone in a joint like the wrist is really really bad (I have reduced movement and strength in the broken wrist now, thanks to doctors not paying enough attention to bone bit dislocation).

 

Armour: my suit (from dragtdesigneren.dk/d-wears.dk, which have them manufactured in Pakistan) had some simple removable foam rubber "protections". I removed them and use a Knox back/chest protector instead.

 

As for general strength, make the suit out of as few pieces of leather as possible. Use hidden stitchings.

I used to use Held Phantom gloves, made of Kangeroo leather. They were "pre-formed" and the entire palm and fingers were a single piece of skin, so there we not stitchings to annoy the palm and the fairly thin leather gave really good feeling for the levers and gas. They took two lowsides with hardly any damage to them. I retired them after about 6-8 years due to the stitching dying.

 

Thank you khp for your time and feedback.

Abrasion between leather and skin can be due to few reasons:

- If your armor is plastic one's it might hurt your skin.

- If your suit is not skin fit... in this case it rubs onto the skin, specially in a low-side slide.

- Also race quality leather suits use additional foam padding inside the armor area to safe guard skin.

 

You should also take a look at Knox Handroid gloves which comes with Knox SPS for scaphoid protection. It works like a slider and reduce wrist area fractures. I read about Held Phantom and that also have some good reviews.

 

Most jackets and suit does not come with back armor (yea they have shape retainers). Usually this is to control the pricing.

Yes, I know about hidden seam construction and having few pieces in the entire suit. Also there are some stitching techniques to make it more tear resistant.

 

Kangaroo leather is better than cow hide in abrasion (also less weight but more expensive) but I believe there are some import restrictions on it for importing to India (still working on it).

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Gloves:

 

I hyper-extended ("bent backward") my left thumb during a crash last summer. It still bothers me occasionally. I was wearing AlpineStars SP1 gloves at the time. I would like to find a pair of gloves that have some sort of protection built in that allows fingers and thumbs to move in the direction they are intended to move, but does not allow them to go the other way. My son plays hockey and his hockey gloves have a rigid support that will keep thumbs from bending backward but does not restrict regular, forward movement. I have not seen this on any riding gloves.

 

For this season I bought a pair of Held Titan gloves but thankfully have not "road tested" them. The Held Titans have the two smallest fingers sewn together to provide additional support. They also have a very rigid gauntlet section to help protect the wrist better. They still don't offer the thumb protection I would like, but they include several features I had not seen on any others. After buying the Held gloves, I saw that AlpineStars is offering a model with the ring and little finger sewn together, also.

 

Thank you 2old for your time and feedback. Btw, if you ride a motorcycle, you are not old ;)

 

Interesting observation about the hockey gloves. Do you have a brand name / photo or link for me to learn about it?

Like I mentioned above, check out Knox Handroid, since it comes with a construction where backward movement would be restricted.

 

Yes I have noted down already about the finger-bridge, which is quite helpful to safe-guard the little finger... I read somewhere that Alpinestars hold patent for finger-bridge (ring and little finger sewn together)

 

I like the way Held Titan used stingray in important places... Held looks to be good quality too!

 

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