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My gear on 2017 Cannonball Bike Run

The trip to the 2017 Cannonball Bike Run consisted of well over 6000 km of riding, mostly in wet weather, so it would have been ideal for evaluating wet weather gear. I had none, however, but below you’ll find the verdict for other equipment used on the trip.

 

Biltwell Gringo

A DOT approved helmet from the American company Biltwell. The shell is ABS plastic, which is hardly optimal and the EPS is really thin, so don’t expect too much from the crash protection. The interior seems very high quality, though.

There are 3 tacks for attaching a bubble visor and the opening is large enough for riding glasses. Bubble visors are available in several colours from Biltwell, I picked one with a dark tint, which was a mistake – a yellow one would have been more useful in the rain.

About rain, by the way… if you are in a standstill in rain, the visor gets fogged almost instantly and it will not clear when you start riding, as there is no ventilation.

The helmet’s light and surprisingly comfortable even at higher speeds.

Would I buy it again? Yes

 

Held pilot goggles

Standard spec pilot goggles with curved lenses. Functioning ventilation, the goggles stay clear even in wet conditions. The padding will colour your face if it gets wet, however.

Would I buy it again? Yes

 

Dainese Techno

I got this suit off eBay for less than 100 euros for nostalgic reasons – I used to have one back in the day. Techno is the top-of-the-line Dainese suit from maybe mid-to-late nineties and it’s a brilliant demonstration on how leather suits have developed during the years.

The best part of the suit is the protectors, which are laminated in the leather, which means they stay in the proper place in every situation. This is more than can be said of several modern suits.

That more or less concludes the good aspects, but let’s have a look at the bad ones: the suit is made of really thick leather, which makes it awfully heavy and stiff. Elastic sections can only be found in the lower back and under the arms, which means mobility isn’t as good as we’ve got used to with modern suits. There’s also virtually no perforation, so it’s a hot one!

There are a lot of cool looking modern retro suits available, so it’s not worth using old crap like this any more.

Would I buy it again? No

 

Dainese Lagos

Awesome Dainese midlayer, which has been unavailable for several years. It’s a onepiece, which means the shirt won’t roll up your back, but on the flipside loose bowels might make things interesting.

Coolmax is brilliant as a material. When it’s cold, it warms you up and when it’s warm, it keeps you cool. Sleeve ends have thumb-holes for added comfort and the zipper opens both ways. A brilliant piece of kit, please bring it back!

Mine was 10 years old during the trip, and when I got back, there was essentially nothing left of it any more.

Would I buy it again? Yes (if they only sold it!)

 

Helstons Vitesse Pro

Really cool retro leather gloves. Hard protectors for knuckles and fingers and reinforced on the palm side as well. Coloured parts are nicely “aged”. Fitment is really good as is comfort. I only with they were a bit longer.

Would I buy it again? Yes

 

Icon Elsinore

Great looking boots with old time racing appearance. Thank god you don’t need to use the leather straps, rather than a zipper on the inside of the stem – however the zipper is a weak point which I maybe wouldn’t like to have in “serious” riding boots. The zipper also lets water in the second it starts to rain.

Also otherwise it seems that Icon spent all their efforts in making the Elsinores look sweet, and everything else was sort of… omitted. The boots aren’t nearly stiff enough and there’s basically no protectors at all.

Although they don’t look convenient, they actually are, and putting them on and taking them off takes literally a second. Instead of proper riding boots, they are best when used with your riding jeans while cruising in the city and looking cool.

Would I buy them again? Maybe

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