Well it feels like summer has truly hit here in the South of the UK (That said, I’m sure it will be freezing cold again by next week), but for now at least it’s time to strip off those layers and sit around under the sun in nothing but a pair of shorts and Tshirt. If only we could ride a ride while wearing those… okay maybe not…
A few days ago I took linings out of my Alpinestar cold/wet weather gear, but it just wasn’t enough. I’m still turning into a roast chicken at every set of traffic lights or traffic queue. So it was time to head back to the local Infinity shop and take a look at some summer riding gear.
The issue with summer is that while you want to stay cool, you need to stay safe. Armour is a must, and sacrificing comfort for safety is sometimes needed. That said, getting too hot (or too cold in those winter months) can be dangerous, as it leads to discomfort and distraction.
After a bit of looking around and contemplating various leather-clad options and other options that were still far too thick and hot, I settled on a Dainese Air Frame jacket
This summer jacket is a teabag with Dainese composite armour at the elbow and shoulder. Inside the jacket is a thin wind-stopper that can zip out from the inside of the jacket.
This time, I’ve decided to go for some jeans from Bull-It. Specifically the (short) Vintage SR6 jeans, in dark to match the Dainese jacket. Instead of the regular Kevlar, the SR6’s utilise Covec, which is supposed to better than Kevlar (not sure if it is or not, but it could be).
The SR6’s don’t come with any armour pads in them, but there are pouches inside the legs to allow installation of third-party armour.
Looking hot but not feeling hot
Compared to my Alpinestar Drystar gear, the difference is like night and day. Both the jacket and jeans are comfortable and more than suitable for summer riding here in the UK. The wind-stopper in the jacket is easily removed, but does take a bit of time to reinstall (my girlfriend had to help get it back in properly). If removed, it’s probably worth keeping folded up in the jacket if you’re going to be out after sundown – as the temperatures drop, you’ll certainly feel it. I’ve now been caught out twice after dark without the windstopper, and driving along in temperatures less than 15ºC is just not fun. Just keep your windstopper in a jacket pocket or in a bag on the bike. it folds up pretty small so you’ll hardly notice it.
The jeans (once shortened) were absolutely perfect, and are actually one of the nicest set of jeans that I’ve ever worn. They’re comfortable and actually look good too, and they fit inside my boots without creating any pressure spots. In the hot daytime, they’re perfectly cool, yet they’re perfectly warm on the cooler early-summer evenings.
Over all, I’m very pleased with both items, and would definitely recommend them!