How many of you on here commute daily on your bike? I use mine as my primary transportation, commuting distance is approximately 80 miles round trip, give or take, depending on if I take the “long way home” or direct route. For the average, we shall say it’s 80 miles daily, round trip. I live in the Tampa Bay, FL area and we’ve had some chilly cold snaps lately (for Florida folks). I leave my house around 0630 and it’s mostly inner-city surface streets, with some high-speed sections of highway and bridges. I work on MacDill Air Force Base, so we have to wear protective gear (I would never ride without it anyway). I’m all about being seen, not creating a fashion statement.
So, I chose the following gear and it’s been working very well lately for me. Very warm, dry, and comfortable.
Scorpion EXO AT-950 in the HI-VIZ color scheme. I was going to get the Shoei NeoTech 2, but I have ridden with Scorpion and find their quality above par for their price. I knew I wanted a modular helmet, never had one before… and the peak interested me, for blocking that direct sun coming across the bridges in the morning/afternoon. So far, I am really liking this helmet. Fits my grape like it’s custom! I wear foamy ear plugs, so no issues. I need to fit a bigger / better windscreen on my bike (I’m 6’3 and the factory screen is ok, not perfect).
I have the Sena 30K (bought the dual pack, my wife rides two up with me often). So far, I really like the sound quality. I have not figured out all the tech yet, but I did get the pairing in order, with the help of some very informative YouTube channels. Now that I have it paired correctly, in the correct order, I find that when I start my bike, I just let them all connect automatically. Every now and then, I have to make a phone call before the music/media will play. I muted the NAV so it isn’t chirping in my ears all the time. The Sena 30k seems to be the ticket. Fits the Scorpion EXO AT-950 perfectly. I farkled my helmet with strips of 3M Diamond Reflective Tape, Red in the back, Amber on the sides.
I chose the Klim Badlands Pro in Hi-Viz (I like to be seen). I wear the XL, and it fits me like it’s custom. The elbow pads need manually moving into place every time I put it on, for they slide around in the inner liner, but once they are in position, they don’t move. The jacket is very comfortable, very warm, and I had no issues in the pouring rain the other day. I had two vents open, got some water intrusion in there, but that was my fault. This jacket is built like a tank… should provide me with years of service.
I went with some Five Five shorty gloves. They are the leather type, with neoprene, Hi-Viz yellow. They are super comfy, and wil be fine in the Florida summer. I can navigate my iPhone with the gloves on, just takes some patience.
I have the Klim Badlands Pro pants to round out the Jacket / Pants combo. I am 6’3 and wear a 36” waist in jeans… I bought the 38 Regular, and they are PLENTY long. If I had gotten the “Tall” version, the knee pads would have been way too low. As it is, the knee pads ride down when I stand up, but sitting on the bike they fall right into place. I really like these pants. Like the jacket, they will give me years of service. I’m not able to wear these as “over pants” so I just pack my pants and shoes in a waterproof bag, change when I get to work. No biggie.
I bought the AlpineStars Roam 2 touring boots. I had an old pair of the original Roam boots, these are just as good, if not better. The are a wee bit stiff out of the box, but I think they will soften up with wear. I change out of my riding gear when I get to work, so it’s really not an issue for me. Once I get my side panniers and top box, storage will be much easier with more options. Right now, it’s a tank bag and backpack.
So, this is my daily wear. It seems to be a good fit collectively. I’d love to hear what you all are wearing on commutes.
Ride safe, ride often.
Author – (D. MacIntosh) US Army Special Operations with over 30 years of service. Former 1SG, current Warrant Officer with low-grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggary. Over the years, he’s developed a unique style and appreciates the finer things in life. He evaluates gear based on his unique personal experience and no-fluff presentation.