In this week's Gear Guide North Sea Clothing collaborate with Blitz, Rev'It jump in with another pair of tough as nails boots, Pike Brothers wrap us warm in a Navy deck jacket, Chester Belter keep our tools safe and within easy reach, whilst LED Lenser brighten up our lives. PRODUCT REVIEW BY THE BIKE SHED’ S VERY OWN DUTCH - REV’IT RODEO BOOT Rodeo might not be the best brand name for a pair of boots, but never judge a book by it's title, as I discovered when I tried a pair of Rev'It's chunky lace-up motorcycle boots. Taking care of our tootsies is a big deal on a motorcycle, and I've come a cropper in a few spills that have left me with broken toes and scraped ankles, but we don't all want to trudge around the office or our favourite bar in a giant pair of armoured wellies or hi-tech raceboots. Some of us prefer to be a bit more incognito, especially with jeans on. As a brand Rev'It have been best known for Adventure wear, making recognisably-styled bike gear with a strong focus on the technical and performance aspect, and good value for money, but recently they've made their mark in the retro scene, producing gear that looks like fashion wear, but without any compromise on safety. Everything they make is tested to breaking point and features like; abrasion resistance, breathability, waterproofing and armour are part of their immoveable DNA. These Rodeo boots are pretty much my perfect winter boot. They are styled like a bit like pair of beefy Wolverine 1000-Milers but with the weight of a military boot. They're lined, very warm and so far they seem pretty waterproof, although Rev'It manage our expectations, only claiming the boots to be "water repellent". When I first saw pics, I wasn't keen on the externally visible ankle support, but it's less noticeable in the flesh, and invisible under jeans. What I like most is that these boots - as pictured - are only three weeks old, and they came looking exactly like they do in these photos. Tastefully worn-in, but not ragged or fake looking. The Apache Batido leather (apparently) is thick and finished with varying shades of brown in all the right places. The laces are also proper, thick, strong, waxed-style items, and feel like they'll last the lifetime of the boots - and unlike some lace-up footwear, they're exactly the right length to take the boot off without coming out of the holes at the top. Small details like this are not lost on me. The soles are chunky commando style, supportive, and so far have survived the slippery petrol forecourt test, plus I've walked across the West End in them on warm and cold days. Apart from them weighing a fair bit (good for my leg muscles) I forgot I had motorcycle boots on. I even put them on to go out in the evenings, as I feel so secure and comfy in them - which says it all really. You also get a lot of Boot for your Buck everywhere we've looked, so bag yourself a stylish and functional bargain this winter. If I lost these, I'd buy another pair straight away. And just to be clear - yes, these boots are proper motorcycle safety gear. http://www.revit.eu/ PRODUCT REVIEW NORTH SEA CLOTHING X BLITZ COLLABORATION ‘SERVICE’ JUMPER Neil at North Sea Clothing has teamed up with Parisian bike builders Blitz to create the ‘Service’ jumper. Based on the classic roll neck submariner design, it features additional military inspired detailing. The guys at Blitz have a stellar reputation for good utilitarian collaborations, and they’ve excelled themselves this time with the ‘Service’. North Sea Clothing was set up by Neil Starr, a life long biker, to faithfully recreate the increasingly rare War Office Submariner Sweater, issued to Royal Navy’s North Atlantic fleets in both the First and Second World Wars. These jumpers were adopted by the rockers and cafe racers in the 60s as excellent insulators to be worn on the bike.These sweaters are manufactured to the exact specifications of the original design, in the same 100% British Wool. “Quality wool is about robust construction and robust good looks: this means it’ll last, and you’ll want it to last.” Wool, due to its high water and nitrogen content, is naturally flame retardant. It has a higher ignition threshold than many other fibres. It also has natural water repent qualities. Constructed from Navy blue ribbed high grade wool, the Service is reinforced with cotton canvas patches on the elbow and shoulder, and a buttoned breast pocket embroidered with the Blitz logo. On the rear of the jumper are two button down pockets. It features long cuffs and a high roll neck. The ribbed cut of the jumper is ideal to be worn under a leather jacket without bunching. It’s seriously warm, and the high roll neck and tight cuffs insulate against those nasty drafts that can turn a winter blast into a nightmare. You won’t need a scarf when wearing this.
The stash pockets on the back of the jumper are ideal for cash, coins, cards, pocket maps and other such paraphernalia. So often I spend my rides wriggling around on the bike trying to get comfortable with my jean pockets bulging with this stuff. One of the great things about this jumper is it’s warm enough to wear outside on its own even when the weather starts to bite. Because of the high grade of the wool, it wicks well, so even when you’re toasty warm it won’t cause you to sweat. The Service simply looks terrific; it’s comfortable, practical and pretty! www.northseaclothing.co.uk www.blitz-motorcycles.com PRODUCT REVIEW PIKE BROTHERS 1944 N1-DECK KHAKI JACKET One of my favourite jackets to wear both on short blasts and and in and around the garage in these colder months, is my Pike Brothers deck jacket. You can ride in it comfortably, and keep it on when you get to the workshop and start spinning spanners. That’s assuming of course you’re not one of those lucky devils to have a heated workshop or garage! 1944 N-1 Deck Jacket was issued to all U.S. Navy Personnel during WW2. It saw action from the beaches of Normandy to the Pacific Islands and became one of the most used and most favoured jackets of the U.S. Armed Forces in the 1940s. The general construction of the jacket combined a thick outer layer of “Jungle Cloth” with a wool lining making it wind and water resistant so the wearer stayed warm and comfortable even under the harshest conditions. It has proper 1940s round knit wind cuffs and a stand up collar. Pike Brothers build their reconstructions to their usual impeccably high standards. Pike Brothers specializes in the production of authentic outdoor and workwear of the early and mid 20th century. “Authentic to us means producing garments in exactly the same way as in the original period.” Pike Brothers was founded by George and Joseph Pike in 1930 in their small but exclusive Portobello Road tailor shop in Notting Hill, in the heart of London. Their specialty was custom-made menswear. During the Second World War with a steadily growing number of American soldiers coming to Britain, the Pike Brothers also specialized in the production of uniforms for the U.S. Armed Forces. The Deck Jacket is ideal for riding on the bike. I wear it on longer trips with my Draggin’ K-Shirt kelvar undershirt, it’s seriously warm and in that combination provides a good level of protection. There’s room to layer it up, but is also slim fitting enough not to balloon. It’s a comfortable and good looking jacket that can also be worn to the pub and to work. http://www.pikebrothers.net CHESTER BELTER TOOL ROLL As with everything Rich turns his hand to, the Tool Roll is individually built to the highest quality. Constructed from what he claims to be the UK’s finest waxed cotton, it’s fastened close with two leather straps. There are six internal compartments with a flap that features a leather slot pocket on the underside. The waxed cotton is made and sourced in the UK from a world leading manufacturer. The cotton itself starts as an 18oz weight. It's then treated to its waxing process the waxed cotton then comes in at a 25oz weight. Rich has double skinned the tool roll which gives extra strength. It also means the outer waxed cotton layer is smooth and stitch free and looks much better for it. All the leather is vegetable tanned, even the edge trim. You won’t get a better quality hand made tool roll for the price. This is a versatile piece: “A perfect tool roll for stashing just a few tools on carb check runs or loading it up with everything if you've got an old basket case!” The dimensions are 11inches x 15.5inches. Lovely. http://chesterbelter.bigcartel.com LED LENSER V9 MICRO LENSER LED TORCH Whether it’s searching your engine for that nut you’ve just dropped, unlocking your chain in the dark, or night time repairs on the side of the road, a good punchy torch is an essential piece of kit. This tiny little torch is very bright, but small enough to hold between your teeth leaving your hands free to make your broken ride even more broken. It can be used as keyring or easily stashed in a tool roll or under your seat hump, or in your jacket pocket. It’s LED with 15 lumens, and has a beam distance of 16 meters. It has a burn time of thirty minutes, and is powered by four AG3 batteries. It’s constructed with aircraft grade aluminium and has a barrel switch. It’s a weeny 5.3cm long with a diameter of 9.5mm, and weighs eleven grams. Like all good featherweights, this punches well above its weight. http://www.ledlenser-store.co.uk