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Old 02-26-2013, 11:25 PM   #1
skyb6 OP
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Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Waxahachie, Texas
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BiLT Gear

Hello all,

I recently paid a visit to the Cycle Gear shop in Bedford, TX and to do some browsing and came away with the BiLT Explorer riding gear package pictured below. The deal was to purchase the jacket for $399 and you get the pants, helmet, and gloves (all by Bilt) for free. Chad hooked me up with a pair of Sidici gloves. I didn't set out to buy the gear and therefore didn't do any research... Can I get some feedback from some of you on your experiences? Good or bad. Much appreciated.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:37 AM   #2
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If I didnt already have a Tourmaster set I would have bought this as its a great deal. I tried on the helmet the last time I was at CG and liked it. The suit looked like it was constructed well.

I hope the trend of making quality gear for less is going to stay strong.
Keep your $0.02 if it ain't going towards the bill
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:28 AM   #3
So much to ponder
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Try using the forum's search tool. There are all sorts of opinions of CG and Bilt products
Because you cannot eat a salad with a spork.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:24 PM   #4
Prime Mover
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I just got the Explorer helmet in the mail today, literally ten minutes ago. It looks to be an excellent product. BILT is Cycle Gear "House Brand" and is usually lower end stuff. However, this Explorer line from them seems to be really, really good stuff. I can only speak about the helmet, but it seems very very solid. The helmet is worth every penny of the $99 I paid. At least from the small ten minutes I've been looking it over. The reviews are overwhelmingly good. I hope this sets an "inexpensive but good quaility" trend and shows the big companies that you DO NOT have to charge two balls and one ass cheek for decent stuff.
"Better to live alone in the desert than with a nagging wife" - Proverbs 21:19
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:14 PM   #5
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If you typically ride in shorts and flip flops, they are an upgrade.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:07 PM   #6
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Bilt Helmet

One of the magazines (Motor-Cyclist?) did a review on the Bilt helmet and felt it was a good deal for the price. I fail to see the need to spend $899.00 on a Klim Jacket,$669.00 on the Klim "tall pants", a "cheap" Shoei GT solid color list for $549.99. Gaerne boots average $229.00 on sale, ICON patrol gloves list for $75.00 on sale,wait we need the over the calf socks for $21.50. Spend $2,443.49 before I throw a leg over the bike isn't in the cards. Yeah I own a KLR so I guess its suspected that I feel the prices are crazy for motorcycle gear,tack the word "motorcycle" on anything should allow for a price increase by $100.00 or so.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:58 PM   #7
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BILT Jackets and Pants

Originally Posted by jprovence View Post
If you typically ride in shorts and flip flops, they are an upgrade.
jprovence nailed it.

Here is my extended view.
SUMMARY - Nice well thought designs of the clothing itself. Workmanship leaves a lot to be desired. Safety features look and feel like afterthought.

Quite few features, usually found on way more expensive gear - pockets in and out, padded collar, venting, etc. Good fit to size - the outer layer.
Outer shell is tough, a bit stiff. Not waterproof. Haven't given it the road-rush treatment but did some bushwhacking and it didn't tear from branches, thorns and some tree "rubbing". Anything in your pockets will get wet, though.
Thermal liner is not sized to the jacket/pants. Way too big. You'll feel it as it bunches at uncomfortable places.
Fleece liner sticks to the base layers and pulls around.
Waterproof liner doesn't breathe so you end up wet anyway, especially in off-road riding, regardless of the outside temperature.
Stitching is the worst part - weak treads and mismatched alignment. Falls apart quick. On the other hand they have 5 year warranty so theoretically you can just keep returning and replacing.
Zippers work well (haven't had binding or sticking). However, as said above most of them are slightly mismatched and this creates kinks and/or pulls.
Armor (supposedly CE approved) is low quality and odd size/shape. Armor pockets are either too big or too small and the padding shifts. On my set it was quite off place. Replacing it with quality aftermarket could be a chore - the back protector pocket was too small for the standard size back plate; the knee and elbow pads didn't stay put. The way the armor pockets are designed allows the pads to fall out (pushed open) when actively moving while riding.
Bottom line - if you're in cinch and need something right now or are good and willing with needles go for it. Else, look other brands.

PS Last fall checked their helmets, they fit round heads. Can't say more.

UrsaMobili screwed with this post 02-28-2013 at 10:11 PM
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:09 AM   #8
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I am very interested in the Package deal too. I have owned a Bilt helmt before, a full face. My only complaint about the helmet was the fogging issue, my Bell doesnt do that. I will be going to Bedford to check these out! My main interest is in the Pants.

Current Bike: 2013 Triumph Tiger 800XC
I deserve the best, anything less is unacceptable.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:49 AM   #9
Jim K.
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Originally Posted by buzzardco1 View Post
Spend $2,443.49 before I throw a leg over the bike isn't in the cards........
Completely agree! the really high end gear like Klim, BMW, etc. is very hard to justify for most of us IMHO. That said, I'm not sure that I want to trust my skin, (or worse, my skull) to the Bilt-level stuff. I've had some success finding good gear somewhere in the middle. It takes a lot of searching & surfing and waiting for the deals. Often the deals are found in styles & colors that aren't the most desirable. Outfits like (no connection, just a happy customer) sell 2-3 year old remainders for super closeout pricing. I found a Hein Gericke full Touareg suit for under $300 bucks a few years back, & the HJC Symax II modular for $129 bucks. It just takes a lot of constant slogging through the advertising swamp.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:08 PM   #10
skyb6 OP
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Thumb Thanks for the feedback.

Well, I gather from all of you that the Bilt gear is better than shorts and flip-flops... That said, I am a KLR rider and thoroughly enjoy riding. I cannot justify the prices for most of the gear that is out there. I do not have plans (yet ) for an around the world trip... so I guess what I have will do the trick for local riding. I do appreciate the advice and input.

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Old 03-01-2013, 09:23 PM   #11
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One thing to consider when buying gear is what would a hospital visit cost? My deductible is $3k. I figure if I've spent $1k on gear and it keeps me out of the hospital, I'm up $2k and I didn't lose money while recovering.

I've had enough dirt naps to know that I'm glad I spent a little more. I've also found that buying one piece of quality gear is less expensive than buying something cheap, wishing I had bought the better piece and then finally caving in and now have bought both!

There are lots of great options for quality gear without going to BMW or Klim extremes. Although I must admit I recently grabbed a hi viz BMW summer jacket to replace my Cortech. I got it on a special sale from the dealer and it was $100 more than the Cortech and a much better jacket with great protection.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:07 PM   #12
Not afraid
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Ignore the people trying to equate what you spend to how safe you will be, because that is utter bullshit usually.

Most of the Bilt stuff is good gear for the money, better gear does exist, usually for more money ( and not by a small margin).
Worse gear also exists for more money.
Smoke em if you got em, and drink your glasses to the bottom...-Will Whitmore
Charter member: T.O. club.
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