What Do You Think - Cycle Gear Bilt Brand

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by 1V-MAN, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. 1V-MAN

    1V-MAN Been here awhile

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    Looking for gear and ran across BILT which from what I understand is made specific for Cycle Gear. The prices seem so cheap ... is this a case you get what you pay for? I was looking at Bilt Storm 3/4 H2O jacket and the Bilt Storm H2O Pants. Does anyone have experience good/bad ie really waterproof, construction etc? Thanks for any information or experience(s) you have.
    #1
  2. forrestlaw

    forrestlaw Been here awhile

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    I have never personally used the Bilt gear, but have heard it looks and feels cheap. Tourmaster offers gear at a similar price level that I would imagine far exceeds the Bilt gear in quality and features.
    #2
  3. fierostetz

    fierostetz Been here awhile

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    very hit and miss - 4 pairs of bilt gloves, all garbage (from $12/pair to a $50/pair). 2 pairs of Bilt boots that are both awesome. One has ~10k miles on it, and it's still fine. Just toss the stock liners immediately and put in some dr scholls gels and it's alllll good. My dad has one of their rainsuits, started leaking after 7-8 rides, though at their prices it was almost a "just in case" thing, not meant for constant use.
    #3
  4. kubiak

    kubiak Long timer

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    i bought 2 sets of winter gloves and both are holding up great for the first season at least so far. they have a 5 year warranty so im not to worried if they dont last that long. the warranty there is great too, its over the counter warranty not send them back to the company type.
    #4
  5. Garbage Marc

    Garbage Marc Adventurer

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    I have the jacket and pants and have had them for about a year now. They're not bad I've rode through a couple rain storms in them and stayed dry. There were a few loose threads that I found on them but they haven't fallen apart. For the price they have worked great. I've been buying better (pricier) gear as I can afford it but I plan on keeping the Bilt stuff around for backup.
    #5
  6. Celtic Curmudgeon

    Celtic Curmudgeon Indiana Jones wanabe

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    It's a mixed bag. I bought a Bilt Blaze FF helmet for riding rentals and taking test rides. It served adequately in that capacity - It's DOT, fits my square head, is reasonably quiet, and is better finished than I'd expect for a sub $100 helmet. I now keep it as an extra "throwdown" helmet. I also have two Bilt mesh jackets, one for myself and one for the Princess. They ventilate reasonably well and have armor in the right places. If I rode every day, I might look at other options. The lower-end Bilt gloves are crap - I got two pairs free with the jackets, and they're worth every penny. The first time we got rained on , we had blue Smurf hands. They also have foam padding on the knuckles that probably won't help in a wreck, but sure makes your paws sweat. I prefer $10 cowhide ropers from Home Depot anyway.
    #6
  7. Tsotsie

    Tsotsie Semi-reformed Tsotsi

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    The Harbour Freight of riding gear!
    #7
    FadinFast and Exurban like this.
  8. Afry

    Afry Why hike?

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    Gloves suck but the Typhoon jacket is a smokin deal for the price - I paid $80 after sale price and coupon. As nice as most jackets until you get to the upper tier high dollar klim etc.
    #8
  9. WRC51

    WRC51 Long timer

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    I have one of the Bilt jackets, not the Storm. It is a pretty good jacket for the price, I havent been caught in the rain yet but in cold weather it is very nice. Plenty of pockets and has some kind of protectors in the elbows and sholders area.
    #9
  10. gfloyd2002

    gfloyd2002 Title Free Since '12

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    I've had exact experience. Gloves bad, boots good. I've used BiLT boots for light duty for over a year now and they've been fabulous, very comfy after I added insoles. Not nearly as good as my trusty Tourmaster Solution boots, though, which were only $25 more. (Though I've admittedly shifted back and forth in preference depending on the heat.)

    BiLT stuff is pretty much the same low-end gear you'll find with other brand names on them. The same factories in Pakistan make about 80% of the motorcycle gear (boots, jackets, gloves) for the majority of companies out there (Alpinestar, Dynastar, Firstgear, SIDI, Teknic, Fieldsheer, etc). You can find product matches from same Pakistani factory for BiLT gear at Fieldsheer, Shift and A*s, for example. You can find matches for CycleGear's other product line (Sedici) with Teknic and Cortech boots that I've found. I'm sure there are more, but I've seen enough to draw my own conclusions. CycleGear offers essentially the same low-end products (with essentially same quality, or lack thereof) at a cheaper price.

    In a way, I think CycleGear is doing this right (though I wish they would refuse to put out some of the crap stuff obviously and focus on the better parts of the line.) While the gear is no higher quality than if it is on the low end of the Shift or Feildsheer lines, at least you aren't paying a premium for a logo. This ties into my frustration over gear that is identical, branded by different companies. And generally to the large companies (A*, Joe Rocket, Shift, ICON, Technic, Speed and Strength, Scorpion, Cortech, etc.) simply putting their name on stuff that comes out of foreign factories without much differentiation, design, etc. (There is one boot for example I've seen in four different brand lineups - identical!) It shows that motorcycle gear is all about marketing, and guess who the chumps are? Us, for paying for the A* or Icon or Joe Rocket labels. In that kind of market, the recent emergence of BiLT and Sedici as the Cyclegear house brands makes a ton of sense. CycleGear buys the same stuff directly from the same Pakistani factories and rebrands it without going through the middleman, allowing CycleGear to offer essentially the same products at significant discounts.

    The seemingly rational consumer response to the same factories making most of everything, and to the big companies irresponsibly slapping their labels often on the same products (or with styling varations to differentiate their brand) is one of three things:

    1) Start buying from responsible, smaller companies that design their own stuff for purpose and really care about quality. Aerostich, Vanson, Teiz, Motoport, etc.
    2) Pay the money to get more expensive, high quality gear from name companies that invest in product control and aren't likely to have fungible products. Dianese, RevIt, Sidi, Klim, etc.;
    3) Recognize that much of the gear out there is interchangeable and comes out of the same factories and go with the CycleGear brands to save money and cut out the middleman so you don't have to pay their margins and fund the cost of their branding and marketing efforts. Buy BiLT for the inexepensive, low end stuff and Sedici for the mid-range stuff. Just don't expect too much out of it.
    #10
  11. fierostetz

    fierostetz Been here awhile

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    I DO wish they hadn't dropped every other product. I was *extremely* fond of Scorpion helmets, and usually guided my friends in that direction for a first helmet, so long as it fit. The lack of options is why I've stopped purchasing from Cycle Gear completely. I miss having Joe Rocket gloves to try on - they're the only gloves I found with thumbs that fit me (length) and now I've got to order/return a few pairs to find something that fits.
    #11
  12. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    I purchased a pair of their water proof gloves, and the gloves are a complete waste of money. They did a good job of keeping water in the glove, plus once wet the liner came out w/ my hands and the glove was next to impossible to put back on...I gave the gloves away. I will never buy any Built products or anything else from Cycle Gear. If they are so damned determined to sell crap like that then to me it speaks volumes about the products they sell.

    cheap junk, you get what you pay for...which in this case isn't much.
    #12
  13. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    I would buy used gear before I'd get some of the Bilt stuff I've seen.

    Poorly constructed, poorly designed, cheaply made junk.

    At least cycle gear has a decent return policy.
    #13
  14. BigIron

    BigIron Tenured Prof - Leghump U.

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    I've been happy with the vented pants and tank bag that I bought. They've both held up great.

    The zipper on the pants has gotten stuck a couple of times. Then again, so have the zippers on my brand new Kilamanjaro.
    #14
  15. 1V-MAN

    1V-MAN Been here awhile

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    Thanks everyone! After reading all your posts I've decieded not to take a chance with the Bilt. It's hard trying to make decision looking at a picture ... all of your responses were much more helpful! Looks like I'm better off using my old gear until I can replace it with the same quality.
    #15
  16. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    haven't seen a piece of bilt that passed the eye test, don't want to risk the pavement test. even the magazine pictures from 20 feet - it looks like shit.
    #16
  17. outsidein

    outsidein Been here awhile

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    I was under the impression most gear companies, at least ones like Alpine Stars, Fieldsheer, Tourmaster, Joe Rocket, etc. had their own designers and simply outsourced the manufacturing. It is certainly possible though that they use the same components like say soles, fasteners, etc. across brands. Please provide links to identical products.
    #17
  18. gfloyd2002

    gfloyd2002 Title Free Since '12

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    Off the top of my head, because I own the Cortech Latigo boots, I can tell you that the Latigos are identical to Teknic Chicanes (the 2010 model) and Sedici Laguna boots. I've personally looked at all three. I've also done similar look at gloves and found exact matches, though because I didn't buy it hasn't stuck - I could probably find them if you really want. Speed and Strength I think. I also checked the BiLT waterproof boots and found matches. This isn't that surprising - It is the same factories in Pakistan that do so much of the gear. The design done at the upper levels of the lines is one thing, and I agree with you there - clear product differentiation and much more interest in control of the product. But at the lower levels, you go with what the factory can do easily and inexpensively. That is where it gets fungible. You want to work with the factory on a low end waterproof boot, and they say "here is what we can do" because they are doing it already, they've got the leather bits cut already, stamps already made, lines already set up. You talk about different logo or pattern, perhaps a slightly different sole, to keep with feel of the overall brand. But you go with what the factory has ready and is able to do when you are cutting cost.

    Take a look at the Latigos, Chicanes and Lagunas for an idea of what I'm talking about. Some others seem to share my views on this with their own reviews, too: http://fjriders.com/forum/showthread.php?7225-BiLT-Trackstar-Leather-Boots:

    Doesn't mean either one of us is right, of course, just that I think people are finding similar things and coming to similar, partially researched, conclusions. I'm not saying this to defend BiLT products. I'm just saying, all cheap gear is of mixed quality and much of it isn't that good. Its just that it isn't limited to CycleGear house brands. If you look closely, though, I think you can find a few decent items for the price, hidden amongst the crap.
    #18
  19. Yamarocket630

    Yamarocket630 Honey Badger

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    These boots are the "pits". Not recommended. Bought a pair in March, one of the lace eyelets broke about 1 month later. Exchanged them, and the side of one of the replacement boots blew out yesterday, the nylon tore at the seam where it was sewn to the "leather". They were reasonably comfortable but they seem to run small and narrow. I normally wear a 13 or 12w, and the 13 was still a bit too narrow. Bilt Pit boots

    Exchanged them today for these; they gave me an even trade for my troubles. New Boots

    They seem to be much sturdier, and are certainly more comfortable and run pretty true to size.

    I'm sure the Beemer riders will scoff at the fact that I didn't buy A-stars or some other $$$ brand, but not all of us have that much $$$ to spend and need to buy what we can afford.

    Edit:

    Forgot to mention, although everyone seems to really hate their gloves, I bought some Bilt "circuit racer" gloves and I really like them. They fit me better than any other glove I've ever worn, and the quality seems pretty good for the price. The ventilation isn't great, but I can deal with that as my hands generally don't sweat too much.
    #19
  20. BankerGuy

    BankerGuy Springsteen Fan

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    Bought a pair of Frank Thomas rain gloves and replaced em with Bilts. Both were completely useless. Hands completely soaked in 5 min in rain and the gloves won't dry out afterwards.
    #20