Fit is crucial when riding. You need to be warm, comfortable and protected from the elements. You're going to be wearing it for hours, and could go from cold to hot environments and back again - so layering is essential as well. We've been biking for years, and couldn't find anything that fit the bill. For this reason, we set out to create a jacket that combined the layering and waterproofing technologies of mountainwear with the protective rigour of the road.
We concentrated in the beginning on City Commuters who ride to the station or work and didn't want to look like bikers. On our quest we developed this jacket and realised we had developed a style that could be used anywhere, for any activity on a bike and off.
We chose the most advanced 3-layer fabrics, manufactured in state-of-the-art mills for their durability and strength. The exterior is an Oxford weave in polyamide, and the interior is a full PU membrane, not just a coating. The soft-shell is brushed polyester for warmth. For those of you that love the detail, we have a WP rating of 20,000.
We use both traditional cut and sew methods, as well as laser cutting and bonding of seams to guarantee that water won't get in. Seams are then taped with three layer tape to reinforce the structure in case of a fall, as well as to improve impermeability. Well-known outdoor brands market their 3-layer hard shells as their top of the range products.
We've purposely left the jacket unlined to make sure that all seams are secured and can be properly maintained. Nothing's hidden: no hanging threads, no unstuck tape. The way it's put together also offers maximum breathability, and looks great on the inside as well as the out.
Normally, the raised seams you get from stitching dig into your back. They're also a surefire way to let in water. Our protector pockets are bonded to the fabric to totally remove these issues. Making the pockets in Lycra means it’s easier to get the protectors in, and they fit around you, which makes the jacket more comfortable. Easy and quick access means you can transfer the protectors from the outer jacket to the soft-shell or into your top case without the usual battles.
The outside patch pockets are also bonded to avoid water ingress from those sewing holes and removes the need to tape them. This makes the jacket lighter and better able to keep water out. These are applied using advanced PU adhesives applied under pressure for to achieve the optimum weld. These techniques are not found in traditional motorcycle jackets.
The reflective PU and the PU adhesives are sourced from a leading US brand specialising in sew-free technologies. Their products contain virtually no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and the seam tapes only use water-based and UV cured inks.
Sew free and bonding technologies reduce volume and weight which is better for you as a rider and better for the environment as shipping weights are kept to a minimum.
Mechanical PU (Polyurethane) Protector pads
The PU protector pads have been especially designed for protection and comcomfort. they are bright green so you won't misplace them at home, and work in a similar way to other branded mechanical PU pads
They are essentially similar to memory foam which hardens on impact, and dissipates the energy. After impact the pads soften. You will find they are harder at colder temperatures and softer more malleable at higher ones. They also have holes to improve comfort in hot conditions.
The pads have been designed to wear only in our 3 layer hardshell or our 3 layer softshell. The protector pockets can only take our pads and other brands must not be used as they will damage our bonded protector pockets.
ZIPS & ACCESSORIES
We've chosen waterproof zips throughout to continue the theme. You’ll find them on the outside and the inside. Where possible, we’ve bonded the zips in. All our zips are hardwearing, and pullers allow you to open and close them with your gloves on. We also put in a double runner on the front zip of the outer jacket to allow you to open the jacket if you need to.
You'll also notice that we’ve gone to the trouble of laser cutting circular covers to make sure the poppers don’t let water through.
The inside chest pockets are bonded but we know people love their music on the road so we’ve put the headphone accessory in for you.
We’ve kept the volume adjustors to a minimum as our fabrics are sturdy and won’t flap about in the wind. Combined with the inner soft-shell we found we didn’t need them in our testing.
THE TRINITY: PUTTING OUR PRODUCTS TOGETHER
Our soft-shell has a longer lycra cuff glove for a close fit around the wrist. You can wear it under your gloves and pulled over your thumb, acts as a fingerless mitten.
The Trinity of outer jacket, soft-shell and protectors are designed to be a complete protection system that gives you the option of how many layers you want to use. Put the protectors into the outer shell or the soft shell, you choose. Remove the pads and your Ride Life jacket will take you wherever you choose to go.