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RiDE (UK) - - Contents -

“It has plenty of ad­just­ment and the fin­ish is first-rate”

1 Hel­met: Arai Tour-x 4 £499.99

www.wh­ The Tour-x 4 is com­fort­able, light, re­ally well vented and se­cures with a proper dou­ble D-ring strap. It has a peak that gives a bit of ad­justa­bil­ity. You can take the vi­sor off if you want to use gog­gles but I swap between clear and tinted vi­sors (£62.99 for a dif­fer­ent vi­sor), though I’m not too im­pressed by the process as it means un­screw­ing the peak and vi­sor with a 1p coin — quick-re­lease vi­sors are hardly a new idea, so why doesn’t this have one? The other draw­backs are that it’s rea­son­ably loud and the peak can be de­flected by the wind at high speed on the road. It is a good hel­met but at this price, it should be a great one.

2 Jacket: Held Hakuna II £347.99 Two-layer ad­ven­ture jacket has a thick and warmly lined wa­ter­proof dropliner (not used in sum­mer con­di­tions). With that re­moved and the many vents opened, it’s nice and cool. It has good-sized pock­ets, plenty of ad­just­ment to tai­lor the fit and fin­ish is first rate. The shoul­der and el­bow ar­mour is CE Level 1, not 2 and there’s no back pro­tec­tor — I took one out of an­other jacket. The outer was suf­fi­ciently show­er­proof to get through an af­ter­noon’s gen­tle driz­zle with­out leak­ing but a half-hour of heavy rain got through the arm-vent zips: should have put that warm liner in…

3 Bum­bag: Kr­iega R3 £65­ I use this on ev­ery trip. Phone, wal­let, pass­port, mul­ti­tool and EDZ In­ner Shell (£49.99, www. ed­zlay­er­ live in the wa­ter­proof in­ner pocket. Un­ob­tru­sive and con­ve­nient.

4 Trousers: Held Matata II £289.99 Like the match­ing Hakuna II jacket, th­ese nicely fin­ished two-layer trousers have a too-warm-for­sum­mer wa­ter­proof dropliner, with great vents and de­cent pock­ets. They come with a belt, which was great un­til I stood on its plas­tic clip and broke it. As well as hav­ing de­cent ad­justers to tai­lor the fit, a long-legged cut en­sures good com­fort. The only draw­back is a lack of hip ar­mour (again, I took some from other trousers).

5 Gloves: Held Air n Dry £165 Th­ese aren’t the right gloves for this kind of rid­ing — I should be us­ing short ad­ven­ture-type ones, right? But th­ese two-pocket gloves worked just fine. The vented palm side was cool in the heat and when work­ing hard off-road but when it rained, I put my hands in the Gore-tex side and kept them dry. Prop­erly ar­moured, re­ally com­fort­able, to­tally flex­i­ble. Great gloves.

6 Boots: TCX In­fin­ity Evo Gore-tex £279.99­ They’re not as pro­tec­tive as my mo­tocross boots, but th­ese lighter off-road boots give more feel, are eas­ier for walk­ing and are more com­fort­able most of the time — though by the end of an hour-long stint stand­ing on the pegs, I was miss­ing the Mx-boots’ stiffer sole. To­tally wa­ter­proof too.

7 Tail­pack: Kr­iega US20 £89­ An­other trusted piece of lug­gage: wa­ter­proof, easy to fit to the bike and with a shoul­der strap for tot­ing about like a man-bag when off the bike. Filled with a bot­tle of drink­ing water, a cam­era and the wa­ter­proof lin­ers I should have fit­ted when it started rain­ing. SI­MON WEIR

Si­mon’s kit works well... when he re­mem­bers to use it prop­erly

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