In this week's Gear Guide we've got stuff to stop your bum from going numb, your feet getting wet, and getting tied up in knots. We have a stunning fit for purpose ladies leather jacket, and some cool new biker boots. PRODUCT REVIEW BY BSMC'S JAMES McCOMBE - REV'IT ROYALE BOOTS Revit_Royale_4 If one company seemed to nail “great looking footwear that offered decent on-bike protection” in 2014, it was Rev'it. The Dutch company quickly took the torch for making quality boots at decent prices. Now expanding their City Collection for 2015, the Royale along with the Regent build on top of the foundations laid by the Ginza, Rodeo and Mohawk. Like many of the other boots in the range, there’s plenty of CE protection throughout. The toe-box is thermoformed and reinforced to keep your foot-fingers safe. There’s also ankle cups on both sides offering some malleolus protection, along with a heel cup and a steel shank running the length of the sole. It’s clear that these boots have been designed with the rough and tumble of urban riding in mind. Revit_Royale_2 But the great thing is, you don’t notice any of this extra reinforcement in everyday use; they remain light and flexible enough that you forget they’re bike focused. The only obvious give-aways are the shifter pads on the top of each boot. Unlike others in the Rev'it range, the pads are on both feet; Perfect if, like me, you’re riding old Brit iron once in a while. The sole is a single graduated wedge, offering a solid platform, but it’s not so thick or stiff that it takes away feel. I prefer this over a stepped heel as I like to move my feet around on the bike and it ensures my feet don’t get hooked on the pegs. A downside for some might be that a heel can help when kicking over a bike, but the tactile sole offers plenty of grip in its place. Revit_Royale_3 Available in either black or brown with contrast stitching, they’re constructed from full grain pull-up leather and suede. There is no membrane and the boots don’t claim to be waterproof, but the treated outer is water repellent. A welcome tongue gator also rises part way up to keep the worst of the puddles, avoiding soggy sock syndrome. They break in nicely and the leather takes on patina and shape beautifully. These boots will quickly be your own. With the strap around the top, once laced up, they slide easily under your jeans. A nice detail is the small reflective strip on the rear of the boot, only visible when you’re in a riding crouch on the bike. Overall branding on the boots is limited to unobtrusive stamping in the leather; very subtle. Sizing is simple, the fit being of a very European shape and not too slim. So two thumbs up for the Royales, they’ve become my daily city boot and feel built to last. Revit_Royale_1 Head over to the Rev'it site to check out the Royale and other boots in the City Collection range. ROLAND SANDS MAVEN LADIES LEATHER JACKET Maven_Ladies_2 "By definition, a maven is a trusted expert in a particular field who seeks to pass knowledge on to others. It also proved to be the perfect name for our latest leather jacket. We took classic Café’ racer styling cues and created a jacket that is form-fitted to the female body shape. Functionality first, but awesome good looks are a very close second place." Thanks for explaining Roland. Maven_Ladies_4 The Maven is pretty jacket that's built for business. It is first and foremost a biker jacket designed for real riding, but like everything that RSD do, it has a keen eye for a fashionable cut that allows the jacket to double up as a good looking lifestyle jacket. Maven_Ladies_6 The Maven is built and designed for women, not a half-arsed adaptation of a mans jacket. It's cut for woman's body, and the adjustable zip waist and comfort flex panels under the arms at the chest enable women riders to further tailor the Roland Sands Maven to their form. Pre-curved sleeves, relaxed collar and a dropped back are part of the performance riding fit designed into the jacket. Maven_Ladies_1 The Maven is constructed from top grain 1.1mm to 1.3mm thick top grain cowhide, which is pre-oiled, washed then hand finished with wax and then oiled again. It has perforated leather trim, an adjustable zip waist, zip close cuffs, an interior stuff pocket, a zip close interior pocket, and front and sleeve zip pockets. It's designed to fit optional RSD Armor in the elbows, shoulder and back. Maven_Ladies_3 The Maven is available is a full range of sizes and a choice of Black, Tobacco, Oxblood and Cream. PRODUCT REVIEW BY BSMC'S JAMES McCOMBE - DAN MEDICA SOUTH DEBBONAIR CUSTOM GEL PAD Denonair_Gel_1 There’s a dirty secret in our little world. Rarely mentioned but often felt. It’s called Brat-Butt, and it’s not cool. No matter what the thread count of your shirt is or whether your denim is double stitched, if you get off your bike after just a couple of miles and have to walk like John Wayne, you’re not impressing anyone. So, while Dan Medica South may be neither a household name, nor glamorous fashion house, their range of custom gel pads should, in my opinion, be standard issue with any custom built seat. It’s time to throw out that 20mm of hacked up yoga mat and discover the benefits of a decent gel insert. Denonair_Gel_2 The difference is in the detail. With a background in making pads for medical applications, Dan Medica has the experience to diversify into motorcycle seating, realising that the standard of many existing products was sub-par. The gel is medical grade which means it’s unaffected by weather or moisture and unlike some imitators it won’t grow fungus under your cover. Critically, unlike many other gel pads that you might find on a certain auction site, all of Dan Medica’s gel packs are made 16-18mm thick. Any less than 15mm and over time you’ll begin to feel numbness as the seat forms around you. Having sat for extended lengths on the gel, it’s a bizarrely uncomfortable sensation when you have to sit back on a standard seat and you’re reminded how many bones there are in your derrière. Denonair_Gel_3 Now, the clever bit: despite coming in a pouch, the gel is actually solid and you can cut and form it as you would foam. The gel comes in Small to Extra Large shaped sections or you can order a custom sized ‘slab’. The key to maximising it’s effectiveness is to not put any foam on top. Underneath is ok, but the more interference between the gel and your backside, the less effective it becomes. Keep an eye out for a future article where we’ll be going into the building of a seat in greater detail. This isn’t just a product review this is a sermon. I am preaching, at the top of my lungs, for you to see the light. If you want a slim-line Brat style seat on your bike I implore you to chuck out that bit of old yoga mat and substitute in some of Dan Medica’s gel. It transforms your seat, and hence, bike. Your arse will thank you, as will your 60 year old self when you don’t have to use some of Dan Medica South’s other fine medical products. TBS BOAR FOLDING POCKET KNIFE - WOLFWIND EDITION TBS_Boar_Knife_1 The Boar Folding Pocket Knife is a 'homemade" knife by outdoor specialists The Bushcraft Store. It is a perfect knife for anyone that wants a high quality every day carry, UK legal pocket knife. I like to carry a knife as an essential tool when I ride. It can get you out of all sorts of trouble. When you need to use a knife, you want something that works, that won't snap under duress and that will cut through the most stubborn surface. TBS_Boar_Knife_4 The non-locking pocket knife version of the TBS Boar is produced in a 14C28N Sandvik Steel, a choice made quite simply as it requires less maintenance. This is important for a knife that will be in your pocket the vast majority of the time picking up all sorts "pocket fluff" and salt from perspiration.The blade has a full "Scandi" grind to it that is wickedly sharp straight out of the box. A Scandi grind essentially means that the whole bevel of the knife is the edge (there is no secondary bevel) so when it comes to sharpening life is made very simple. When sharpening you can simply place the entire knife on the stone, roll it up onto the bevel and you will always achieve the correct angle for sharpening; much easier than a knife with a secondary bevel! "Optimized chemistry provides a top grade knife steel with a unique combination of excellent edge performance, high hardness and good corrosion resistance." Sandvik 14C28N is ideal for knife applications which place very high demands on edge sharpness, edge stability and corrosion resistance such as chef's knives, pocket knives, hunting and fishing knives. The blade is 70mm long and 2.5mm thick. TBS_Boar_Knife_3 "We also, quite deliberately, did not put a thumb stud (or similar) on the EDC as this makes it a much more user friendly product in many more countries of the world where, to carry a knife all the time, it needs to be a product that needs to be opened two handed." This is a perfect UK legally compliant pocket knife as it has a 70mm non locking blade but has all the features of its bigger brothers. There is a choice in the handle material between a Super Grade Curly Birch, Turkish Walnut, Polished Black Micarta, Satin Black Micarta or Orange Micarta. The handle measures 100mm.The Bushcaft Store's knives are manufactured from high quality European materials by a top European manufacturer in small batches; they are NOT churned out in their thousands in a factory in the Far East and include a lifetime Guarantee against any defect in manufacturing, material and workmanship. TBS_Boar_Knife_2 The belt pouch is made by Wolfwind Leatherworks especially to fit this knife and it is a brilliant multi carry, multi purpose sheath allowing you to carry the included TBS Firesteel and comes fitted with a Grimloc Karabiner which is excellent for attaching additional stuff to. The sheath is entirely modular allow you to simply modify it for how you would like to carry it. The firesteel loop and Grimloc Karabiner attachment are removable. It can be carried in a normal fashion on your belt, a backpack, or even on your frame loop. This is a great tool. SPRING WATERPROOF OFF-ROAD SOCK Spring_Socks_2 Wet feet are miserable whether your popping down the shop, commuting, or riding up to your knees in mud. Getting wet means getting cold, which at best is wretched, and at worse lethal. The Spring Waterproof Off-Road socks offer optimal protection in cold and wet riding conditions. Constructed from Dryarn®, an innovative polypropylene microfibre that guarantees high performance under extreme conditions, the Spring Waterproof Off-Road sock have a double structure to help against the infiltration of water inside your riding boots. These socks offer maximum protection against pressures and friction generated from off-road riding and features anti-shock sponge protection zones on the inside leg, heel and rear leg and a sponge heel protection pad. The Spring Waterproof Off-Road socks have a multi-contact anatomic insole with ventilation, anatomical protection zone, malleolus protection, high transpiration zone and an anti-friction flat seam on the toes. Spring_Socks_1 Made from 50% Dryarn, 28% Prolen, 15% Polyamide, 5% Lycra, 2% Cordura, they feature anti-shock sponge protection zone on inside leg, rear anti-shock reinforcement pad, resistex carbon fibre protection pad at heel, multi-contact anatomic insole with ventilation and an anatomical protection pad on top of foot. They have a protection pad on the shinbone and ultra slim protection pads on the rear of the leg. They feature cordura fibre sponge heels and tips for increased protection, pad protection zones with ventilation on the soles, pad protection on top of the foot, a mesh area offering ventilation, an anti-stress comfort cuff and Malleolus protection and an anti-twist elastic bands, and anti-friction flat seam on toes. Spring_Socks_3 These are a serious piece of kit and come at a very reasonable price.