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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2011, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Bilt - quality is that bad?

I recently got my first new helmet (I had been rocking a few different freebies & hand-me-downs). While out shopping I really liked the fit of the Bilt Blaze. Several people on here and in the real world told me to stay away from Bilt products. I ended up getting the Shoei RF-1000 helmet and I love it - it's quiet and really comfortable.

Right now I have a Joe Rocket mesh riding jacket. It's nice but if I'm still loving the bike as I am now I am sure I'll need a leather jacket. Again, I started looking and found a Bilt that I liked.

For the record part of the allure to the product line is the lower price. But these two products really do fit me very well. The helmet I'm not going to get... but I'm still thinking about that jacket.

Is that really a mistake? Any advice from dot netters is appreciated, you guys have been great so far in my short life as a biker.
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2011, 10:12 AM
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Bilt has the proper certifications so it is a valid line of helmets. The best helmet is the one that is certified and fits you properly. I wear Shoei because it fits my head best.

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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2011, 10:14 AM
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Ok, so built is the store brand... they do not make anything themselves.. they put out specs... different MFG's submit bids on products meeting their specs and the lowest bidder gets the contract...
with any built product, you may or may not know who actually made it...
any leather product is better than no leather at all.. I bet what we get in this thread is mostly the ford Vs chevy type arguement, nothing you can prove either way, just a personal preferrence...and some folks will not like any store brand, to them costing more must mean it is better and that is not always the case....
the built helmets met DOT standards but do not meet Snell standards so most folks on here would say stay away from them... so would I, but if a DOT standard is all you want, then they are as good as any of the ones in that catagory...
as to their leather jackets, I have no clue, I have never even looked at one much less bought one...one of their employees told me to stay away from their leather products so I never even looked at them...
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2011, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm... when I went in there the employees were a couple of 16 YOs. Nice kids but I dunno if I'd heed their advice.

Maybe I'll go back and take a really good look at the jacket. Look at the leather, the stitching, the materials. Only problem is that I have no idea what I'm looking at.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2011, 03:38 PM
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my girl just picked up a bilt helmet and leather jacket. From a couple months of use both seem to be holding up well. The leather jacket is a little bit thinner and stitching could be beefier but it doesn't look bad.

I had some Frank Thomas gauntlet gloves that i rocked for a month and they were falling apart. This stuff doesn't show any similar signs of low quality.

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2011, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by MrNewEngland View Post
Hmmm... when I went in there the employees were a couple of 16 YOs. Nice kids but I dunno if I'd heed their advice.

Maybe I'll go back and take a really good look at the jacket. Look at the leather, the stitching, the materials. Only problem is that I have no idea what I'm looking at.
that can be a problem with almost any chain store type place, but that is not the situation in the store I go to...they have a few folks who know what they are about...
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2011, 10:04 PM
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wrong. bilt is a store brand, made overseas like most stuff is, but its cyclegears own stuff. they took alot of the old frank thomas ppl and started bilt. cyclegear is basically doing the manufacturer-direct thing, no middleman in the form of distributors and so on.

i was interviewing with cyclegear and got info on all this, got a diff job paying more though. sedici is basically one step up from bilt. if youre gonna get cheap, may as well get sedici. its ok. in fact, its good value for the money but gear at this level of quality will NOT protect you more than once, generally speaking. but this stuff is literally so cheap you can go down in it once, maybe twice, and throw the **** away xD
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 09:09 AM
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made overseas..hehehehe... hell, how much of the quality high dollar stuff we buy is made here in the states united?

opps, off topic, my bad.. sorry
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 09:12 AM
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sraenn View Post
wrong. bilt is a store brand, made overseas like most stuff is, but its cyclegears own stuff. they took alot of the old frank thomas ppl and started bilt. cyclegear is basically doing the manufacturer-direct thing, no middleman in the form of distributors and so on.

i was interviewing with cyclegear and got info on all this, got a diff job paying more though. sedici is basically one step up from bilt. if youre gonna get cheap, may as well get sedici. its ok. in fact, its good value for the money but gear at this level of quality will NOT protect you more than once, generally speaking. but this stuff is literally so cheap you can go down in it once, maybe twice, and throw the **** away xD
OK, I may be showing what a newbie I am but: I thought that all gear was supposed to be replaced after going down. I'm pretty sure that helmets are after an impact, and I thought jackets & pants were too after they've been slid across pavement. I thought you couldn't trust the seams after that.
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 10:28 AM
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OK, I may be showing what a newbie I am but: I thought that all gear was supposed to be replaced after going down. I'm pretty sure that helmets are after an impact, and I thought jackets & pants were too after they've been slid across pavement. I thought you couldn't trust the seams after that.
As far as helmets, yes I would replace after a get off (given that you hit your head somewhere) but for the leathers that is not entirely true. If you buy top quality leathers, they can last for quite a few spills. Perfect example, check out the RS-Taichi section on STG. Brian does a video in one of his leather suits that he has crashed in 10+ times (if I recall correctly). I have a feeling Bilt gear wouldn't quite make it through that.

That is one of the thing's I considered when purchasing my RS-Taichi jacket. Yes, it's cost is fairly high, but in the end it will protect me better and last longer.

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 01:21 PM
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helmet ok, cause the government has standards... i owned some frank thomas gloves... they lasted about 8 months before they fell apart.. i dont know if i would take another chance with buying Bilt.. they just seem like they would fall part on a get off.... but i could be wrong. but i personally dont want to find out!
post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 02:46 PM
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IMO, if your just starting out and are on limited funds... BILT is a good way to go in order to get the gear you need in order to stay safe. Some of their stuff looks ok, while others you can definitely tell its of a lower quality. I picked up one of their helmets because they were on sale for $50 and I needed a spare for the GF... Really cant beat the price. It will protect you just fine, but you can tell the difference when you hold it up to my RF1100.

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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 03:35 PM
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I use to wear an arai Profile because it was the only helmet that fit my head shape, then they came out with the Vector! and Vector 2, fits so much better than the Profile. Just find stores that carry helmets and try them all on.
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 09:29 PM
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i just bought Bilt Trackstar 1pc leather suit $250 (on sale from $300)
Bilt trackstar boots $69 (from $130 )
Bilt leather gauntlet gloves $30 (from $60)

i am confident they will save my skin when i go down and but i'll scrap the suit after that.
The leather is thin, and the armor is also thin..no back protector
but its just a great deal all in all.

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post #16 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 09:47 PM
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but its just a great deal all in all.
Mannnnn I don't know. When everyone else's CHEAPEST suits start at $600 and this stuff is $300, I don't know. You can only cut costs so far before quality suffers. And this is your body! Those price points are just too low for me to be comfortable with.
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post #17 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 10:04 PM
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The one good thing about Bilt is that you can pick up a pair of leather pants for the same cost as others textile pants.
I don't wear their stuff, but for weekent street/twisties, not a bad option if you don't want to wear your nice race suit on the street.
...you could cut the logos off and put some Dainese, or A* sliders on them and no one would know the difference

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Unfortunately bikes fall over. It's in their nature.
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post #18 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 10:06 PM
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i definitely agree, you get what you pay for..

but like helmets, there has to be some safety standard the suit must endure to be able to make it to the stores. This sure beats the mesh jacket/jean combo that i see even up in the mountain/ back roads lolz...

also if i go down with this suit (knock on wood) ill go for the Sedeci 1pc for $500-600.

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post #19 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-17-2011, 10:11 PM
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If you hit your grape hard enought to crack a Bilt helmet, most likely it would have cracked any helmet brand. Hard to say, but any helmet is better than no helmet.

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Unfortunately bikes fall over. It's in their nature.
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post #20 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 03:39 PM
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I'm really debating some of the bilt gear due to the price. But I've read so many conflicting opinions on it. I'm just going to go to the store and personally look them over.

I hope the quality is ok, the $$ savings would be nice
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post #21 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-19-2011, 12:56 AM
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if youre gonna get cheap stuff, check into AGVSport. 200$ leather pants with sliders, and theyre good pants. tried some myself. returned them based on fit cuz im a skinny fucker but they were NICE pants.
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post #22 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-19-2011, 08:47 PM
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bilt and sedici are both crap. you get what you pay for.a buddy lowsided at around 30mph on the track split his sidici suit for about 8inches on the forum and shreded the bilt gloves. check out craigslist and weraclasifieds for deals on gear.
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post #23 of 28 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 07:38 PM
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I'd save your pennies. You can typically find a reputable brand suits on closeout for $500ish. I guess it's better than nothing like others have said. The cheap bilt suits don't come with real knee pucks either.

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post #24 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure if anyone gives a sh!t, but I thought I'd update you.

As I said in the original post I did get the Shoei helmet and I absolutely love it. It's like my head is making love to my helmet every time I ride. Seriously, I'll never go cheap on a helmet again and will probably stick with Shoei going forward.

I did get a leather jacket as I decided it's worth the investment. I can ride close to all winter here in Charlotte so I decided it was worth it. I ended up going with the Bilt Trackstar jacket and I do like it (for the price). It's not a terrible starter jacket and works for what I need it for. I liked the way it looked, LOVED the price, and it really does fit me very well. After having it for a couple months and a few decent road trips I have a couple things to say:

I don't regret the purchase and like I said I am overall pretty happy with the jacket. But if I could do it over again I would have purchased the Alpinestar leather that I was also considering. It was about $100 more but after seeing & learning some more I think it would've been worth it. Also a guy here at work shook his head at me when he saw "Bilt" and had me try on and cruise in his Dainese leather. I wouldn't have gone that expensive (he said it was $550 or something) but it was an obviously superior jacket.

MAJOR cons:
After trying a few of the other jackets (that guys Dainese, a Joe Rocket mesh I just got) I realized there is NO back protection on my Bilt. Being a newbie I didn't really notice it in the store and it never dawned on me until trying other jackets.
The zippers are really cheap. I broke one last night (I'm about to find out if the 5-year warranty is worth a sh!t).
It isn't as heavy as other brands (the leather) and the armor in the jacket is VERY flimsy. Again, I only realized the difference with more experience.

PROS:
Obviously you won't beat the price.
It really does fit me very well.
5 year warranty (I'll update again when/if I get a resolution on the zipper thing).
It is pretty cool looking (I know I'll get flamed for that one).
It has a zip out thermal lining that has already come in handy (I think most have this).
Lots of little pockets.

Overall I do like the jacket. It's really not terrible. If I get another one I will not go Bilt again. Whatever though, I do have a leather riding jacket now and I didn't break the back (if they were all $500 I wouldn't own one).

---------------------------------

2>4
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post #25 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 11:36 AM
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I know not everyone can afford top end protective gear but think of the alternatives
before hand spend some dough on top end protective gear V or spend that dough
medical bills & then some either way it will get spent but on what that totally
depends on you





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post #26 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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I know not everyone can afford top end protective gear but think of the alternatives
before hand spend some dough on top end protective gear V or spend that dough medical bills & then some either way it will get spent but on what that totally depends on you

I agree that the quality on high end gear is obviously better. And I'm in no way saying "gear is gear" or anything like that. But once you are geared up and not being a squid I feel like there is a law of diminishing returns on the investment. When/if you do go down I feel like it's more about how you go down/where you hit/how fast you were going/etc... as long as you are geared up.

Even the most expensive gear in the world doesn't mean that you're suiting up in an Iron Man suit (getting shot out of the air by a rocket will still hurt).

Now I do wish I had gone up a little in quality but I will say that I do have some decent miles on this jacket already and it's not falling apart the way some people lead you to believe.

---------------------------------

2>4
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post #27 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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PS - When I do go to the track I plan to have something better than Bilt on...

No offense, zhjiln.

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post #28 of 28 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 12:24 PM
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I agree that the quality on high end gear is obviously better. And I'm in no way saying "gear is gear" or anything like that. But once you are geared up and not being a squid I feel like there is a law of diminishing returns on the investment. When/if you do go down I feel like it's more about how you go down/where you hit/how fast you were going/etc... as long as you are geared up.

Even the most expensive gear in the world doesn't mean that you're suiting up in an Iron Man suit (getting shot out of the air by a rocket will still hurt).

Now I do wish I had gone up a little in quality but I will say that I do have some decent miles on this jacket already and it's not falling apart the way some people lead you to believe.
True in a sense that accident circumstances do influence the outcome big time





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