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Riding gear appropriate for south Florida


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I am currently commuting from Tampa to Ft Lauderdale weekly. I head for Tampa @ 6;00 on Fridays, and leave for Ft Lauderdale @ 3:00AM on Mondays. 500 miles round trip. Looks as if I may be doing this gig for a while. Need some appropriate gear. Looked at the local dealer at BMW's venting machine. 725.00 for the jacket and pants. Vents well, but you have to cover it up when it rains, which it does frequently in Florida. The times of day I plan to travel are not peak heat. I will prpbabley be riding all winter, and it does get into the 40's frequently. Might be I'll need more than one suit. There are so many different combinations and possibilities. I have spent several hours looking. I would like to hear from some of you as to what has worked for you and your suggestions.





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Made that trip a couple of times this spring. Got rained on both times going through Belle Glade. Got wet once, put on the rain suit the next time.


My combination for year round riding down here is the BMW Airflow jacket and pants which I supplement with the Klima Komfort rain suit.


The temperature difference between Tampa and the Broward county area can be substantial during the winter months. We seldom see much below 50 degrees down here and it can be near freezing in Tampa.


I would probably suggest an Aerostitch Roadcrafter or better yet Darian two piece. Given the character of most rain down here, you rarely ride more than 20 or 30 miles in any given storm. The Stitch will keep you dry for that long. This way, you can throw a Gerbings jacket liner and a windbreaker on underneath and stay toasty when it's cool up north and just ride in shorts and a tee shirt in the warmer months. My Roadcrager one piece is pretty breezy so long as I can keep moving. Be prepared for lots of comments though as the resemblence to a snow suit is just too much for most folks to resist.

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My Roadcrager one piece is pretty breezy so long as I can keep moving. Be prepared for lots of comments though as the resemblence to a snow suit is just too much for most folks to resist.

People have been known to compare me to a giant banana riding a bike. Might be the only downside to the Hi-Viz Yellow. But they're always gawking when I do the unzip to the neck and peel completely out of it in seconds. grin.gif


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I spent two years riding in SE Florida (out of N. Palm beach). Florida certainly can be challenging when it comes to ATGATT.


I had a JR Phoenix, Darien, Motoport/Cycleport Ultra Kevlar II, and BMW Summer Coverall at various points. I bought most of them used in order to figure out what worked for me...it gets expensive to buy them new! Once I moved to CA, I got a new Cycleport Air Mesh and the uninsulated liner. I now have ONLY a BMW Santiago and the Coverall...sold the rest!


If I was going back to FL tomorrow, and doing what you described, I would be going with the Cycleport Air Mesh. It flows great and provides real security. No disrespect to Ed intended, but for me the Gore-Tex lined products (Darien) are not even worthy of consideration with that heat and humidity you have. Get a light hi-viz rain jacket and wear it OVER your riding jacket when necessary.


The Cycleport Air Mesh works great with layering...I used mine one day in San Francisco at 45 and two days later along the Colombia river at 100. It really is good gear. Search here and on advrider.com and see the reviews. No affiliation, usual disclaimer, etc.


Although I LOVE my Santiago (and Venting Machine pants), it just does not breathe well enough for the Florida humidity. Good Luck with your choices!

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