So I've recently been going back and forth about whether to get a new one piece suit or have my two piece converted into a one piece because I want to start racing next year. After a few discussions with TJ at RidersDiscount, he talked me into this suit and I'm really glad he did.
I wanted to write up a quick review (more of a "first impressions" than a review) about it because I was so blown away by it. Sadly I live in Chicago so I won't get the chance to ride in this until the spring, but once I get a couple of track days in on them I'll do a more thorough write-up.
Let's start with the hard-to-swallow bits first. This is a $1899 suit. There were two reasons I even bothered considering dropping such a large chunk of change on a suit rather than pay a few hundred to get my current suit converted:
1. TJ has never steered me wrong before.
2. Held have a reputation of being the last piece of gear you will ever have to buy. I can't count how many people with Held Phantoms have said they've crashed in them dozens of times and continue to wear them with full confidence.
Okay. So it's an expensive suit, but you get what you pay for. My past two suits were an Alpinestars SP-1 one-piece, and a Spartan Leathers Force Two-Piece (Shameless plug: If you're around 190 lbs and around 6'2" check out my thread in the marketplace). The Alpinestars was a really basic suit, and the Spartan Leathers was very VERY nice, especially given the price point and that it was made to my measurements. I can't speak ill of Spartan Leathers since they offer great suits at amazing price points and the guy that runs it is really nice and helpful, and I haven't had the pleasure of trying their higher end suits, so my only point of comparison is with the suit I have.
This thing rules. Tons of stretch panels everywhere to ensure it fits me like a glove. The suit is mostly kangaroo leather with some parts cowhide, and plenty of patches of stingray leather built in as well. It has a level 2 CE back protector built in complete with a tail bone protector, armor on the sides of the torso and the thighs, and then of course the more visible pieces of armor on the shoulders, elbows, and knees.
I'm hoping I don't have to test this suit, but given my recent track record of awesome lowsides, I'm pretty confident that when I do have to test it it'll hold up just fine.
This is my pitiful attempt at getting into something resembling a riding position (as TheEssence pointed out, it's more of a toilet riding position). My bike is currently in pieces so I couldn't hop on it so this weird hunchback pose is the best you're gonna get. Point being: So many stretch panels. This thing is so fricken' comfy.
As if I didn't need another reason to look forward to hitting the track in the spring, now getting this suit in action is added onto that list.