Here’s a foolproof guide to shopping for riding gear online

Are you having a hard time looking for good motorcycle apparel?
by Agnes Uzochika Aja | Jul 14, 2019
PHOTO: Aris Ilagan

Finding motorcycle gear that fits is a big issue for lady riders in the country. Gear manufacturers overwhelmingly cater to men, and limited options exist when it comes to physical stores. While some women get away with wearing men’s gear (I envy them), it’s not an option open to most.

Faced with these obstacles, online shopping is a great tool. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in one site, a search will lead you to another one. And with the proper prep, you can finally get the gear you need and want. Check out some of our tips below to stay on the right track.

Getting the size right

The main disadvantage of shopping online is not getting to try on the gear. This makes proper sizing tricky but not impossible. If you already shop for clothes online, these tips might be familiar to you:

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1) Use centimeters when measuring yourself.

They’re smaller units than inches, which means you’ll get a closer fit. If a size chart is in inches, do a Google search for some quick conversion.

2) Check the gear’s intended fit.

Most manufacturers will indicate an item’s fit as slim, regular, or loose. Racing leathers are snug for maximum protection, while touring gear allow room for several layers underneath.

3) Chat up the seller.

A store will often try to help if you bring up sizing concerns. Some already have a chat support bubble on every page that makes the process even more convenient.

Great starting places

Half the challenge of buying gear online is knowing where to look. Shopee, Carousell, and Lazada are popular local options, but most of the riding gear on those platforms are for men. For more consistent offerings, check out these stores.

1) Revzilla (US)

This stateside motorcycle store pairs a large inventory with a ton of information. There are even video reviews that show the features and fit of a particular item. Discounts are regular, and there’s a flat rate shipping of $45 to the Philippines—perfect for big splurges.

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2) Cycle Gear (US)

Cycle Gear is the next-best option for US stores. It doesn’t have Revzilla’s slick online storefront, but the inventory is there. Sometimes, deals here are better, so it’s still worth checking out when comparing prices. Flat rate shipping is also an option, but you pay more at $55.

3) FC Moto (Germany)

If you don’t mind the barebones layout and non-English reviews, FC Moto is an obscure European option with great discounts on brands like Schubert, Held, Ixon, and Macna. Unlike the two US options above, shipping cost starts at €19.90  and will vary depending on how much you order. It’s a reasonable trade-off, considering the discounts available and our limited local options.

4) eBay

An oldie and goodie, eBay is a pioneer in online commerce. Choosing between sellers may sometimes feel like a leap of fate, but reviews and ratings in the hundreds and thousands can help you decide. The one really great thing about eBay is that some sellers offer competitive prices and free international shipping.

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If you decide to order from these stores, have a credit card or PayPal account ready. These will make your transactions a breeze.

Deals and trade-offs

Shipping costs are the main bummer for online shopping. But they’ll be easier to stomach when you factor the following in.

1) New arrivals mean discounts for past items.

Like fashion, motorcycle gear has its seasons. When stock arrives for new cold weather gear, you can bet that summer gear is already going on sale. Timing purchases with these seasonal inventory changes is a foolproof way to save money.

2) Missed the sale? Go open box.

Stores like Revzilla and Cycle Gear offer discounts on items that are basically brand new if it weren’t for open boxes, slight blemishes, or minor wear and tear. If you don’t mind gear that’s not 100% mint, you can easily save 40-50% off (or more).

Shipping it to the Philippines

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Ah, the home stretch. The package is so near, but so far away. You can’t completely avoid red tape, but you can work with it.

1) Get your package tracked if you’re wary.

It costs more, but the peace of mind is worth it. Periodic package updates are always welcome, because the wait is long. Expect to twiddle your thumbs for about three weeks (and that’s considered fast).

2) Take your ‘en route’ date to the post office.

This is the date when customs clears a package and sends it to your local post office. If you know this date, you don’t have to wait for that little paper notice in the mail. Pay a visit to the post office with your tracking number, en route date, and address handy.

3) De minimis is your friend.

Thanks to an update to the Philippine tariff code back in 2016, the de minimis value for goods purchased outside of the country is now P10,000. If you shop but don’t exceed P10,000 (including shipping), you’re tax-free! But you still have to pay the P112 handling fee.

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4) Avoid express mail service (EMS) because it’s proven to be slow.

Spare yourself from headache from going to EMS in Pasay City. And you might have to brush up on customs codes like a law student to avoid questionable fees.

If you’ve got tips and hacks we missed above, share them in the comments section.

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PHOTO: Aris Ilagan
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