Race suit poll Please get involved

What do you look for in a driving suit


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billymanfroy

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Jerry,

ALL of those. I know that doesn't help. I have an insulated (3-layer) suit, and I sometimes even wear the nomex underwear. Everyone gives me crap and wonders how I don't suffocate in the desert, but I have to say it's pretty comfortable - especially at speed. Since I'm paralyzed from the chest down, I need to buy all the time I can in a fire. Maybe if I were able to leap out of the car easily, I'd go with the cheapest thing that would make it through tech. We're adding a new 10lb fire bottle now.

I've met Art Saveedra a few times, and I know Dwight Lunkley pretty well. That's all anyone should need to decide that fire is not the way to get hurt.

For a shop, I'd say your best seller would be the cheapest possible.

Billy
 

TRDshaunTRD

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Actually, I would think that the people who would be buying a suit are serious racers who put quality and safety first over cost. The average flatbiller would buy the cheapest just to look cool suit, but they aren’t the ones buying them, the racers are. I for one put safety first and price last and I would look for the highest level of safety and quality when my life is on the line. If you go cheap, whats the purpose of even buying one?

"Those who risk nothing, are nothing."
 

hoeker

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FWIW
my last suit came down to fit. i didn't have time(or budget) to go custom, i considered every option you listed, and picked out a suit, after trying it on i needed to do something different. i am 6' and 200 lbs, pretty average size really, but i had a tough time finding one that fit nice. i ended up going a little light on nomex, to get a suit that fit. now i just make sure i have good nomex underwear to go with it. i was greatful my supplier had different brands i could try on, they all are made to fit different.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.rosshoek.com>www.rosshoek.com</A>

Some are born great, some achieve greatness,
and some have greatness thrust upon them.
 

JeffS

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Ross, which suit was that. I'm 6'3 and 275#. I need a suit for guys that shop at big&Tall stores. I haven't tried a 2 piece, but it may be my only option as the last one piece I found was not good when sitting or bending.

Anyone had experience with a good 'big&tall' suit they can recommend?

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.RedRockOffroad.com>http://www.RedRockOffroad.com</A> - There is a fine line between Hobby and Mental Illness.
 

hoeker

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i could not find a single piece that fit, but your in a little different build catagory than me. i ended up with an extreme suit, i haven't tested it the hard way, but it held up on the track good last year. as far as fit goes the manufactures that do custom suits can tel you what the measurements are for the standard sizes and how to measure yourself for a custom suit. get this for the brands that are available to you for trying on and see how your physical measurements compare, then go try them on. some i was very close on in one brand, and other measurements in another brand. at that point, just see what feels best to you.

hope this helps, took me 5 suits ordered and a day at the store to finally find a nice fit. if budgets and time allow, it's a lot easier to just get a custom suit.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.rosshoek.com>www.rosshoek.com</A>



Some are born great, some achieve greatness,
and some have greatness thrust upon them.
 

Kritter

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Sparco will personally fit you up nice and the suits are second to none.

Kris
<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.barneysprecision.com/fabproducts.htm> Fab Parts</A>
 

Donahoe

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When it comes to Race suits I say GO_PIMPIN.... STAND 21 or nothing.

NEVER LIFT!!!!!
 

Jerry Zaiden

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The reason for this poll is to see why it is so hard to sell a $400 race suit. Just about every suit I sell people want the cheap suit, not the safe one. Sparco, MOMO, OMP, and Stand 21 all make good suits. I feel that Sparco and Momo make the best for the money. When I say the best Comfort, quality and safety. My first suit was a $150 suit that was not even Nomex. I did not know the difference. But now I do. I feel that Sparco makes a great suit for $399 and is a 2 layer nomex suit. I have seen a few race cars burn down and often wonder what would happen if there was someone inside "god forbid." A good suit with nomex underwear would give you a few seconds to get out. So please if you race look into this. I just a video on the whole safety thing and it scared the $h** out of me. I just do not want to see anyone get hurt.
 

TxPhPrerunner

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I'm not anywhere near ready for a race suit yet, but I checked quality. To me quality and safety are related in a race suit. If it's not safe Its junk. I could just use some jeans an a t shirt if the race suit isn't safer. In reality I will look for all 3 when I do buy. I will look for the one that will give me the most safety, durability and best fit for the money and get that one. The desert can be a dangerous place, last weekend proved that. I wouldn't want to be a statistic because I saved money on my safety equipment.

I don't live on the edge. I fell over long ago.
 

TxPhPrerunner

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A little clarification. I'm not implying that safety equipment had anything to do with either of the incidents Saturday but rather should I ever be involved in any kind of incident I would not want to die because I cut corners on safety. I know this is a touchy subject (with good reason) and I don't want to be miss read.

I don't live on the edge. I fell over long ago.
 

Brian Mapes

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Having a crappy race suit is in a way like having a crappy roll cage. They both put your life in danger.

You gots to pay da cost to be da boss. - Snoop
 

ntsqd

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Jerry, I think people forget what it is they are buying when they see that $400 price tag. They see the $400 and then the $199 next to it and can't tell the difference. Then they figure that $200 is better spent on some part that will make their car faster. All the while forgetting why they really need a suit in the first place.
I'm afraid it's going to be on your shoulders to thoroughly educate your customers (those that will listen) as to why there is a difference in price. Maybe an adjustment of the price range of suits you carry is in order ? What's that term my friend uses, Market Discrimination.
I worked retail in a different 'hobby' industry, but one where there are significant safety issues too. If I was not comfortable with a given safety product and a customer was asking about it, I told them "We carry that because some of our customers want it, but I do not think it will do what it should." My bosses weren't real happy with that, but first and foremost I had to be comfortable with whether the product would do what it was intended to do and they came to accept that. The last thing I wanted was for someone to get injured because I did a 'sales job' on them and sold them a POS.

Is there any kind of standardized test for longevity of a suit in a fire ? Is it possible to point to the $400 suit and say "In a non-fuel saturated fire test this suit will give you approximately 15 seconds to get out, where that $199 suit is only good for 5 seconds in the same test. " ?

HTH

TS

I used to swerve around my halucinations, now I drive right thru them.
 

JasonHutter

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I would be careful talking about how long you have to get out. There is a system that rates the suits and I don't have the info right now. The thing you need to be careful with is telling someone they have a certain amount of time. If they are in that kind of environment for just a second and take a breath, they are done!

Jason
 

Jerry Zaiden

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One of the tests was..
Du Pont, the manufacturers of Nomex, carry out exhaustive tests on suits whether F1 Drivers or fire fighters using life sized manqein, equipped with computer-linked sensors. The analyzed data from Thermo-man is used to calculate simulated burn patterns.
"Thermo-Man" has 120 electronic sensors on his hands, torso, arms, and legs.
The suit is engulfed in a 1,000 c flame for a pre-set period, a scenario equivalent to being caught in a chemical flash-fire.
This test simulates what is potentially the most lethal situation likely to be face by fire fighters.
test...
1) Fire-proof cotton vest and leggings. = 4.5 seconds and burns over 58%.
2) Nomex vest and leggings. = 8.0 seconds and burns over 18%

I will get more data on this in the few days.
 

hoeker

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another interesting peice of info that i would like to see is if all manufactures have the same standards of what a "single layer" is. IE. is a single layer simpson, equivalent to a single layer sparco. also, what does going from single layer to double, to triple do to these numbers, i would assume the ratio is parabloic, not linear. is this correct?

fire has to be the single biggest fear of mine personally, i torched one hand good many years ago, and have never experienced anything even close on the pain scale. no expense should be spared on fire protection in the race vehicle, and QUALITY fuel cells. personally i am dissapointed with what i see let on the race track in this area, maybe your sanctioning bodies are better, but in my opinion a bladder cell should be mandatory.

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.rosshoek.com>www.rosshoek.com</A>

Some are born great, some achieve greatness,
and some have greatness thrust upon them.
 

jeff

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If your head is worth $1.00 dollar, go out and buy a $1.00 dollar helmet. The same applies for anything safety related. Get Art "The Tech Dude" in here and I'm sure he'd be happy to drive the point home.

I'm sure a display would work wonders where you had a small propane torch "test" system that proved the difference in protection between the two suits.

Eight seconds? That ain't squat when your on fire. By the time you realize you are on fire you've wasted at least two seconds... calm down enough to realize it's time to get the hell out and start undoing the belts is easily another two seconds... and if you are on your lid you better damn well plan on spending twice that time trying to get undone. That still means a cheap suit isn't even adequate for a best case scenario fire... and who ever heard of a best case scenario fire?

Reading that last paragraph takes about 12 seconds. Reading these final two sentences takes closer to four seconds.

Aloha
 

ntsqd

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Not to hijack, but Art is an inspiration.

Good point about not creating the mindset of "I have 12 seconds to get out of this car". I was more interested that the customer have quantitative data than what form that data took.

TS

I used to swerve around my halucinations, now I drive right thru them.
 

Jerry Zaiden

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The time does not mean you have seconds to get out it means you have this many second until you bur this much! So the more you burn the less you you will be able to get out. But like Jason said if you take 1 breath you are done! This is where the pumper should have a good sound improvement! I do not think the paper element would work so well in a fire.
The point of this topic is on race suits so please lets stay there.
 

Tim_Price

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For good info on this subject try the SFI Foundation web site. They test and approve (or don't approve) just about everything for racing in this country, including drivers suits. If it's not SFI-approved, SCORE won't let you race in it. I know a little about this because SFI just approved a T-shirt I developed for wearing under your drivers suit. Most suit makers recommend that you wear fire-resistant underwear (to protect you not so much from direct flames but from "heat transfer" which I'm told is how most race accident burns occur ) but I couldn't find anything except Nomex. And I saw a lot of guys wearing non fire-resistant cotton t-shirts. So I've started making long sleeve desert racer T-shirts with Valzon, a fire resistant fabric used in industrial applications that's 45% cotton, so it feels like a regular T-shirt. The cotton content means it can wick away perspiration to help you feel a little cooler. And the fire resistant property won't wash out over time like Proban does. I call them Flame Lab™ T-shirts and you'll be able to see them at the Baja Bros. Airstream trailer at some contingencies or at the new www.bajabros.com web site (which should be up and working by next week).
 
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