The annual Aldi motorcycle gear sale kick starts at 8am on Saturday (August 13, 2016) with a wide range of cheap and good quality gear.
When the doors open there is expected to be big line-ups of buyers at all stores waiting to get their hands on good-quality bargain gear from $9.99 for a pair of socks to $169 for a leather jacket.
Just because Aldi gear is cheap does not mean it is necessarily bad quality.
Last year, Neuroscience Research Australia’s Dr Liz de Rome, a rider since 1969, told the NSW Parliament’s Motorcycle Safety Inquiry that there “is no association between the cost of garments and their protective value, when you look across the spectrum of what is available”.
“Cost and brand name is no indicator of whether the garment is fit for purpose,” she told the Inquiry.
“We have to find a market mechanism to force the manufacturers to improve their products, and to enable that through what the riders buy.
“The best quality product in the market in Australia today is probably the stuff in Aldi.”
(Liz is NOT an employee of Aldi, nor a paid spokesperson.)
This year Aldi will stock the usual range of open and full-face helmets, leather and textile jackets, leather and denim pants, socks, bluetooth intercom, but no women’s clothing.
New to the range this year are a paddock stand ($49.99), bike ramp ($79.99) and motorcycle t-shirts ($14.99).
Aldi sent Motorbike Writer samples last year of their full-face helmet, jacket and thermal neck sock for review. We also bought some socks at the sale to join our other Aldi socks.
We have been using the products frequently over the past year and can report that there have been no failures – not even a hole in the toe of the socks!
An Aldi spokesperson says their motorcycle products are “top quality” and “properly certified”.
“The majority of the Aldi Torque motorcycle protective clothing adhere to strict European safety standards for abrasion, impact and cut resistance,” the spokesperson says.
“Our motorcycle jackets and non-denim pants meet EN 13595 Level 2 Certification and have an abrasion resistance of between 12 and 19 seconds. Our carbon knuckle and padded leather motorcycle gloves are both EN 13594 Certified. The full-face and open-face motorcycle helmets meet Australian and New Zealand safety standards and are AS/NZS 1698 approved, and SAI Global stickered.”
Euro labelling can be confusing, but riders should look for is EN13595 (level 1 and 2) for clothing where the abrasion resistance for level 1 clothing is 4 seconds and above, and level 2 is 7 seconds and above.
The number for the armour approval standard is EN1621-2 (previously EN1621-1) followed by a letter which corresponds to the location such as S for shoulder, E for elbow, K for knee etc.
The prices are so cheap and the number of items so low, you can guarantee most of the good stuff will be gone in short time.
The items Aldi sent me seem reasonably good quality.
Interestingly, the full-face helmet they sent me is back and it is still Australian-approved, even though UNECE22.05 is now legal across the nation for sale and use.
While the helmet feels a little on the cheap side, at $79.99 that’s understandable.
It includes a drop-down visor with a locking mechanism that feels a little flimsy, but has not broken in the past year. The main visor opens and closes fluidly and quietly like on a more expensive helmet.
The Chinese-made helmet comes in matte black, gloss black, graphic black or graphic silver with a spare visor and replacement cheek pads, and a quick-lock chin strap.
The plush inner lining feels comfortable and has lasted well. It’s also a reasonably quiet helmet for a poly.
They also sent a $9.99 motorcycle neck wrap which is soft and stretchy with windproof material in the front. I’ve used it on many occasions.
It sits around your neck and some way across your shoulders so you don’t get air leaks. It works really well. It uses Velcro fasteners for an exact fit on any size neck.
Last year they also had various balaclavas available, but they are not listed this time, but may be available in some stores.
Other products include carbon knuckle leather gloves at $34.99, long boots at $89.99, denim and leather pants from $69.99-$139, rain jacket $34.99, rain pants $24.99, base layer and midlayer tops $19.99-$44, men’s leather jacket $169, open-face helmet $49.99, bike cover $29.99 and Bluetooth intercom $59.99.
Aldi does not stock motorcycle gear permanently, but holds their annual sale to encourage new customers into their shops.
Aldi opened in Australia in 2001 and now has 429 stores, up from 365 stores last year in all states and territories except Tasmania and Northern Territory. Find your closest store.
The Aldi spokesperson says all products come from overseas. “The innovation and quality of our international products cannot currently be matched here in Australia.”
They say their prices are kept low by eliminating all “costly extras and overheads by selecting only the best products in each category, displaying products in reusable crates and not giving out plastic bags, which also encourages customers to recycle”.
They also don’t have customer loyalty programs or expensive point-of-sale displays.