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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I started looking for safety gear because I may try to run in Lemons or a similar race called "Beater Bash." Stuff like fire suits, etc get really expensive really quickly. I realize that you get what you pay for, but are there any insider secrets to getting good equipment without spending a ton of money.

I don't have any equipment needed to run wheel to wheel so I'd need a new helmet, driving suit, gloves, shoes, balaclava, neck restraint, etc. All that stuff adds up to a grand easy and way more if you go with a HANS, which isn't required, but is a safer option.
 

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If you check around you can sometimes find good clean second hand gear on the cheap. I just sold a Snell 2000 G-Force SA rated helmet for $75 last month, too bad you weren't looking at the time. I have an SFI approved driving suit I will be parting with soon too. If you are about 5'10" to 6' and around 175-190 lbs it might even fit you.
 

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I was excited about possibly being able to arrive and drive at Lemons for ~$600 but the $1,000 safety gear
$1000 is CHEAP. I've got about $1950 in my gear.

Generally speaking, when it comes to firesuits, the cheaper suits are bulkier and hotter. I started with a G-Force 3-layer suit (meets NASA's rules without the Nomex underwear,) that was almost unusable. Inside a race car, it was WAY too bulky and restricted movement. I was also roasted alive in it. I sold that at a huge loss and bought a Sparco 3-layer suit. The difference was night-and-day. The Sparco breathes, has knitted Nomex gussets in the shoulders to give more freedom ov movement, but most importantly, the layers were MUCH thinner and I didn't overheat as much in the thing. WELL worth the $800 I spent!

Get a HANS -- period. Wear it whenever you're in a car with a real 5+ point harness (most are useless with factory belts.) Hubbard Downing makes a budget-oriented unit now from high-strength plastic instead of carbon fiber. A LOT of the AI guys are using that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm not saying that its not cheap by comparison to what others are spending on safety, i was just surprised that I was going to be spending at least a grand or more on the equipment. I had never looked into it before
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Mmmmm..... Baclava. That's good stuff. Great for curing mid race hunger but its gets a little sticky if you wear it on your head.

I don't plan on skimping out of safety equipment, just looking for good deals.
 

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And you only have to buy it once.[/QUOTE]Nope -- sorry. Helmets age-out (10 years is the maximum, and if your timing is bad, you may only get 5-6 out of a halmet before it ages out.) SA2000 helmets (like mine,) will age out sometime in 2010 or 2011, depending on when the SA2010 helmets become available. Helmets also are useless after an impact and must be re-certified before they can be used again. Driving shoes wear out, just like any other shoe (here's a hint, don't walk around in them -- take 'em off as soon as you get out of the car!) FRC suits (Fire Resistant Cotton,) lose their fire resistance with repeated washings. And gloves go through a lot of wear and tear. This stuff does wear out and age out over time.
 

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I had the same issues when I was getting ready for my first LeMons.

Didn't think it would all add up so quick!

I went with a good Simpson Helmet, Oakley shoes and gloves, and shared a simpson suit with a friend.

The suit worked well, but what sucked is if he was driving I couldn't help over the wall because I didn't have a suit on, and vice versa. Will be buying my own suit for the next race.
 

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Ok, it doesn't last forever, but you shouldn't be shelling out all that cash at once again. A pair of gloves and shoes every year or two shouldn't be a big deal. If you plan on crashing, bonking your helmet, and setting yourself on fire once a month, I'd suggest taking basket weaving classes to consume your time instead.
 

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Google G-force outlet. They usually have new but blemished safety equipment for about half off. Dont know if I'd get a helmet there, but I've gotten gloves and a driving suit.
 

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Yep. It adds up fast and there aren't lots of cheap ways to do it. I put a roll/harness bar in (NASA/SCCA specs), FIA race seats (cheapest you can get here is about $290/seat), FIA 6 point harness, HANS (new low cost model), SA2005 helmet (newer ones have built in HANS anchor points built in) in last season for close to $3200 and that doesn't include the fire suit/gloves and full cage I'll be doing next year.

You can get an engine or a decent front suspension replacement for that price.

However, its cheaper than not walking away from an incident. Once you research it and mentally figure out the real cost, you just have to mentally suck it up and do it. None of it makes you faster which is the emotional hurdle you have to first overcome.

Good luck with the decision.
 

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I started looking for safety gear because I may try to run in Lemons or a similar race called "Beater Bash." Stuff like fire suits, etc get really expensive really quickly. I realize that you get what you pay for, but are there any insider secrets to getting good equipment without spending a ton of money.

I don't have any equipment needed to run wheel to wheel so I'd need a new helmet, driving suit, gloves, shoes, balaclava, neck restraint, etc. All that stuff adds up to a grand easy and way more if you go with a HANS, which isn't required, but is a safer option.
My advice is to only buy as much equipment as your life and safety is worth. Got a $100 brain? Get a $100 helmet. Don't need to hang onto your head in case of some hard contact? Don't bother spending the $1,000 or so for the HANS. If you go with a cheaper suit with less protection, and don't mind burns in the case of fire, skip the nomex underwear to bolster the protection. What are a few burn scars when you can save a couple hundred bucks or so.

Frankly, if you can't afford the gear to go racing, you can't afford to go racing.
 
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