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Tradeoffs - Himel Bros vs. Freewheelers?

willyto

One Too Many
Messages
1,500
Location
Barcelona
There’s so much variation in leathers when it comes to these brands.

I don’t think my FW Sunset leather or lining is the same as @dudewuttheheck ’s one for example. Or at least it doesn’t look like it to me. Probably because as I recall there was a Bootleggers era pre FW?
 

Dr H

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,004
Location
Somerset, UK
Here is my Freewheelers Brakeman in Sleeper Brown Shinki horsehide. Fading well, I think.
 

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dudewuttheheck

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,538
There’s so much variation in leathers when it comes to these brands.

I don’t think my FW Sunset leather or lining is the same as @dudewuttheheck ’s one for example. Or at least it doesn’t look like it to me. Probably because as I recall there was a Bootleggers era pre FW?

I'd love to see more detailed pics of yours for comparison. I would assume yours is also deerskin, but the deerskin could be different. The color certainly looks similar on yours at least. Do you know what year your jacket is from? I happen to know that mine is a 2014 model.
 

Cyber Lip

Practically Family
Messages
676
Location
Seattle
Something that I would recommend to anyone considering a Freewheelers...if you are between sizes, or are thinking one of their sizes, based on the measurements, is on the slim side but 'should' work...go with the next size up. Their jackets sport thick linings, even in the sleeves, and they also sport very high armholes. Both these aspects make them a snugger fit than just going by the measurements suggest
 

Colin G

One Too Many
Messages
1,149
Location
Canada
The four Freewheelers I have utilize a couple different cuts but fit pretty true to size so I will disagree with the comments advising to go up a size. If anything a couple fit slightly roomy. I will echo sentiments of very excellent quality and very precise stitching and the only jackets I own equal in quality would be the Rainbow Country jackets I have.

Thedi comes pretty close in stitch quality and precision of construction but the FW and RC jackets are on a different level and in my opinion were better and more robust utilizing thicker leathers and linings.

I have no experience with Himel but I do read instances here of fit issues and there is always one for sale at any given time. I see crooked stitching on a lot of Himel products which has turned me off. Seems communication with Himel is key regarding measurements just like Langlitz or Himel just botches jacket builds just like Langlitz. Langlitz is hit and miss and seems Himel is the same perhaps. I'd buy used and wait for one to pop up with the right measurements. With Freewheelers you know what you are getting by the numbers.
 
Last edited:

Cyber Lip

Practically Family
Messages
676
Location
Seattle
The four Freewheelers I have utilize a couple different cuts but fit pretty true to size so I will disagree with the comments advising to go up a size.

You misread my post. I'm not talking about 'marked sizes', or 'true to size' or anything else. I didn't say to go one larger than your usual marked size. I said something very specific, which was...that if by looking at the "measurements" it looks like you're about in the middle between two sizes, with Freewheelers, go up rather than down. I also said that if, by looking at the "measurements", it looks a tad smaller than ideal but still maybe do-able, don't do it and instead go the next size up.

I really hate having to repeat myself as I made it pretty clear in my post what I was talking about, but here it is, again...the reason for my recommendation is that, with FW, it's going to fit a tad snugger than the "measurements" would otherwise indicate due to the thick lining in the body AND sleeves plus the high arm holes. I have 3 FW myself currently and have owned a 4th, so I know what I'm talking about here. Trust me, I went through this myself with one that looked doable on paper but was too snug for the reasons I've mentioned, and that I had to sell on. And man, nothing is worst than biting the bullet on a jacket this expensive and that's non-returnable or exchangeable and having it not fit well! LOL

BTW no one should go by 'marked size' for any jacket. One should go by the specific jacket's exact measurements. I was pointing out that there are a couple factors that are not accounted for when just looking at the measurements with these jackets that eat up some of the interior roominess
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,107
Thedi comes pretty close in stitch quality and precision of construction but the FW and RC jackets are on a different level and in my opinion were better and more robust utilizing thicker leathers and linings.
I agree on stitch quality and precision of construction. I had 4 Thedi's and they were all pretty much flawless. But as far as leather and lining concerns, it simply depends on your own choosing imo. The buffalo Thedi's with cotton drill lining I had felt a bit lighter. My hh cross zip with thick wool lining and corduroy lined pockets and cuffs is pretty heavy and feels absolutely indestructible.
 

jeo

Practically Family
Messages
691
Location
Philadelphia
@Cyber Lip I agree, I personally don't think you should go by marked size and definitely need to take all measurements into consideration. On top of that you need to determine whether the cut will work for you or not.

However there are some people that aren't too concerned about having an absolute perfect fit. If you fall into that category you can most certainly just go by tag size.

@Colin G I agree with you about FW sizing when comparing to other Japanese makers in the same size. I would say they fit truer to size, although I never liked the term 'true to size'. Simply saying that a tag size 36 would fit a 36" chest is a very simplistic way to look at sizing in my eyes. Sizing is a tricky thing. Took me years and countless jackets bought and sold to finally figure it out.

But if I compare my brown Caboose and Mulholand, which are both tagged size 36, to my size 36 RMC and size 36 Flat Head jackets that I've tried on, the FW fit bigger than the RMC and Flat Heads.

With regards to Himel...I don't know man. To me Himel is the sizing master. I don't recall anyone here having issues with Himel sizes. Tried searching and couldn't find anything.

If they did have sizing issues it was because they probably bought it second OR they just messed up their measurements OR they bought a model with a cut that they didn't know wouldn't work for them.

If you know your measurements Dave and his team will nail it every single time and most of his cuts will fit a wide variety of people IMO. The only model that I've seen not work on some people is the Heron.
 

Brandrea33

Practically Family
Messages
655
https://www.thefedoralounge.com/thr...s-what-with-different-jacket-patterns.102283/

Although sizing/fit looks pretty good to me, judging from the photos.

Ah yes, the noobie owner from Canada here, that was me lol.

I’d say if anything that the jacket I bought from David is a perfect fit as he measured me and built the jacket. My fail, was to clearly communicate to David that I wanted to to layer under the jacket. Not his fault, mine.

In retrospect I should’ve worn the type of layers I wished to wear under the jacket when I went for my fit but alas, it was August and about 30C here so it didn’t dawn on me. Rookie mistake I guess.

I’m still toying with the idea of having him make me another jacket exactly the same but 1” PtoP larger and 1” larger in the shoulders. I met with a fellow FL’r a while back and he thought that would do the trick....

We shall see.
 

red devil

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,575
Location
London
Thedi comes pretty close in stitch quality and precision of construction but the FW and RC jackets are on a different level and in my opinion were better and more robust utilizing thicker leathers and linings

Echoing @Marc mndt , it depends on what you get. I did not find the FW jackets to use heavy leathers at all, mostly mid-weight - nothing wrong with that.
The thickest hide I have seen from them is the bull hide on the Little Wing I have, and that one is more or less comparable to the buffalo I have from Thedi.

On the other hand my gray cowhide CR is lighter than the little wing, and potentially the FW HH jackets.
 

Colin G

One Too Many
Messages
1,149
Location
Canada
With regards to Himel...I don't know man. To me Himel is the sizing master. I don't recall anyone here having issues with Himel sizes. Tried searching and couldn't find anything.

If they did have sizing issues it was because they probably bought it second OR they just messed up their measurements OR they bought a model with a cut that they didn't know wouldn't work for them.

This is what I was getting at by saying measurements are key with Himel but you said it better.

Sizing issues would be due to customer communication not Himel making the jacket incorrectly.
 

jeo

Practically Family
Messages
691
Location
Philadelphia
https://www.thefedoralounge.com/thr...s-what-with-different-jacket-patterns.102283/

Although sizing/fit looks pretty good to me, judging from the photos.

If anything it looks roomy in the waist but perfect everywhere else.

I think it might be more so the “newbie” factor (sorry for using that term @Brandrea33 but you used it yourself haha) and not knowing that unless it’s a motorcycle jacket actually meant for riding, modern leather jackets (I mean the ones that we talk about here, not the thin lamb mall jackets) aren’t necessarily supposed to be comfortable and allow for a whole lot of layering. They’re not really for warmth. Leather isn’t a great insulator. They’re kinda like wind breakers. If you happen to find a leather jacket that allows for a lot of layering and still looks nice, slim and flattering then that’s a real find! But it probably won’t be comfortable.
 

Brandrea33

Practically Family
Messages
655
34531EE8-6B78-4B51-8B96-912B36EBD123.jpeg
If anything it looks roomy in the waist but perfect everywhere else.

I think it might be more so the “newbie” factor (sorry for using that term @Brandrea33 but you used it yourself haha) and not knowing that unless it’s a motorcycle jacket actually meant for riding, modern leather jackets (I mean the ones that we talk about here, not the thin lamb mall jackets) aren’t necessarily supposed to be comfortable and allow for a whole lot of layering. They’re not really for warmth. Leather isn’t a great insulator. They’re kinda like wind breakers. If you happen to find a leather jacket that allows for a lot of layering and still looks nice, slim and flattering then that’s a real find! But it probably won’t be comfortable.

You are of course 100% correct in what you say. In fact, I remember when I was being measured by the man himself, he pretty much said so in so many ways.

I tried a 44 and a 42. The 42 felt too tight and the 44 was clearly too loose (albeit it felt more comfortable).
So there’s the rub ... comfort vs fit. I totally agree it’s a nirvana I may not find in this model. That said, I’m intrigued if a tweak here or there wouldn’t address my layering issue, without ruining the fitted appearance of the jacket.

Mine measures: 23” P to P, 18.75” shoulder, 26” sleeves, 25” long. If you go off the Himel size chart for this model I’ve got a size ?? I know size is irrelevant.
 

jeo

Practically Family
Messages
691
Location
Philadelphia
So there’s the rub ... comfort vs fit. I totally agree it’s a nirvana I may not find in this model. That said, I’m intrigued if a tweak here or there wouldn’t address my layering issue, without ruining the fitted appearance of the jacket.

Just like most people on this forum you'll come to the conclusion that you'll "need" more jackets for different occasions/climates/looks/what have you...;)
 

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