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Old 09-22-2020, 07:18 AM   #1
echo7tango
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Riding suit recommendations, daily street commuter, rain/shine

After a few years not riding, Iíve been back on the bike since January for commuting mostly, and the occasional cruise / short trip. With winter rains coming (hopefully, we sure need it), Iím seriously considering my first riding suit.

What do you recommend?
Why?
How long have you used it (time / miles)?

My considerations include, in order of preference:
  1. Good protection
  2. Visibility / conspicuity, including good reflectors
  3. Convenience, easy on/off
  4. Good venting, Iíll wear it on hot summer days. I can add layers in winter if needed but venting is a key feature.

Years back when I was regularly riding, Aerostich was far and away the best. Is that still the case or have other manufacturers caught up or surpassed them?

I prefer a one piece suit. Iíve commuted many years and miles by bike, and in all kinds of weather, but have never before had a 1-piece suit. To my eye the Aero R-3 Light and traditional Roadcrafter suits look good.

Thanks in advance from this long time member, rare lurker, and even rare poster.
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:24 AM   #2
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The 'stich Roadcrafter is still the commuter suit. Klim has a comparable suit but lacks the fitment/customization that 'stich allows.
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by dravnx View Post
The 'stich Roadcrafter is still the commuter suit. Klim has a comparable suit but lacks the fitment/customization that 'stich allows.
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Darien Light works well for the bay area
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:36 AM   #4
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:40 AM   #5
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The 'stich is still among the best, if not the very best, for what you say you need- barring the ventilation part.

It isn't as well ventilated as some other suits are.
Behind the fairing of an RT you won't get any flow at all, really. But then, on a bike like that, that'll be true of pretty much any suit.
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:09 AM   #6
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Here's the real question.

What are the "bad suits". They're all a spectrum of utility, protection, convenience, and price. And everyones needs and such are different.

And the top brands are all top brands for a reason. Can you really go wrong picking any of them that you just like? Are there brands that are on the "Heck no!" list?

Wearing ANYTHING AT ALL suitable solves 90% of the problem that's trying to be solved, and everything else is a fractional difference.

You should probably not buy your no name gear off of Walmart site, for example.

Much like helmets, the important fact is that you wear one at all, so buy the one that fits and is comfortable and isn't a Dodgers batting helmet.

So, is there anything that someone should stay away from?
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Old 09-22-2020, 01:44 PM   #7
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I've got a very nice BMW Rallye suit (4) for sale.... pants and jacket in great shape.
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Old 09-22-2020, 02:10 PM   #8
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I use an Aerostich R-3 for commuting most of the year minus the hot months. My suit is about 7 years old and occasionally leaks in the rain. I just had all the velcro replaced over the main zipper, which will hopefully help. I've worn it in temps up to around 90 degrees for commuting while still being comfortable. Above that it gets pretty stuffy.

During the hot months I use Motoport mesh pants and a mesh jacket (currently a crappy Joe Rocket one, but one day will upgrade to a Motoport).
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Old 09-22-2020, 04:01 PM   #9
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I would argue that it is going to be very hard to beat the combined protection and convenience of the Roadcrafter. Once you get the hang of the two zips, you're either stepping into or out of the suit in less than 30 seconds. I own separate jackets and mesh pants but find them much less convenient to get in and out of to the point that I commute in the roadcrafter year round, rain or shine, hot or cold. Unzipping the cuffs, pit zips and back vent gets some airflow going on those hot days as long as you can keep up some speed. If you're moving slowly, you're going to be hot in whatever you wear. On cold winter days, I just layer up. Its not uncommon for Bay Area days to start with temps down in the 40s and end with temps in the 70s. Jackets often come with zip in liners, however, the amount of faffing needed to add/subtract the liner can be considerable; layering is the way to go. Really, my only gripe is water leakage in the crotch but I believe the newer models have addressed that shortcoming by moving to waterproof zippers.
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Old 09-22-2020, 04:04 PM   #10
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I would argue that it is going to be very hard to beat the combined protection and convenience of the Roadcrafter. Once you get the hang of the two zips, you're either stepping into or out of the suit in less than 30 seconds.

I own separate jackets and mesh pants but find them much less convenient to get in and out of to the point that I commute in the roadcrafter year round, rain or shine, hot or cold. Unzipping the cuffs, pit zips and back vent gets some airflow going on those hot days as long as you can keep up some speed. If you're moving slowly, you're going to be hot in whatever you wear.

On cold winter days, I just layer up. Its not uncommon for Bay Area days to start with temps down in the 40s and end with temps in the 70s. Jackets often come with zip in liners, however, the amount of faffing needed to add/subtract the liner can be considerable; layering is the way to go. Really, my only gripe is water leakage in the crotch but I believe the newer models have addressed that shortcoming by moving to waterproof zippers.
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:56 PM   #11
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I commute year round in the same suit. For my 40min commute even 112f days was manageable. After getting the R-3 I haven’t worn my other gear for any ride.
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Old 09-22-2020, 06:29 PM   #12
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Thanks for the feedback so far. Some of it very good, and it sounds like Aerostich is still going strong in the industry. Good to hear.

Maybe 10-15 years ago I remember an MCN article (Motorcycle Consumer News, R.I.P.) comparing a few one piece suits and IIRC there were maybe about 5-6 good choices...? Don't remember what they were now, but it appears that the competition tried to beat out Aerostich, and Aerostich won out. If that's true then that might be the way to go for me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dravnx View Post
The 'stich Roadcrafter is still the commuter suit. Klim has a comparable suit but lacks the fitment/customization that 'stich allows.
For Klim I found one option, their Hardanger 1-piece suit: https://www.klim.com/Hardanger-One-Piece-Suit-3737-000

Looks good, but on their site every size is reported to be sold out(!).

I do like their hi-vis vest. Depending on what I get I might add that. https://www.klim.com/Vantage-Hi-Vis-Vest-3525-000



Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisweir.com View Post
Thanks, but, no 1-piece suits. I didn't see any at least, unless I missed it/them.




I'll look more at the Aerostich R-3. I've just started my looking, today. And with these prices it'll have to be a well-considered decision, so I probably won't order before the baseball postseason starts. If I have to deal with the rain with what I've got, I have enough gear for that. Not optimal, but it'll keep me dry.

Oh BTW one jacket I have has a lot of mesh. I'll have to check what it is (I drove my Jeep today). I was fine wearing it in the hottest summer days, because most of my commute is on 101 on the peninsula. Maybe 3-5 miles on city streets & expressways. On the RT, yes it's a big fairing but on the super-hot days I just leaned over to the side to get the air onto my mesh and it was fine.

I have ridden in the summers in Phoenix when it's near 120, and also St. Louis when it's 95 with 90% humidity. With good mesh and a great wicking base layer, as long as you're moving you're good-to-go. My wife and I rode 2-up one summer from Phoenix to Sedona to the Grand Canyon to home here in the SFBA, and that's what we wore, good vented protective gear and only a wicking layer beneath that. Keep moving, and you're fine. And it was really HOT from Seligman AZ over to Barstow CA on I-40, but if you're moving you almost get cold even. Camelbacks with ice water helped a lot too. Anyway, enough of that.

I'll keep reading and looking, looking and reading. Thanks again.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:34 AM   #13
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https://www.motoport.com/product-cat...e-piece-suits/

Motoport does make 1 piece suits. Only downside is the rainproof layer goes under suit. Upside is my Motoport (pants only for me) have kept me drier than my Aerostich over the years and provide significantly more breathability with mesh and protection. It has armor everywhere and feels like it would protect better in a crash than the Stich, which is also no slouch. I joke that my Motoport pants can stand up on their own due to the armor.
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Old 09-23-2020, 06:18 PM   #14
echo7tango
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Thanks, @danate. The category is listed right on the main page. I missed that. DUH. I’ll look at them.

My mesh jacket is from Tourmaster. It’s really well vented.
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Old 09-23-2020, 06:30 PM   #15
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I'll add one more thing to this discussion. Just visited a dealer and tried on the new Klim Marrakesh jacket and I fell in love. It's made out of a material very similar to Motoport's stretch kevlar and provides incredible ease of movement while still having D3O CE rated armor. Combined with the pants and their packable rain proof pants and jacket, it makes a formidable commuter setup. In total, it would be around $1300, which is not far off from a one piece suit, however it would provide more versatility. This jacket combined with the Klim airbag vest I have on the way is going to replace my current crappy Joe Rocket mesh jacket I've been wearing in the summers.
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