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Thread: Aerostich Roadcrafter one-piece: yes or no?

  1. #1
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    I live in Seattle, I ride year-round, and I swear by my Roadcrafter one-piece suit.

    It works year-round in Seattle. What more do you need to know?

    The guy who works in the office next to mine got the Aerostich two-piece. He now wishes he got the one piece. I can get my one piece on and I'm walking out the door helmet in hand while he's still trying to get his pants on. Plus, there's no gap for water or cold air to leak through in the one-piece.

    I don't use heated gear, even in temps down into the 20s. The suit keeps all the cold air out, and my warm air in. This morning, it was 26 when I left the house, so I wore a heavy 400-weight fleece under the suit, and wore my wool-lined gloves. Combined with heated handgrips and handlebar covers, I'm toasty and warm for the 30-45 min. ride to work. If I were to spend the day riding in cold weather, I'd add a sock layer and wear long-johns under my jeans.

    When it's hot, the Aerostich can get hot as well - until the bike starts moving. As long as the bike is moving, the back vent is unzipped, the sleeve cuffs are opened up, and the pit zips are opened, tons of air will move through the suit, keeping you amazingly cool even in triple-digit heat.

    A few years ago, I was riding across the Cascades, from the high desert of Bend to Portland. We dropped down from the mountains into the Portland area on a 105 degree day. It was late afternoon, and the sun was blasting us in the face the whole ride west. The moment we had to stop for a stoplight, the sweating began - but the moment the bike started moving forward again, the vents started scooping and venting air, and the sweat evaporates in a few minutes.

    After five years and 60,000 miles, it's showing it's age. I've had to replace the hook and loop fabric in a few places as it wears out over time. I've converted the collar tab from velcro to metal snaps. The giant chest pocket zipper failed about a year ago, but I can't bear to part with the suit to have it fixed. Someday I'll get a 2nd suit, and then I'll send the old one in for repairs and updating so I'll have the perfect back-up suit.

    Definitely get the full suit instead of the two-piece. I love the small zippered pouch that velcroes to the left forearm. That's where I keep my key, my gas receipts, and my space pen to write mileage readings on my gas receipts. It's also great for change, toll tokens, a credit card and license, etc.

    I wash my suit two times a year. I remove all the pads, and then wash it once in our front-loading machine using regular clothes detergent. This removes most of the oil, grease, and grime. Then I run it through once again, this time without soap, to remove all soap residue. Dirt adheres to soap residue, and there is no faster way to defeat Gore-Tex fabric than to wash it once with regular laundry soap.

    Then I run it through yet again, this time using Nikwax "Tech Wash". This shampoo is designed for Gore-Tex items, and removes much of the dirt, oil and gunk from the pores within the Gore-Tex fabric, restoring breathe-ability and waterproof-ness.

    Then I'll run it one final time, this time with Nikwax "TX Direct", which is somewhat like Scotch-Guard in that it restores the water repellency to the outer layer of fabric, helping water bead-off before it can soak in to the fabric.

    I love my suit, and consider it my seatbelt-airbag-crumple zone-life preserver. When people ask me how much it costs, my stock reply is "less than a skin graft".

    The best anecdotal story I have regarding Aerostich suits:

    My next-door-neighbor is the Sgt. in charge of the neighboring county sheriff department's motorcycle detachment. He periodically leads track days for motor officers with his agency and for other area law enforcement agencies.

    A few years ago, at one of these track days, a motor officer was riding around the track at high speed on his R1150RTP. He went a little wide around a corner, the bike went off the pavement, and immediately dug into the soaking wet grass and earth. The front tire stopped immediately, and the bike - and officer - did approximately 8 or 9 high-speed somersaults down the track.

    The life-flight helicopter came and airlifted the deputy to the trauma center. The ER doctor cut away the suit, and proclaimed that the suit had likely kept the deputy's arms and legs attached to his body throughout the horrifically violent crash as centrifugal forces tried to dismember the rider. He had broken bones, but he was still alive and intact.

    That's all I needed to hear.

    I know I'm not invincible in it, but I know I'm much safer wearing it.
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

  2. #2
    Motorcycleton
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    Mar 2003
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    994
    Quote Originally Posted by Hammam View Post
    I am really tempted by the Roadcrafter for many reasons, one of them being that it looks very easy and fast to put on and take off....

    Am I right in thinking so, or will I be disappointed? What should I be aware of? This is a big chunk of money. What is your experience?...
    I purchased a one-piece Stich in the Fall of 1995. Riding during the Winter months was more pleasant (particularly when combined with heated gear!).

    I've ridden in day-long rain with extremely heavy downpours to punctuate less heavy rain. Once on an oilhead RS I got a bit of water entry at the neck, crotch, and wrists. Part of that may have been inattention to careful closure of various locations on the suit or gloves (and nylon rain mitt) at one of the fuel/head stops.

    On the way to the 96 MOA Rally in NC (July) I was comfortable wearing shorts and t-shirt beneath the Stich (all vents open). On the way back the heat & humidity were higher and I suffered. The last couple of hundred miles back home had me stopping about 15 minutes after riding 30 minutes. I had to drink water and stand in the AC of whatever little shop was nearby. Now, I just wear mesh pants and jacket in hot, humid weather with wicking underwear. It was still really hot this summer going to and from the MOA Rally in PA.

    With respect to the claim of fast on/off - that is relative. As I get older I get less flexible. It is about a minute for me to don or doff the Stich. I did find that the Stich apparently shrunk somewhat while hanging in the closet (I've noticed this with other clothes also :-). I sent the Stich back to the folks at Rider Wearhouse and had the 2-inch wide inserts placed in the mid-section (gussets?). That (and more frequent trips to the gym) have kept the Stich wearable to this day.

    Each Fall I get the Stich out and hang it from a tree branch outside (using the heavy duty hanger supplied with the suit). I then use a couple of cans of Camp Dry on the suit exterior. This is pretty effective at keeping the suit rain resistant (that and keeping the closure points more tightly sealed).

    I've never tested the road abrasion resistance of my Stich. I have considered a Teiz Lombard riding suit ($299) as a backup, but as of yet haven't actually made an order. On ADV many folks seem satisfied with the Teiz suits for a lot less money.
    http://store.teizms.com/lombard

  3. #3
    Just me rad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OfficerImpersonator View Post
    The guy who works in the office next to mine got the Aerostich two-piece. He now wishes he got the one piece. I can get my one piece on and I'm walking out the door helmet in hand while he's still trying to get his pants on. .
    One can only pray that this man has a role in your office no more challenging than pushing around the mail cart. The two piece has one extra vertical zipper, it takes at most 5-10 extra seconds to don it compared to a one piece.



    That is of course if your co-worker is smart enough to leave them zipped together.

  4. #4
    Registered User Brian-NC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammam View Post
    I am really tempted by the Roadcrafter for many reasons, one of them being that it looks very easy and fast to put on and take off, since I intend to use it for every day commuting and going to work. Except on very hot days. So, I can wear my regular clothes and be done with bike gear in a few seconds, while being protected from rain and what not. I also want to use it on the road.

    Am I right in thinking so, or will I be disappointed? What should I be aware of? This is a big chunk of money. What is your experience?

    Thank you.
    I have a 2 piece and it's fantastic. It's the Cadillac of riding gear (non leather) and a BIG plus is that it's "Made In The USA".

    I have a friend that wears his 1 piece year round in NC and it's freakin humid here in the summer. He opens all the vents and does very well. Of course hydration is the key to survive the summer no matter what you wear.
    Brian-NC
    (Matthews)
    Current bike
    2010 RT Ostra Grey

  5. #5
    Enjoy the Ride jjlawrence's Avatar
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    I have a two piece. Love the versatility. Use it mostly zipped together. Hi viz yellow with black accent top and all black pants. Two piece gives you better color combination options.

    Either way, break-in takes a while.

  6. #6
    On the Blue Roads RevWillie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian-NC View Post
    I have a friend that wears his 1 piece year round in NC and it's freakin humid here in the summer. He opens all the vents and does very well. Of course hydration is the key to survive the summer no matter what you wear.
    I wear my 2-piece Roadcrafter year-round.In the hot weather, hydration and wicking clothing works for me. In the cold weather, a electric vest and fleece jacket works great.I have worn Aerostich since 1986, had 2 serious crashes with a Stich on and my hide and knees were saved by the suits. I have a back brace velcro-ed in my current one, and feel a bit safer.
    Onward, through the fog!

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