Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Palm Beach County, Fla.
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
One-piece commute suit in SoFla: 'Stich, Stealth, Motoport?
I want to buy a one-piece suit that's suitable for the South Florida climate, doesn't look dorky, and is convenient to me as a medium-distance, non-highway commuter. In my searches here, I haven't found many posts for people with my needs, and that surprises me -- there's no way that I'm unique.
I commute daily, ran or shine, in Palm Beach County on the east coast of Florida. The distance is about 9.5 miles each way, on roads with speed limits of 35 and 45 mph. Typically, I stop at a red light seven times on my way home, in the afternoon when it's hot and often rainy in the summer. This is an important point, because a lot of clothing advice that I see here is geared toward people who commute on 55+ mph freeways, whereas I spend 40 minutes a day in stop'n'go.
Right now I wear Tourmaster (I think) mesh overpants. For a jacket: a perforated leather Dainese or an Olympia Airglide 2. The Olympia is better for rainy or cold days. Donning the gear is time-consuming so I want to get a one-piece suit that's fast and easy to put on and take off.
I'm considering the Aerostich Roadcrafter Light, the Olympia Stealth, and the Motoport Ultra Trek kevlar suit or Ultra Trek Air Mesh kevlar suit.
I have ruled out the Olympia Phantom because of lack of ventilation. Same with the regular Roadcrafter. I have ruled out Teiz products, for a couple of reasons: I have big hands and Teiz pockets are small, and more important, I don't like the look of Teiz suits. Teiz just isn't for me.
My concerns with the Roadcrafter Light: Possibly too hot in 80+ weather, which we have for much of the year here. Without a lining, I worry about accidentally dislodging the armor when putting on or taking off the Roadcrafter Light, and I worry about the fabric sticking to my sweaty skin. But I like the rain protection, and of the suits I'm considering, the Roadcrafter Light looks the least clownish.
My concerns about the Olympia Stealth: Less convenient to put on than a suit with a collar-to-ankle zip. A baggy look, and I'm not sure how protective it is. No built-in rain protection. I like my Olympia jacket but don't love it.
My concerns about the Motoport suits: The Air Mesh looks goofy with the black seat area. It appears that the Ultra Trek can be made without the black crotch area. Both suits verge on the clownish with the big gusseted pockets and black zippers. No built-in rain protection, although there's that zip-in liner for $200. (!) I am leery of Motoport's customer-service reputation.
Do you have experience with one or more of these, particularly in a hot, humid climate with stop-and-go traffic? Let me know the pluses and minuses of these suits! You'll help me and other riders who have similar commutes. There have got to be a lot of us.
Let me explain the sort of advice that I see here frequently, but which doesn't apply to me. Often, people advise wearing a wet T-shirt, or dousing one's clothes, to stay cool on their ride. But I'm not going to douse my office clothes, or strip down to a T-shirt in the parking lot. I truly understand that this is an excellent way to stay cool on a leisure ride -- but the advice doesn't apply to me on my commute, with my office clothes. Maybe you don't mind drenching your office clothes in water for the ride home. Fine. But I'm not going to do that. And to repeat, I live in the humid Southeast, not in the dry West. Ventilation and rain protection are more important here than in the dryer conditions one finds in, say, southern California or Colorado or New Mexico.