Transit Two Piece Suit
- Product Review (submitted on May 23, 2012):
The Transit was my fourth riding suit purchase from Aerostich. The first two were two piece Roadcrafters, the first more than twenty years ago. Along the way I picked up a Darien Light in hopes of having something more comfortable to use in the summer, but it really doesn't flow enough air. So when the Transit came along I was anxious to give it a try, especially in the hot summer sun.
I wasn't disappointed. Though a bit heavier than the Roadcrafter, and lots heavier than the Darian Light, the Transit's heft is only noticeable the first few times you put it on. And after more than two years and tens of thousands of miles, I don't notice it at all. At first I missed the large number of pockets from the other 'Stiches, but the Transit has enough pockets to get the job done. In trade I haven't lost anything in the Transit pockets yet because it's easy to check 'em all quickly. The only thing I really miss from the Roadcrafters is the sleeve pocket, which is handy for toll money, but since leaving the San Francisco Bay Area I don't need it and don't miss the commute traffic in the least. The lining in the Transit makes it easy to get on and off, and feels good against my skin if I decide to wear just a T-shirt underneath. With an electric jacket and a wind blocker fleece it'll keep me warm down to freezing. With synthetic shorts, pants, and long sleeve shirt it's comfortable (as long as I'm moving) to over a hundred degrees. I haven't figured out how to keep rain out of my collar yet, but everything else has been bone dry after a day spent in the rain.
I purchased mine large enough to wear pants and several layers of shirts/jackets underneath, so it's a bit baggy on my skinny frame. It won't win me any fashion contests, but that's the Aerostich way. My wife, however, loves the leather, and even likes the fit, especially the pants. I use a Bison Designs Last Chance belt which looks great, is easy to open and close, and may someday come in handy in case I need to rescue myself from going over a cliff.
Only three nits so far: The snap above the pants zipper pulled out of the fabric in the flap because the snap was always stiff and never eased up. The Bison belt keeps the flap in line so I haven't bothered to get that fixed. The left leg zipper is getting bad where it passes the knee. I've tried soap and bees wax to help it along, but it's time for a new zipper. It's been almost a year since the Rider Wearhouse staff commented on repairs here, and I was hoping for some good news but so far nothing. Lastly, no care instructions seem to be available. I've talked to several folks at Rider Wearhouse since the purchase and none of them can be any more specific than "use a quality leather conditioner". One of the things I really valued about my Roadcrafters and Darien is easy repairs and clear instructions on how to keep them clean and waterproof. The Transit is a vast departure from that standard, and for such an expensive purchase, I'm feeling a little anxious at this point. Just today I used saddle soap and a leather conditioning product from Griot's Garage in an attempt to get the bugs off and restore some of the suppleness to the leather. The color has faded on the front and top of the jacket and pants, and the leather near the zipper seams has lost all its color. The Griot's product helped bring some, but not all, of the new look back. It smells good, just like new auto upholstery. Sure hope I didn't screw up the breathe-ability of the perforated leather though.
At the end of the day the real question is "would you buy another Transit suit?" My answer is an unqualified "YES!". It's easily the most versatile riding suit I've ever used, it has a level of protection and padding far above the offerings from BMW, First Gear, etc. and hopefully with proper care it'll be the last suit (unless I "grow" or crash out of it) i'll ever need.
My wife also rides, and wishes there was a version more tailored to the female physique. Since her birthday is next month, I do, too!