Men's Roadcrafter Classic One Piece Suit
- Product Review (submitted on August 25, 2009):
I bought my first, and so far only Roadcrafter, a one-piece in Grey, in about 1997. It is late 2009, and it is still fine.
I have slept on my back in the woods in the rain for four hours without getting wet, (tilting slightly to the right). I have ridden fifteen hours at temps below 35 degrees, without undue discomfort (with a good windscreen, a Kanetsu vest and appropriate layering). I have ridden three days straight with temps between 102-106F and midwestern humidity and full sun, and as long as I was moving, it was about as comfy as you could get (not very). I have ridden two days through the southwestern desert, with temps around 108 degrees, and I was cool as I could get, and water consumption was down to a quart every three hours, compared to a quart every half hour with a leather jacket and jeans. I commute around Minneapolis in temps as low as 8 degrees F, and the problem areas are the neck and hands, not the suit. I have seen four thunderstorms in a day, nearly gotten hit by lightning (felt a shock in my left hand), and above the belt, I was dry. I have hit a car and not broken anything.
Around 12 years, 120,000 miles, all those adventures, and still the same suit. It has been repaired maybe three times. They are incredibly good about it. There was even an occasion where I showed them a problem I was having, ten years after I bought it, and they told me it was a manufacturing defect and fixed it free! What planet is this?
You can be wearing a three piece suit on a customer call (which I have done a lot) or just be in your undies (which I have not) and you can just pull it on over your biggest shit-kickin' boots and zip it up. An absolute must for commuting/ grocery getting, and darn handy otherwise.
Only bad point: My old model allows water in right over the zipper of my pants, so after a half hour of heavy rain, I look incontinent when I take it off. I hear the new ones are better. But if you keep riding, it does sort of breathe and dry out.
Hidden advantage: You look like some kind of road worker or lineman or other professional- the style is understated, and above all, you don't look like you're showing off. I credit this with the sudden cessation of speeding tickets upon starting to wear it. Silent grey fellows are just less noticeable to cops.
Is there anything better? Not for utility, durability and efficiency. Is there a better value? I doubt it. Is there greener? Not much. They last long, they are repairable, and they are almost entirely domestic, parts and labor.
Trust me, if you ride, you need one. Save the extra money it costs by riding a cheaper bike. Enjoying your bike has more to do with wardrobe than you think. Ride to Duluth (a good idea for countless reasons) get one.