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Discussion Starter #1
... to see Aerostich, of course.

Aerostich v. Motoport v. Olympia Phantom v. BMW gear v. <fill in the blank> is a frequent topic of conversation here -- and for good reason.

Mrs. hschisler and I decided today (after a year of jabbering about it) to jump in the car and drive to Duluth. We'll be there Monday morning when they open, and will try on the various Roadcrafter and Darien options. If anyone has any last-minute suggestions (what to look for, what not to bother with), please post them here; we'll be able to check email tomorrow night from another hotel, probably.

Why the car? Because the forecast for Duluth was snow showers and lows of 17 degrees. Not real conducive, IMO, to a LD bike ride.

Whether or not we come away from Aerostich with new gear is unknown, as they don't keep everything in all sizes in all colors in stock. They will have, however, something in every size to try on, and if we need alterations or want a different color we can wait for that.

I'll share our experience after we get back.
 

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Whoo hooo Road trip

Howard

While u and the misses are up there trying on the latest fashions .....
tell them to hurry every chance they get to complete my repairs

i broke the zipper in the darian pants and they are replacing it for me
also a few stitches on the coat

not bad for 5 years and 80,000 miles

my vote is Darien coat and pants in my opinion they are the most versatile
over a one piece but you and only you can make that call.

have a great trip and enjoy the store
i have only been there on the internet via their cams.
 

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hschisler said:
... If anyone has any last-minute suggestions (what to look for, what not to bother with), please post them here; we'll be able to check email tomorrow night from another hotel, probably.
Ok, I'll try a few.

Judy and I have made many trips along Superior's north shore and we enjoy -

The Glensheen Mansion in Duluth
World Famous Betty's Pies - just past Two Harbors
Split Rock Lighthouse-past Betty's Pies

All on Rt 61 heading north as I-35 ends. Everything up to Split Rock can be seen on an easy day trip from Duluth.

Also, in Duluth, the Maritime Museum at the lift bridge is pretty good.

Duluth has a new Aquarium but we never heard anything good about it and never visited ourselves.

Not sure where your staying, but Canal PArk, by the lift bridge, has lot's of the usual shopping and eateries. Grandma's 2 places are fairly popular.

Have a great time, and hope you find a suit that works.

Also, don't know if Lake Superior froze this year, but if it did and still is, you'll love that:)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ridesalot said:
...my vote is Darien coat and pants in my opinion they are the most versatile over a one piece but you and only you can make that call.

have a great trip and enjoy the store
i have only been there on the internet via their cams.
Thanks, Kim. Given that the Aerostich is already known to be a high-quality product and already meets other criteria, my main goal is ease of entry/exit. The Roadcrafter leaking zipper problem seems to affect some and not others, so if I end up going with that route and it happens to me... well, I have no one to blame by myself.

I can see the versatility behind a two-piece setup v. a suit, but I've never tried on the Darien pants so I don't know if they zip all the way to the floor or not. If they do we'll probably go that way.

BTW -- we stopped last night in Lebanon, IN, just north of Indianapolis. Don't know how far that is from you, but I'll wave as we're leaving later this morning. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
bowlesj said:
Ok, I'll try a few.

Judy and I have made many trips along Superior's north shore and we enjoy -

The Glensheen Mansion in Duluth
World Famous Betty's Pies - just past Two Harbors
Split Rock Lighthouse-past Betty's Pies

All on Rt 61 heading north as I-35 ends. Everything up to Split Rock can be seen on an easy day trip from Duluth.

Also, in Duluth, the Maritime Museum at the lift bridge is pretty good.

Duluth has a new Aquarium but we never heard anything good about it and never visited ourselves.

Not sure where your staying, but Canal PArk, by the lift bridge, has lot's of the usual shopping and eateries. Grandma's 2 places are fairly popular.

Have a great time, and hope you find a suit that works.

Also, don't know if Lake Superior froze this year, but if it did and still is, you'll love that:)
Thanks John!
 

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lebanon is close

Howard

The leg zipper on the pants does zip to the floor
for easy off and on

The 2 piece takes longer to put on but if you want only the coat
some days then that works also..

Although the one piece is quick on and goes over "office" attire and
no one knows that "biker" has a suit on.......

I will call you monday am if my stuff is done they may let you bring it
to me hmmmm????? if you are taking the same route back.... if you have other plans i know the UPS truck knows the way to my house.. so no worries
 

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Did it by mail!

Howard,

I just did the Aerostich comparison by mail, by ordering both the Darien and a two-piece Roadcrafter. Shipping between Duluth and South Bend only takes two days, so I figured paying some shipping costs was a lot cheaper than traveling there (but perhaps not as much fun). They graciously told me to try both sets on, take a ride and decide before shipping one back for credit.

Didn't take me long to decide I liked the Roadcrafter much better, mainly because of how the suits fit ME. The Darien was like a large parka, much longer and blousier than I prefer. The pants fit me well in the waist and seat, but the wide width and bagginess of the legs didn't appeal to me. It does indeed have full length zippers, so you may really like them.

The two piece Roadcrafter impressed me. It fits a little sleeker and was more comfortable, perhaps not as stiff as the Darien. The legs of the pants fit snugger than the Dariens and have preformed knees which were more comfortable. The waist and seat of the Roadcrafter pants are supposed to fit loose, like overalls would. Attached to the jacket, one can still step into the suit like you would the one-piece Roadcrafter. I preferred, however, to couple the pants to one of their bib converters, so I can don the pants and jacket separately. I like to be able to take the jacket off in a restaurant without losing the pants if I so choose. I also have a shorter torso, so zippering the two pieces together would leave the pants a little droopier than I prefer. The bib converter lifted the pants up to where I want them (without pinching "the boys" of course), but retains the loose waist fit. Aerostich recommends the loose waist fit for comfort and suggest wearing your top layers under the bibs or tucked into the pants if attached to the jacket. Tried it and it works nicely...very comfy. The loose waist fit also promotes better air circulation in warmer weather and accomodated the optional hip pads very nicely.

I found the Roadcrafter jacket more comfortable with its microfiber lined collar. The sleeves and body of the jacket fit more like a motorcycle jacket than a loose fitting parka. No danger of sleeves fluttering in the breeze or elbow armor twisting out of position. I also purchased the back protector which I find comfortable and it doesn't interfere at all with using the Bakup backrest on my LT.

Compromises? Sure....the long leg zippers might leak in an all day rain. The softer collar doesn't fit quite as snug around the neck as the Darien, so there a chance for seepage there as well. BUT...that being said...I rode home from the open house at Grand Rapids BMW Saturday and encountered more than an hour of steady rain. With some layering under the jacket (temps were hovering about 50 degrees) the collar was snug enough and tucked under the edge of my helmet enough that I didn't get a drop down my neck. The leg zippers didn't leak either, so I stayed totally dry. Riding in 50 degree rain, I was toasty warm, thanks to my Gerbing jacket liner (which fit nicely under the jacket and bibs), and DRY...which was a delight. I loved being able to just keep riding instead of the ritual of pulling over to don a rain suit!

So....it will come down to your preferences of how the different suits fit YOU. Their service is TOP NOTCH, and they have earned my repeat business as a result. I was able to buy from in-stock merchandise by choosing the light grey jacket with black ballistics instead of the blue I'd originally thought I wanted. I went with black pants with black ballistics which is what I'd originally wanted and liked the contrasting black pants/grey jacket look. By choosing the two-piece suit, I was able to get a 44 jacket coupled with a 42-long (made for a 36 in waist) that fit me well. Because the pants are meant to be loose, there is more room for size error in the pants because one needs to zip them to the jacket or wear the bib converter to keep them up anyway. I was more concerned with the leg length and fit.

In a perfect world, I could have gone totally custom making the zipped together suit better fitting. A short jacket size with customed lengthened arms; and a regular pant with its slightly shorter rise with customed lengthened legs would have mated the zippers together giving me a better fit in "zipped together as one-piece" mode. BUT...custom jackets and pants are not returnable, so I was glad to receive the instant gratification of the in-stock sizes. Plus, I would have spent at least $100 more on the custom sizes. I ordered Monday evening (they're open til 8 pm) and the suits were on my doorstep Thursday! After trying the suits on for the fitting trial, I would have waited about 3-4 weeks for the customs if desired. Keeping the stock sizes will make them easier to sell somewhere down the line if I do later decide to go custom...or if I elect to change to a different suit later.

In summary...I'm very pleased! It's one classy suit that looks great, is comfortable (not as stiff as I thought it would be) and fits me well. I'll deal with the necessary fabric maintenance and possible waterproofness compromises as they occur. I liked the nylon lining of the Roadcrafter pants and jacket. Seemed better finished than the unlined Dariens. That may make them a little hotter in the summer...but since I resort to my First Gear Mesh when the weather gets really hot...that wasn't a concern to me. I'd planned all along for this to be my main cooler weather suit and it will be comfortable in any weather below 80 degrees.

Good luck at your "fitting" appointment. You will know exactly what you need by trying everything on. Smart move and a fun trip for both you and the Mrs.

Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Paul, thanks for the fabulous, detailed comments. It's that kind of detail (along with others, received from other threads previously) that brought me to this point. I believe you're right that a good fit can be obtained via mail order, but because of the size of the investment in this gear I need to be here in person to see if this is the gear I want to go with, and if so, to choose between Roadcrafter and Darien.

Tonight, we're in a hotel 20 miles up the road from Duluth, in Two Harbors, MN. When we got into town a couple of hours ago, coming through downtown Duluth, we found the Aerostich building. It looks like a very old abandoned warehouse (as I was already warned about), but the looks of the building is the last thing I'll care about when I'm using their products.

I borrowed a pair of Roadcrafter pants w/bib converter from a friend on this site and was pleased that the leg zippers didn't leak in a one-hour ride in steady rain. I'm curious how you avoided the dreaded wet crotch syndrome with your Roadcrafter in your ride in the rain?

I'm having trouble visualizing how the two-piece Roadcrafter can work just like the one-piece, but that question will be answered tomorrow morning!

Did you try the Darien Light gear?

Kim, we're going home a different route -- across the UP, down through MI, to Toledo and then Columbus and home. I know you're in Indiana but I don't know where. If you'd like to meet up somewhere in MI or OH on Tuesday to pick up your Aerostich gear I'd be happy to do that. If that doesn't make sense, route-wise, then we'll meet up some other time. If you want to make meeting arrangements, give me a call on my cell phone at your convenience. Don't tell anyone :rolleyes: but the # is 740.974.3524.

John, Lake Superior is mostly clear, but there's a lot of ice still in the shallower portion of the lake between MN and WI. Very cool to see that much frozen water. We had dinner at Betty's Pies; nice dinner and nice people. Oh yeah -- nice pie! I can see that another trip to Duluth is needed; we'd like to see the area in summer or fall. We drove by the Mansion on the way to our hotel in Two Harbors.
 

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hschisler said:

You don't mention it, but I'm curious if you got the dreaded wet crotch syndrome with your Roadcrafter in your ride in the rain?

Did you try the Darien Light gear?





Nope....stayed completely dry! I didn't order any of the Darien Light gear, but it's my understanding that it's cut the same as the regular Darien...just lighter weight fabric, which would make it cooler in the summer.

Good luck!

Paul
 

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make sure you wave to us all when you pass by the web camera :) ;)
Enjoy your visit. They tried to get me to give up my Rukka jacket but I held on to it. But, I did buy their Kanetsu electric vest. Love it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update

The trip to Duluth was a success. I tried on the one-piece Roadcrafter, two-piece Roadcrafter, Darien pants, AD-1 pants, and Darien jacket. Ended up (after a lot of trying on & taking off) with the Darien pants and jacket.

We weighed the pros and cons of each setup. Really, really liked the fast on/off of the Roadcrafter, and was ready to walk out with a two-piece Roadcrafter until I tried the Darien pants on. They are almost as easy to get into and out of as the Roadcrafter pants and may do a better job of keeping me dry. I also like the zip-in Darien fleece liner because of its two-way zipper, something I look for in any jacket or coat I wear. I needed one alteration to the jacket, so since I would be waiting for it anyway I had them remove the map pocket velcro strips from the pants. I'll never use those. Should have them both in 4 weeks.

Aerostich has really done their homework with all of these products, and if I had a bag of money sitting around I'd have the Darien AND a one-piece Roadcrafter for commuting-only days.

Thanks to everyone -- in this thread, and in others -- who offered real-world experience and comments on this topic. :) Paul: if you're curious, I ended up with black pants and gray jacket, similar to your setup. I would have gone with that combination regardless of which Aerostich suit I ended up with. It may not be the most visible while on the bike, but it's the least intrusive when anywhere else.
 

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Howard - let me be the first to congratulate you on your purchase! I really thought you would go w/ the 1-piece, but I'm glad you got to go and try on each one to find what was best for you. Enjoy!!
 

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Congrats, Howard!

Sounds like a very successful road trip. Glad you found what you were looking for!

Are we stylin' or WHAT!


Talk soon,
 

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I've been following this thread waiting on your response. Thanks for the update. I've been toying with the idea of the Darien myself.

I recall reading somewhere that Aerostitch is doing a re-design on the Darien jacket to be announced this spring. Has anyone else heard that?
 

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Glad you're pleased with your purchase and trip. Congrats on your purchase and the comfort of knowing how it fits and feels in advance.

Hope we get to see you in your new uniform later in the month.
 

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new suit !!!!!!

Congrats Howard

You will really like them in the rain ... and the cold... and well you get the picture and that is what we want

PICTURES ..................

PICTURES ..................
 

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Howard, Aerostitch should have given you the suit because after this thread there will be many suits sold as a result of your findings!

Now, I see a road trip to Minn soon!
 

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I still stand by the claim that my Darien jacket and pants would be the last to go from my closet if I could only have one set of gear. They remain the best things I've ever purchased for use on a bike. If I'm riding more than an hour or two, and the temp is below 85F, the Darien gets the job done like no other gear.

I liked my 1 Pc RC. and love my Oly Phantom for commuting but the Darien gets the nod as best overall.

Consider sending your new jacket to AnnieGS over on ADVrider.com. She does a micro-fiber collar mod that's worth it's weight in gold.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
pdrstraw said:
Sounds like a very successful road trip. Glad you found what you were looking for!

Are we stylin' or WHAT!

Talk soon,
Thanks, Paul.

Well, I don't think we'll be holding hands as we walk down the aisle of a rally :rolleyes: , but yeah, I'd like to compare your black/gray Roadcrafter to my black/gray Darien. I got the new-style Darien and the "new gray" color is slightly different.
 
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