Saturday, February 8, 2014

Roadcrafter Light - Initial Thoughts

Another gorgeous day with few clouds and bright, fresh snow covering up all of the dirty snow. At this time of year, this is the sun position at solar noon, i.e. this is as high as the sun got today. But we are starting to get some thermal gain as you can feel a little warmth when looking towards the sun. This is in contrast to December and January, there is very little warmth from the sun.

When I arrived home, there was a box waiting for me with my Roadcrafter Light. Back in November, I had a hard time deciding between the grey with hi-viz or the hi-viz with grey. I ended up ordering the grey with hi-viz. Around two weeks ago, I got an email indicating that the grey was back ordered and it could be several months before the material gets in. The material for my other choice was in stock and they would be able to start making it immediately. Back in November I tried on the recommended size and it was too tight lengthwise so I'm glad that I actually went to the store to try it on. Just as the sales person indicated, it fits perfectly. I was a little skeptical as it is a long. I guess I have a long torso and short legs.

The TF3 armor seems pretty thick and rigid but according to the documents, that could be due to the cold. I had also ordered the back pad but it wasn't in the shipment and just sent off an email asking about it. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the "Light" is no longer made in Vietnam but is now made in the USA. At least according to the label. It also included a packet of zipper lube but not really sure if I need it yet.

There is a reinforced opening for the power cord for the heated gear to pass through but I haven't figured out a good location for the Gerbings dual controller. For now it is simply attached to the lower pocket using the clip on the controller. Looking forward to trying it out tomorrow! If nothing else, I should be easier to see…

Saturday Morning Update - It cooled off overnight and we are seeing more of the normal winter weather. Clear and cold. It was -22°F when I left the house this morning. A good test for the new suit. I went for a short ride to meet some others for breakfast and afterwards rode around some, stopped for coffee at College Coffeehouse before heading back home. With just the heated liner, I was able to feel the cold in some areas like the back of my upper arms where there are no heat wires. I don't think that the Gerbings liner has much, if any, insulation. With my fleece liner over the heated liner, I was toasty warm. At these temperatures, both the Gerbings gloves and liner were on full as well as the heated grips.

This is probably my lower limit for riding as the visor would ice up whenever I slowed down or stopped. The pinlock insert really helps prevent fogging but once ice forms, it doesn't melt quickly. Opening the visor causes the fogging to ice up at these temperatures. The visor is more of a problem than staying warm. I also would like to find a better location for the Gerbings controller as I can't simply glance down and see if the lights are blinking green and amber. The controller shuts down and blinks red if the voltage drops too low if, for example, the engine needed to be restarted. Usually, I don't think about it until I start feeling the cold.

I had a tiny concern about all the hi-viz as ChrisL from EverydayRiding mentioned that he wouldn't want to have to look at that bright color all the time. But just about all of it is outside of my normal vision while riding.

Aerostitch says ten seconds on or off for the Roadcrafters but I'm in the minute plus category. But it takes me longer than that to put on my boots.

Just thought I'd throw in the photo depicting a discussion over who gets the sunny spot…

23 comments:

Trobairitz said...

WooHoo! Hope you enjoy the suit as much as Brad likes his.

redlegsrides said...

Looking forward to the report on the suit's comfort levels while riding.

RichardM said...

I hope so. After all of the positive reports and especially from Brad and Chris, I don't think I'll be disappointed.

RichardM said...

Went for a ride this morning (Saturday) and updated the post. So far, very happy with my purchase. The material seems stiff compared to my FirstGear stuff but that stuff is getting pretty worn.

Martha said...

I love the white light in your first photo. My first feeling was one of refreshment. When we have had bright clear blue skies and white light recently it's calming and exhilarating at the same time.

Sweet and funny last photo. When that situation happens with my two cats one of them throws a punch and the other one hisses and slinks away.

SonjaM said...

So, now all we need is a pic with you in said suit ;-)

Trobairitz said...

Unless the pup sits on the kitty, it looks like the kitty wins, or do they share the sunny spot?

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

Lots of happy customers using those suits around here; I'm sure you'll get more and more comfortable with it.

There's a fair amount of communication in that last photo :)

RichardM said...

Tripod for the phone not available...

RichardM said...

It's been really bright these last couple of days.

I think the cat was suspicious of the dog's motives.

RichardM said...

The dog eventually lay down and blocked the sun so the cat moved on to it's tree which is in the window.

Lucky said...

Thanks for posting this, I was curious to hear how that suit was going to work out for you. I'm impressed that it kept you comfortable in those kinds of temperatures.

VStar Lady said...

Great looking new jacket Richard....'tis the season for ordering new gear. Love how the cat and dog share the sun even if it's just for the moment. In this house, cat rules, dog drools!

RichardM said...

I've heard a lot of positive and not too many negatives about them. And I like the concept of only one set of gear. On my last road trip, I took two sets plus rain gear. It must've been half of my gear.

RichardM said...

One piece should be warmer than two but even with the FirstGear coat and pants, I rarely needed more than the Gerbings liner and there wasn't room for a second liner.

RichardM said...

I've been looking at their gear for a while but the one piece suits always seemed like it would be cumbersome. After Brad and Chris L got them and had nothing but positive reviews, I felt more confident. Especially after seeing the workmanship.

The key seems to be getting a good fit.

Unknown said...

Richard:

I've never tried on a one piece suit. Perhaps I may like to have one. I don't think there's anyplace around here to even see one, let alone touch one

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

Brad had both a regular and "light" versions so I could see the difference. Plus he demonstrated how easily it went on and off. I have a one piece rain suit and I thought that it was a real hassle as the leg openings weren't large enough for my boots. This meant that you had to remove your boots to put it on. Poor design. The Roadcrafter long zipper, neck to left foot, makes it easy to put on and off.

The plan is for this to be the only riding gear on trips. No raingear and not needing different gear for warm and cold weather. The "light" is supposed to be cooler than the regular Roadcrafter.

Conchscooter said...

Aerostich rocks. Made by actual riders. Wish I could justify a tactical but I wear mesh 90% of the time.

Dar said...

Very cool! Richard I still think you are amazing to be riding in such cold! You now have a superman suit. I think if we start travelling more I would consider something like this, it makes sense. Love the pic of the puppy and kitty they look so cozy and snugly.

RichardM said...

I was concerned about how warm it could be in hot weather but I've been told that the light is pretty well ventilated and not too hot.

RichardM said...

It's not much different to be out riding in these temperatures than those on snow machines. The main problem isn't the temperature but the visor icing up.

SonjaM said...

Simply ask the wifey ;-)