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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Default Rain or shine commuters

I work downtown New Orleans and commute 10mi each way. The free parking i had access to has been prohibited now so im looking at spending $120-$250 per month to park.

Or

Motorcycle parking remains free, right next to work!

So, Im thinking about giving full time bike commute a try, rain or shine. This means appropriate gear. I have to stay dry, so im considering a one piece suit and boots? Dont want to go buying all kinds of stuff that isnt really necessary. But i think at least a $500 suit is a must. Something i can jump in and out of quickly. Id love to hear what kind of gear u guys use for full time bike commuting. Or is this idea just a little nuts?!

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 03:08 PM
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I'd spend way less than $500.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, i have no clue. I just know that if im not comfortable (cold/wet) ill likely get frustrated and give up on the idea. Im thinking if i get quality stuff maybe can stick with the plan just long enough to pay for the gear. Lol!

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 03:45 PM
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I have used Wally World rain suit and works pretty good my ride to work is 53 miles one way got a frogg togg rain suit for Xmas wore one time and got a hole on the right side from the heat so I would not recommend it

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 03:56 PM
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Im not familiar with the weather in NO....but isnt is generally kinda warm and rainy, not balls cold out and rainy??

Secondly - are you the type of person that is concerned more about outward appearances, or do you value function over form?

The reason I ask is because an Aerostitch suit would be perfect for your needs - but they are usually worn more by adventure bike riders than cruiser riders... If you are concerned with how you look to others, then this isnt going to work for you. They are a one piece suit that zips from ankle to neck - you literally step into and out of it, over your regular clothes. But they leave a little to be desired as far as styling goes - hasnt changed design since they came out in the 80's. Kinda ugly, but very practical.

I commute three out of four seasons, skipping out on the cold ass winter months. I have a Frank Thomas branded (used to be sold at Cycle Gear...now its BiLT crap...but you can still order Frank Thomas stuff online from England) Force Aqua jacket - pretty much waterproof, as I have driven in pouring rain before and my clothes stay dry. I use waterproof gloves (tip - take an old windshield wiper blade and cut it down to 3 inches and glue it to the left hand glove's forefinger - great for wiping away the rain!) and Rain-X on my helmet visor, as well as Fog City shield inside the visor to keep fogging down. I have a pair of First Gear waterproof overpants as well. Lastly, I have a pair of Tourmaster waterproof boots.

Most important thing about riding in the rain is to remember that you have to increase your following distances, as breaking will be harder. You must also do everything you can to avoid metal manhole covers, and do not be alarmed when you grab some throttle at a stop light and your rear tire spins like hell when it touches the paint from the crosswalks. Lastly, remember that you are already freaking invisible to drivers, and you are going to be even LESS visible, since they do not have wipers on their rear windows. Ride with your high beam on all the time. (Thats what I do, and its legal in CA to do so...might want to check your area laws...)

I commute on the bike not only to save money, but to save my sanity as well! Public trans costs me $190/month, but parking the bike is only $70/month. Add 6 tanks of gas at $14/tank, and Im still $30 ahead, and it only takes me 20 minutes to get to work/home, rather than 1.25 hours. No such thing as traffic on the motorcycle!

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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Im not familiar with the weather in NO....but isnt is generally kinda warm and rainy, not balls cold out and rainy??

It's generally warm, and stupid hot almost 9 months out of the year. But we get 2 months or so of cold rainy weather down to mid 30s. And this is primarily what concerns me most.

Secondly - are you the type of person that is concerned more about outward appearances, or do you value function over form?
I definitely use to be, but not any more. Comfort and function over looks now.

The reason I ask is because an Aerostitch suit would be perfect for your needs - but they are usually worn more by adventure bike riders than cruiser riders... If you are concerned with how you look to others, then this isnt going to work for you. They are a one piece suit that zips from ankle to neck - you literally step into and out of it, over your regular clothes. But they leave a little to be desired as far as styling goes - hasnt changed design since they came out in the 80's. Kinda ugly, but very practical.

I commute three out of four seasons, skipping out on the cold ass winter months. I have a Frank Thomas branded (used to be sold at Cycle Gear...now its BiLT crap...but you can still order Frank Thomas stuff online from England) Force Aqua jacket - pretty much waterproof, as I have driven in pouring rain before and my clothes stay dry. I use waterproof gloves (tip - take an old windshield wiper blade and cut it down to 3 inches and glue it to the left hand glove's forefinger - great for wiping away the rain!) and Rain-X on my helmet visor, as well as Fog City shield inside the visor to keep fogging down.
This right here is worth gold. I will save all this in my notepad for future reference

I have a pair of First Gear waterproof overpants as well. Lastly, I have a pair of Tourmaster waterproof boots.
So do you generally stay dry head to toe in this attire after riding through the rain? And if not, what is the weakest part of this setup? I'm thinking about a 1 piece suit to eliminate any seams that might leak. And as I said before, I don't mind paying a little more (~$500) to get something of decent quality

Most important thing about riding in the rain is to remember that you have to increase your following distances, as breaking will be harder. You must also do everything you can to avoid metal manhole covers, and do not be alarmed when you grab some throttle at a stop light and your rear tire spins like hell when it touches the paint from the crosswalks. Lastly, remember that you are already freaking invisible to drivers, and you are going to be even LESS visible, since they do not have wipers on their rear windows. Ride with your high beam on all the time. (Thats what I do, and its legal in CA to do so...might want to check your area laws...)
I have to agree, learned all this from experience as well. Laws here are very laxed. I love it.

I commute on the bike not only to save money, but to save my sanity as well! Public trans costs me $190/month, but parking the bike is only $70/month. Add 6 tanks of gas at $14/tank, and Im still $30 ahead, and it only takes me 20 minutes to get to work/home, rather than 1.25 hours. No such thing as traffic on the motorcycle!
Sounds like we're in a very similar situation. It's not really so much about saving money for me (I just like to be able to justify my decisions via math, it seems less crazy that way). It's more about time and convenience of having the bike on the side of the building ready to go after work. No 12 floor parking garages to deal with and traffic congestions are easier to bypass on the bike. Plus I don't see the value in paying MORE to also be MORE inconvenienced.

2007 Victory Hammer (Nuclear Sunset)
2012 Vstrom Adventure 650
2006 Suzuki M50 (Black) - Traded
1995 Mustang GT... Work in Progress...

Last edited by Marius; 01-16-2013 at 09:50 PM.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Looked into Frank Thomas and AEROSTICH. They both look like darn good options. I am also considering the SPIDI brand. It's an italian company that seems to be very well rated and respected. This part if very confusing because there is so much stuff out there, for all kinds of different riding and weather. I'm just not entirely sure what I actually need.

I guess it breaks down like this:

9 months out of the year it's too hot to be wearing anything more than a t-shirt.

But then 2 months is where I need warmth to handle mid 30s.

and it's going to rain a lot in both hot and cold weather.

So something like the SPIDI EARO 05 might work, which is multi layer (3) and therefore seems very versatile. However, this one is not one piece. Not sure what to make of that though.

Dang, i don't think i'm gonna get this right on the first try.

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2012 Vstrom Adventure 650
2006 Suzuki M50 (Black) - Traded
1995 Mustang GT... Work in Progress...

Last edited by Marius; 01-16-2013 at 10:20 PM.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 09:38 AM
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For the price, you can't beat this Firstgear one piece suit.

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...iece-Suit.aspx

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, that one got my eye too. Right now olympia stealth and phantom are both on sale for $199 and $299 respectively. They have outstanding reviews and are half the cost of aerostich. Im doing some reading on both of those right now. Will probably get one of them, havent decided yet, but leaning towards the phantom for no compromise warmth when i need it.

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2006 Suzuki M50 (Black) - Traded
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marius View Post
Looked into Frank Thomas and AEROSTICH. They both look like darn good options. I am also considering the SPIDI brand. It's an italian company that seems to be very well rated and respected. This part if very confusing because there is so much stuff out there, for all kinds of different riding and weather. I'm just not entirely sure what I actually need.

I guess it breaks down like this:

9 months out of the year it's too hot to be wearing anything more than a t-shirt.

But then 2 months is where I need warmth to handle mid 30s.

and it's going to rain a lot in both hot and cold weather.

So something like the SPIDI EARO 05 might work, which is multi layer (3) and therefore seems very versatile. However, this one is not one piece. Not sure what to make of that though.

Dang, i don't think i'm gonna get this right on the first try.
Do not fear, my friend! You can get it right the first time!

SPIDI is a very good brand - I come from a sport bike background, and SPIDI has been around for many years as a top of the line manufacturer. I cannot say anything bad about them (other than price! Can be expensive, like Dainese branded stuff...) That jacket is $600 - you can spend $200 on the Frank Thomas jacket that does the same thing!! The Force Aqua is basically two jackets in one - you can wear the "anti-freeze" liner as a lite duty jacket, wear the outer shell as a medium duty jacket, or combine both for a heavy duty winter jacket. My only warning about these kinds of jackets are that you might want to try them on first - Ive found that, when I wear them both together, there isnt much room for another layer underneath... HOWEVER, that said, Ive ridden in temps as low as 40* with nothing more than a regular v-neck tshirt as the bottom layer with the jacket over it. Actually quite impressed with how warm I stay...

As far as one piece vs two piece suits...sure, one piece is going to be a little easier to put on/remove. But as far as rain protection goes, as long as you have a 3/4 length jacket that goes well below your waist, you do not have to worry about leaks.

The one weak point of ANY gear set up is going to be around your neck. If you spring a leak, its likely going to happen here... If you have a one piece suit on, its going to run down the entire suit. If you have a two piece on, your bottom half stays dries. To prevent these issues, I also use a cycle gear "freeze out" balaclava - you know, one of those things robbers in the movies wear to cover their faces. Lastly, there is also a product that attaches to the bottom of your helmet called the NOJ quiet rider, that blocks out wind and rain and cold...once installed on the helmet it is easy to use. Install is simple as well - just slides between the shell and styrofoam inside. I have one of these too, and it kicks butt when its really cold...only problem is fogging inside the visor, since there isnt any circulation of air unless you are moving...


I wish my commute was only 10 miles. Instead, its twice that, and in heavy heavy traffic... So I just dont risk it when its really cold and rainy out.

2003 Vegas - straight pipes, Big Sucker air filter kit, black powder coated everything - foot controls, handlebars, clutch and brake housing, fork lowers, luggage rack, wheels, digital speedo with powder coated housing. Relocated key switch, red plug wires. Mustang solo seat. LED ring blinkers in front. Black DEI pipe wrap.
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