Clothing advice: Perfect gear for the work commute

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MCN expert Chris Dabbs is here to answer any questions you have on anything bike related.

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Q. I’ve recently started a new job that means an hourly commute. I will be riding my bike instead of using the old car - to reduce commuting time, reduce fuel costs and increase travel fun.

I have to arrive at work in a suit and tie. Are you aware of any decent kit that is designed specifically to fit over a normal suit, and is suitable for all-year-round big bike commuting?
Russell Brock, e-mail

A. You’ve got a couple of choices; Alpinestars sell the 360 Drystar oversuit and Aerostitch, a US company have the Roadcrafter suit which Deputy Editor Peter Baker has used for several years.

He really rates it for its convenience with a zip system that goes up the left leg and down the right so you can step into and out of the suit in seconds. It’s tailored to fit over a suit and tie without being too baggy with a variety of tabs and zips to allow you to fine-tune the fit. It’s also got nine useful pockets.

The cordura material is also about three times as thick as standard suits with padding, admittedly not CE-approved, at the knees, shoulders and elbows. Now it’s got a bit older, it will keep really heavy rain out for about 20 minutes before it starts to seep through the zip around the crotch area.

Although there isn’t a UK-importer for the Roadcrafter, their website at: www.aerostitch.com is easy to use and if you’re a bit portly they’ll do made-to-measure. It’s also a really good time to buy now because the dollar is so weak, a $727 Roadcrafter suit works out at about £370, although you might get hit by Customs for import duty as well.

Alpinestar’s Drystar retails for £325, but it is a lot thinner than the Roadcrafter, like a simple oversuit, and the zip system isn’t as good as Aerostitch’s patented system

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Chris Dabbs

By Chris Dabbs