Manufactured circa 1999, my Aero-stich Roadcrafter has seen action all over the country on no fewer than three owners. Once known as the Red Baron, then the Pink Panther and now Old Pinky, my faded, hand-me-down riding suit is the most functional, practical and valued piece of riding gear I own.
Major fade not withstanding, the shell was entirely intact, although 10 years and thousands of miles of use had done a number on the hardware. The main zipper slider was snagging and jumping teeth, and the Velcro closures on the pockets and weather flaps had lost their grip. Most noticeably the suit was filthy, the tough Cordura skin encrusted with bug guts and road grime, accumulated dirt stiffening the fabric and compromising its water-resistance.
Billed as long-service, hard-use, everyday apparel, Aerostich's gear is supported by a team of service personnel. Although nothing could be done about that glorious fade, the Aerostich employee I spoke with on the phone assured me that their refurbishment and repair personnel could address all my other concerns.
So off my 'Stich went to Duluth, Minnesota, for some much-needed TLC. Included with the suit was a short note requesting the replacement of the zipper slider, a wash 'n' wax, and an armor update, with consent to perform any other needed work. The folks at Aerostich went way above and beyond, essentially restoring my suit to like-new condition for a very reasonable price.
Two weeks of being togged up in inferior apparel, and I was more than ready for my suit to return. Examining the repairs, I was blown away by the technician's attention to detail. I'd noticed the frayed liner at the hip and ankle, but didn't think it was worth mentioning. Evidently not. A novella of an invoice listed the work: Patch the lining in five places, re-stitch seams at the wrists and ankles, repair torn armor pockets and replace the majority of the Velcro sections, all in addition to the work I'd requested. I was afraid the tech had taken my "any other needed work" authorization as a carte blanche to rack up a huge bill, but the total cost was only $305, with most of the minor repairs billed at just $10 each. Considering the years of service I've gotten out of Old Pinky and the years I still expect to get, that's quite a deal.
My Roadcrafter felt like a brand-new suit after its spa treatment at Aerostich. The zipper slides smoothly, the Velcro flaps batten down tight against the cold and the new hard-shell armor feels every bit as comfy as the soft pads I'd had before, with significantly more protection. Washing the suit cleaned up the appearance a bit, but more importantly it softened the fabric-especially the suede collar-and restored its water-shedding abilities. Here's to seeing my 'Stich go another 10 years!
Aerostich Refurbishment Services
Price: $50 and up, plus shipping
Contact: Aerostich Rider Wearhouse
8 S. 18th Ave.
Duluth, MN 55806
Verdict 5 stars out of 5
Way beyond our expectations!