Two years old and still looking new
It's November.You've got five hundred miles to ride across four counties, two mountain ranges and a variety of different roads. What to wear?
Leathers? What if it rains? What if the temperature drops when the sun goes down? Where do you put your phone, wallet, egg and cress sandwiches??
I've been wearing this Rukka two-piece suit for nearly two years now, rain and shine and it has become my bestest biking friend. It's light, tough, super-comfortable and utterly waterproof. For all but minus zero temperatures, it's possibly the best piece of bike kit I've ever owned.
And so it should be. At just under two grand for the trousers and jacket it's a big investment by any stretch of the imagination. But it's kind of two suits in one - leathers and waterproofs.
Starting with the ArmaS jacket (£1,099) the three most instantly noticeably features are the cuffs, the neck and the zip.
The zip - actually called a Gore LockOut closure system - is a weird rubbery plastic channel that's locked together by the zip slider to create a totally waterproof connection. In practice, with practice (and the occasional squirt of silicone spray) the LockOut is really easy to use and because of its rubbery material will never scratch bodywork. The magnetic 'press stud' collar fastening is less successful and never really has enough force to keep it closed. Later versions now have a Velcro fastener. The jacket's pockets use a similar closure system making the Rukka pockets some of the driest in the business. Handy if you roll your own.
The cuffs are another stroke of genius that banish that hideous (and all-too familiar) cold dribble of rain down the cuffs sensation. It's essentially a dummy cuff within a cuff that keeps the rain out of your gloves - way too complicated to explain in words. Check 'em out in your local dealers.
A storm collar (essentially a zip-on Buff) makes a massive difference when it's really, really cold or driving with rain. It's funny how a warm neck/throat and chin can make your whole body warm.
The trousers (£769.99) are made of the same three-layer tough fabric that beads water with the tough GTX fabric on the knees. Two front pockets, braces and a zip to fasten them to the jacket complete the picture. Like the jacket there's a removable liner so you can wear the suit right through summer.
The suit's light and comfortable enough to be able to wear for a whole day without feeling uncomfortable. The trousers are quite tight if, like me, you've got rugby player's thighs, but having worn them for a couple of years they're a much looser fit now. Either that or my thighs have atrophied.
In summary? People spend two grand on a set of made-to-measure leathers so is the Rukka suit expensive? No. Thousands of warm, comfortable, dry miles say not.
To find your nearest local dealer click this bad boy
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