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To bi-swing back or not to bi-swing back?

GriffDeLaGriff

One Too Many
Messages
1,203
Location
Sweden
I think many Aero bi-swing owners would be surprised that thier jackets does indeed have elastics inside.

I sent in my CafeRacer to change from the biswing to a plain back. When they sent the jacket back, they included the original back, and to my huge surprise it has 2 elastic bands, and I had no idea at all that they were there. I never felt it or suspected it.

Offcourse there could be different designs, and the CafeRacer could be the only one with the elastics, but I doubt it.

I did feel somehow good that I dont have them anymore since all elasticity does crumble at some point. Now that being said, Aero took $80 for the mod and it included other things so it should not really a big deal for them to change it after 15-20 years right? I mean, at that point the lining need a remake anyway.


To me, wearing a "perfect sized" cafe reacer (wich is like wearing a too small normal jacket:D), the bi-swing mader the jacket more comfortable. Especially when zipped up, or when unzipped and driving. Personally I never came over the fact that I didnt like how it looked (also due to the jacket being kinda snug) so yes its harder to move in it, but overall Im more happy without the biswing.

With bi-swing:
22.jpg


Without:
1.jpg
 

TXFlyGuy

Practically Family
Messages
970
Location
Texas
My G&B A-2 "feels" just right when I put it on. My Schott (USW) G-1, with the bi-swing back, gives freedom of movement, but has a strange "feel" to it, in the shoulder/back area. I just looked in the rear view mirror, and it does not suffer from the Bat-Man virus!

Several other jackets in my possession, with the bi-swing "action" back. None of them have any elastic, and they all have a natural feel in the shoulder area, plus freedom of movement.

Wonder what's up with my G-1? Do they all feel different?
 
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tonypaj

Practically Family
Messages
659
Location
Divonne les Bains, France
I'd take both the looks and being able to move in of the bi-swing. Ho hum, lots of opinions... I'm biased as I added a bi-swing back to my Stuart. And I'm happy I did. My biggest mistake was getting rid of a Route 66 and swapping it to a Highwayman. Need to correct that. Looks and use, looks and use.
 

pauleway

Practically Family
Messages
655
Location
Western NY
I think many Aero bi-swing owners would be surprised that thier jackets does indeed have elastics inside.

I sent in my CafeRacer to change from the biswing to a plain back. When they sent the jacket back, they included the original back, and to my huge surprise it has 2 elastic bands, and I had no idea at all that they were there. I never felt it or suspected it.

Offcourse there could be different designs, and the CafeRacer could be the only one with the elastics, but I doubt it.

I did feel somehow good that I dont have them anymore since all elasticity does crumble at some point. Now that being said, Aero took $80 for the mod and it included other things so it should not really a big deal for them to change it after 15-20 years right? I mean, at that point the lining need a remake anyway.


To me, wearing a "perfect sized" cafe reacer (wich is like wearing a too small normal jacket:D), the bi-swing mader the jacket more comfortable. Especially when zipped up, or when unzipped and driving. Personally I never came over the fact that I didnt like how it looked (also due to the jacket being kinda snug) so yes its harder to move in it, but overall Im more happy without the biswing.

With bi-swing:
22.jpg


Without:
1.jpg


IMHO - It looked better with the Bi-Swing, but it's not mine, and I'm not wearing it, and it is a great looking jacket!
 

ForestForTheTrees

One of the Regulars
Messages
293
Location
Pacific Northwest
Intended use certainly comes into play. For example, if you're buying a cafe racer style jacket to actually use while riding, you're either going to want a bi-swing back or plenty of excess material without the bi-swing to accommodate the reach to the handlebars. On the other hand, if you're simply buying the jacket for fashion purposes, then you might be able to get away without as much "give" in the design of the jacket.

I went with bi-swing backs even on my non-riding jackets as I prefer both the look and the functionality of the bi-swing design.
 

Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,269
Location
South of Nashville
I went with bi-swing backs even on my non-riding jackets as I prefer both the look and the functionality of the bi-swing design.

Agreed. On closely fitted custom jackets, I like the extra "give" of the bi-swing design. Without it, I feel a bit constrained, especially when driving a car. No way could I comfortably ride my motorcycle in a custom jacket without the bi-swing back.
 

FarWalker

New in Town
Messages
31
Location
Middle East
Greets all - Does anyone have experience with shoulder gussets? I like the simpler look of the normal back, but think I'd also appreciate some extra movement. Do shoulder gussets offer sort of a middle path? Which aero models do they work well on?
 
Messages
16,347
FarWalker, hi. I've (had) a few Aero jackets with shoulder gussets and I can't say I've noticed that much of a difference in comparison to plain back. Of course, the only Aero that I have with normal back is Highwayman and that jacket is quite roomy over the back to begin with, so I can't really comment on the extent of comfort gussets would provide on a really tight fitting jacket, like the Cafe Racer, in example. From my experience, vertical shoulder gussets type that can be seen on Schott jackets - and I'm not talking about a full action back - offer much more freedom of movement and are generally more functional, as opposed to the curved shoulder gussets Aero is using, so yeah, vertical type definitely is sort of a middle path. That is not to say that shoulder gussets on Aero jackets are of no use, though, just that if you're say buying a riding jacket, I'd rather go with action back - which without any doubt are the most comfortable solution.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,695
Location
London, UK
I think many Aero bi-swing owners would be surprised that thier jackets does indeed have elastics inside.

I think it's the norm for this kind of jacket - every Aero I've owned or handled (including AN6552 and ANJ3) which has had it, along with several others (including my Wested Raiders) has had the elastic. Without it, while the jacket panels will open up to allow movement, they won't slip back into place when you unstretch your arms, and will give that odd batwing look.

At a push, I too prefer a plain back (for some reason I associate the extreme examples of the action back with Michael Jackson - an extremely negative thing in my book [huh] ). That said, a well-executed action back can be a very sharp design, and is an excellent option should one require the combination of greater ease of a wide range of movement and a tighter overall fit. It's how an M442 can be a much tighter fit than a later-war pattern A2 and yet still have the same ease of movement around the arms. I would say that should one opt for an action back, it becomes ever more important to ensure that the jacket is the correct size. Too small and, while it might feel fine, it will have that batwing look at the back as the panels always stay exapanded; too big, and it risks giving you Thriller shoulders (and also means you might never actually need enough stretch for the action back to engage).

Nice post, btw, Griff - really explains it very clearly.



FarWalker, hi. I've (had) a few Aero jackets with shoulder gussets and I can't say I've noticed that much of a difference in comparison to plain back. Of course, the only Aero that I have with normal back is Highwayman and that jacket is quite roomy over the back to begin with, so I can't really comment on the extent of comfort gussets would provide on a really tight fitting jacket, like the Cafe Racer, in example. From my experience, vertical shoulder gussets type that can be seen on Schott jackets - and I'm not talking about a full action back - offer much more freedom of movement and are generally more functional, as opposed to the curved shoulder gussets Aero is using, so yeah, vertical type definitely is sort of a middle path. That is not to say that shoulder gussets on Aero jackets are of no use, though, just that if you're say buying a riding jacket, I'd rather go with action back - which without any doubt are the most comfortable solution.

I've had several jackets with that little bit of extra gussetting round the sleeves. It's a compromise between the two, certainly. How succeswsful it is really depends how much you appreciate the more subtle difference it brings, as w2ell as how tight you like your jacket. If you're looking for a riding jacket with the sort of second-skin fit that the Insurrection folks favour, for example, I'd suggest the action back as a better option.
 

Sloan1874

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,418
Location
Glasgow
People talk about the extra weight that a full action back entails, but I've never noticed myself. My A-2 is a very close fit and even with the flexibility that 'shirt fit' brings, it's still slightly limiting compared to a bi-swing.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
24,695
Location
London, UK
Can't say I've noticed any difference in weight either - sounds to me like you'd be into pea and multiple mattresses territory there. [huh]
 
Messages
16,347
Yeah, that one had me scratching my head... Didn't imagine it possible to actually feel a difference in weight of a jacket with action back. I've had stuff getting caught in the action back fold of my Vanson Model A a few times, though.
 

galvestonokie

Familiar Face
Messages
90
Location
houston
my take is that the bi-swing adds considerably to the comfort of the jacket. but, that said, not all bswings are created equally. some vintage G-1s i've seen--the elastic is shot and you get bat wings. also, IMHO, the bswings work much better with lighter leather. heavy, thick leather and you get a lot of bulk behind you. as a USMC helicopter crew member, never issued a G-1 but rather a WEP--which was a wonderful jacket. many of my mates preferred the WEP since it was more comfortable and warmer. in combat flying, we were not too concerned about looks. ok, maybe a little.
after seeing and trying a number of A-2s, i've never found them to be comfortable and wondered how a pilot or crew member could move around much wearing an A-2 strapped in. i'm just saying...
 

Seb Lucas

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,562
Location
Australia
I have jackets with bi-swing backs and without. They make no difference to the fit or comfort in my experience. I'm fairly certain if a jacket fits properly across the shoulders the bi-swing is unnecessary. It looks cool though.
 
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Daninho

New in Town
Messages
1
Location
Germany
So i understand that there is a plain back but for example Simmonsbilt offer a "shoulder gusset" OR "by swing back" (cafe racer model), i think aero offers the bi swing back only, i dont saw any other options. I plan to fly to scotland since the flight prices are so cheap (16 Euro) from germany because no shop in germany has cafe racers in my small sizes in stock. Normally i wear size S which is 38 but my meassurements are actually chest:41, 5"7,172 pounds, waist:34. For that price i cant order blindly. I have a tiny waist and narrow shoulders but i work out since 2 years so the shoulders are maybe a a little bit out of proportion to the waist but not much. Which back type is better in my case because i want a pretty slim and tight fight, maybe somebody can say if a medium hide leather or a thicker leather is better for a smaller guy with narrower shoulder size? I dont like it when there is to much material hanging around the sleeves and the back, it should fit tighter. I also dont ride, i just wanted a leather jacket for casual use because i dont have one and before i spend 500 Euro for a Blauer USA or Hugo Boss in lamb leather i would rather pay a bit more for a Aero or simmonsbilt. I like the cafe racer design with its "higher arms" or maybe a highwayman.
 

El Marro

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,453
Location
California
So i understand that there is a plain back but for example Simmonsbilt offer a "shoulder gusset" OR "by swing back" (cafe racer model), i think aero offers the bi swing back only, i dont saw any other options. I plan to fly to scotland since the flight prices are so cheap (16 Euro) from germany because no shop in germany has cafe racers in my small sizes in stock. Normally i wear size S which is 38 but my meassurements are actually chest:41, 5"7,172 pounds, waist:34. For that price i cant order blindly. I have a tiny waist and narrow shoulders but i work out since 2 years so the shoulders are maybe a a little bit out of proportion to the waist but not much. Which back type is better in my case because i want a pretty slim and tight fight, maybe somebody can say if a medium hide leather or a thicker leather is better for a smaller guy with narrower shoulder size? I dont like it when there is to much material hanging around the sleeves and the back, it should fit tighter. I also dont ride, i just wanted a leather jacket for casual use because i dont have one and before i spend 500 Euro for a Blauer USA or Hugo Boss in lamb leather i would rather pay a bit more for a Aero or simmonsbilt. I like the cafe racer design with its "higher arms" or maybe a highwayman.
Daninho,
Welcome to the lounge! By all means take advantage of the cheap flights you mentioned and go see the folks at Aero in person. In my experience the bi-swing back would allow you to wear a tighter jacket and still have good freedom of movement. Going to the factory will take all the guesswork out of it, though, and you will end up with the best fit possible. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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