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  1. #1
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    spring/summer jacket

    Hey everyone

    Last year was my first season of really getting into biking. Enjoyed the seat time I got on my new bike. Also learned how fast a sunny ride can turn into a surprise shower that leaves you soaked. With the new riding reason very slowly approaching, it was -16C here this morning. I'm looking to purchase a rain/wind jacket. I ride recreationally so functionality is the important part, I don't care about the weight. I've been reading some reviews but so many options out there it's hard to narrow it down. What are your recommendations?

  2. #2
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    I've been using an Eddie Bauer shell for a season after my last jacket got torn to bits from sliding on gravel (not buying that again). The shell is nice because it is completely water proof for those heavy mountain downpours (if you've ever lived in Colorado, you know) and the Gore-Tex keeps the wind out too. The one downside to a full shell is that it is not very breathable, which is fine if you're waiting for a storm to pass by the side of the trail or going downhill. It sounds like it gets a little cooler where you are so it may work. It is definitely too hot for a serious uphill slog. The other plus is that Gore-Tex is pretty durable. I would look for a shell or softshell with a little more ventilation depending on the riding you're doing.

  3. #3
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    Come mid summer it will going into the 30s so we can have some hot weather as well. I'm just looking for a shell with some pockets. I can throw a jersey on underneath to layer up on cooler rides. Mind boggling amount of options out there. Do fit of jackets for road bikes transfer to mountain bikes?

  4. #4
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    Everything for road bikes fits a little closer to your body so that you're more streamline and have less drag. I personally only crossover my jerseys between road and mountain bikes because the jackets made for road biking generally a little bit less durable since they are not going to get scratched up by trees, rocks, etc. as much. You can definitely use a road jacket for a mountain bike, but like I said the jacket will fit smaller. It's a little bit harder to layer under a road jacket but I suppose with the right gear it is completely possible.

  5. #5
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    How do I tell if it is made for mountain biking or not?

  6. #6
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    One thing I know for sure for me about rain gear is don't be afraid to pay the $$$ for good rain gear. I have tried a couple of cheaper jackets and well, the pleasure of a good price sure didn't last as long as the dislike of a cheap product. Make sure it has the pockets that you want and be loose enough that it will trap air which is what keeps you warm. And me, I would make sure it had zippered vents and long enough sleeves. Other then that, Gore Tex or coating they both work well. I would think that the Gore Tex membrane would hold up longer but I don't know for sure. Just my $.02 worth. Slim

  7. #7
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    Good advice

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    Usually the brand will tell you. A lot of downhill racing brands have started to make good jackets for more of an all-mountain or XC setting (by racing brands I mean companies like Fox Racing, Royal Racing, Dakine, Nine Industries, etc.), These jackets are built with the racing ideology in mind, so something that is a little more durable since racers usually take more impact. The fit is also a little looser (sometimes) on said brands. On the other hand there are several trusted road bike brands (Pearl Izumi, Craft, Giro, etc.) that have figured out road bike apparel. Then there are companies that produce kind of a mix of both or just outdoor gear in general (North Face, Marmot, Mavic, Arc'teryx, etc.). Companies like Marmot and North Face make jackets that are more outdoors made in general, but I've heard they do well on a bike. I've never had a Mavic jacket, but they have two different lines based on road and mountain biking which seems interesting.

  9. #9
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    Use a Pearl Izumi running/jogging jacket, visible, waterproof, breathable and can be layered with something else; usually use it as my outer layer when is really cold or windy.

  10. #10
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    It seems to be harder then I thought to find one. It seems in my area most bikes shops deal with road bike apparel. Not a big market here for mountain bike specific jackets. Called a local dealer and he was honest and upfront about it all. Nice guy and they will order blackspire pedals so I'll be calling back to order those soon.

    What is the quality of Louis Garneau jackets?

  11. #11
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    Last fall I found a nice Sugoi jacket the converts quite quickly to a vest. The sleeves and shoulder caps are held on via concealed magnets. Jacket was $70 at a LBS here in Calgary......

    Some LG stuff is nice, other stuff is more budget friendly and not quite as functional as one might like.......I am a bit of a fattie and LG stuff seems to fit on thee smaller side.

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    I am tall and lean so I figure that should work in my favour for LG stuff, I wanted something not quite so form fitting for layering options. If I have to go up a size so the arms are long enough then it should be okay. The LBS had a Sugoi and LG jacket in stock.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailblazer295 View Post
    I am tall and lean so I figure that should work in my favour for LG stuff, I wanted something not quite so form fitting for layering options. If I have to go up a size so the arms are long enough then it should be okay. The LBS had a Sugoi and LG jacket in stock.

    I'd look into that Sugoi RSX jacket, if I were you, but it's really pricey, but it's the newest tech... might not be "summery" enough, I don't know, but looks to be an awesome piece of kit, though I've never tried it.

    most jackets, that I've tried, don't breath well enough to actually cycle in .... you get soaked, just as much from sweat as rain. That's what makes the neoshell stuff so interesting, at least it's marketing.

  14. #14
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    Wow you weren't kidding about the pricey part. I'm not as worried about being a soaked on the inside as I'm not a heavy sweater. While reading the description review of it I noticed they placed the pockets so hydration packs won't block your pockets. The attention to detail in that respect is impressive. I'll look to see what other products they have that fit my needs without costing huge money.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailblazer295 View Post
    What is the quality of Louis Garneau jackets?
    I really like the quality in the jerseys that I have but have never tried one of their jackets. Being 6'2" and a bit of a Clydesdale, I personally wouldn't buy a bike specific rain jacket; just too tight and tailored for me. I like loose with lots of pockets. Northface and REI has good stuff. Slim

  16. #16
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    How do you find the fit when on a bike? With reaching forward and lower back? I'm 6' 165lbs and have long arms so the arms ride up when I'm stretched out on the bike.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailblazer295 View Post
    How do you find the fit when on a bike? With reaching forward and lower back? I'm 6' 165lbs and have long arms so the arms ride up when I'm stretched out on the bike.
    I know how that feels. It's to the big and tall department for both of us. But once you find it you will be happy with it I'll wager.

    And bending over, stretched out is exactly how I would do it. Didn't try it one time and I am still regretting it. Slim

  18. #18
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    I learned how big a difference my position on the bike is last year. Went for a ride in a regular wind breaker which fit fine standing or running but when on the bike it rode up my arms a few inches. It also was a the day a sunny windy ride turned into a soaking windy ride. Luckily my cell phone wasn't damaged, I was doing a city loop around my area and was at the furthest point away working my way back when the skies opened up. Not much can be done at that point but keep going. I'll be putting my cell in a zip lock bag in the future just in case so I don't need to worry about it. Considering I want to build up riding further and further distances I don't want to be soaked the whole ride. I'll be going by the LBS I bought my bike from to see what they carry.

  19. #19
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    Stopped by an LBS today that happened to be open on a sunday. Tried on some road bike specific jackets. It seems on a semi pro fit jacket due to me height and weight when picking one with sufficient length in the arms gives me enough space for easy layering with the under armour heatgear or cold gear. I don't imagine they will survive a fall but LBS in the city don't stock mountain jackets due to lack of demand. They stock shorts and tops though.

    With cycling jackets it seems like the elastic wrist would ride up your arm in the wind. I use fox dirt paw gloves on the bike. Does anyone use the straps on your gloves to keep the jacket from riding up and allowing wind/rain up the sleeve?

  20. #20
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    I pulled the trigger and had an LBS order a Fox downpour jacket for me. I tried on various road specific jackets and while the fit wasn't bad I was concerned about the durability. I don't expect it to be invincible but I don't want to ruin a brand new jacket a week after I have it either. Read the reviews on the Fox and was pleased, both reviewers commented on having taken a few falls in it with great results. It's more expensive then I planned but it can do well in UK weather which I know is wet and survive falling. I'd rather have the confidence this will serve me well for a long time.

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    Late to the party here...

    Am I the only one who buys a larger jacket with a hood that can be worn over a c-bak or pack? Sleeve length works better, vents way better, keeps your pack dry. Cycling with any hard shell is a great way to overheat and end up wetter and colder than with no hard shell (esp if you're a sweathog like me).

    Cycling-specific jackets...I'm skeptical. I'll stick with the gear I've used in the mountains for other sports in much harsher conditions than I'd ever try to ride in. Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, Arc'Teryx, TNF brands have mountain heritage in spades and their products are generally very refined (if costly not on sale).

    Cheers...

  22. #22
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    I found a bike shop in the city that will order me a Fox downpour jacket, the reviews on it are positive, the cost while high isn't insane and both pro reviews that I read, the riders took a few falls in it with great results. It seems to fit what I'm looking for. Usually I would wear a medium jacket, I ordered a large but due to being 6ft and long arms as well as leave space for layering in cooler weather. I found the sleeves would ride up a bit when I was stretched out on the bike in roughly the same pose . I had them order a XL jacket for me. I'll update when I take some rides in it.

    @ She&I The main issue I had to with going with a large non bike specific jacket is that in order to get the length in the arms it will end up being very big on the body. I'm 6ft, 165lbs so a jacket would big enough to fit over a pack on me would look kind of weird.

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