I dont want to get wet! [Noob riding jacket thread]- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. I dont want to get wet! [Noob riding jacket thread]

    I live in Berkeley, it's cold and I know it's going to rain any second. This place hates nice weather. I would just wear my big ol' milsurp jacket and call it a day but I've got an itch to ride everywhere and it doesn't have much moving room. Also it's annoying with my backpack on and impossible with a helmet.

    My question is: What do you ride in and do you have any recommendations?

    MUSTS: something light that I can stuff into a backback, warm, waterproof, hooded, unencumbered (in case I want to get rad).

    Also nice, but optional: Fleece or some other non-nylon style interior, Northface brand, under $200

    Let me know what you think and thanks for the help =)
    Valhalla bound.

  2. #2
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    I got this (showers pass storm) jacket and these pants (showers pass storm pant).

    They both fit into relatively small stuff bags and are very light.

    They are also much less expensive than their Gore counterpart.

    I haven't had a reason to use the pants yet, but the jacket was very nice on a night ride.

    I'm in NorCal and we haven't had any rain yet so I cant speak to its waterproofness, but it
    is advertised as waterproof not water resistant.

    No hood, but how would you wear a hood while riding? I don't think I've seen any cycling
    jackets with a hood. You could just buy a waterproof helmet cover.

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I've been going through the jacket thing myself. I live in the Pacific Northwest, so it's a relatively similar temperature zone.

    So here's the big problem with a cycling jacket: Waterproof materials don't breathe that well. IMO, you're better off with a traditional shell jacket than an insulated jacket, which is what you're describing. I find that I'm looking for minimum insulation and some big honkin' pit zips. If it's cold enough that I want some insulation, I wear a something else for that. If I'm just riding around town/commuting/whatever, that's probably a sweat shirt. If I'm on a more serious ride, probably a fleece vest. I haven't found that I've ever wanted more layers over my arms than a base layer and a jacket.

    I finally ended up ordering the Showers Pass Elite 2.0 jacket. It's f'ing expensive, which is a definite minus. But it looked very well thought out and well made. I got the wrong size, so it's on its way back to Utah and another one will show up on my door in a few days. One of the things I hadn't quite realized is that it has a huge back vent, like traditional rain slickers do. Bonus! Inside your budget, their Touring Jacket has almost all the same features, but doesn't have as fancy a material.

    If you're sure you want warm, why don't you just get a Northface soft shell and be happy? I can almost guarantee you that you won't like a waterproof, insulated jacket in Berkeley. But a soft shell, especially if it's got pit zips (and I'd consider a full-length front zipper a must) would probably be okay. You'll just have to live with getting wetter when it rains.

    Da Kine does some soft shell hoodies. I have one of the low-end ones, and like it. It had a wind-resistant treatment and was great for riding around town as long as it didn't get too rainy. Da Kine does nicer ones too; I'm sure their high end is competitive with everyone else's stuff.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    Yeah I'd really like something light and warm above all. I get REALLY cold easy. I'm going to check out the Northface outlet soon.

    Thanks for the advice, gents. I'll keep an eye out
    Valhalla bound.

  5. #5
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    i wear a north face relativly light apex jacket and it is very nice for right now in upstate ny there is only rain.

  6. #6
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    I'm not familiar with the Showers Pass jacket, but the eVent material is the *****. It's way more breathable than any other shell I've owned, including Goretex xcr, and less bulky than most soft shells. My money setup is a Smartwool undershirt, appropriate mid-layer (light jersey for mild temps, long sleeve thermal jersey for cold, or whatever streetwear for a night out), with an eVent jacket over the top and one of a few different helmet friendly caps.....itsa niiiice

  7. #7
    ballbuster
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    Heh...

    Quote Originally Posted by Al Bundy View Post
    I live in Berkeley, it's cold and I know it's going to rain any second. This place hates nice weather. I would just wear my big ol' milsurp jacket and call it a day but I've got an itch to ride everywhere and it doesn't have much moving room. Also it's annoying with my backpack on and impossible with a helmet.

    My question is: What do you ride in and do you have any recommendations?

    MUSTS: something light that I can stuff into a backback, warm, waterproof, hooded, unencumbered (in case I want to get rad).

    Also nice, but optional: Fleece or some other non-nylon style interior, Northface brand, under $200

    Let me know what you think and thanks for the help =)
    Are we talking about Berkeley, CA? I'm in Oakland, and it basically hasn't rained since the beginning of December.

    Seriously, tho. If you're going to ride in the rain, you're gonna get wet. No way around it. Pont is, don't wear stuff that soaks up the water and makes you cold.

    When it rains I ride with a rain shell with pit zips. It has a hood, so I can put my helmet on over the hood, but it pulls my head around funny. It also fits over my helmet. Sometimes, I just let my head get wet. You can also use a shower cap from Wallgreens to cover your helmet. Gloves... I have not found any gloves that actually keep your hands dry, but I hear Kayak gloves work well. They probably won't give you any abrasion protection if you go down, tho. Pants... I just ride with track suit pants. They get wet, so I wear layers underneath them that keep me warm, even when wet. Same goes for under the coat. A snug fitting bike jersey made of sport fabric or wool is the ticket.

    Avoid cotton anything. Tee shirts and jeans suck in the rain. Cotton soaks up water like crazy, and get clammy cold. Wool is better... so is lycra. They get wet too, but at least they don't retain much water, and still hold heat in when wet.

    Fenders help in the rain as well. If the tires are shooting puddle water on your feet and up your backside, at lest the fenders will control that.

    So in a nutshell.... layers that don't retain water (think synthetics or wool) that keep you warm, snug fitting base layer, light waterproof rain shell over that.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 01-12-2012 at 09:23 PM.

  8. #8
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    ^ Yeah, I know it hasn't rained "in a while " according to the area's history, but I'm from Riverside and I'm not used to more than 3 inches of rain a year. My summers start in march and we ride when it's over 100 out lol
    Valhalla bound.

  9. #9
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    I enjoy snowboarding, and have the same dilemma: finding something which is waterproof and still breathes.

    For a long time I just made due with Goretex and just took care to open vents when I started anything aerobic. It wasn't ideal at all. Softshells are nice, and they definitely breathe better, but in a rainstorm you're still going to get wet.

    The real problem with Goretex is the expanded PTFE membrane (with the micropores) works just fine, but they've needed to add a layer of polyurethane to protect the membrane from dirt and oil. So to pass moisture first the PU layer needs to get wet, then it can pass it's moisture through the PTFE membrane. This drastically slows down the rate at which it can breathe.

    Last year I found the solution: eVent. It's an expanded PTFE membrane like Goretex, so it's just as waterproof as Goretex, but they've found a way to protect the membrane without the PU layer like Goretex has. The end result is it breathes a lot better. In my experience, it breathes about the same as a thick fleece.

    Goretex marketing has some nice demonstrations which they say shows Goretex breathes as well as eVent, however, all the demonstrations use high humidity and high temperature (think when it's already a sauna inside your shell), which is where Goretex works best. The problem is at low humidity and temperature, Goretex doesn't really work, while eVent works about the same regardless.

    Wearing REI's eVent pants and jacket, while skinning I was able to keep everything zipped up on everything but the steepest ascents and wasn't damp at all. On the steepest section unzipping my jacket halfway did the trick.

    So, if you want a shell which is truly waterproof and breathable, eVent is by far the best choice going. REI has a nice one for $240:
    Showers Pass Elite 2.0 eVent Bike Jacket - Men's - Free Shipping at REI.com

    Summed up quite well:
    The basic issue with Gore-Tex for most people is that it is a "wet" membrane. That is, the interior of the membrane is sprayed with a very thin layer of polyurethane, which is a hygroscopic fabric, in order to protect the pores of Gore-Tex from being clogged by your body oils, dirt, etc. The humidity within the garment rises until condensation occurs upon this polyurethane due to the cooler outside temperature, at which point the PU absorbs the moisture and then since the membrane is also at a higher temperature than outdoors, it can evaporate through the Gore-Tex pores. What this means is that the interior of the garment is always going to be at a high humidity level, which makes most people feel damp and clammy once they start sweating no matter the efficiency of this process.

    The only difference between the various "types" of Gore-Tex is the thickness of this PU layer applied to the membrane. Over the years Gore has managed to reduce the thickness of this layer significantly for its more "technical" fabrics, thereby increasing its ability to carry water vapor across the PU barrier. Its basic mechanism of operation, however -- condensation, absorption, evaporation on the other side -- has not changed.

    eVent changes this paradigm entirely. eVent actually *vents* -- water vapor never condenses anywhere inside the garment. There is no polyurethane "wet layer" to cause humidity inside the garment to rise, and the result is that most people *feel* dryer even under conditions that would have them feeling miserable with Gore-Tex. As a result, like the others here, I feel much dryer in my eVent jacket than in a jacket with a PU "wet process" membrane such as Gore-Tex, because the interior humidity of the jacket is so much lower -- Gore-Tex doesn't move water vapor across the PU barrier until the humidity reaches condensation point at the barrier, while eVent starts moving water vapor immediately and the humidity never reaches condensation point.

    So maybe Gore-Tex with a very fine/thin PU layer *can* move as much water vapor as eVent -- but only under conditions of high interior humidity that most people interpret as "damp and humid". That's just the nature of a "wet membrane" process such as used by Gore, regardless of which Gore-Tex fabric you get.


    NOTE: I'm not employed or sponsored by REI or eVent. It's just a product I personally bought and use.
    Last edited by bad mechanic; 10-22-2013 at 09:37 AM.

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