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  1. #1
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    Rainproof but breathing clothes?

    I'm looking to step up my commuting a few notches and that involves riding 50-60km/day no matter what weather and it rains like every other day. Its not pouring down all of those days but sometimes its like stepping into a shower. And I have to ride in it. For a long time.

    So now I would like some input on what top layer is good. I have soem shoes with goretex and those seems to be breathing well and never gets wet. So I was thinking goretex clothes.

    Anyone with experience here? What should I look for? How much will it cost me?
    I'm no lycra boy just yet but maybe semi tight fitting.

    If any one knows cycle specific brands thats welcome too.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

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    Specialized sucks ass.

  2. #2
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    I have an O2 Rainwear Calhoun jacket. It's good if it's in the 50s or 60s, but any warmer than that and I sweat so much that I might as well not be wearing a jacket.

    They have another jacket, the Nokomis that says "Breathability: W/R; MVP: 15,000g/m2/D;" vs the Calhoun's 10,000. I don't know what the f that means but 15K is a big number.

  3. #3
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    don't believe the marketing

    Don't believe the marketing guys, there is not such a thing as rainproof & breathable. You will always get wet, either from the outside or from the inside. I've already spent huge amounts of money to learn this lesson.

    My approach is to use a softshell with windstopper. It gets wet but you don't chill out. I rather get wet from the outside. It's not as sticky as sweat. Currently I use this:

    Castelli | InsiderNews Blog Archive Gabba WS Rain Jersey

    (but don't believe in those marketing claims on nanoflex either)

  4. #4
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    I don't want to get sweaty, and I can handle a little rain. I have top quality wool, both tight and not so tight and quite thick (as jackets almost).

    The temperature will be ranging from -20C to about +20C. But I guess when it rains and such its usually between 0 and +15. I have the 1 and 2 closest layers covered pretty much with the wool even down to -20. But I just want something that I can wear above it. That wont turn me into a complete sweathog every time it rains.

    I have tried a windstopper and while its pretty waterproof I get sweaty as hell wearing it.

    I have goretex shoes with leather top layer and those breathe better than a regular pair of jogging type sneekers to be honest, I just don't get sweaty in them.

    So I just want that effect for my body. Kinda.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

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    Specialized sucks ass.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    I don't want to get sweaty, and I can handle a little rain. I have top quality wool, both tight and not so tight and quite thick (as jackets almost).

    The temperature will be ranging from -20C to about +20C. But I guess when it rains and such its usually between 0 and +15. I have the 1 and 2 closest layers covered pretty much with the wool even down to -20. But I just want something that I can wear above it. That wont turn me into a complete sweathog every time it rains.

    I have tried a windstopper and while its pretty waterproof I get sweaty as hell wearing it.

    I have goretex shoes with leather top layer and those breathe better than a regular pair of jogging type sneekers to be honest, I just don't get sweaty in them.

    So I just want that effect for my body. Kinda.
    Dream on.....

  6. #6
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    The Showers Pass rainwear is a bit pricey but nice and well respected with a lot of the guys I road bike with.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Dream on.....

    plz elaborate.

    I was just watching what chainreaction carries. And they are located in the UK. UK=rain every day. So they must know a thing or 2 about clothes suitable for rain, and many people commute by bike there. The problem is that they have jackets and it only says "waterproof and highly breathable" but I want numbers. But its even worse here, it says jack zhit of value on the local shops sites.

    So what can I expect do I somehow have to choose? Sweaty or wet?
    Whats a good choice?
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    plz elaborate.

    I was just watching what chainreaction carries. And they are located in the UK. UK=rain every day. So they must know a thing or 2 about clothes suitable for rain, and many people commute by bike there. The problem is that they have jackets and it only says "waterproof and highly breathable" but I want numbers. But its even worse here, it says jack zhit of value on the local shops sites.

    So what can I expect do I somehow have to choose? Sweaty or wet?
    Whats a good choice?
    If you have something that is breathable then it will leak rain in....

    If you have something that is not breathable then it will keep too much seat in...

    Anything in the middle will have a compromise.....ie sweaty and leaky...

    While some of the breathables do work they are limited to light rain for a short time...

    Basically if it is warm enough I just get wet and enjoy it....

    If it gets to cold then I try to go at a rate where the sweat is managable.....and/or it is sufficient to heat the water leaking in...

    I can manage everything except when the cold sweat and rain pools in my glooves....

    Has before....

    Staying dry in a heavy rain, while sweating......Dream on...

  9. #9
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    Does that mean I can chose whatever and it will work pretty much the same?

    btw I have seal skinz winter gloves and those kick ass.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    Does that mean I can chose whatever and it will work pretty much the same?

    btw I have seal skinz winter gloves and those kick ass.
    Pretty much.....some are better at shedding the water....ie waterproof sholders etc...

    Some are better at breathing....

    Yeah they look good, last time I got pissed on big time....my gloves filled up with water that dripped down from my sleeves into the gloves.....(combo of sweat and rain)...

    It was -3C with a 50 km wind and sleet rain....We waited 1 hour for the lead riders of the Transrockies to crest the ridge and cheer them on....What a day.

  11. #11
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    I aim for comfortable rather than dry. This means a more waterproof jacket when it's colder (hypothermia is no fun) and anything from no jacket, to a windvest, to a less-than-waterproof jacket in a warm rain. Tonight it was 68F & a light rain; the vest was nice on the downhill but I went down to just a light poly T for the uphill. If I think I could get really wet I'll pick shorts and shirts that absorb less water, typically the "noisier" type nylon baggies and a poly tech T. I love wool T's, but they get a little heavier than poly in a downpour and take longer to dry. Socks and gloves never dry at work so I carry or stash spares.

    On a flatter route, staying dry and comfy might be more do-able than it is here.

  12. #12
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    +1 on no such thing.

    The Showers Pass Club Pro jacket is the best I've found. It is less on the breathable side but has optional vents. It's pretty well thought out for the price. It can be found for around $80 on sale.

  13. #13
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    On a cold summer morning (10 deg C) I tried my somewhat waterproof and windproof one layer jacket, only a t-shirt under, its just one layer of rather thick nylon or something. Its not really a sports jacket, and it has not sporty breathing features. I wore that for 3 miles then I was sweaty as hell, even if I had it fully open down to the last cm it was still too warm and sweaty. I never want that feeling again.

    I usually just wear regular clothes and more layers in the winter, but now I want to go faster and they are in the way and not really optimised for riding at my intended pace, I'm also joining "the other team" with dropbar and thin tires so I want to see some speed and nothing holding me back, well as little as possible to slow me down.

    I just don't want to buy the wrong clothes even if I understand its kinda hit or miss here really, its not cheap with these bike specific clothes imo.

    Any way good suggestions here.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

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    Specialized sucks ass.

  14. #14
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    Wool stays warm even when wet.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by aBicycle View Post
    Wool stays warm even when wet.
    Another fallacy.


    Your statement is on par with, 'Cotton stays warm even when wet.'


    The reason, if YOU are not wet then the material will still retain insulation quality. A person staying warm involves not having liquid (Sweat, water, etc) on the skin to cause evaporative effect, which is where heat loss occurs.

    Wool tends to be thick via weave (Pile?) and/or it being curly. If you take a spray bottle and lightly spray a wool garment, the thickness keeps the water away from your skin. But if the wool is wet enough that your skin is wet, then you're going to lose heat. Period.



    I do some semi-mountaineering during the Winter months and use my Gore Wear Packlite cycling jacket as a midlayer because it doesn't breathe. Gore-Tex/Gore Wear DOES NOT BREATHE! It breathes about as well as regular nylon. The difference is that Gore-Tex/Gore Wear is waterproof.

    In order for Gore-Tex/Gore Wear to breathe the water/sweat molecules have to be in vapor form in order to fit through the microscopic holes/membrane. Which means the Gore-Tex/Gore Wear material has to be close to the body where the sweat is still hot enough to be in a vapor state. Guess what happens when sweat vapors cool? It turns to liquid form! How often is Gore-Tex/Gore Wear advertised to be worn close to the body?

    I wear my Gore Wear cycling jacket as a midlayer so I don't get my outwear insulation wet when my sweat condenses as it moves away from my body.


    Anyone who has camped in the Winter below freezing conditions knows that the top of their sleeping bag and the ceiling of the tent has frozen sweat built up over a nights sleep in said sleeping bag and said tent. Wearing my Gore Wear jacket as a vapor barrier keeps sweat vapor/heat close to my body.


    During the Winter months I ride with knee-high 3mm neoprene kayaking socks. 1) To keep my feet warm. 2) To keep the insides of my shoes dry.

    And over my shoes I wear 3mm neoprene Craft shoe covers. At 10*F going 10 to 13MPH with a 5 to 8MPH wind, my feet are very warm! BTW; I also use a insulating insole as well.
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  16. #16
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    If you're just cruising along, riding right at the barely breaking a sweat threshold, then sure, some of the "breathable" stuff works.

    Ride harder than that, and there's no way any fabric material is going to keep up with releasing your produced moisture while at the same time keeping out outside moisture. If you've got sweat running off you on a nice day with less than 100% humidity, the only thing that's going to keep you dry when it's raining with 100% humidity is to slow down and reduce your sweat output.
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  17. #17
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    could try the aqua veto line.. looks and sounds good

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cda 455 View Post
    Another fallacy.


    Your statement is on par with, 'Cotton stays warm even when wet.'


    The reason, if YOU are not wet then the material will still retain insulation quality. A person staying warm involves not having liquid (Sweat, water, etc) on the skin to cause evaporative effect, which is where heat loss occurs.

    Wool tends to be thick via weave (Pile?) and/or it being curly. If you take a spray bottle and lightly spray a wool garment, the thickness keeps the water away from your skin. But if the wool is wet enough that your skin is wet, then you're going to lose heat. Period.



    I do some semi-mountaineering during the Winter months and use my Gore Wear Packlite cycling jacket as a midlayer because it doesn't breathe. Gore-Tex/Gore Wear DOES NOT BREATHE! It breathes about as well as regular nylon. The difference is that Gore-Tex/Gore Wear is waterproof.

    In order for Gore-Tex/Gore Wear to breathe the water/sweat molecules have to be in vapor form in order to fit through the microscopic holes/membrane. Which means the Gore-Tex/Gore Wear material has to be close to the body where the sweat is still hot enough to be in a vapor state. Guess what happens when sweat vapors cool? It turns to liquid form! How often is Gore-Tex/Gore Wear advertised to be worn close to the body?

    I wear my Gore Wear cycling jacket as a midlayer so I don't get my outwear insulation wet when my sweat condenses as it moves away from my body.


    Anyone who has camped in the Winter below freezing conditions knows that the top of their sleeping bag and the ceiling of the tent has frozen sweat built up over a nights sleep in said sleeping bag and said tent. Wearing my Gore Wear jacket as a vapor barrier keeps sweat vapor/heat close to my body.


    During the Winter months I ride with knee-high 3mm neoprene kayaking socks. 1) To keep my feet warm. 2) To keep the insides of my shoes dry.

    And over my shoes I wear 3mm neoprene Craft shoe covers. At 10*F going 10 to 13MPH with a 5 to 8MPH wind, my feet are very warm! BTW; I also use a insulating insole as well.
    So t-shirt or something as bottom/closest layer, gore tex (or similar) second, and outer layer whatever? btw good post!
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  19. #19
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    Showers Pass Elite 2.0. Very expensive, but I really like it. The fabric beats Gore-tex and Windstopper on breathability, or at least it did in an independent study I bumped into. Can't re-find the whole thing, but here's the summary.
    http://www.shelby.fi/tips/breathability.pdf

    And, Showers Pass don't rely on their fabric to make the jacket breathable enough - it has big honkin' pit zips. I found that I was wearing a ski jacket I have that's not super-breathable but has zips in preference to a fancy Gore-tex jacket I had that didn't have them in order to ride my bike. I thought, "This is stupid," returned the Gore-tex jacket, and tried again with this one.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    So t-shirt or something as bottom/closest layer, gore tex (or similar) second, and outer layer whatever? btw good post!
    Poly-pro as a baselayer; then my Gore-Wear jacket as a midlayer; and then an insulating outerlayer.


    Since the Gore-Wear jacket doesn't breathe, the body heat stays close. Because of that, the outerlayer doesn't have to be as thick as otherwise. A midweight jacket is usually more than enough for said layers.
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  21. #21
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    What i eventually got was a diadora rainproof bike jacket and an adidas one made for running (better pockets on it), and I just used thick wool underneath them. But I think i'm gonna try to get something slim in one of the wonderfabrics and have it close to the body and something fluffy on top it instead as recommended, to see if its better. It probably will be since it makes more sense.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

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