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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 11-30-11, 07:04 AM   #1
chefisaac
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Rain Proof Pants

Do you all use them for your commute?

All I have right now is my cycling bibs and under armour base layer for for my legs.

Suggestions?
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Old 11-30-11, 09:26 AM   #2
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I'm not in a typically rainy climate, so generally I prefer a breathable soft shell outer pant, but I DO use rain pants for 3 situations.

1 When it's cold and raining in the spring/fall - alone or with a very thin base layer.
2. When it's snowing - obviously it's cold, with varying base layer thickness depending on temp.
3. In the dead of winter (under 10F) as an outer wind blocking layer with a thick base layer or thermal tights underneath.

in the summer I don't bother - no matter the claims of the manufacturers none of them breathe well enough to keep up with aerobic activity on a wet day. so you're wet no matter what. That's what towels are for after the ride.

Mine are from REI, cycling specific cut. They don't make the exact ones any longer but they do make something similar. They were a worthy investment.
http://www.rei.com/product/819020/no...ain-pants-mens
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Old 11-30-11, 09:41 AM   #3
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I don't use them (yet). These days I use padded MTB shorts on wet days, which usually have a reasonably water resistant top layer. It takes a fair bit of rain to soak through to the liner. For the lower half of my legs, I have legwarmers which are again reasonably water resistant on their own. And if they get wet, they get wet. I have thin/narrow legs anyway so my lower legs don't get that cold even when wet.

If it's not cold, something like running shorts or board shorts are an option too (add your own padded liner if you like).

Feet on the other hand...
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Old 11-30-11, 10:20 AM   #4
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No. I climb hills on my way in to work. Rain pants work ok on a bike if your route is flat and you don't work very hard, but ... I can tolerate goretex, or some other membrane, over my chest much better than I can over my legs. That seems to be pretty common.
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Old 11-30-11, 10:29 AM   #5
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I have the plain, nylon pants from JG cyclewear. I bust them out when it's cold and wet. They do not breathe at all, but they are water proof. Better than catching hypothermia from riding in 35 degree rain.
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Old 11-30-11, 12:47 PM   #6
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North-Wet Coast. Cycle rain Cape + a parka,

[Parka is the off the bike rain gear when the riding is done,
and the cape is taken off]

+ 3 layer water resistant Breathable fabric' over trousers'.
mine came from Burly , but Burly CoOp is no more,
brand bought, and is not the same company..

& Dry shoes , .. LL Bean boots.. bottom , rubber top leather..

The cape is like an umbrella, or tent, draped over your arms,
so if raining without being windy,
So, what you wear on your legs matters, less..
as they are under the covering of the cape/arm supported awning,
and hands stay dry as well.

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-04-11 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 11-30-11, 01:05 PM   #7
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Got a complete set of waterproof/breathable raingear from J&G Clothing including pants, jacket and helmet cover. 200.00US for everything. Seems a little pricey until riding w/t rain blowing sideways. I add a golf visor to keep the rain off my googles. Full coverage fenders are necessary as well to keep one's self and the drivetrain as dry as possible.. The main thing about riding in rain is the acceptance that one is going to get wet whether from the outside in or inside out. Make sure of having enough layers to prevent hypothermia as stated above.
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Old 11-30-11, 01:15 PM   #8
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When it's cold rain I wear a pair of water proof rain pants I bought at Performance several years ago. I wear a pair of tights underneath and that helps with internal wetness. If you ride everyday in all weather decent rain gear and fenders are essential.
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Old 11-30-11, 01:19 PM   #9
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I use the basic LL Bean pants. Been working fine so far.
http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/68419...rValue_0=Black
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Old 11-30-11, 01:37 PM   #10
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I broke-down this year and got one of these. 800+ miles of rainy Portland weather over my bibs and they have been great.
http://www.showerspass.com/catalog/m...nvertible-pant
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Old 11-30-11, 01:59 PM   #11
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I wear rain pants made by Mountain Hardwear if it's too cold to get wet. They have long zips down around the ankles and velcro to pull hold them snug and keep them out of the chain. They are thin and light and fold up nicely for storage. They are also long enough for my long legs. They don't breathe, but I prefer warm sweat to cold rain.

The first 2 days this week it was in the 30s (F) and raining really hard. Already well worth the $95 or so I paid for them when I got them last spring.
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Old 11-30-11, 02:04 PM   #12
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>.> for now anyways, waterproof bag with a change of clothes and a couple towels, couple of ziplock bags for the wetstuff too.
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Old 11-30-11, 03:18 PM   #13
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i bought $15 rain pants made by Helly Hansen. made on the same "east coast" as the other pricier stuff like Showerspass. I wouldn't ride a bike tour in them, but they are fantastic to commute in. Why?

1. $15 and totally waterproof;
2. roll-up very compactly when dry and not in use;
3. i climb a few hills, and find no issues with interference or non-breathability---keep in mind that these pants are *over* my work dress pants;
4. when they die, as all such clothes do, see #1; but they seem pretty hearty and tough (not made of the super thin poly stuff in disposable ponchos);
5. they are black, so never any signs of dirt or grime;

How do they fail (or lack)? as all rain pants:
1. water can get in between your pant bottom, your shoe, and socks---on the soggiest day thus this hasn't been an issue for me, mostly a ribbon of damp at my ankle on my socks;
2. although there are snaps to "peg" the pant bottom, bicycling will still require the use of those velcro pant-peggers;
3. they are black, so they don't aid traffic visibility.

Like i said, they've worked well for me. I do have a nicer Event-fabric bicycle jacket, where breathability is more important, since i generate way more heat in my torso than from my legs. Still, with regard to this last bit, fabric "breathability" seldom confers any commuting advantage for me as i still sweat from the inside-out enough to require clothes changes or alternate transportation planning on really big meeting days (it was the cut, color, and over all design that sold me on the pricier jacket; those underarm zippers are very important over the long haul in the rain).
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Old 11-30-11, 05:22 PM   #14
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The headwind pants are back at REI.
They are my personal favorite, wind proof and water resistant in the front, breathable in the back.
http://www.rei.com/product/815145/no...ike-pants-mens
they should be on sale in the next month.
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Old 11-30-11, 05:37 PM   #15
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No I never use anything 100% waterproof. I prefer wool and synthetic softshell.
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Old 11-30-11, 09:04 PM   #16
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Like some others here, I have a cheap set of Performance shell pants that I keep in my bag and pull on if necessary (they roll up to about the size of a baseball.) They were pretty cheap and work as advertised and don't interfere with my riding, even up the long, steep hill at the end of my commute. For up top I just use a North Face waterproof shell that I've had forever. Also rolls up very small, so I keep it in my backpack all the time.
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Old 11-30-11, 11:08 PM   #17
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The headwind pants are back at REI.
They are my personal favorite, wind proof and water resistant in the front, breathable in the back.
I wear these when it's drizzling. When it's raining hard I switch to the Stratos pants (linked in post #2). Waterproof nylon, not breathable at all but I prefer them to the feeling of cold water dripping down my leg into my shoe. FWIW, on days w/ heavy rain I also put on gaiters, keeps my feet much drier.
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Old 11-30-11, 11:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy View Post
The headwind pants are back at REI.
They are my personal favorite, wind proof and water resistant in the front, breathable in the back.
http://www.rei.com/product/815145/no...ike-pants-mens
they should be on sale in the next month.
The Headwind pants are great. Warm on the sub 50 days and I didn't get wet in my first wet-winter ride in the heavy fog.
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Old 12-01-11, 09:03 AM   #19
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I used rain paints (several vendors) when it is cold and wet. I also have a pair of spats (mine are from Carradice) that work much better in warmer weather, but still situations where I don't want my legs/feet to get wet. Also depending upon the weather (cold or windy) I use a Showers Pass Touring Jacket, otherwise I use a J&G cycling cape... For your sizing requirements (4-5XL?); the SPATS/Cape will work (most likely), but for pants/jackets the only vender that will work (that I know of) is Aerotech. I haven't tried their rain stuff, but their other gear is very good.
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Old 12-01-11, 10:32 AM   #20
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I really like the REI Ultralight rain paints. While not marketed explicitly to cyclists (and indeed, I got them and use them mostly for backpacking/working outdoors) the design of the elastic tightening at the bottom of the paints makes it reasonably easy to tuck them up and away from the drivetrain, and they're reasonably light and reasonably breathable.

Rain pants are an OK option for cycling if you want to wear ordinary pants underneath in my experience, although it's easy to get too excited riding to the destination and ruin any attempts at staying dry by sweating under the rain gear.
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Old 12-01-11, 07:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy View Post
The headwind pants are back at REI.
They are my personal favorite, wind proof and water resistant in the front, breathable in the back.
http://www.rei.com/product/815145/no...ike-pants-mens
they should be on sale in the next month.
My favorite too. Perfect for rainy days with a pair of bike shorts underneath and cold winter days with tights underneath.
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Old 12-01-11, 07:58 PM   #22
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I have rain proof pants that I use for hiking by Eastern Mountain Sports and Northface, and they work very well for my commute. For the feet I use Showers Pass covers.
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Old 12-01-11, 08:39 PM   #23
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I am having a hard time finding stuff in my size. I am a clyde..... so something like a 5xl. Was thinking of this:

http://www.bigcamo.com/Neese-Industr...Safety-Bib.php

what do you think?
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Old 12-01-11, 11:32 PM   #24
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I have the REI Stratos pants (or something similar) which I got on closeout for $10 with a coupon. They work great on my short commute the few times I've worn them. They're noisy when walking but quiet on the bike. I also have the Headwind pants which are more breathable and less waterproof. The only thing I don't like about the Headwinds is that they snag on the seat easily.
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Old 12-02-11, 08:52 AM   #25
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I am having a hard time finding stuff in my size. I am a clyde..... so something like a 5xl. Was thinking of this:

http://www.bigcamo.com/Neese-Industr...Safety-Bib.php

what do you think?
With cool enough weather that would work, though may be uncomfortable if your ride is too long. You will probably need some form of ankle straps with that, unless your bike has a chain guard--you don't want clothing getting caught in the chain, it can cause a sudden deceleration!

These may not be big enough, 4X, but if you haven't looked at them, they would likely be a little more comfortable for longer rides.

http://www.aerotechdesigns.com/tights.htm#thermalpants
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