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Old 11-08-12, 10:56 PM   #1
daddyratty
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Recommend good jacket for short, but very rainy winter commute

New to the forums ... a relatively new bike commuter. I have put on just under 300 miles in 2+ months so far. Commute is about 10 1/2 miles RT but some days I drive and other days the family picks me up in town if we have other things going.

Anyway, I live in Crescent City, CA - we get about 70" of rain a year. I have some good running tights that will work for the lower half just fine, but I want a recommendation for a good jacket. I sweat pretty easily (6'0" 240#), so I don't need anything that's overly thermal, just enough to keep the rain away, and we get some gulley-washers here.

It's OK if I get a little wet; I just don't want to be completely soaked through on an average rain.
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Old 11-08-12, 11:18 PM   #2
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http://www.bicycleclothing.com/Water...n-Jackets.html

http://www.bicycleclothing.com/Wind-Jackets.html

http://www.bicycleclothing.com/Rain-Capes.html

Great company. I have the windbreaker and love it. The third link, the wind cape, a lot of people use and love.
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Old 11-09-12, 11:53 AM   #3
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Thank you! I've put some items from here on my wish list. I really like the look of their touring pants, too.
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Old 11-09-12, 01:39 PM   #4
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Pricey, but I love mine: http://www.showerspass.com/catalog/m.../mens-elite-20 I especially like the optional velcro-on hood, which fits niely under the helmet. I have a long commute, the real big challenge isn't the jacket: it's the gloves! I used to use PI Cyclones, now using these Enduras: http://www.endura.co.uk/Product.aspx...06&prod_id=434 which last longer (about an hour... maybe the wet gets in through the wrist?)
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Old 11-09-12, 06:34 PM   #5
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Another vote for ShowersPass. True, pricey, but well worth it and I've gotten a lot of use out of mine, still works perfectly.

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Old 11-09-12, 09:07 PM   #6
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I also have the showers pass 2.0 and its a nice jacket. I've found that nothing really breathes well enough to keep up with my sweating when I ride hard. My direct commute is short too at 15 miles round trip, so I try to ride hard. I wear the showers pass jacket when its cold and wet, but only zip the first inch or so and really tighten the waist strap down. It helps with some of the rain, but allows me to get some air. If its real cold I'll zip up and just deal w/the sweat inside.

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Old 11-10-12, 01:15 AM   #7
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I had a showers pass elite 2.0 and was VERY happy with it until a zipper blew out. Because I had purchased it at REI (with their really good return/exchange policy), I took it in for a swap, but they were between model years and didn't have too many SP on hand. On a whim, I got the Novarra equivalent and had $100 in store credit to spare (there was a sale).
I'm very pleased with the Novarra. In my experience every bit as water proof as the SP and similar fabric breathability. The only compromise is that the Novarra lacks a rear vent across the shoulder blades, but makes up for it with other features that the SP lacked (stowable "rain tail", better pocket orientation).
I use the Showers Pass helmet cover (with tail), and have Pearl Izumi rain pants and shoe covers. It's a great setup.
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Old 11-10-12, 06:17 AM   #8
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I Like my Showers Pass jacket as well. I rode through a drenching rain in Seattle and it kept me dry. I also used it through hurricane Sandy last week, except not on my bike.
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Old 11-10-12, 08:14 AM   #9
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+1 on the Novara Stratos jacket. I've only used mine on a few very short trips and no rain yet, so I can really only speak to its quality and fit. I'm very happy with those aspects. It would be nice if it had a way to attach a hood. I originally picked up the Cannondale Metro on sale at Nashbar. It appeared to be an excellent jacket, but the large was way too big for me and they didn't have the medium on sale. If one of the sizes they have would fit you, it might be an excellent option.
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Old 11-10-12, 05:10 PM   #10
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I'll give the J+G stuff a big thumbs up. I have the windbreaker and the W/B and really like them both. I think my older Burley is a bit lighter than the J+G and it works great too, if you could find a Burley that's not all beat up get it. Mine was made the last year they manufactured clothing and from what I understand Showers Pass bought the patterns for their earlier jackets. I may be wrong but that's how I heard it.
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Old 11-11-12, 01:47 AM   #11
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I'll also plug the showers pass elite 2.0. Living up in Kodiak, I'm in one of the few places that probably rains more than where you are, and the jacket does awesome overall. It'll keep the rain off for about a year and a half before you have to nikwax it. I've ridden it in downpours that I could hardly breath in and came out with a dry torso (not so much the rest of the bod). Like others have said nothing completely keeps up with your sweat, but it gives your body a run for it's money. Wear something wicking like a wool shirt underneath and you'll be money.

My zipper also blew out on mine a while back. I bought mine direct from the company, and without any expectations on my part (I had had it for a few years already) for warranty coverage they replaced the whole thing for free when I asked them for help with repairing it! Awesome customer service! My next jacket purchase, whenever that is, will also be from them.

No, I don't work for them! Good on ya for riding all weather!
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Old 11-11-12, 03:32 AM   #12
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I have found a Cycling Rain Cape to be Ideal when It is Really Rainy

Hands stay dry, add a helmet cover, and you will be OK..

My legs and shoes are dry enough under the awning of my arms holding out the cape.

only use light rain pants when there is a strong headwind.. incoming Storm..
http://www.rivbike.com/product-p/ar1.htm

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Old 11-11-12, 01:27 PM   #13
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Birthday suit, nothing gets more waterproof than your own skin and riding in the cold temps will only build character!
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Old 11-11-12, 11:42 PM   #14
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Mission workshop Orion, if it gets cool enough (below 60)
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Old 11-12-12, 10:52 AM   #15
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BTW, I use my Showers Pass jacket when I *know* it's going to be raining. Otherwise I use a Rapha softshell, which also deals with (less) water pretty well.

The SP jacket's advantages are better water-tightness, the phone pocket on the breast, and the hood. Can't be beat when it's pouring, and works pretty well with layers in the snow, too.

The Rapha breathes better in normal conditions, rides well under a wider temperature range, and imo looks better. the little "half-glove" caps on the sleeves (over the palm) allegedly help keep water out by sealing the glove area. Maybe this is true. It also has a foldable butt flap because many road bikes (mine included) can't fit std fenders. This can keep your backside warmer & drier.
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Old 11-12-12, 12:14 PM   #16
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I am using a Showers Pass jacket also (Transit this year, previously known as the Touring) and like it quite a bit, it's kept me dry on my commute perfectly, and is cut in a manor that works for a bigger guy (me) as well as layering. I know you didn't ask about gloves or shoe covers but I have to +1 the comment about Endura, my gloves and shoe covers from them have both been outstanding.
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Old 11-12-12, 01:53 PM   #17
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I've had my vented/breathable from bicycleclothing.com (jacket and pants) for about 5 years now, I wear them all winter and whenever it's raining hard and not hot in the summer, probably 100+ days a year, and they're still both in excellent condition. If I had to replace them I'd buy the same thing again. I'd probably go look at the Showers Pass but even the commuter version is 60% more expensive than the J&G, and I have zero complaints about that, so it probably wouldn't pass my value for money test.
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Old 11-13-12, 02:55 PM   #18
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I've had my vented/breathable from bicycleclothing.com (jacket and pants) for about 5 years now,
Have you ever had to recondition it with Nik-wax?
You will with Showers Pass. Mine wore out after about 18 months.
I'm working on my second Showers Pass jacket. The first one was the "Century" model, purchased in 07. That lasted till Nov 2010 thru heavy use. The zipper eventually quit working. One of those deals where you zip it up and it would come apart in the middle. So I forked out another $250 for an "Elite" model. After three months the zipper on the chest pocket broke, so I can no longer use that. These are good jackets, they live up to all of the hype, IMO. But if you're riding year round, through winter, and using it as your outer shell like I do. Then it will probably last you three years perhaps. I'm just going by the first one that I had. Anyway, when this one wears out I'm going with the J&G jacket. I hear too many good things about them and they are priced right.
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Old 11-14-12, 11:23 AM   #19
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Find a local tailor that can repair/replace the zippers, and you'll get many more years of use from your jacket. It's surprisingly inexpensive in most places. I have the Novara tights and a Novara jacket for most days. When it's really raining, I use actual waterproof gear (I'll have to look up the brand), but it doesn't breathe at all.

If it's over 60F and raining, I just get wet. I keep a dry pair of socks in my desk, and I'm changing everything else when I get to work anyway, so it's no big deal for me. And while we may not get quite as many inches of rain, we get a lot of rainy days here.
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Old 11-22-12, 11:09 AM   #20
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Showers Pass is having a Black Friday sale over the weekend -- the Event 2 jacket is $140! Terrific deal
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Old 11-22-12, 11:24 AM   #21
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Another vote for Shower's Pass! I find that mine is great for cold days, wet or not, as it is a very good windstopper. But I sweat enough to overcome any breathable fabric woven closer than fishnet (my legs get a bit cool in the fishnet leggings....), so the breathable feature of the fabric is lost on me. In fact, that is probably the case for most folks. But where the SP wins is the shoulder-to-shoulder vent and the ridiculously long pit zips. Allows me to regulate airflow and still stay dry. Finally, I love the cut. I have lived my life with sleeves that are too stinkin' short. The SP jackets are designed so that the sleeves are almost stupidly long - not so good for a town coat, but almost perfect for a jacket that you wear when bent over the bars on a road bike, even in the drops.

I also have the SP waterproof pants and shoe covers, for those really nasty wet ones. You probably see more nasty pouring wet than I do, but on the days I ride with them on I simply slow way down, so my normal ~35 minute commute becomes more like 45 minutes to work. I still can't ride in without having to shower when I get there, but slowing down that much does cut the sweating in the waterproof pants - but even on warmer days, tights or britches are needed to keep from having to deal with the clammy feel. But SP has done a great job on design - when you have the pants all velcroed up, the shoe covers on, it is hard to get wet.

I wax lyrical...but I just love well-thought-out and well-designed stuff. SP has done that (and I do not work for them).
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Old 11-22-12, 03:54 PM   #22
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I've had my vented/breathable from bicycleclothing.com (jacket and pants) for about 5 years now, I wear them all winter and whenever it's raining hard and not hot in the summer, probably 100+ days a year, and they're still both in excellent condition. If I had to replace them I'd buy the same thing again. I'd probably go look at the Showers Pass but even the commuter version is 60% more expensive than the J&G, and I have zero complaints about that, so it probably wouldn't pass my value for money test.
+1 When my J&G needs to be replaced, I will replace it with another one.
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Old 11-22-12, 04:28 PM   #23
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Get something with underarm zippers to vent the heat. Otherwise, you're going to get hot. Taiga sells some cycling shells: https://www.taigaworks.ca/Cycle-Clothing-c10 They have back vents, too. To keep cool, ventilation is probably more important than the material. FYI their non-cycling shells labeled sport also have underarm zippers.
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Old 11-22-12, 08:33 PM   #24
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i like my endura jacket (and rain pants). i've also heard good things about altura and dhb. those should all be available from the major online retailers.
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Old 11-22-12, 09:23 PM   #25
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Another vote for ShowersPass. True, pricey, but well worth it and I've gotten a lot of use out of mine, still works perfectly.

Rick / OCRR
+1
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