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Old 09-23-06, 06:56 PM   #1
mcadam
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Raingear?

As I use my bike for all (to work, shopping, general trans etc) any suggestions on decent biking raingear, as the weather here sucks of late, will be appreciated. Thanks....~Mcadam
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Old 09-24-06, 12:23 AM   #2
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Depends on your finances- but the way mine is going- Black plastic sacks still work.
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Old 09-24-06, 12:33 AM   #3
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doesn't rain enough where I live for me to have much worthwhile experience: I believe in Gore-Tex...LL Bean has a wonderful Gore-Texas jacket that is only 80 bucks or so. I use that jacket for all travel and for cycling in drizzle. 'guaranteed-to-keep-you-dry" construction, works great for layering, etc. Packs into its own pocket, has a hood, etc.

As for Gore-Texas pants, I own one pair that has no pockets, cost me over 100 bucks & is poorly designed for comfort or convenience. So poorly designed that altho I've carried the pants backpacking for years, usually I'd rather just have my legs get wet & dry out later. And I've not found any 'better' gore-tex pants on the market despite looking in every REI and other backpacking store I go into. Perhaps there are some inherent limitations to sewing Gore-Tex that makes pant construction problematic? Snowskiers probably know more about clothes choices.
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Old 09-24-06, 12:34 AM   #4
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Here's what I've come up with after 20+ years of bike commuting in rainy Vancouver, British Columbia:

Head: wear one of those old cotton cycling caps underneath your helmet. It really helps if you have one of the helmets with the adjusting wheels in back (like Bell GPS) so you can easily change your helmet adjustment for riding with or without the cap. When it's raining hard, you can ride with the peak in front to keep the rain out of your eyes. Otherwise, as the temperature drops under 10 Celsius (40 F), I just ride with the cap on backwards underneath the helmet to keep my head warm. Anything else (wool cap, balaclava, neck warmer) will be just too hot.

Hands: Neoprene gloves.

Torso: Light Goretex rain jacket, the simpler the better. You'll get just as wet inside from your sweat as you would from the rain, but at least it keeps you warm (and it will keep you dry for a while, until you start sweating). Underneath the rain jacket, I just wear a long-sleeve jersey and a cotton t-shirt. Polypro is probably a better material than cotton, which tends to get cold when it gets wet. Wool t-shirts would also work, since wool holds your body heat even when it's wet.

Lower body: Just cycling shorts and heavy-weight tights. Rain pants are just too restricting and promote sweating.

Feet: Neoprene shoe covers over your cycling shoes. The bottom of your tights should go OVER the shoe covers. This will keep your feet dry for about 40 minutes of riding time. If you put the tights INSIDE the shoe covers, the rain water will just bleed down into the socks and your feet will be soaked in about five minutes.

Some people recommend large rain ponchos, but I find they collect too much wind.

Be sure to attach fenders. Lights are also good, since visibility gets really bad when it's dark and raining. Take an initial change of cycling gear to work. This way, you can hang your wet gear to dry when you get in, and if it's still wet in the evening when you're ready to leave, you just put on the dry gear and ride home. This gives the wet stuff another day to get dry. You just keep rotating your cycling gear like this. At the very least, keep a pair of dry socks at work.

Most people don't ride when it's raining, but I really enjoy riding in the rain. I think it separates the real cyclists from the pretenders. I like to think that it takes real mental toughness to ride the bike to work in the rain day after day after day.

- L.
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Old 09-24-06, 12:40 AM   #5
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do you wear cycling glasses? what do you do when your vision starts to blur because of rain rolling down them? The loss of visibility is the worst part for me...
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Old 09-24-06, 08:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcadam
As I use my bike for all (to work, shopping, general trans etc) any suggestions on decent biking raingear, as the weather here sucks of late, will be appreciated. Thanks....~Mcadam
Have you checked with the good folks in the Commuting forum?
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Old 09-24-06, 08:38 AM   #7
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Ihbernhardt says it well. Beyond that, it's overkill and pointless. You get wet in the rain, inside and out. I use a mid-price snowboard parka with the lining out. Cool-Max or equivalent T under. As it cools later in the year, I use a thin wool blend T. In fact, I'm riding out to the local REI and a surplus store right now to do a little winter shopping.

The only thing I would put at Number One would be fenders with a front flap that goes almost to the ground. That's mostly to protect the bike works from the crap on the ground.
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Old 09-24-06, 09:06 AM   #8
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LL Bean Gortex "Stowaway" rain parka
LL Bean Gortex rain pants
Totes neoprene overshoes (the high ones)

These are breathable fabric.

No raincoat --> soaked in rain
Non-breathable --> soaked in sweat
Breathable --> slightly damp

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Old 09-24-06, 11:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulH
No raincoat --> soaked in rain
Non-breathable --> soaked in sweat
Breathable --> slightly damp

Paul
Depends on how hard it is going to rain. Out for a ride with a possibility of a shower- then a cheap waterproof that will fold away small is the priority. Going to rain hard and for a long time- then a breathable such as Goretex, is the best for me. Going to be wet and cold- Stay at home.
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Old 09-24-06, 02:48 PM   #10
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My favorite raingear is Rudolph Frank
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Old 09-24-06, 04:57 PM   #11
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in red, I presume?

Rudolph in redclad raingear, had some very slimey toes,
Rudolph in rainwet headgear couldn't count on rainproof clothes...
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Old 09-24-06, 05:15 PM   #12
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We use O2 Cycling Rainwear; pitzips for cooling, neon yellow for visibility. Works for us.
Yes, large garbage bag with 3 holes will work in a pinch!
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Old 09-24-06, 08:00 PM   #13
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Performance goretex jacket and neoprene on the hands and feet if it's below 40 degrees.
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Old 09-24-06, 09:14 PM   #14
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I bought a set of Frogg Toggs (the original) at Gander Mountain they are light weight and have come in handy too many times. Think I only paid thrity-five dollars for them on sale.

http://www.froggtoggs.com/home.asp
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Old 09-24-06, 09:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOS88
Performance goretex jacket and neoprene on the hands and feet if it's below 40 degrees.
Have one of these Gore jackets and thought Gortex was supposed to let the moisture out and keep the rain out. My experience is your just as wet from sweating on the inside. If the rain jacket does not have some kind of arm pit vents and a rear vent of some kind - pass on it.
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Old 09-25-06, 06:19 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilman_15106
Have one of these Gore jackets and thought Gortex was supposed to let the moisture out and keep the rain out. My experience is your just as wet from sweating on the inside. If the rain jacket does not have some kind of arm pit vents and a rear vent of some kind - pass on it.
Mine has both arm and rear vents. However, I've owned lots of Gortex gear over the years and have found that if the exercise is hard enough the moisture will exceed the fabric's ability to allow it to pass. For me the difference is cold rain water hitting me, or warm body mositure staying around. I am wet with Goretex, but it's not quite as bad as other systems I've tried. I guess I should add that I always wear a base layer that wicks moisture away from the skin.... even in the summer.
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Old 09-25-06, 08:47 AM   #17
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I have been using a nylon rainsuit (a performance bicycling job). It does not breathe so sweat builds up inside. But it does have the advantage of keeping one warm in cold rains. I got mine pretty cheap on a sale.
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Old 09-25-06, 09:48 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhbernhardt
Feet: Neoprene shoe covers over your cycling shoes. The bottom of your tights should go OVER the shoe covers. This will keep your feet dry for about 40 minutes of riding time. If you put the tights INSIDE the shoe covers, the rain water will just bleed down into the socks and your feet will be soaked in about five minutes.- L.
Great tip! (now you tell me, after doing a metric in pouring rain Saturday...)

I agree with centex that visibility was the worst part. I have glasses with Rx inserts which usually work very well, but they collected a lot of raindrops...
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Old 09-25-06, 10:00 AM   #19
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I had used goretex for golf rainsuits and occasionally on wet rides. I still found sweat to be a big problem, so I acquired a super cheap non goretex, non vented rainsuit. Wow. I got wetter from sweat on the inside than from rain on the outside. Goretex helps, but vents are the way to go.
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