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  1. #1
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Help me choose my rain gear...

    My daughter came over from St Pete last week to spend a few day riding with her dad. We got soaked on three of the four days that we rode. I have decided that a good investment for us would be to buy some rain gear. I tried to do a search on rain gear on this forum but nothing showed up.

    Here are my conditions:

    We live and ride mostly in Florida it's hot and humid during summer and it rains almost ever afternoon.
    We need something that is compact and light but durable. Will be carried in a small handlebar bag.
    I don't want to mortgage the farm to stay dry.
    Prefer pants and jacket and shoe covers, head cover.
    Need something that breathes.
    We don't ride at the speeds that many of you do so we can be out in the rain for some time.

    I am sure that many of these requirements cannot be met but let's give it a try.

    What do you use and recommend?
    SloSpoke Jim

  2. #2
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    This Jacket from Performance Bike seems like it fits what you want. They also have matching pants, so back up a page to see those as well.

    http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._400000_400070
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  3. #3
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    [quote=kjc9640;9550556]
    I am sure that many of these requirements cannot be met but let's give it a try.

    What do you use and recommend?
    [quote]

    I have a lot of experience riding in cold rain (Seattle), and a bit of experience in warm rain. The problem with warm rain is that anything that will keep you dry will also get you way too hot.

    For warm rain I wear:

    - A helmet cover (keeps all the rain from soaking down into your head)
    - A light windshell or rain shell (my really good Showers Pass rain jacket is too warm for summer)
    - Regular bike shorts - not pants. Way too hot.
    - Booties on feet.

    If it's cool I also wear full-finger gloves.

    And don't forget the most important bit of rain gear of all: fenders.

    Just FYI, I own some rain pants (from REI - they have good rain stuff), but I rarely wear them. It has to be *really* pouring to get me to put on rain pants, primarily because I hate the noise they make and the feel. Usually in a cold winter rain I just wear regular tights over my biking shorts.

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I have a variety of top coats but not your type of rain. However this year I bought a lightweight waterproof made by Karrimor (The outdoor specialist) that is good. Lightweight and folds down small- Waterproof and it breaths. It also doubles up as an outer layer for the cooler morning starts or if the weather may change and I may need a bit of protection later on.

    I did have my doubts as it is as light as a Pertex top that is only windproof but this one does work in prolongued rain and if I do get hot while riding also has a few zippable vents to allow me to cool down.

    Just keep looking and don't forget to try the outdoor shops to see if anything is suitable.
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  5. #5
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    The problem with warm rain is that anything that will keep you dry will also get you way too hot.

    <snip>

    And don't forget the most important bit of rain gear of all: fenders.
    I agree with both these statements.

    Even the best (read: extremely expensive) breathable rainwear turns into a boil-in-bag over 50° or 60°F. Sure you don't get rained on, but you still get wet from sweat, and then you'll baste in your own juices. Rainwater washes all that away.

    I don't even go as far as BengeBoy. In warm rain I don't change a thing from other warm weather riding--standard bikewear works just fine.

    Fenders, however, are a godsend. Everyone thinks about the skunk stripe up the back. No one considers the same thing coming off the front and into your face. Think about some of the stuff in the road. Now think about if you want it liquefied and thrown in your face.

    Keeps the bike cleaner too.

    BTW, riding in the rain takes 40 years off my state of mind. I recommend it heartily--especially the part when you take your feet off the pedals in a puddle. Shouting "Wheee!" helps too.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member semsd's Avatar
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    KISS "Keep It Simple"

    I have a habit of over simplifying things, so please forgive me.

    • Your riding in Florida
    • Florida is tropical
    • temp in the 90’s
    • when you ride you sweet like crazy


    Anything you try to wear will just make you hot.
    Get good quality shorts and jerseys, they dry fast. And just let the rain fall.

    Back when I was stationed in the Philippines, I found rain gear to be useless
    Last edited by semsd; 08-25-09 at 05:12 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    I tend to agree with tsl and BengeBoy. The only thing I would add is that if I know with certainty it will rain, I take a cycling cap to help keep the rain out of my eyes (a cycling cap under the helmet with the visor pulled way down does a remarkably good job). I also ride my "rain bike/beater" with fenders, and will wear my older pair of cycling shoes. In cooler weather (below 50 degrees) a goretex jacket (I have two, one from REI and the other from Performance). Really cold rain in winter months (lower 40s to mid 30s) I wear a pair of goretex pants from REI.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    Slo Poke,
    When I ride and it rains I get wet. Whether I am in Florida in the summer or riding in the mountains in the spring. It is just the way it works. I have a couple of sets of rain gear that I carry when it is cold and portends rain. The rain gear is supposed to keep me warm, not dry.

    Frankly, when it rains here in Florida in the summer I am a happy camper and gladly get cooled off.
    My recommendation for you is to get a set of cheap rain gear and carry it with you a couple of times and you will determine for yourself exactly what your requirements are for rain gear. On the other hand you can spend big bucks for rain gear and you will end up with the same results.

    I have tried a lot of different kinds of big $$ gear and find that no matter the sales pitch, if I wear it when riding I will sweat and I will be as wet inside as if I had been rained on. If you actually put on a set of shoe covers, head cover, pants, and jacket here in Florida in the summer you had better head for the nearest hospital if you intend to keep riding.
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  9. #9
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    The folks in the Commuting forum are the experts on rain gear.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

    I thought of that while riding my bicycle -- Albert Einstein

  10. #10
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    The folks in the Commuting forum are the experts on rain gear.
    And we'll give exactly the same advice there. Although we'll add that you need to allow time to dry off and change at work. Adding that some employers don't like drippy bikes inside. But the raingear advice is the same.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  11. #11
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    Yep. If it is warm enough, while you are riding through the rain it is not worth while to put on anything else. However, when you stop it is sometimes nice to have a jacket to put on.

  12. #12
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Maybe one of these would keep you dry and cool at the same time
    http://www.catoregon.org/?page_id=536
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  13. #13
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    Maybe one of these would keep you dry and cool at the same time
    http://www.catoregon.org/?page_id=536
    That's interesting, it is amazing what the mind can conceive:

    I will be it works...
    SloSpoke Jim

  14. #14
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    I use a LL Bean Stowaway rain parka, Totes overshoes (high top) and rain pants. I had the local dry cleaner replace the velcro pads on the raincoat with snaps so that I can get better venting when not using the zipper. Breathable fabrics like Gortex are great, but there is no way you can ride comfortably in a summer rain without good venting.

    You also need a rack to store your rain gear when riding and a set of fenders. You don't want to be in the situation of having to wear the rain gear in the hot sun just to protect against water sprayed off your tires. Also, Florida tends to have brief intense rainstorms, so you may only need to wear your raingear for a few minutes during your ride.

    You will have to ride at about the same level of effort that you would walk at when wearing rain gear in the summer. Otherwise, you will be as wet with the rain gear as without.

    Paul

  15. #15
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lighthorse View Post
    Slo Poke,
    When I ride and it rains I get wet. Whether I am in Florida in the summer or riding in the mountains in the spring. It is just the way it works. I have a couple of sets of rain gear that I carry when it is cold and portends rain. The rain gear is supposed to keep me warm, not dry.

    Frankly, when it rains here in Florida in the summer I am a happy camper and gladly get cooled off.
    My recommendation for you is to get a set of cheap rain gear and carry it with you a couple of times and you will determine for yourself exactly what your requirements are for rain gear. On the other hand you can spend big bucks for rain gear and you will end up with the same results.

    I have tried a lot of different kinds of big $$ gear and find that no matter the sales pitch, if I wear it when riding I will sweat and I will be as wet inside as if I had been rained on. If you actually put on a set of shoe covers, head cover, pants, and jacket here in Florida in the summer you had better head for the nearest hospital if you intend to keep riding.
    Thanks for your advise lighthorse, and after giving it some serious thought you have probably nailed it down pretty good. I think I will use the rain gear money for some other bike bling. That's right that's what I am going to do. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

    SloSpoke Jim

  16. #16
    Slo Spoke Jim kjc9640's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by semsd View Post
    KISS "Keep It Simple"

    I have a habit of over simplifying things, so please forgive me.

    • Your riding in Florida
    • Florida is tropical
    • temp in the 90’s
    • when you ride you sweet like crazy


    Anything you try to wear will just make you hot.
    Get good quality shorts and jerseys, they dry fast. And just let the rain fall.

    Back when I was stationed in the Philippines, I found rain gear to be useless
    Very good advise, thanks

    SloSpoke Jim

  17. #17
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonH View Post
    The folks in the Commuting forum are the experts on rain gear.
    I think the consensus on the Commuting forum is there is no good way to stay dry in warm weather without getting insufferably hot.

    FYI, I rode to work this morning in light rain. It was about 65 degrees, which I consider to be "warm" rain by Seattle standards. I wore a very, very, very, very light jacket, and it was a bit too warm. I didn't have anything else special on, but my bike does have terrific full-length fenders.

  18. #18
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    I wouldn't bother with pants unless it is really cold + heavy rain. In less severe conditions I just use tights. I found that overshoes were useless for wet weather but good for cold/dry weather. I do have a pair of waterproof socks. I hardly wear those - they let water run down my legs into the socks!

    I have a light weight rain proof that has ventilation in the arms (made by Lusso). I bought it 20 years back. It is my preferred lightweight weather protector that fits into a back pocket. I don't think that you can get them any longer - though I keep on looking. If it isn't raining too hard you can cycle with it unzipped either fully or partially. That helps with ventilation + temperature control.

    So nowadays I just do my best to avoid cycling in heavy rain!

  19. #19
    Senior Member wrafl's Avatar
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    I use rain gear from J&G Cyclewear. They have reasonable prices. Most of the suggestions are also good products.

    www.bicycleclothing.com

  20. #20
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    I'm in N Florida and I don't add anything when it rains during the summer. If it's a little on the cool side, I'll wear a mesh-backed cycling vest. A visor helps on the helmet.

    THe most breathable thing out there is the Showers Pass mentioned, but only those made with Event material.

    Al

  21. #21
    reTIRED JustCruisin's Avatar
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    Frog Togs ,light and they breath have a hoodie attached you will need a boot. I rode MC's for several years 15k avg a year. I have many sets of rain gear that cost a ton more than the togs but none that are lighter, breath better, or do any better job of keepin me dry. So the rest are all on the shelf in the garage. I don't do rain any more so my son carries them on his bike.
    It's Not the destination, It's the Ride.

  22. #22
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    rain gear

    try and look at some frogg toggs,I used a set pants and jacket to fish in while living in Alabama not to hot for warmer weather

  23. #23
    Question Authority JoeMan's Avatar
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    I have been using Showers Pass on my rides both long and short in Western Oregon. The jacket works both as a wind breaker and rainwear. The jacket is well vented and very durable. It is designed to be used in all types of weather - warm and cold. It can get cool in Florida.

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