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Old 08-24-09, 08:02 PM   #1
kjc9640
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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?
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Old 08-24-09, 09:47 PM   #2
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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
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Old 08-24-09, 09:52 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 08-24-09, 11:56 PM   #4
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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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Old 08-25-09, 01:33 AM   #5
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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 60F. 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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Old 08-25-09, 04:08 AM   #6
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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 04:12 AM.
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Old 08-25-09, 04:21 AM   #7
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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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Old 08-25-09, 05:05 AM   #8
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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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Old 08-25-09, 06:59 AM   #9
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The folks in the Commuting forum are the experts on rain gear.
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Old 08-25-09, 08:21 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 08-25-09, 08:34 AM   #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.
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Old 08-25-09, 08:37 AM   #12
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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
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Old 08-25-09, 09:07 AM   #13
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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
That's interesting, it is amazing what the mind can conceive:

I will be it works...
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Old 08-25-09, 09:09 AM   #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.

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Old 08-25-09, 09:16 AM   #15
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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.

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Old 08-25-09, 09:20 AM   #16
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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 90s
  • 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

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Old 08-25-09, 10:14 AM   #17
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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.
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Old 08-25-09, 12:25 PM   #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!
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Old 08-25-09, 12:37 PM   #19
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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
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Old 08-25-09, 02:59 PM   #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
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Old 08-26-09, 02:25 PM   #21
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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.
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Old 09-05-09, 05:51 PM   #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
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Old 09-05-09, 09:18 PM   #23
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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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