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    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    wax-cotton jacket for cycling?

    I was just wondering. I'm sure I read somewhere that it was waterproof, and yet breathable. I know it's a mite heavier than your usual jacket, and not so foldawayable, but anyone ridden in a wax jacket with? Anyone know how breathable they'd be (esp for winter)?

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    Dead Men Assume...
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    Have you ever touched one? I don't think you can cycle with one.

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    I was a fan of waxed cotton or japara when I owned several jackets for general, non-cycling use in the 1970s and 1980s. I have renewed my acquaintance with japara in the form of waterproof pants that I use to cycle-commute to and from, and to work in.

    I had forgotten how good this fabric really is, even though the clothing is = bit heavyweight compared with the technical plastic fabrics. It seems to breath sufficiently to avoid excessive sweat build-up inside, yet keeps quite heavy deluges outside.

    We are just coming into summer here in Australia, so I haven't bothered to acquire a jacket in the same material, but will definitely do so for next winter. And I will be cycle-commuting in it. I will be seeking a version of the jacket that either has a removable inner or one that doesn't have a lining at all. I'd also prefer the design that has a shoulder vent, for obvious reasons.

    I don't know what is available in more "chic" styles in the fabric... here we tend to go for the traditional stockman's style in half and thre-quarter length jackets.

    One of the other attractions is that I can purchase a re-oiling kit that rejuvenates the clothing. In between rejuvenations, whenever they are, I only need to put the clothing in the sun or in front of a heater to redistribute the oil in the fabric.

    The instructions for my old jackets 20 or so years ago said I had to return them to the maker in New Zealand for re-oiling. I usually wore them out (as in torn, worn through the elbows, etc) before getting to that point.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I had not thought about waxed or oiled canvas clothing in years. I had an old field coat that I wore almost continuously back in the 70's that was oiled canvas. It was of the upland bird hunting style with the drop flap in the back (great for carrying birds or laying out to sit on a wet or dirty surface) It was heavy but much more effective than the goretex parka that eventually replaced it.

    I have always much prefered the natural fibers for clothing over the technical stuff. Just funny that way I guess. I have yet to find a "wicking tee" that is comfortable to me.

    I do have a couple of the Carradice bags that are waxed canvas and have been pleased with them over the years.

    Aaron
    Last edited by wahoonc; 10-04-08 at 05:17 AM.
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
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    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Thinking about it, I'm sure my father used to have one - and a short one, at that. I'll have to see if my mother kept it. How cool would that be?

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    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    if you want the performance of waxed cotton, try Epic encapsulated windbreaker from Wild Things. About the same fabric performance as waxed cotton and very packable and compressible.

    I've commuted in a Filson waxed cotton jacket but the waxed cotton definetly doesn't drape well - like a ninja turtle suit!

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    I have cycled in a Barbour waxed cotton jacket (one of their lighter weight hunting/field jackets).
    I wouldnt advise getting waxed cotton for cycling, it is heavy and not as breathable as alternatives.
    The main advantage is that it is very tough so can resist scratching from thorn bushes and is repairable and maintainable. It is also acceptable dress in every circumstance from a farmyard to a 5 star hotel.
    I much prefer my Paramo jacket. It is equally repairable, easier to rewax using Nikwax, much lighter and easier to move in and far more breathable. It comes in a pullover style as well as zipup.

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    The "Barbour suit" was always the standard item for Euro "trials" motorcycle riding. (more similar to the US "enduro") but I would imagine that they would not be quite breathable enough for tough mountain biking.

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    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
    I have cycled in a Barbour waxed cotton jacket (one of their lighter weight hunting/field jackets).
    I wouldnt advise getting waxed cotton for cycling, it is heavy and not as breathable as alternatives.
    The main advantage is that it is very tough so can resist scratching from thorn bushes and is repairable and maintainable. It is also acceptable dress in every circumstance from a farmyard to a 5 star hotel.
    I much prefer my Paramo jacket. It is equally repairable, easier to rewax using Nikwax, much lighter and easier to move in and far more breathable. It comes in a pullover style as well as zipup.

    That Paramo looks great. I had a look on their website and was a little confused though. Is it a waterproof in the modern term, or is it waxed fabric, like a barbour, just thinner?

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I often raced off road motorcycles in one quite a few years ago. I found it to breathe better than any of the high tech breathable fabrics that I have tried, but it was heavy, kind of stiff, and not all that suited to bicycling.

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    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Makes me think of Fjellreven chlotes from Sweden. To be waxed with beeswax using an iron to melt it into the fabrik. Had a jacket like that bur was too lazy to wax it. I guess it depends how much wax you put, or how long ago you put wax?

    I guess this is a better way than syntetics and chemicals, but remember they say that the way cotton is produced today (using chemicals) and using soil and water that should have been used for growing food is not so good. Also today we buy a lot of chlotes that we do not use or use only for a short time. If those are cotton it is not good

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badmother View Post
    Makes me think of Fjellreven chlotes from Sweden. To be waxed with beeswax using an iron to melt it into the fabrik. Had a jacket like that bur was too lazy to wax it. I guess it depends how much wax you put, or how long ago you put wax?

    I guess this is a better way than syntetics and chemicals, but remember they say that the way cotton is produced today (using chemicals) and using soil and water that should have been used for growing food is not so good. Also today we buy a lot of chlotes that we do not use or use only for a short time. If those are cotton it is not good
    Cotton is a sustainable crop...clothes produced from oil are not (a lot of synthetics)

    No cotton is not always grown properly, but neither is most of our current food supply.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  13. #13
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    So could you take a lightweight cotton jacket, wax it and have, voila, a breathable jacket for cycling?

  14. #14
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    ....And ventile cotton doesn't even need the wax!

    Curiously enough, the norwegian military uses a high tech cotton blend in their arctic weather gear.

    Finding the right breathable shell for cycling is difficult. I will STRONGLY recommend the OP try a modern counterpart to waxed cotton and try an EPIC- encapsulated fabric jacket like an Epic shell from Wild Things or windshirt from ORC industries.

    Epic encapsulated fabric is very similar to waxed cotton in performance and much more packable. and they even encapsulate cotton for golf jackets, etc.

    Epic encapsulated fabric technology. The Wild Things Epic jackets are the shizzle.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 10-07-08 at 08:10 AM.

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    Senior Member hurricane harry's Avatar
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    Don't do it mon.

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    50000 Guatts of power 127.0.0.1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Cotton is a sustainable crop...clothes produced from oil are not (a lot of synthetics)

    No cotton is not always grown properly, but neither is most of our current food supply.

    Aaron

    cotton is just as evil as any synthetic fabric.

    more than 1/4th the world usage of pesticides and fertilizers is used for cotton production.
    guess where fertilizers and pesticides are made, and what they are made from ? it isn't the hostess bakery....

    (and guess where all this drains ? the ocean ? good. algae blooms, transmutation....)


    synthetics are no worse, and in some regards better for the environment...the more you know

    wool is probably best cuz sheep eat grasses that grow with little or no pesticide and fertilizers
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  17. #17
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Cotton is a sustainable crop...clothes produced from oil are not (a lot of synthetics)

    No cotton is not always grown properly, but neither is most of our current food supply.

    Aaron
    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    cotton is just as evil as any synthetic fabric.

    more than 1/4th the world usage of pesticides and fertilizers is used for cotton production.
    guess where fertilizers and pesticides are made, and what they are made from ? it isn't the hostess bakery....

    (and guess where all this drains ? the ocean ? good. algae blooms, transmutation....)


    synthetics are no worse, and in some regards better for the environment...the more you know

    wool is probably best cuz sheep eat grasses that grow with little or no pesticide and fertilizers
    Did you READ my post? FWIW I have grown some small batches of organic cotton for personal consumption. Every seen a nylon or poly factory? Not exactly the Garden of Eden and full of nasty stuff if it every hits the atmosphere, one reason much of our synthetic products come from unregulated countries.

    I prefer natural fibers because they are renewable, things like bamboo, cotton, wool and hemp are all natural based fibers that can be regrown if done responsibly. Once you use the oil to make nylon or polyester it is gone, never to be replaced. I have no clue why people need the massive amount of clothing that they purchase. Every thing I own clothing wise will fit in a large steamer trunk.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  18. #18
    Slowpoach
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac View Post
    Have you ever touched one? I don't think you can cycle with one.
    Are you kidding? These things are more breathable than goretex (although less waterproof...). They can smell a bit though.

    I'd prefer something more flexible and a brighter colour, and usually they're cut for bushwalking or horse riding; but I think if you already have one, or want to try cutting one down, they'd be quite good.

  19. #19
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    Rode home yesterday in a torrential downpour with oiled cotton trousers on. The clothing underneath was dry when I got home -- no sign of sweat build-up and no ingress of water. And this after a day working in the rain wearing the oilskin pants.

    I've spent around half of this winter in Australia riding to and from work in the rain wearing three different styles of waterproof trousers. I maintain that oilskins are a great, cheap alternative to the expensive technical fabrics for this type of riding, where bulk and weight is less important than protection from rain, wind and cold.

    The fabric also softens a lot when worn. I think the lining on many jackets probably adds to the perception of stiffness.

    I will likely source a jacket on eBay for around $65 (which at current exchange rates equates to around $56 US). I am keen to test the hypothesis that the technical fabric jackets that I have (MEC) could not maintain the same waterproofing, breathable, cold protection qualities for the same price and for the same use.
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  20. #20
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    rowan brings up a good point-

    there is waxed cotton and there is cotton oilcloth.

    Oilcloth is much more supple than waxed garments which were designed for brush rustling and other high abrasion pursuits.

    there's good waxed AND oiled gear in the USA from Filson.

  21. #21
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    rowan brings up a good point-

    there is waxed cotton and there is cotton oilcloth.

    Oilcloth is much more supple than waxed garments which were designed for brush rustling and other high abrasion pursuits.

    there's good waxed AND oiled gear in the USA from Filson.
    +1 on Filson It is expensive, but will last a long time if taken care of.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  22. #22
    50000 Guatts of power 127.0.0.1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Once you use the oil to make nylon or polyester it is gone, never to be replaced.

    Aaron
    incorrect.

    your sustainable crops can be turned into the same plastic bases the crude oil can make. it is all carbon and hydrogen. and it can be reduced to ....oil....then plastics..


    also the jury is still out on whether or not new oil is produced deep in the crust. a lot of wells are
    filling with new oil from unknown origins. and a lot of the biological matter detected in oil is bactaria that eat the stuff, not the source of the oil itself. there is a lot we do not understand about ground oil. all we really know is how to find a large deposit of it and tap it. the true source of each deposit is hard to pin down.

    anyhow....take an acre of hemp and you can outfit a team with goretex kit you just have to process the hemp in a reactor vessel
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  23. #23
    Senior Member GTALuigi's Avatar
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    get a soft shell jacket, they are warm and breathable.

    i use those for biking under very cold conditions

    otherwise, it'll just be my long sleeve Tshirt + my regular wind/water proof jacket

  24. #24
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    rowan brings up a good point-

    there is waxed cotton and there is cotton oilcloth.

    Oilcloth is much more supple than waxed garments which were designed for brush rustling and other high abrasion pursuits.

    there's good waxed AND oiled gear in the USA from Filson.
    What's the difference between waxed cotton and oilcloth? I had a quick look at a Filson oil skin, and it said it had a parafin oil wax finish. Is this the same kind of finish as a barbour, or is it a different process?

  25. #25
    Banned. Bekologist's Avatar
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    oilcloths are much more supple than waxed workwear canvas.

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