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  1. #1
    the commutor / tourer mcavana's Avatar
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    rain gear in warm climate

    normally when i commute to work and it is raining, i simply put on my spd sandals and get soaked.

    The weather man says that it is going to start raining on the 3rd day of my 4 day tour next week. When you tour in warm climate (temperature about 70 degrees) do you use any kind of rain gear? If so, please explain. I already have covers for paniers, and fenders on the bike...

    basicly I have never done longer than 15 miles in the rain. I plan to travel at least 50 miles each day of my tour.

    thanks,

    Mike
    "Ready to retire, just can't afford it yet!"

  2. #2
    this bike is an aqueduct Matthew A Brown's Avatar
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    Carradice makes a rain poncho that's amazing for wet + warm (half of our year down here...) and I love it. Haven't toured with it, however, just commuted.
    Villin custom touring | Raleigh XXIX | Medici Pro Pista | 1978 Schwinn Stingray

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    At a certain point, I'd just enjoy the shower. But for me, that point is about 90*F. I used to live and commute in Singapore, and there was nothing more welcome than a tropical cloudburst on the ride home.

    But I kinda think that 70* would be on the cold side to be soaked. Not for an hour's ride maybe, but in this case you're heading for camp and a long night outside. In a downpour, there's nothing that will keep you truly dry. But good rain gear will prolong the inevitable, giving you a chance to keep warm.

    In fact for me, rain gear is most valuable in camp, when you've already unpacked, showered up, dried off, warmed up, and the sky doesn't cooperate.

    -- Mark

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    Cyclin' twosome
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    The Carradice rain poncho mentioned by Matthew above is excellent. We've used it on numerous tours & always found it to be much better than anything else we've ever used. It works kinds like a tent..... protects from rain & road spray from above & sides, but allows air circulation below to minimize sweat dampness. Works great with t-shirt & shorts, or layered clothing in colder weather.

  5. #5
    the commutor / tourer mcavana's Avatar
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    thanks for the advice... looks like one of my favorite shops www.wallbike.com carries the poncho for just under 100 bucks. I will probably order one tommorow morning.


    Thank you for the help (as always)

    Mike
    "Ready to retire, just can't afford it yet!"

  6. #6
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Riding in the rain without protection in 70 deg weather would be a miserable experience. This assumes that the temperature does not fall when the rain begins coming down. The issue is not staying dry, because unless you use a bike poncho and have full fenders,, you are going to be wet. Even with the best rain jacket and pants, you will be soaked from sweat 15 minutes after you put on the rain suit.

    Even though you will be wet, the rain suit keeps the cold rain off of you so you stay warm. You won;t be the most comfortable, but it's better than no rain gear.

    Don't forget rain protection for your head. A $1 shower cap will cover your helmet and give you total protection there. Put your feet in plastic bags and tuck the top of the bag into your rain pants. You can buy waterproof socks, but the bags are cheaper. You might also consider latex gloves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    Don't forget rain protection for your head. A $1 shower cap will cover your helmet and give you total protection there. Put your feet in plastic bags and tuck the top of the bag into your rain pants. You can buy waterproof socks, but the bags are cheaper. You might also consider latex gloves.
    Creepy!

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    Senior Member SteelCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    Riding in the rain without protection in 70 deg weather would be a miserable experience. This assumes that the temperature does not fall when the rain begins coming down. The issue is not staying dry, because unless you use a bike poncho and have full fenders,, you are going to be wet. Even with the best rain jacket and pants, you will be soaked from sweat 15 minutes after you put on the rain suit.

    Even though you will be wet, the rain suit keeps the cold rain off of you so you stay warm. You won;t be the most comfortable, but it's better than no rain gear.

    Don't forget rain protection for your head. A $1 shower cap will cover your helmet and give you total protection there. Put your feet in plastic bags and tuck the top of the bag into your rain pants. You can buy waterproof socks, but the bags are cheaper. You might also consider latex gloves.
    I'd say this might be a personal thing for each rider to decide. After all, Supcom here I'm sure has figured out what he likes. But my experience is totally different. I'll ride in the high 50s without a waterproof rain jacket (unless it is windy, then it comes on). In the 50s and upwards, I just wear something that keeps me warm when wet, like a short sleeve wool jersey or maybe a light breathable nylon windbreaker. That's not to say anyone else is wrong for advising anything else - it just seems to be an individual preference. I know my wife shares the same preference as me. I prefer rain wet to hot sweat wet.

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    I have ridden all day in the mountains in heavy rain. As long as you can regulate your temp, the dampness is not a huge problem. It is usually more comnfortable to keep riding than stop and wait.
    For your kind of temps, I use a gortex with a vented back and arm pits. I might use some ultralight pertex pants over my shorts in cooler rain. A helmet is good enough rain protection. Waterproof hats and gloves are too warm and clammy for temperate conditions.

  10. #10
    Cyclin' twosome
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    Amen, SteelCommuter! It's all really subjective.... I get pretty chilled riding wet when the temp is in the 50-60 degree range, but usually enjoy a rainy ride in warmer weather without rain gear. Do you ever find yourself turning around to ride back through someone's lawn sprinkler that happens to be watering the sidewalk or street? Over & over... then you notice someone watching with a smile on their face.... so you smile, wave, & ride on? Kinda like bein' a kid again (still?). So true also about prefering rain moisture to sweat moisture... that's one reason we quit using rain suits (even goretex); not enough ventilation for us. We all do eventually figure out what works for us & what we like best! That's half the fun!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Contrary to the multiple replies of "In a downpour, there's nothing that will keep you truly dry" or "Even with the best rain jacket and pants, you will be soaked from sweat 15 minutes after you put on the rain suit" you can wear a breathable 100% waterproof jacket and not sweat to death.

    I ride for hours, in complete downpours, and end up no more wet than wearing my softshell in non rain conditions. But the warmer temperatures of florida may make the sweating part too much. Almost all of my rain riding is in cooler temps. Summer here is 70-80 degrees, I just get wet but thats warm for us. For you thats probably cold :/

    Legs I dont even bother with waterproof. Hot= let them get wet, cool I wear leg warmers and let them get wet but stay warm, cold = I wear windproof tights and let them get wet but stay warm.

    Jacket I use a showerspass. Everyone who says you sweat too much are people who got burned with goretex and havnt tried new event material. I'll let you do your own research on it.
    Jarery

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    -If two bikes are going in the same direction, ITS A RACE!

  12. #12
    this bike is an aqueduct Matthew A Brown's Avatar
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    Possibly semi-obvious caveat for the Carradice capes:


    Where there's rain there is often wind, at which point you and bike become the crazy sail'd contraption. If you got the wind at your back it an absolute holiday, otherwise it can be the a hella headwind.

    Which isn't necessarily bad--who's on a big hurry in a tour?--just something to keep in mind.
    Villin custom touring | Raleigh XXIX | Medici Pro Pista | 1978 Schwinn Stingray

  13. #13
    Senior Member SteelCommuter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarery
    Contrary to the multiple replies of "In a downpour, there's nothing that will keep you truly dry" or "Even with the best rain jacket and pants, you will be soaked from sweat 15 minutes after you put on the rain suit" you can wear a breathable 100% waterproof jacket and not sweat to death.

    I ride for hours, in complete downpours, and end up no more wet than wearing my softshell in non rain conditions. But the warmer temperatures of florida may make the sweating part too much. Almost all of my rain riding is in cooler temps. Summer here is 70-80 degrees, I just get wet but thats warm for us. For you thats probably cold :/

    Legs I dont even bother with waterproof. Hot= let them get wet, cool I wear leg warmers and let them get wet but stay warm, cold = I wear windproof tights and let them get wet but stay warm.

    Jacket I use a showerspass. Everyone who says you sweat too much are people who got burned with goretex and havnt tried new event material. I'll let you do your own research on it.
    I definitely doubt whether this will work for most people. Most waterproof breathable materials work through vapor evaporation, which relies on what the relative humidity is between the inside and outside. If you work hard and generate enough heat to perspire, and it's raining outside, the evaporation of your sweat will slow down because of the humidity outside the jacket. I've seen different ways to resolve this issue, but when I speak to proprietors who sell this stuff, they have told me that privately they remain very skeptical.

    I can remain relatively dry in a downpour if I maintain a slow pace, but once you get to any climb, that goes out the window, or if I pick up the speed and go my usual pace.

    Maybe some new material does work for you, and maybe your torso can remain dry even after some real effort. But I find it very difficult to accept unless someone tells me where that water goes, with attention to physics, and it doesn't require a large sum to purchase and experiment with the fabric. In a dry climate with cool temps, I can totally understand how it works. But where I live, in which the humidity level is 87% today, about the same as yours, I reserve my skepticism. Particularly on the hills and mountain passes around me.

  14. #14
    this bike is an aqueduct Matthew A Brown's Avatar
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    Seconded, SC.


    I live in the middle of a swamp. I've ridden with quite a few different combinations of layers and such, and the cape absolutely kills for anything over 80 degrees. It's like having a permanent dry and (relatively) cool breeze around almost your entire torso.

    Any jacket that can somehow pull certain kids moisture (sweat) from one side of a barrier while prohibiting other kinds of moisture (rain) is going to cost at least three times as much as even the fancy poncho.

    (Not trying to be critical of those jackets, necessarily-- just that over a certain temperature and humidity there's precious little you can do with something that close to your body.)
    Villin custom touring | Raleigh XXIX | Medici Pro Pista | 1978 Schwinn Stingray

  15. #15
    the commutor / tourer mcavana's Avatar
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    thanks for your help everyone... I ordered the poncho mentioned above this morning. Another pleasurable experience with walingford bicycle.
    "Ready to retire, just can't afford it yet!"

  16. #16
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCommuter
    In a dry climate with cool temps, I can totally understand how it works. But where I live, in which the humidity level is 87% today, about the same as yours, I reserve my skepticism. Particularly on the hills and mountain passes around me.
    I live on a mountain. I commute to work, an hour each way, with lots of climbing each way. Yes, I work when i ride. The jacket I wear isnt an anti persperant, it doesnt stop me from sweating. Even on a non rain day when im wearing a softshell I'll sweat going up the same hills.

    Where a good rainjacket works (in my mind) is one thats able to clear the sweat and vapor away once you hit a flat spot. And one that doesnt have you building up a sweat/vapor when on flat ground. So far this one works for me in the temps we have here.

    As i said earlier, i arrive at work, in rain with 100% humidity, after an hours ride up and over 600 ft hills, with no more persperation on my base layer as days I wear my softshell made from climawool. High outside temperature is where it may fail. But in those days i just wear a nylon type windbreaker and get wet since its warm.

    If you want to do research, look for eVent material. Maybe their website will have the explanations your looking for. I dont care if you beleive me or not, i have no investment in it. I just take offense to being told Im lying, or that im only imagining arriving dry, or im not really working when i ride. Others have claimed as such.

    Id say search the bikeforum site and look for a single user who has an event jacket who isnt happy with its performance. I can find hundreds of pissed off gortex users, i've yet to see one pissed off event user.
    Jarery

    -If you cant see it from space, its not a real hill
    -If two bikes are going in the same direction, ITS A RACE!

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    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Heres the marketing hype. Which since it is marketing hype, needs to be looked at scepticaly. Im an engineer, but not in materials of this nature, I just know it works decent enough for my cycling that i dont sweat to death. But you asked for an explanation

    It would be nice to hear from someone who uses it in warmer temp's, but i would imagine at 70+ you'd be bathign in sweat.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Direct Venting™ vs. "Two-Step Moisture Transport"


    Not only does eVENT® Fabric breathe at unprecedented levels - it does so in a different manner than existing waterproof/breathables.


    Other waterproof/breathable technologies, including previous ePTFE technology, do not literally "breathe" but instead move moisture in two s-l-o-w steps by a process of diffusion through a polyurethane layer. In this process, perspiration vapor is first condensed into liquid form and is absorbed into the PU coating on the inside of the fabric. Then, body heat begins to push that dampness through to the outside of the fabric where it can finally evaporate. In this system, moisture vapor must condense into liquid in order to pass through the PU layer.


    Because the anti-contamination treatment used in eVENT Fabrics does not cover the ePTFE membrane with a polyurethane coating, all the millions upon millions of pores in the material remain open, allowing them to breathe at their full potential. Sweated moisture vapor vents directly to the outside of the fabric in one easy step that we call, aptly enough, Direct Venting.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    http://www.66northus.com/default.asp?page_id=3418

    Edit : heres an interesting link by a reviewer who ran (not jogged) in rain for his test vs gore-tex.
    http://www.hike-lite.co.uk/event.htm


    "Our most severe test of GORE-TEX was to use a Paclite waterproof when running in the rain. This is the greatest demand that can be made of any waterproof since the levels of perspiration (assuming you are really running and not just jogging) are very high. Our conclusion was that the level of condensation was so high that there was little point wearing the jacket and we would have got no less wet if unprotected from the rain.

    When eVENT arrived we though it useful to repeat this test and find out whether an eVENT jacket would perform any better. We were highly impressed, the eVENT jacket remained dry on the inside and was very comfortable to run in. So the claims made that eVENT enabled perspiration vapour to pass through the fabric without condensing first seemed proven to us."
    Last edited by Jarery; 03-14-06 at 03:05 PM.
    Jarery

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    -If two bikes are going in the same direction, ITS A RACE!

  18. #18
    rep
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    Don't forget fenders with your bike poncho (rain cape to Brits). Also, avoid riding on roads with lots of trucks while wearing a poncho, as the poncho really catches the turbulence from passing trucks. I sweat a lot even at temperatures below 10 C (50 F) and have found a bike poncho to be the most usable raingear for falling rain. The fenders are necessary to protect from the water on the ground.

  19. #19
    Senior Member toolboy's Avatar
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    Sorry I didn't read this post earlier - I may have saved you 40 bucks! For others, check Adventure Cycling - in their Cyclosource catalog they have a poncho for $60. For very many years I used nothing but a poncho for touring and loved it. Found it inadequate for around camp though since it works best when stretched out over the bars and behind the seat. Blows around quite a bit off-bike. I now use a Bernouli from MEC, GoreTex fronted tights and booties for serious rain in cooler conditions. I can seriously say that some of my best touring days have been in an all day rain! Many in our club call that demented!

  20. #20
    this bike is an aqueduct Matthew A Brown's Avatar
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    I've had some amazing rainy day rides as well. Hell, sometimes I've gone out BECAUSE it was raining ("just" for day rides, at least). The temperature is reasonable, if your out in a nice area there's that lovely dank/healthy/heavy smell to everything, relatively less traffic.


    Also since no one's anywhere near earshot, you can sing your ass off 100% free from shame.
    Villin custom touring | Raleigh XXIX | Medici Pro Pista | 1978 Schwinn Stingray

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    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toolboy
    I now use a Bernouli from MEC, GoreTex fronted tights and booties for serious rain in cooler conditions.
    Can you believe mec discontinued the Bernouli jacket. It was many a cyclists favorite too.

    In 70+ temps I think your just gonna get soaked. Any waterproof will just be too warm at those temps. A thin wool base layer, and one of the microlight shells, with a drw coating to lessen the amount of water getting thru is probably best if the poncho doesnt work for ya.
    Jarery

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    -If two bikes are going in the same direction, ITS A RACE!

  22. #22
    Senior Member toolboy's Avatar
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    It is rather puzzling. Great jacket but pretty warm. You know it's surprising how many people don't realize you can bow out that back flap - many even cover it with a Camelback - defeats the whole purpose. I remember a wet MS ride in Riding Mountain - I swear that about 2/3 of the cyclists were wearing the Bernouli.

  23. #23
    vintage tourer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarery[COLOR=Red
    ]Can you believe mec discontinued the Bernouli jacket. It was many a cyclists favorite too.

    In 70+ temps I think your just gonna get soaked. Any waterproof will just be too warm at those temps. A thin wool base layer, and one of the microlight shells, with a drw coating to lessen the amount of water getting thru is probably best if the poncho doesnt work for ya.
    the absolutely best jacket made and the trim fitting full-length zippered pants were tops too. let's both write an email requesting a comeback. the one point they could improve on, imo, would be changing to a lighter weight fabric. that beefy fabric is great for alpine gear, but what's the point on a bike?
    their panniers are no longer available waterproof either.

    i have heard that the serratus line was discontinued because their "built-in-canada" policy ended up being too expensive. as their operations move off-shore, i hope they'll stick closer to their old design standards than what i've been seeing of late.

  24. #24
    accidental tourist
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    Quote Originally Posted by toolboy
    Sorry I didn't read this post earlier - I may have saved you 40 bucks! For others, check Adventure Cycling - in their Cyclosource catalog they have a poncho for $60. For very many years I used nothing but a poncho for touring and loved it. Found it inadequate for around camp though since it works best when stretched out over the bars and behind the seat. Blows around quite a bit off-bike. I now use a Bernouli from MEC, GoreTex fronted tights and booties for serious rain in cooler conditions. I can seriously say that some of my best touring days have been in an all day rain! Many in our club call that demented!
    I love my Carradice raincape. It is waxed cotton, has a hood and is very well made. It's the Brooks saddle of garments. But I ride in a lot of rain here in WA, and since I like capes the best, I am interested in the cape you mention. Is it large enough for a Clydesdale? Is the material long lived or is it something you replace every couple of seasons?

    I notice they said in their ad to hook the loops over the handlebars. I always hook the loops over my thumbs. Are the loops meant to be hooked onto the bars??? That seems crazy.

  25. #25
    Senior Member toolboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spokewrench55
    Is it large enough for a Clydesdale? Is the material long lived or is it something you replace every couple of seasons?

    I notice they said in their ad to hook the loops over the handlebars. I always hook the loops over my thumbs. Are the loops meant to be hooked onto the bars??? That seems crazy.
    I think it would fit anyone "one size fits all" but I've been bitten by that one too! The "coated Nylon Oxford" material would be very tough. Generally, any product sold by AC is pretty darned good. I don't know what kind of front strap or hook they have but the idea is that the cape would protect your hands. I used to hook mine around the brake hoods. Just remember to remove them before dismounting!!

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