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Old 05-24-07, 09:27 AM   #1
cuffydog
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touring rain gear

I'll be touring in Denmark in a few weeks, where there is the possibility of serious rain and wind (though I hope not). Last year, riding in France, I ended up doing 60km in a driving rain wearing shorts and a pretty big (non-cycling) goretex jacket. The goretex held up pretty well, but it was hot and it grabbed the wind. My shorts were soaked, which was okay. My shoes were too, which was not okay.

To prepare better for rain-soaked days, I am thinking of getting a real cycling rain jacket and some kind of overshoe. I've read very good things about the Showers Pass Elite jacket. It sounds perfect, but it's pricey. Showers Pass has a much cheaper jacket, the Club. They also sell waterproof overshoes.

We'll be riding about 50-60 miles a day.

Has anyone had experience with the various Showers Pass jackets/overshoes, or have other recommendations?
thanks
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Old 05-24-07, 09:35 AM   #2
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I would look into various capes and chaps.
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Old 05-24-07, 09:57 AM   #3
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I found a pair of chaps (rainlegs) and ordered them, though they seem less crucial than the jacket and the overshoes.
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Old 05-24-07, 11:42 AM   #4
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I'd second cape/chaps (or gaters, as we call them here), the type that reach upto under your knees - plenty of air circlation, which is good. Youcan get both from Decathlon, cheap and effective.
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Old 05-24-07, 11:58 AM   #5
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A few years ago I bought a "water-resistant" shell. As it happened, it started to rain -- hard -- as I rode home from the store, so I put it on. Within minute, I was soaked to the skin.

I have worn it since during drizzles, and it's been OK. But in anything more intense, it is worthless!
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Old 05-24-07, 12:10 PM   #6
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I posted a little while back my experience commuting in a rain cape. As I said in that thread, that particular cape doesn't have optimal thumb hooks, and I assume all capes will not be aerodynamic. However, it certainly kept me dry (including shoes) and was a lot less sweaty than rain pants.
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Old 05-24-07, 12:27 PM   #7
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I'm a little shy about getting a cape. I know it will keep me pretty dry, and it's cheap, but Denmark is very windy, and we'll be riding the coast, and I don't really want to become a parasail. That's why a jacket appeals.
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Old 05-24-07, 01:13 PM   #8
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One jacket I'm interested in comes from Rainshield http://www.rainshield.com/p_cycling.html I've tried on their cheapest model, which felt a little too frail, but their pricier jackets look nice.

I'm surprised nobody's suggested wearing those Shimano sandals. That's gotta be the perfect footwear for warm and wet riding.
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Old 05-24-07, 04:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niknak
One jacket I'm interested in comes from Rainshield http://www.rainshield.com/p_cycling.html I've tried on their cheapest model, which felt a little too frail, but their pricier jackets look nice. I'm surprised nobody's suggested wearing those Shimano sandals. That's gotta be the perfect footwear for warm and wet riding.
I had one of the rainshield hoodless jackets in size xl. It fit tight in shoulders/chest area, and leaked during the one rainstorm I tested it in. I got rid of it.

Shimano sandals do work well in rain - very comfortable. They flex a lot for a cycling shoe - you lose >1.0 mph wearing them vs a rigid bike shoe. Also they're heavy compared to even mtb shoes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cuffydog
I found a pair of chaps (rainlegs) and ordered them, though they seem less crucial than the jacket and the overshoes.
I've thought about getting those (or making some) - the one area of my body I want to keep dry is the skin supporting my weight on the saddle. The fact that Rainlegs cover only leg tops means they'll breathe better than rain pants (which are universally terrible for breathability - pants don't have any ventilation zippers like most rain jackets). I consider a jacket less critical, unless its cold. I haven't found a jacket yet that doesn't leave you nearly as wet from perspiration as the rain itself.

I'm adding a waist strap, thumb loops and scotchlite strip to a silnylon backpacking poncho I have - making my own rain cape that will do dual duty (on/off bike rain wear) and be light weight.
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Old 05-24-07, 09:28 PM   #10
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Showers Pass Elite
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Old 05-25-07, 06:24 AM   #11
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Spinnaker--have you, or has anyone here, had any experience with this jacket? From what I've read, it really seems to work, but does it?
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Old 05-25-07, 06:56 AM   #12
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I would not have recommended it if I did not own one.

It is an excellent jacket!
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Old 05-25-07, 08:45 AM   #13
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My girl just recently bought a new jacket. Because we mountaineer as well, it needed to be a good enough mix for both. I prefer gortex XCR material by far over eVent ( although eVent is good ). Its stronger for mountaineering, and as its outer layer is DWR treated, doesnt absorb any water. Also pretty breathable, i dont like getting sweaty. For brands, it doesnt matter, any XCR jacket will be expensive and should do the job.

For special cycling, well ya got me, i wasnt after specific at the time.

XCR is also sometimes lighter or as light as Pac-Lites, dont be fooled by the name always!

Jackets we got:
North Face - universal stretch
Arc´terix - Beta AR ( womans )


Edit ... Another point about mountaineering style jackets, ang just pointed out. Some (ours) are big enough for climbing helmets, so should be good for bike helmets too.. They also are fitted well enough, with good draws against storm level winds, so that wouldnt be a problem.

If you get one that is large enough, you can do what i used to do, pull the bottom of the waterproof below your seat, stops your ass gettin wet.

Last edited by wiles9; 05-25-07 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 05-25-07, 09:42 AM   #14
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At one time or another I've had GoreTex everything from my top of my head to my feet. I've also had a number of different water-resistent fabrics. The fact is - I've never found one that is perfect for complete dryness when cycling. The problem is that you are still pumping out a lot of moisture from your bodyif you are cycling - and if the air around you has a 100% humidity level, there ain't much place for it to go - despite claims of breathable fabric. That said - my jackets have been in the couple of hundred$ range - not a couple of thousand$. Maybe the super expensive ones can do that - but they still face that fundamental issues of physics - - how do you transport moisture into a medium that is already saturated?

For me - long, steady rain is an excuse to stop. I get no fun outta having cold, wet feet, a cold, wet butt - and more dangerously - a cold, wet torso. Hypothermia is not to be laughed at. For me the rain gear is about staying as dry as possible when rain comes up a bit too quickly or unexpectedly. If anywhere near civilization - I look for a nice warm cafe or library. If in the boonies, I may hang out in a dense grove of trees - or pitch my tent for the night.
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Old 05-25-07, 10:06 AM   #15
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+1 jama.. its not to be laughed at.

About your opinions on it, id agree about the physics of it. The new XCR types do rock though, but 500 euros for a jacket is a lot.

Though.. if its warm and wet, well.. id go without waterproofs a lot of the time. Reason being is: Ive seen a lot of ppl get caught in the rain, put on waterproofs already a bit wet, they tend to stay wet. It stops raining, they got to stop again , take of the gear, slightly wet, slightly sweaty. On the other hand, ive got soaked, dried in, and never needed to stop.

Id only advice that if you know you will always stay warm. Again, hiking advice, may not be suitable for cyclists, i dont know how a wet ass rubbing for 3 hours may effect you...
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Old 05-25-07, 05:28 PM   #16
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This is all good info. Given the way we've arranged our trip, we may not have much choice but to push on in the rain, which is why I want to be as well protected as possible. I did notice a cycling poncho that has a waist strap and thumb holds, so that's an option, too.
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Old 05-25-07, 06:52 PM   #17
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You can never stay completely dry. What's really important is staying warm. I've gone a few times with just a wind breaker and a thin fleece and stayed warm. Good raingear keeps you from being soaked through. Don't wear too much under "breathable" raingear or you'll sweat even more and your sweat might cool off before getting to the membrane and it'll stay inside as water. Change when stopping because you'll get cold fast.

As for specific product, I use a cheapo-deluxe local store house brand jacket. The vents are pretty good. For shoe covers, I use MEC's (here). I've had to cut a bit under for the cleats. I never wear rainpants so a little water makes its way from the top but it's a lot better than soaked through shoes.
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Old 05-25-07, 07:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuffydog
I did notice a cycling poncho that has a waist strap and thumb holds, so that's an option, too.
Sounds like a cape Which one is it?
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Old 05-25-07, 07:51 PM   #19
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Cuffy, I have the Showers Pass Club and have ridden as long as eight hours in the rain with it. It works decently, but you can overheat and end up getting pretty sweaty. Someday, I will upgrade to the Elite, which is reportedly both more waterproof and more breathable. It won't keep you absolutely dry in prolonged rain either, but on the two long rainy brevets I rode this year, it seemed like every other person was wearing a Showers Pass Elite jacket.
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Old 05-25-07, 09:49 PM   #20
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Two years ago I cycled Norway and had some of the rainiest days I have ever encountered on a bicycle.
I didn't stay perfectly dry, that would have been impossible, but I stayed dry enough.

I have a Sierra Designs Gore Tex jacket, its actually a mountaineering type jacket, but it worked well. I had a MEC helmet cover, some old cycling chaps, that worked adequately but were rather baggy around the ankles and kept getting mixed up in the chain - I tied them up with accessory strpas but I was forced to throw them out after the trip.

My long cycling pants were Schoeller hiking pants which repel enough water for showers and are wind resistant. When it really poured -and it did -I put the rain chaps on over them.

Gore Tex socks, worn over my regular socks were a foot saver. They really worked for me, but I know some people don't like them.

Neoprene cycling gloves from MEC complete the ensemble.

I have used cycling capes in the past, and found them adequate, but they haven't worked for me in the case of really torrential rain. I have since bought some waterproof/breathable rainpants to replace my chaps, haven't needed hem cycling, but they worked well hiking in Chile.
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Old 05-26-07, 12:30 AM   #21
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The MEC shoe covers Erick linked are very good. I have their Serratus predecessor and recommend them highly. I am also a fan of the MEC helmet cover with the neoprene brim and drip tail.
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Old 05-26-07, 12:38 PM   #22
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This is all very good information. The cape I saw was by an Oregon bike clothing company called J+G: http://www.bicycleclothing.com/Rain-Capes.html
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Old 05-26-07, 12:59 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuffydog
This is all very good information. The cape I saw was by an Oregon bike clothing company called J+G: http://www.bicycleclothing.com/Rain-Capes.html
That's the very one I have: see post #6 and this thread for my review.

Bottom line: it really kept me dry, even my shoes, and I hardly sweated, but the thumb loops have too much slack, and like any cape, it's not aerodynamic.
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Old 05-26-07, 01:06 PM   #24
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I had a new experience in the last couple weeks. I have always said, rain would not be so bad, if only they were not cold, cold rains like one experiences in California. It only rains when it's cold.
But, last week, i experienced briefly cycling in a warmer rain. It was not so bad . I still hate having to take take a tooth brush to my gears to get the gunk out. So, in a warm rain, you almost don't need anything. Just go as is.
Cold rains. I have a set of thermal, rain proof tights and rain jacket. Tights seem more rain resistant than rain pants. Plus, they breath better.
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Old 05-26-07, 01:42 PM   #25
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get a 'gore-tex' (or equal) suit, including removable hood and air vents. gore-sweat is not perfect, not air-conditioned, but is a product i have used to ride in all temps, seasons, and rains (first suit 1982). i just found a non-insulated shoe cover from campmor to keep the shoes "dry" as well.
good luck!
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