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Old 05-02-14, 09:02 PM   #1
3speed
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Is your rain coat water Proof or water Resistant?

I'm looking at rain gear, and a Lot of it says it's water resistant, not water proof. Is that enough? It's such a vague term that I don't really have a sense of what good it will do. I don't plan to ride in a monsoon, but I don't want to get wet riding in a couple hours of drizzle/light rain. Which standard do you all use?
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Old 05-02-14, 09:09 PM   #2
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My rain jacket is waterproof: Ground Effect - mountain bike clothing

One of the differences between it and water resistant choices are the fully tape-sealed seams.
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Old 05-02-14, 09:15 PM   #3
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I have both water resistant and water proof. Water resistant is fine for a short light drizzle but after a while it will soak through. I road in a "monsoon" a few years ago with my water resistant jacket (J&G) and it soaked through in less than a minute. I didn't intend to ride in such a heavy rain but it was an out of state ride, I didn't own a waterproof jacket yet and the rain started 20 minutes into the ride. The problem with waterproof is breathability. Unfortunately, IN MY EXPERIENCE, you have to spend some money to get a waterproof jacket that breaths although it still won't be perfect. I ended up buying a Goretex jacket and a Showers Pass jacket with e-vent fabric. Both are excellent.
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Old 05-02-14, 09:17 PM   #4
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I have a Shower's Pass Elite 2.1. It is waterproof. Riding in Seattle, I need waterproof.
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Old 05-02-14, 09:24 PM   #5
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Go for waterproof, and preferably with pit zips.

While you don't intend to ride in monsoonal rains, anything can happen, especially if you are touring an area that you aren't familiar with.

It's not so much while riding on a bike, but there are plenty of other things off the bike when touring that require you to be comfortably dry.
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Old 05-02-14, 09:31 PM   #6
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While many companies claim they have waterproof rain gear and the good one do a really good job of keeping the rain out they are not truly waterproof. In a real driving rain, you are going to get wet eventually. But then again if things are that bad then you should probably be off the road seeking shelter anyway. Pretty much the only way you are going to keep rain out for sure is in rubberized type gear, then of course you will be soaked from the inside due to perspiration.

My Showers Pass does a really decent job of keeping the rain out and the perspiration expelled in most conditions in which I will ride.
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Old 05-02-14, 10:15 PM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback. I'm now thinking of getting a light-weight water-Proof jacket and having pit-zips added by a tailor. My reasoning is that I don't have a very large budget and it seems that waterproof jackets can be had for a reasonable price. Add pit-zips and all of the sudden all of those jackets are at least $50+ more. That's a lot of money for pit-zips... I realize they may be better jackets, but I think it would be a cheaper compromise to have the zips added myself and still have breathability. Thoughts?

EDIT: That or perhaps it would even be fairly easy to use tent repair/seam sealing materials to attach the zipper myself since those jackets are generally a nylon type material. Hmm..
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Old 05-02-14, 11:11 PM   #8
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My advice, as a person who has sewn and repaired a lot of mountaineering gear, is to either forget the pit zips; or just get a jacket with them already installed with taped seams. Most DIY modifications turn a relatively waterproof product into something less than waterproof and seldom looks very good. Unless you use a waterproof zipper or install a "storm flap" over the zipper, the zipper will leak. Adding a storm flap as an after thought is not an easy job.

A good value in a cycling jacket is REI's Novara rain jackets. I have one that has seen a lot of use in the last 10 years, and is now just about wearing out.

On sale right now for $70:
Novara Express 2.0 Bike Jacket - Men's - Free Shipping at REI.com

Last edited by Doug64; 05-02-14 at 11:14 PM.
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Old 05-02-14, 11:27 PM   #9
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^ Thanks, but it's over my budget. And it doesn't come with a hood. Once you buy the hood(who doesn't include the hood and sells it separately? Freakin' REI... You know, with exception to their brands, you can find basically everything they sell for noticeably cheaper elsewhere?), you're looking at $100. That's ~twice my budget.

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Old 05-03-14, 02:40 AM   #10
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Yes ... get a jacket that is "waterproof breathable" with pit zips already there.

I posted a link to the Groundeffects jacket I wear ... it has a hood. It's $299 NZ.

MEC has a couple jackets ... you could get one for $172.
Cycling : Clothing : Women's : Waterproof-breathable - Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). Free Shipping Available.


Wait ... your budget for a waterproof breathable jacket is $50?

Well ... maybe you can find something that will do for now from Nashbar ...
Nashbar - Cycling Outerwear / Raingear
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Old 05-03-14, 02:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by 3speed View Post
^ Thanks, but it's over my budget. And it doesn't come with a hood. Once you buy the hood(who doesn't include the hood and sells it separately? Freakin' REI... You know, with exception to their brands, you can find basically everything they sell for noticeably cheaper elsewhere?), you're looking at $100. That's ~twice my budget.
If it's twice your budget then the better OP question should have been "what's my best cycle-raingear option for $50?". I don't know the answer to that question as I've no knowledge of what $50 buys in the American cycling-raingear market.

It's not unknown for hoods to be sold separately as many people don't like wearing them on bikes (me included) just like many winter coats are sold separately from their zip-on liners. Some people (me included) like the choice of having to pay for something they don't need/want.
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Old 05-03-14, 03:00 AM   #12
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3speed. don't underestimate the essentialness of a good waterproof jacket with pit zips. If you get the right sort, it will be usable in all sorts of other outdoor activities. And if you intend to do anything more serious than just an overnighter close to home, you will find a good jacket almost worth its weight in gold when the weather turns nasty. Don't forget that a rain jacket often can serve as an excellent windbreaker.

I have made a lot of use of MEC jackets over the years -- I have three rain jackets from there in my wardrobe right now. They get used when the temps drop to under 15 deg C and there is any hint of a cool to cold wind. The longer tail at the back to cover your butt is as useful off the bike as it is on.
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Old 05-03-14, 04:26 AM   #13
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3speed, A good rain coat is an investment. Mine is a Pearl Izumi I bought several years ago. Waterproof, vents that can be closed and a tail section that can be unfolded to be even longer than it's standard cycling design. I also have a water resistant PI and it works okay for a light, but not long lasting drizzle.

If taking one on tour, it'd be the water proof jacket.

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Old 05-03-14, 04:55 AM   #14
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Hmm... I could try really hard and maybe raise my budget to $100 if I cut some costs elsewhere. Thanks again for all the advice. Now I have a good idea of what I'm going to need, including possibly spending more money.

I'm still fairly amazed at the prices they charge for a thin piece of waterproof plastic cut to the shape of a person with some zippers.
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Old 05-03-14, 05:36 AM   #15
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If your budget is $50, you probably will get wet after you spent $50. Thus you will be poorer and unhappy.

I am quite happy with Marmot Precip jacket, but for cycling I do not use the hood, instead I use a helmet rain cover (J&G). The Precip jacket is a general use camping type jacket, not a bike specific jacket.

Any rain jacket, you will get water running down inside your collar if not using a hood. But if you are using a hood you will have less ability to look around. I would rather get a bit of rain down my collar than limit my visibility on a rainy day when visibility is already hampered. Thus, I do not use the hood while riding. But the hood is very nice in the campsite or when doing other things off of the bike.

I also have a bike specific rain jacket, but for touring where I will be walking around in the rain too, I leave the bike jacket home and take the general use type jacket.

The only thing I do not like about it is that it is not a high visibility color. Mine is a dark red, that was the brightest most visible one they had at the time. I had the same jacket in bright yellow that I bought for biking, but Marmot replaced it under warranty, the replacement offered was not as bright as I wanted.

You should consider how long it will last and spend the money necessary to get what you really will be happy with.
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Old 05-03-14, 06:29 AM   #16
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No need to go over $50. Look at Red Ledge. I see them at surplus stores and it looks like you can get them from Amazon. It's good quality for the price and you don't pay for a label.

Frogg Toggs are another option, a bit lighter, but they're not very durable.
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Old 05-03-14, 06:29 AM   #17
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I wear a rain cape... waterproof, well ventilated and under $50.

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Old 05-03-14, 10:49 AM   #18
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3speed. don't underestimate the essentialness of a good waterproof jacket with pit zips. If you get the right sort, it will be usable in all sorts of other outdoor activities. And if you intend to do anything more serious than just an overnighter close to home, you will find a good jacket almost worth its weight in gold when the weather turns nasty. Don't forget that a rain jacket often can serve as an excellent windbreaker.
Good advice!

We experienced 35 days with rain on this tour. It would have been miserable without good rain gear. You might think about a helmet cover rather than a hood. IMO it is more versatile.

Last edited by Doug64; 05-03-14 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 05-03-14, 11:12 AM   #19
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The DWR treatment is part of making the water-proof-breathable thing work, it makes the water bead up.

it breaks down over time and needs re applying.

DWR IS the opposite of the wetting agents in detergents that make the water spread out ..

whole outside of the coat wet, and its as likely to soak thru the pores left for breathability ,as it is to clog them and so not breathe much at all ..


Over $50 but a really rugged PVC welded seam Cape , made by a company that makes off shore foul weather gear for the commercial fishing industry,
Grunden's Bike Poncho

I got one of these a few winters back where I live on the Coast Marine Squalls come ashore an dump a lot of rain at once ,

and It let my hands and the rest of me arrive home pretty dry . wet hands were always a problem with jackets ..
as only a dipped rubber glove wont leak . and sewn seams always will ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-03-14 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 05-03-14, 01:41 PM   #20
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I ride in the PNW year 'round, and long rides, up to a century in winter. I use a water resistant jacket, currently this one, in Hi Viz. I find I get about as wet in a waterproof jacket because they never breathe enough for cycling. I've tried them and hated it. My limit is 37 and pouring, and really my hand limit, not torso, legs, or feet. I will never plan a tour that might involve those conditions.

A big advantage is that the jacket fits in a jersey pocket, is inexpensive, and when it quits raining and I take it off I'm dressed perfectly for the non-raining condition.
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Old 05-03-14, 01:51 PM   #21
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I ride in the rain a lot. I prefer a cheap plastic water proof jacket. I get wet from the inside with warmish sweat, not from the outside with cold rain. I save a lot of money with little downside this way IMO
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Old 05-03-14, 04:18 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
I wear a rain cape... waterproof, well ventilated and under $50.

Aaron
I like these also, but they are waterproof until the coating wears off, in my case 3.5 years of occasional use. I washed it and used Coleman water repellent to rejuvenate it. It's ok, superior to a jacket, but I am thinking of upgrading to a Grundens rain poncho. Grundens has a pretty good reputation for keeping fishermen dry on the north seas, I might trust them.
I also have a Chrome rain hoodie. It is "all that" for a biker. Hood that fits over a helmet, pit zips, sealed seams, drawstrings in all the right places, pockets in all the right places, dual action zipper, you name it, but you have to have rain pants if there is any consistent rain at all. It won't keep your lower half comfortable in a real rain like a poncho, I think of it as a waterproof wind jacket.

Marc
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Old 05-03-14, 04:31 PM   #23
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Yea, When its really coming down there is a puddle in the cape, between my arms .. then I push up there and it goes over the side..
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Old 05-03-14, 04:48 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
My advice, as a person who has sewn and repaired a lot of mountaineering gear, is to either forget the pit zips; or just get a jacket with them already installed with taped seams. Most DIY modifications turn a relatively waterproof product into something less than waterproof and seldom looks very good. Unless you use a waterproof zipper or install a "storm flap" over the zipper, the zipper will leak. Adding a storm flap as an after thought is not an easy job.

A good value in a cycling jacket is REI's Novara rain jackets. I have one that has seen a lot of use in the last 10 years, and is now just about wearing out.

On sale right now for $70:
Novara Express 2.0 Bike Jacket - Men's - Free Shipping at REI.com
I have both a light weight breathable which does a passable job. Very pack-able. Very visible, still get damp but stay warm...
It is a Garneau I got clearance at REI.
Only reason I'm not more enthusiastic about this is that I had a goretex funky internal coating Trek breathable jacket from the mid-90's that was incredible.

And an REI showers pass clone type waterproof. Not very pack-able, Extremely visible.
I was caught in a drenching, rivers running in the street downpour and it was marvelous!
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Old 05-03-14, 04:54 PM   #25
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I'm still fairly amazed at the prices they charge for a thin piece of waterproof plastic cut to the shape of a person with some zippers.
Oh you can get that for less then $50.

But you'll hate it.

Old Motorcycle trick is a garbage bag with holes for head and arms... Now you're down to like $.40... And will keep you alive in a true emergency...like you're hours from home and temps plunged to below freezing...
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