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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 11-06-05, 09:28 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Kansas City, Missouri USA
Bikes: Gary Fischer Marlin
Posts: 2
I've narrowed down my choice of a shell layer to the two aforementioned jackets. (Pearl Trifecta $220 & Sugoi Defiant $180).

Does anyone have any experience with either one of these? If so what were your impressions?

In my city the winter weather can range from 50s and rainy to 20s and snowy (in the same week). So I plan to layer accordingly and this is the lasy layer I'm trying to decide which is the best option.

I forgot to mention that NONE of the LBS in my area have either of these in stock.

Any help is appreciated.


Last edited by gossamerjohn; 11-06-05 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 11-07-05, 10:49 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Coquitlam
Posts: 2,538
OOHHH ! i can answer this one. I researched a LOT and narrowed down to the same 2 as you. Well 5 actually, the burley, Gill and showerspass were in my final list also. See end for which won out.

The Sugoi is made from their own material. Its not any of the trademark licensed brands. It fits awesome, but is so so for breathability, and poor for ventilation. Sugoi is my favorite cycling wear mfg, their shorts last 2x as long as any ive gotten from pearl izumi or others, etc. Workmanship, design, fit, materials, all top notch.

The Trifecta is made from eVent. This is without a doubt, the best breathable rainproof material available, 50% more than the best gortex. The bad, is pearl izumi lets the material do all the work and doesnt add in enough ventilation, similar to the sugoi.

Of the 2, id go trifecta just because you'll sweat less in it. Better material ends up giving better performance.

Waterproof breathables all work decent as a wind layer also, but their main point for getting them, is breathability and rain resistance.
Breathable material only works well in conditions where their is a difference in humidity on both sides of the material. When cycling, if your working hard, your creating 100% humidity on the inside of the jacket, and if its raining its 100% on the outside. So it wont breath.

Its kinda catch 22 that places dont tell you about, in that that conditions when you want it most breathable (pouring rain so its all buttoned up tight) is when it breathes the least. There are many reviews on rainwear by hiking sites and such, and even they can overload the breathability of all the materials, and cyclists sweat even more. (i live on the side of a mountain in the pacific northwest. So lots of hill climbing in pouring rain and i commute 2 hours a day, i get lots of 'testing' in).

There is only one way to keep from getting soaked in your own sweat, and thats active ventilation. The more air traveling thru the coat to allow all your expensive and high tech base and mid layers to actually work. Having a underarmour base layer and the most expensive wicking mid layer in the world wont do squat if its trapped with the same air your entire trip.

Of all the 5 jackets I researched:
-3 were made of eVent so have the best passive breathability, trifecta, showerspass, gill
-of the 3 with eVent, only 1 used enough active venilation to work well in pouring rain.

So the combination of best ventialtion, with best material, made this one easily win out over all the others. Century Elite jacket from

Last edited by Jarery; 11-07-05 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 11-07-05, 07:50 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Kansas City, Missouri USA
Bikes: Gary Fischer Marlin
Posts: 2
Hey, thanks for the feedback.

I've done a lot of research for waterproof membrane jackets for backpacking. I have one I really like for backpacking, it's a Millet stretch Goretex jacket. I LOVE this jacket but it has NO ventilation other than the main zipper (with no bottom-up zip) so it's not really desireable for cycling.

I like the Showerpass jackets from what I can see on their site. Unfortunately they are out of my size until early December. In my experience with companies usually means 2-3 weeks later than that. Our autumn rains are late this year but are supposed to start later this week. Looks like I'll be going with the Pearl eVent jacket, the Trifecta is in stock at a couple places online.

The worst part of this whole thing has been that I've not been able to see anything live and in-person. There's only so much I can tell from a 2"x2" web photo with only ONE view.

In the winter, this jacket will mostly serve as a wind protection layer over a couple other layers. I REALLY like to ride when it's cold, like the 20s; so this jacket as part of a three-layer system should be the ticket.

Thanks again.
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