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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 10-29-12, 07:37 AM   #1
chefisaac
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Do you all wear water proof pants or jackets?

I was curious if you all wear waterproof pants or jackets in the winter time.

I road in the pouring down rain and wind for 18 miles this morning and was soaked. It didnt bother me but was curious if you all recommend waterproof stuff.

Thanks.
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Old 10-29-12, 07:48 AM   #2
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I wear gore tex pants all winter and use the jacket when needed, it's always in the bag. I have some gore tex that is starting to leak so I am looking into showers Pass. I have a friend who swears by showers pass.

I like gore tex but it doesn't last...at least for me.
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Old 10-29-12, 08:21 AM   #3
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I wear rain pants that claim to be waterproof but it is more like water resistant. They do great for my short commute though, my clothes stay mostly dry and I am comfortable. They are the Craft rain pants.
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Old 10-29-12, 08:23 AM   #4
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Would love to try showerpass but I need something bigger
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Old 10-29-12, 08:51 AM   #5
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Just something strange about a post to "winter bicycling" with "you all" in the subject line. I guess since it isn't "y'all" it's OK. "Yoos guys" would work.

Anyway - waterproof pants? You betcha! I don't mind summer rain when the temps are 70+. Below 70 and raining I will have some sort of rain protection. My dressing experience comes from XC-skiing, snowshoeing, hunting and general outdoor play that involves speeds attainable by foot so I am new to winter bike commuting. While hunting and otherwise traveling slowly - I've found that layered wool with a canvas or polyester shell is really quite adequate rainwear. It breaths yet with wool inside and canvas outside the water prefers to stay in the canvas and/or shell.

Commuting poses a particular challenge. I don't particularly care what my hunting togs look like at the end of the day. However I don't want to show up at work looking like a drowned rat. My commute is less than 20 minutes so changing clothes would not be a good use of time (15 minutes spent gearing up/15 min. gearing down and I might as well just walk).
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Old 10-29-12, 10:38 AM   #6
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Never, unless it's raining, so maybe in the temp range of 28F-70F, but below 28F or thereabouts, I revert to an outer layer of windpants and a windbreaker, both more porous to moisture than some of the breathables out there. Much better for me to have the evaporation as I go than to build up the internal moisture.
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Old 10-29-12, 10:51 AM   #7
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When it is raining too much here is what i wear

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it-zd...eature=related
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Old 10-29-12, 11:30 AM   #8
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Would love to try showerpass but I need something bigger
I feel your pain as I wear 2x. I do really like wool and wear it every time I ride. I have t shirts and a sweater made from merino wool, the wool is great as long as the rain isn't heavy.
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Old 10-29-12, 12:30 PM   #9
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I never wear wool, except for socks, and never wear anything waterproof. I live in the PNW and have ridden in rain all winter for 15 years, and in snow only down to where it starts to stick. All waterproof does is make you stink and overheat. You're going to be wet no matter what you wear. Exactly what I wear depends on temperature. Lighter when it's warmer, heavier when it's colder. It's just about staying warm, not dry. I wear a microfiber type rain jacket and tights or leg warmers. I vary the thickness of the tights to suit the temp - I wear PI Elite tights for 40-45 and raining, and Performance chamois-less Triflex tights with cycling shorts under in colder rain and snow above 32.

On top, I wear a Craft baselayer, either short or long sleeve, either a short sleeve jersey and arm warmers, or pick a long-sleeve jersey to suit the temperature. Glove should not be waterproof - they just fill with water - but need to be warm to suit the temperature.
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Old 10-29-12, 04:09 PM   #10
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I never use waterproof clothing. It's just too sweaty and uncomfortable I don't like it. In very cold weather I use Windproof fleece/softshell, layered with merinno wool, and fleece. I usually wear 2-3 layers depending on how cold, windy or wet it is.
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Old 10-29-12, 04:23 PM   #11
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I never wear wool, except for socks, and never wear anything waterproof. I live in the PNW and have ridden in rain all winter for 15 years, and in snow only down to where it starts to stick. All waterproof does is make you stink and overheat. You're going to be wet no matter what you wear. Exactly what I wear depends on temperature. Lighter when it's warmer, heavier when it's colder. It's just about staying warm, not dry. I wear a microfiber type rain jacket and tights or leg warmers. I vary the thickness of the tights to suit the temp - I wear PI Elite tights for 40-45 and raining, and Performance chamois-less Triflex tights with cycling shorts under in colder rain and snow above 32.

On top, I wear a Craft baselayer, either short or long sleeve, either a short sleeve jersey and arm warmers, or pick a long-sleeve jersey to suit the temperature. Glove should not be waterproof - they just fill with water - but need to be warm to suit the temperature.
water is a better thermal conductor than air so if you care only about staying warm and not dry, you will start losing lots of heat when water will reach your skin through layers. You will then need to add layers to keep the heat the same.
So not staying dry result in getting cold at first when water reach your skin or overdress before you get wet in order to reach the right temperature when wet. Quite the same results than with waterproof garments
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Old 10-29-12, 05:15 PM   #12
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I don't have a problem with sweating. All I wear under my gore tex pants is usually a pair of shorts with leg warmers or maybe a lightweight pair of sweats, the gore tex acts as a windbreaker.When wearing wool you will stay warm even if wet. The key is to feel a bit chilly when you first get on the bike, it's all about heat regulation.

Tactics and techniques will vary with your style of riding, commuting versus training/mtnbiking.
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Old 10-29-12, 06:27 PM   #13
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I am ok with my legs getting wet but it would be really nice to have a waterproof jacket for downpours that will fit me.... like 4xl
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Old 10-29-12, 10:04 PM   #14
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I am ok with my legs getting wet but it would be really nice to have a waterproof jacket for downpours that will fit me.... like 4xl
I just got one...it's pretty big...and cheap. http://www.ebay.com/itm/GORTEX-RAIN-...-/300631911114
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Old 10-29-12, 11:16 PM   #15
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I have a wp/b jacket I use in cool to cold rain. I don't like wp/b pants though, so I wear cycling specific tights/pants when it is cold that have a wind proof membrane in the front. They shed a lot of water, but eventually get soaked through, especially down at the bottom. They are warm even when wet though.
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Old 10-30-12, 10:33 AM   #16
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I wear these tights when the temps are below 60F, and it's not an outright downpour. (It rains a lot here, but rarely very hard.) I have a Novara jacket for when it's raining and cold, and a trek Hi-Vis jacket when it's rainy, but still over 50F. Temps over about 65F, I just get wet and change when I get to work.
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Old 10-30-12, 10:35 AM   #17
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water is a better thermal conductor than air so if you care only about staying warm and not dry, you will start losing lots of heat when water will reach your skin through layers. You will then need to add layers to keep the heat the same.
So not staying dry result in getting cold at first when water reach your skin or overdress before you get wet in order to reach the right temperature when wet. Quite the same results than with waterproof garments
You should be shivering a bit before getting on the bike. Water doesn't lower your body temperature because it is trapped against the skin. The windproof jacket and tights limit the amount of water coming in to just enough to keep you from overheating. It's actually very comfortable. I'm more comfortable riding in the rain like that than in summer temperatures because it's easier to control body temperature. I've tried waterproof, but I overheat in about 3 miles. If your commute is less than 5 miles, waterproof is the way to go, but if you're out for a day ride, not so good.
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Old 10-30-12, 02:41 PM   #18
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Maybe i haven't explained things properly. What i meant by loosing heat due to water is that:
Rain will soak the windproof jacket (which is not waterproof) after a few minutes to about 1hr opening the way for the water to soak the next layer under etc until the water reach your skin. The whole process will then create a thermal bridge between your skin and outside. If it's cold outside you will feel it if it's warm outside then there is not need for a waterproof jacket at start. I agree with you on this point. Waterproof garments are better on cold weather 25F and under because they don't breathe much
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Old 10-30-12, 04:44 PM   #19
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Maybe i haven't explained things properly. What i meant by loosing heat due to water is that:
Rain will soak the windproof jacket (which is not waterproof) after a few minutes to about 1hr opening the way for the water to soak the next layer under etc until the water reach your skin. The whole process will then create a thermal bridge between your skin and outside. If it's cold outside you will feel it if it's warm outside then there is not need for a waterproof jacket at start. I agree with you on this point. Waterproof garments are better on cold weather 25F and under because they don't breathe much
The "thermal bridge" is what keeps one from overheating. I strongly disagree about wearing waterproof below freezing. There is absolutely no reason to wear waterproof clothing when it is not raining. One gets wet with sweat and then cold. When winter climbing or otherwise exercising, one wears breathable clothing and regulates body temperature to stay just below sweating by varying pace. When I was a kid, I delivered papers in Fairbanks.
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Old 10-30-12, 05:51 PM   #20
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The following jacket gets good reviews, and is popular among the BF crowd. They have 3x and 4x sizes. Price is good. Made in the USA. I wear a Showers Pass elite as my outer shell in winter. When that wears out I'm buying the J&G jacket. I've been wearing the Showers Pass going into my sixth winter. I have never sweated and then got cold while wearing this jacket from 32f down to -14(my personal low). In the winter you'll encounter all kinds of crappy weather. Cold rain, freezing rain, sleet, wet heavy snow. A waterproof, breathable jacket is highly recommended IMHO. I wear Rainshield O2 rain pants, Cheap compared to others and totally waterproof and they breath well. Just keep searching around and take the advice that suits you. But living around Philly, you'd be wise to get good rain gear.
http://bicycleclothing.com/Waterproo...n-Jackets.html

Last edited by scoatw; 10-30-12 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 10-30-12, 06:19 PM   #21
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We're talking winter - right? Usually cold? Ocassionally freezing rain? Most often snow? Personally I wear raingear AND warm layers when its raining and cold to avoid hydrothermia. Usually its below freezing here during the winter months and ski or snowboarding clothing works just fine. The real trick is not to overdress so that you avoid working up a sweat. I may take off a jacket at so
e point.
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Old 10-30-12, 07:22 PM   #22
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The "thermal bridge" is what keeps one from overheating. I strongly disagree about wearing waterproof below freezing. There is absolutely no reason to wear waterproof clothing when it is not raining. One gets wet with sweat and then cold. When winter climbing or otherwise exercising, one wears breathable clothing and regulates body temperature to stay just below sweating by varying pace. When I was a kid, I delivered papers in Fairbanks.
Not exactly, the average heat transfert by air helps but the heat transfert by water do not in cold weather.
And there is one reason to wear waterproof below freezing it is called frozen rain.

By the way, I have tested several of the best cold weather cycling jacket on the market:
a goretex paclite jacket i have been wearing for 10 years (windproof and waterproof)
a louis garneau massimo 2 jacket (wind and water resistant)
a sugoi firewall 220 jacket (wind and water resistant)
a sugoi firewall 180 jacket (wind and water resistant)
plus different layers under

What i can tell you is that against cold the goretex paclite jacket beat the others hands down.
The more breathable jackets have better comfort overall as they can adapt to the level of intensity which helps against sweat.
But against a cold wind burst the softshell louis garneau and sugoi jackets which are supposed to be wind and water resistant but not waterproof can't stop the cold wind from reaching the skin under which is not at all comfortable.
With a paclite jacket nothing go through but the tradeoff is sweat.

At the same temps with the goretex jacket i need only 2 layers and with the other jackets i need 3,4 or more layers and they don't even stop water and wind properly but overall comfort is better

Last edited by erig007; 10-30-12 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 10-30-12, 10:33 PM   #23
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I wear waterproof pants all the time, (if ya know what I mean).
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Old 10-30-12, 10:45 PM   #24
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The following jacket gets good reviews, and is popular among the BF crowd. They have 3x and 4x sizes. Price is good. Made in the USA. I wear a Showers Pass elite as my outer shell in winter. When that wears out I'm buying the J&G jacket. I've been wearing the Showers Pass going into my sixth winter. I have never sweated and then got cold while wearing this jacket from 32f down to -14(my personal low). In the winter you'll encounter all kinds of crappy weather. Cold rain, freezing rain, sleet, wet heavy snow. A waterproof, breathable jacket is highly recommended IMHO. I wear Rainshield O2 rain pants, Cheap compared to others and totally waterproof and they breath well. Just keep searching around and take the advice that suits you. But living around Philly, you'd be wise to get good rain gear.
http://bicycleclothing.com/Waterproo...n-Jackets.html
I have one of those J&G Waterproof Breatheable Jackets on my future wish list (they are currently sold out of the 3x size I want). I have a different model right now, one of their J&G Yellow Jacket wind jackets, and it is my #1 most used and most loved bicycling jacket. I am currently using it most every day, just varying the shirts underneath between polyester compression, merino wool, or eventually both once it gets cold enough. My J&G jacket is fabulous, I agree with the others here on BF who love them. When they offer 3XL in the waterproof breatheable jacket, I am getting one of those.

I have a Columbia Men's Watertight jacket that I use on cold & rainy days right now. It is pretty good, but I expect the J&G to be better. Here is a link to the Columbia one I have:
http://www.amazon.com/Columbia-RM213...pr_product_top

The Columbia one is not specifically for bicycling, so it doesn't have a drop tail (longer back), reflective piping, etc. It comes with a hood, which I don't need, but might be nice if I were walking in the rain. Also, this Columbia jacket runs big for it's advertised size, as many of the amazon reviews say... that was my experience too. It has worked well in a couple of cold downpours, but like a lot of "rain jackets," I did sweat some, so I had to watch my exertion level to keep sweat down.
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Old 10-30-12, 10:56 PM   #25
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Take Sunday morning. 56 F @ 98% humidity and misty, trying to rain with a Pineapple Express coming in. A light Pearll Izumi jacket (not a rain jacket) and I'm sweating underneath in a long sleeve T. Tights are damp. Pouring rain, like today..then it's rain pants and rain jacket and I'm still damp, but warm. The absolute best clothing I ever wore touring and communting in the PNW was a bike cape (speeds under 12 mph wind resistance isn't much of an issue and I got use to gusts). Rides under 90 minutes I tolerate wet feet and legs, anything longer and it's foot, leg, and body protection. When air temp drops below 45, super important to avoid sweating but hard to do with high humidity. Riding in rain at 36-42 F is brutal.
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