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Rain pants without nylon? Wool? Cotton?

Old 08-27-11, 02:30 PM
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powitte
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Rain pants without nylon? Wool? Cotton?

I'm a long-time commuter, but recently I started a job where I ride between 4 or 5 locations a day and have to show up looking presentable. Everyone else I work with drives, but what fun is that?

I've experimented with different pant options. The standard nylon waterproof pants just don't cut it. They do the job, but they look terrible and I have water running off me everywhere when I come inside.

Other things I've tried:
-a nice pair of waterproof golf pants (by Foot Joy): these look better, but the elastic waist is still work of a frown
-using sturdy cotton pants treated with Nikwax Cotton Proof: this works ok for short bits of light drizzle, but really became uncomfortable and soaking wet after a few minutes of steady rain

Things I'm considering:
-wool has a better reputation than cotton in the wet. There are a number of wool cycling-specific pants out there, but they're expensive and I read that they have a tendency to get sort of baggy. And I have no idea how they'd actually perform in steady rain. Obviously they'd soak, but perhaps it would be better than wet cotton?
-pants made from Filson's tin cloth. Might work fairly well, but I suspect in the end it would all feel like wet cotton.

What have you all tried?
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Old 08-27-11, 03:48 PM
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Can't you use the more typical type of rain pants over a pair of regular pants and just take them off when you get to where you're going?

What do you do for shirt/jacket/coat?
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Old 08-27-11, 04:18 PM
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powitte
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I suppose I could, but like I said, I'm in and out so much that's sort of a pain. Then I still have to deal with the dripping wet pants...

Plus, I'm going into people's houses and sort of am on the job from the time I ring the doorbell.
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Old 08-27-11, 04:37 PM
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Kinda pricey, but maybe right up your alley. Note that I don't own and have never (to my knowledge) seen it in 'the wild'.
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Old 08-27-11, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by powitte View Post
Plus, I'm going into people's houses and sort of am on the job from the time I ring the doorbell.
Are you a prostitute?
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Old 08-27-11, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by MijnWraak View Post
Are you a prostitute?
Great question.
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Old 08-27-11, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Kinda pricey, but maybe right up your alley. Note that I don't own and have never (to my knowledge) seen it in 'the wild'.
If I'm reading their size chart right they only have one inseam length. If that's true its really lame. How many are a perfect length. ya gotta have them hemmed which if you don't have a spouse or you can't do it yourself adds more expense
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Old 08-27-11, 11:06 PM
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I have a job that also takes me to all sorts of high zoot locations, several times a day, and I simply take off my rain pants, give them a good shake, and stuff them in my bag before I enter the building.
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Old 08-27-11, 11:28 PM
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Perhaps Lou at Foxwear could create something for you...
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Old 08-27-11, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Kinda pricey, but maybe right up your alley. Note that I don't own and have never (to my knowledge) seen it in 'the wild'.
Wow. Those pants look amazing, but way too expensive
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Old 08-28-11, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by deadend273 View Post
Wow. Those pants look amazing, but way too expensive
They say they work in ' a light rain,' I'm not sure they would be much better than your nikwaxed pants.

Maybe a pair of Rainlegs, as reviewed here might work.

You might be asking too much, most nice looking fabrics aren't terribly water proof, and most waterproof fabrics look awful.
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Old 08-28-11, 07:43 AM
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Another idea.

My wife just 'lanolized' a wool diaper cover for our youngest. "What's that?" I asked.

Apparently, lanolin in the stuff secreted from sheep skin that makes wool as resilient in the elements as it is. In processing into textiles, the lanolin is removed from the fiber. Treating it again with lanolin restores it to the way it was supposed to work. I'm not sure I really understand, because they say wool is simultaneously water-repellent and absorbent. Maybe it allows a sheep to be wet, but comfortable. I'd be ok with that.

So, I'll buy a pair of wool trousers from the thrift store, lanolize them, and then wear them out in the rain. Will report back with findings....
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Old 08-28-11, 09:47 AM
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I have a pair of Rainlegs, and they're great---if you're wearing shorts. I don't think they would work with pants, because they're just about knicker length. The problem I see with wearing rain pants, no matter which type, over work pants is SWEAT. Chicago isn't exactly cool in the summer, and if you're pedalling any distance while wearing rain pants you will drench your pants with sweat.

The Outlier pants are probably the best option, but they're way expensive. Lanolizing a pair of wool pants sounds like an interesting. Of course, you're not dealing with just water when you ride in the rain. There's also road grime.
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Old 08-28-11, 11:00 AM
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How much time/space do you have to get ready before you have to look presentable?

What sort of distance are you riding?

From what you've described so far, I'd be thinking rain pants over minimally-padded cycling shorts, with dress pants carried neat and dry on the bike. If you're used to it, it takes less than a minute to change.
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Old 08-28-11, 12:55 PM
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Cycling rain cape does a good job of keeping the legs from getting wet.
as your outstretched arms keep the cape over your legs like an Umbrella.

maybe just a shoe cover or 'spats', open sole, and covering for the top of your shoe..
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