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Gore Windstopper Questions

Old 10-19-14, 05:47 PM
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Gore Windstopper Questions

Riding in Oklahoma City currently - can be very, very windy here. Soon it will be very cold too. Looking at trying to get a few cooler weather items together. I've been thinking I should go with the Gore Windstopper Base Layer Thermo long sleeve shirt than I can wear under my short sleeve jerseys, but I'm questioning how cold it would need to be to not get too hot with it. The regular long sleeve Gore base layer looks like it's got too much mesh in the arms and back to keep me warm though. Considering getting it and pairing it with a jacket possibly.

Any experience with the Gore products? I could be swayed to another brand for that matter.
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Old 10-19-14, 06:24 PM
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Windstopper is WAY MORE than a windstopper. It's actually a super-breathable Gore-Tex, just not legally waterproof. It's a soft-shell laminate that'll keep you dry in a thunderstorm for only half an hour instead of the whole storm like Gore-Tex, but is 10x more breathable. So if you plan on just biking through the storm ASAP, you'll be less wet from your own sweat. If wind is all you're really worried about, it's a little overkill. And never wear it under something, because it won't be wicking or insulating much. It'll just be cutting down on those factors.

Windstopper is the same thing as Gore-Tex XCR, just with even bigger holes for breathability. But it's not legally waterproof, so they call it what it legally is: Windproof. But Gore products are very well made, and I think they're designed very well. True function over fashion, which many cycling apparel brands aren't. (Fashion can be what looks most technical instead of what's most retro.)

Last edited by IcySmooth52; 10-19-14 at 07:11 PM. Reason: breathability said where waterproof was meant!
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Old 10-19-14, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by IcySmooth52
Windstopper is WAY MORE than a windstopper. It's actually a super-breathable Gore-Tex, just not legally waterproof. It's a soft-shell laminate that'll keep you dry in a thunderstorm for only half an hour instead of the whole storm like Gore-Tex, but is 10x more breathable. So if you plan on just biking through the storm ASAP, you'll be less wet from your own sweat. If wind is all you're really worried about, it's a little overkill. And never wear it under something, because it won't be wicking or insulating much. It'll just be cutting down on those factors.

Windstopper is the same thing as Gore-Tex XCR, just with even bigger holes for breathability. But it's not legally waterproof, so they call it what it legally is: Windproof. But Gore products are very well made, and I think they're designed very well. True function over fashion, which many cycling apparel brands aren't. (Fashion can be what looks most technical instead of what's most retro.)
Close, but not quite. Windstopper actually is the very first product that was marketed as Goretex. The fabric is waterproof until it gets dirty and then it will wet through. Modern garments made from it will not be waterproof even when new because they are not seam sealed.

Gore's claim of the holes being too small for water drops to pass through but big enough for vapor to pass is BS. The reason liquid won't easily pass is because the membrane has a hydrostatic property that causes water to bead up but that doesn't effect the gas phase. When the membrane gets dirty that property gets compromised. When the very first Goretex fabrics started failing, Gore started putting a very thin polyurethane coating on the inside of the membrane. This is the same substance used to coat tent flys and other waterproof things of lesser breathability, but the PTFE laminate allows them to use a much thinner layer. Even though the system is still more breathable than thicker stand alone polyurethanes, nothing will pass through PU until it first condenses into a liquid and is absorbed through. The water then needs to evaporate again on the other side to get through the laminate layer. That is the dirty little secret Gore never puts in their marketing. They only want to talk about the membrane, not the coating on it. It's also the reason most people tend to get pretty sweaty in Goretex when doing anything past a mild exertion.

Back to Windstopper, Gore now uses the membrane alone in these products. It is more breathable, not due to hole size but because it doesn't have an additional coating.

Personally, if you don't need waterproof I would skip all these products and just get a good nylon windbreaker with a water repellant finish for light rain. These will still breath better than Windstopper.

Last edited by canam73; 10-20-14 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 10-20-14, 06:32 AM
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Thanks for the responses! I’ll start looking at other products to satisfy my base layer needs. Still open to suggestions, but I’ll do some more searching for general suggestions on here. I was curious about Gore specifically though and the ‘Windstopper’ products.
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Old 10-20-14, 07:08 AM
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Rode into work this morning wearing Goretex jacket, pants and waterproof shoe covers. Rain and cool at 6 degrees Celsius but I stayed warm and dry. My jacket is over 20 years old but the way to keep it water proof is to wash it on a regular basis.
Now if I could only keep my glasses from fogging up.
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Old 10-20-14, 07:22 AM
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Didn't Gore also invent the Internet?
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Old 10-20-14, 07:26 AM
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Gore Windstopper is a fine product. I use a Windstopper vest with a mesh back and have used it down to 28f. I wear a wicking baselayer with a long sleeve jersey and with the vest I'm warm enough but the sweat can still escape.
I can't wear a jacket and climb or do any hard-paced riding, I just sweat too much.
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Old 10-20-14, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by big john
Gore Windstopper is a fine product. I use a Windstopper vest with a mesh back and have used it down to 28f. I wear a wicking baselayer with a long sleeve jersey and with the vest I'm warm enough but the sweat can still escape.
I can't wear a jacket and climb or do any hard-paced riding, I just sweat too much.
Products like your vest I like for cycling. My outfit for cold, rainy days has waterproof panels on the front and top but fully breathable fabric and vents on the back.
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Old 10-20-14, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by canam73
Close, but not quite. Windstopper actually is the very first product that was marketed as Goretex. The fabric is waterproof until it gets dirty and then it will wet through. Modern garments made from it will not be waterproof even when new because they are not seam sealed.

Gore's claim of the holes being too small for water drops to pass through but big enough for vapor to pass is BS...
The holes are true, but it's an easy way to translate it's performance comparatively. It is more breathable that Gore-tex, but not quite waterproof. And the lack of waterproof is NOT just when it gets 'dirty'. The beading you speak of isn't the membrane's worth though: It's DWR, essentially a wax-treatment to the nylon layer on the outside of the laminate. That's not Gore-Tex, just a feature on every technical shell piece of clothing.

Windstopper is a 'harder' softshell.
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Old 10-20-14, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by IcySmooth52
The holes are true, but it's an easy way to translate it's performance comparatively. It is more breathable that Gore-tex, but not quite waterproof. And the lack of waterproof is NOT just when it gets 'dirty'. The beading you speak of isn't the membrane's worth though: It's DWR, essentially a wax-treatment to the nylon layer on the outside of the laminate. That's not Gore-Tex, just a feature on every technical shell piece of clothing.

Windstopper is a 'harder' softshell.
No, the DWR is not the beading I speak of. That is there to prevent the outer fabric from soaking in water, which would effectively stop all breathability even though rain would not be able to pass through the garment.

What stops water from passing through an ePTFE membrane isn't that the droplets are "too big" big for the holes, it is that membrane has a hydrostatic charge that is higher than the surface tension of the water. When dirt or body oil contaminants reach the laminate, they reduce that charge. When the charge is lower than the waters surface tension, it will soak through instead of clinging to itself (otherwise known as 'beading').
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Old 10-20-14, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Fastfwd01
... I've been thinking I should go with the Gore Windstopper Base Layer Thermo long sleeve shirt than I can wear under my short sleeve jerseys,...
For the greatest effectiveness, you want the windstopper item to be outermost so that the other layers retain their warm air. The wind will blow through your jersey that's over the windstopper layer so the jersey won't do much for keeping you warmer.

I agree with others that windstopper should only be in the front sections of the garment. This helps vent sweat/moisture out the back and also prevents the garment from inflating when you open the zipper varying amounts to regulate your temperature.

A windstopper vest with a mesh back can be very affective and versatile.
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Old 10-20-14, 09:24 AM
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I've never understoood the theory that one would wear a windstopper item as a base layer. I guess if the base layer is the only thing you're wearing (under a jersy) it kinda makes sense, but windstopping belongs in the outer layer. The Gore Windstopper jackets are more expensive I suppose, but far more versatile, as you can add any number of layers in underneath them.
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Old 10-20-14, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Looigi
For the greatest effectiveness, you want the windstopper item to be outermost so that the other layers retain their warm air. The wind will blow through your jersey that's over the windstopper layer so the jersey won't do much for keeping you warmer.

I agree with others that windstopper should only be in the front sections of the garment. This helps vent sweat/moisture out the back and also prevents the garment from inflating when you open the zipper varying amounts to regulate your temperature.

A windstopper vest with a mesh back can be very affective and versatile.
Agreed. That's why I don't really get baselayer made with Windstopper material. Had one from Castelli and it was so clammy and wet after only 10 minutes of moderate riding.
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Old 10-20-14, 10:10 AM
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i'm skinny and wear a regular gore fleece jacket with windstopper and only a short sleeve jersey into the upper 30s.
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Old 10-20-14, 11:38 AM
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If you're comfortable riding in 5 degree weather in a speedo, that means you generate a lot of heat and tolerate the cold well, it doesn't mean a speedo is warm.

Since everybody is so different it's not like you can just read what works for somebody on the internet and hope it'll work for you. Lots of experimenting is in order.

Usually the key is layers because that's what's most versatile.
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Old 10-20-14, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by canam73
Gore's claim of the holes being too small for water drops to pass through but big enough for vapor to pass is BS. The reason liquid won't easily pass is because the membrane has a hydrostatic property that causes water to bead up but that doesn't effect the gas phase. When the membrane gets dirty that property gets compromised. When the very first Goretex fabrics started failing, Gore started putting a very thin polyurethane coating on the inside of the membrane. This is the same substance used to coat tent flys and other waterproof things of lesser breathability, but the PTFE laminate allows them to use a much thinner layer. Even though the system is still more breathable than thicker stand alone polyurethanes, nothing will pass through PU until it first condenses into a liquid and is absorbed through. The water then needs to evaporate again on the other side to get through the laminate layer. That is the dirty little secret Gore never puts in their marketing. They only want to talk about the membrane, not the coating on it. It's also the reason most people tend to get pretty sweaty in Goretex when doing anything past a mild exertion.
To the best of my understanding, the mechanism basically works as you describe, but the system is waterproof if properly maintained unless failure occurs. Actual failure entitles you to warranty replacement.

If you mess up the DWR or contaminate the membrane, breathability is compromised. However, the wet out that most people experience is not due to the waterproof layer failing. Rather, the DWR gets soaked and you'll feel wet and lose tons of heat through conductive transfer even if you aren't actually wet. Swamping out the garment from the inside at the same time which will make you wet is possible, but that is a separate issue unrelated to failure.

Gore-Tex is waterproof/windproof. You can totally submerge wet body parts that are sufficiently warm protected by Gore-Tex in cold enough water and actually come out dry.

I'm not a fan of windstopper jackets for cycling. Way too easy to swamp out in anything beyond a very modest effort. The Active line is the only one I think is usable for cyclists who like to challenge themselves. I personally wear a Fusion 2.0. Almost as light as a windbreaker so it easily stuffs in a jersey pocket, but fully wind and waterproof. I wear mine in temps ranging from well below freezing to into the 50's.

DISCLAIMER: I am a Gore-Tex product tester and I receive consideration for sharing my thoughts.
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Old 10-20-14, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek
To the best of my understanding, the mechanism basically works as you describe, but the system is waterproof if properly maintained unless failure occurs. Actual failure entitles you to warranty replacement.

If you mess up the DWR or contaminate the membrane, breathability is compromised. However, the wet out that most people experience is not due to the waterproof layer failing. Rather, the DWR gets soaked and you'll feel wet and lose tons of heat through conductive transfer even if you aren't actually wet. Swamping out the garment from the inside at the same time which will make you wet is possible, but that is a separate issue unrelated to failure.

Gore-Tex is waterproof/windproof. You can totally submerge wet body parts that are sufficiently warm protected by Gore-Tex in cold enough water and actually come out dry.

I'm not a fan of windstopper jackets for cycling. Way too easy to swamp out in anything beyond a very modest effort. The Active line is the only one I think is usable for cyclists who like to challenge themselves. I personally wear a Fusion 2.0. Almost as light as a windbreaker so it easily stuffs in a jersey pocket, but fully wind and waterproof. I wear mine in temps ranging from well below freezing to into the 50's.

DISCLAIMER: I am a Gore-Tex product tester and I receive consideration for sharing my thoughts.
I agree that the modern Gore-tex system is waterproof, and has been ever since they started adding the PU coating. My failure comment was only meant for the very early products sold in the the 1970s and early 80s. They used an uncoated ePTFE laminate that is similar to what is now used in Windstopper.
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Old 10-20-14, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek
To the best of my understanding, the mechanism basically works as you describe, but the system is waterproof if properly maintained unless failure occurs. Actual failure entitles you to warranty replacement.

If you mess up the DWR or contaminate the membrane, breathability is compromised. However, the wet out that most people experience is not due to the waterproof layer failing. Rather, the DWR gets soaked and you'll feel wet and lose tons of heat through conductive transfer even if you aren't actually wet. Swamping out the garment from the inside at the same time which will make you wet is possible, but that is a separate issue unrelated to failure.

Gore-Tex is waterproof/windproof. You can totally submerge wet body parts that are sufficiently warm protected by Gore-Tex in cold enough water and actually come out dry.

I'm not a fan of windstopper jackets for cycling. Way too easy to swamp out in anything beyond a very modest effort. The Active line is the only one I think is usable for cyclists who like to challenge themselves. I personally wear a Fusion 2.0. Almost as light as a windbreaker so it easily stuffs in a jersey pocket, but fully wind and waterproof. I wear mine in temps ranging from well below freezing to into the 50's.

DISCLAIMER: I am a Gore-Tex product tester and I receive consideration for sharing my thoughts.
What exactly is the Fusion 2.0 material? Is any other clothing company licensing this material?
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Old 10-20-14, 02:12 PM
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Gore membranes are hydrophobic and porous. Air and water vapor passes through the pores, but the surface tension of water droplets prevents the droplets from going through the pores. Water can still be forced through the pores, by rubbing for instance, and that can happen between two layers of fabric, like under the arms. Residual soap or detergent, things that greatly reduce surface tension, can also allow water to pass through the membrane.

That said, I have not found waterproofness to be of much value riding. No matter what, I'll be wet from both rain and sweat. The main thing is to block to the wind and have sufficient layers to prevent getting too cold.
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Old 10-20-14, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi
That said, I have not found waterproofness to be of much value riding. No matter what, I'll be wet from both rain and sweat. The main thing is to block to the wind and have sufficient layers to prevent getting too cold.
This used to be my thinking. I thought that it was delusional to believe you could be in the rain very long and not get wet, so trying to stay dry was a futile struggle against inevitability. Rather, I favored concentrating on how to be wet and comfortable. Neoprene, polypro, and wool are all great materials that can be made to work in just about any weather conditions.

I've been a product tester since 2007 or 2008, but I didn't recommend any of their cycling products for anything beyond casual recreational use until the Active line came out even if I thought their stuff was great for snowsports.

What you gain from being dry is that you can carry way less. If you're on a ride where the temperature differential can swing 40° or more, all that other stuff is heavy, bulky, and uncomfortable except when you need it. If you can keep things light and dry, you can use lighter layers -- there's nothing like like lugging/wearing heavy layers you needed for cold rain after temps have gone way up and the sun is out. Everything I wear in the wet and below freezing temps can easily be stuffed into jersey pockets. And I'm comfortable in situations that I used to just tolerate.

Originally Posted by dalava
What exactly is the Fusion 2.0 material? Is any other clothing company licensing this material?
It uses Gore-Tex Active technology. Other companies license this material and when they do, it will be clearly indicated.
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Old 10-20-14, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by IcySmooth52
Windstopper is WAY MORE than a windstopper. It's actually a super-breathable Gore-Tex, just not legally waterproof. It's a soft-shell laminate that'll keep you dry in a thunderstorm for only half an hour instead of the whole storm like Gore-Tex, but is 10x more breathable. So if you plan on just biking through the storm ASAP, you'll be less wet from your own sweat. If wind is all you're really worried about, it's a little overkill. And never wear it under something, because it won't be wicking or insulating much. It'll just be cutting down on those factors.

Windstopper is the same thing as Gore-Tex XCR, just with even bigger holes for breathability. But it's not legally waterproof, so they call it what it legally is: Windproof. But Gore products are very well made, and I think they're designed very well. True function over fashion, which many cycling apparel brands aren't. (Fashion can be what looks most technical instead of what's most retro.)
You're killing me!!! Legally waterproof? Come on!!

There really is no jacket, or article of clothing* for that matter, that is actually waterproof, legal or otherwise. There is water repellent, there is water resistant, but there IS NO waterproof. Think I'm wrong? Put on your water "proof" jacket, or whatever, and jump into a swimming pool. Let me know how long your skin stays dry.

* Possibly a dry suit could be considered water "proof", but even dry suits have limits to their effectiveness.
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Old 10-20-14, 06:02 PM
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gore windstopper is not GoreTex. Not even close. GoreTex is far superior.
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Old 10-20-14, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by on the path
You're killing me!!! Legally waterproof? Come on!!

There really is no jacket, or article of clothing* for that matter, that is actually waterproof, legal or otherwise. There is water repellent, there is water resistant, but there IS NO waterproof. Think I'm wrong? Put on your water "proof" jacket, or whatever, and jump into a swimming pool. Let me know how long your skin stays dry.

* Possibly a dry suit could be considered water "proof", but even dry suits have limits to their effectiveness.
My wheels are bomb proof.
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Old 10-20-14, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by on the path
You're killing me!!! Legally waterproof? Come on!!

There really is no jacket, or article of clothing* for that matter, that is actually waterproof, legal or otherwise.

I have a rain jacket that is plastic that is waterproof.
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Old 10-20-14, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by rangerdavid
I have a rain jacket that is plastic that is waterproof.

No you don't!!
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