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Rain gear for touring NY, VT, NH and ME in August

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Rain gear for touring NY, VT, NH and ME in August

Old 07-22-10, 03:12 PM
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Rain gear for touring NY, VT, NH and ME in August

In two weeks I'll be heading from Cincinnati OH to Portland ME generally following AC's Northern Tier route.

As I pare down my packing list, I'm debating whether to take rain pants or just tights. I have both a Showers Pass rain jacket and their Event rain pants. The rain pants just seem too heavy and warm for summer showers, except maybe on mountain passes.

I've never ridden in New England before and would welcome any advice.

Sam in Cincy
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Old 07-22-10, 04:05 PM
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I'd bring a jacket. Even in mid summer you can get pretty chilly if your torso is wet. My rain jacket doubles as a windbreaker or outer layer.
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Old 07-22-10, 04:08 PM
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I usually use the same gears for rain and sunshine - lower when going up and higher when going down....
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Old 07-22-10, 04:40 PM
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That's a tough question. I was caught in a storm during a climb in VT. The temps were comfortable, and I put on an anorak. In 5 minutes I was sweating gallons, so decided to just take it off and get wet. The rain cooled me down to a comfortable temp. However, if you're in the mountains and the temps drop to the 50's (and they can!) you're going to want that jacket.
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Old 07-22-10, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by sam.g
The rain pants just seem too heavy and warm for summer showers, except maybe on mountain passes.
You're exactly correct. New England is a steam bath in the summer. This summer has been unusually hot and humid in the Northeast. Actually there hasn't been very much rain; there's almost a drought going on. I'm not even sure you need the tights. Personally I would not take them, unless they're very compact and light. Definitely not the rain paints. When it's this hot I would wear a light synthetic t-shirt and shorts and plan to get them wet, then dry them on the bike as you ride. That's a personal preference, though. You may prefer to stay dry.

I would say that keeping your shoes dry is a greater concern.

Cool mountain passes? I don't know of any in August. And we're not talking about 10,000 feet here. More like 2000' to 3000'.
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Old 07-22-10, 09:47 PM
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I'd pass on the rain pants, I never even use them in the mountains in summer. Tights or leg warmers should be fine. Definitely bring a jacket, though.
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Old 07-23-10, 03:58 AM
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buy a cheap pair of rain pant's and cut the legs off from the knee down (cut off's) as there known by the experience tourers and it works.
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Old 07-23-10, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by sam.g
In two weeks I'll be heading from Cincinnati OH to Portland ME generally following AC's Northern Tier route.

As I pare down my packing list, I'm debating whether to take rain pants or just tights. I have both a Showers Pass rain jacket and their Event rain pants. The rain pants just seem too heavy and warm for summer showers, except maybe on mountain passes.

I've never ridden in New England before and would welcome any advice.

Sam in Cincy
We're having a very warm summer. I'd not worry about the pants, but tights might be a good idea.
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Old 07-23-10, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by GetUpnGo
You're exactly correct. New England is a steam bath in the summer. This summer has been unusually hot and humid in the Northeast. Actually there hasn't been very much rain; there's almost a drought going on.
Actually June was very wet, July has been very, very hot, but we've been having many rain storms in the late afternoon. Been raining just about every other day. No drought going on here in Vermont and since the storms pass over to NH & Me, I doubt they are having a drought either.

Bring the jacket since some mornings can be cool and damp with fog. Forget the pants, you'll be working too hard and the temps will be warm enough that you'll just be taking them off quickly anyway. Tights or leg warmers are more then enough.

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Old 07-23-10, 05:31 AM
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I would take a light weight coated nylon jacket and probably skip the rain pants.

I carry a pair of coated nylon ones when cold weather is likely, but generally only have worn them in camp (in colder weather than you are likely to see on your route in August. Light tights or leg warmers are probably more than sufficient for the conditions you are likely to have and you may not even use them.

Personally I have no love for any of the expensive breathable rain gear, preferring lighter cheaper alternatives. I have an inexpensive set of Sierra Designs rain gear from REI. It is light, packs really small and I use the jacket when ever I need a windbreaker. The pants I have only used a few times on tour and never while riding.
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Old 07-23-10, 07:46 AM
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You can probably skip the pants, but a cautionary tail...

When I did the Northern Tier it was a very hot summer all over the country. Then things changed. In and around the Adiorandaks it was cold and wet. Rode to Lincoln, NH and climbed and descended Kangamagus in a steady, cold rain. We also has a cold, wet day around Soudesport, NY. Glad I had my rain pants those days. This was all in mid to late-August, which sounds about when you will be hitting these areas if you are leaving OH at the start of August.

In the end, it's a question of how much risk you are willing to take, factoring in your personal tolerances. What is warm enough to one person may be cold to you.
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Old 07-23-10, 08:15 AM
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I'm going through the same thing for my September tour in northern California. I live in the PNW and in the winter I never wear a waterproof rain jacket or rain pants. Even down to snowing, I use a windproof, somewhat water resistant microfiber jacket like this: https://www.performancebike.com/bikes...1511000_400070
and tights. I vary the weight of tights and under layers according to the temperature. If I wear anything waterproof, I just get soaked with stinky sweat, my skin can't breathe, and I get very uncomfortable.

I'm planning to take light tights, a jacket as above, and a PI wind vest. The jacket and vest together weigh 12 oz. Either one easily fits in a jersey pocket.

Major caveat: while I've ridden many 10's of thousands of miles in the PNW, I've never ridden in CA, and never toured. So it's possible that my effort while touring only 60 miles/day will be so much lower than my effort when sport riding that I'll get cold in the rain without WP gear. Also there's messing around in camp and town in the rain and roadside breaks to consider, when non-WP gear might be a PITA.

So I'm also considering replacing the jacket and vest with a single WP jacket (13 oz), though I'd still take the tights instead of rain pants, and think I'd miss the vest. I can't imagine wanting to ride a bike wearing rain pants. In the winter here, no one wears rain pants and we ride 52 weeks/yr. I might have wanted them once, descending a mountain in the rain at about 35, but did without just fine once my legs started working again on the flat.
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