apparel for the wet & cold



Status
Not open for further replies.
S

Steve Sanfratel

Guest
The temperature is dropping around here and we've had some rainy days too. What do you suggest that
I wear on commutes and entertainment rides?

Is Gor-tex unbeatable, or can an simple fabric like nylon compete?

This Proproe suit looks interesting and cheap : http://www.rainshield.com/

I've never commuted by cycle, in the winter, before so I'm looking for people with advice and
experience with the variety of fabrics out there.

--
__/_ _ _ _) /(- \/(- _) .
-----------------------------------------------------------
 
T

Tom Nakashima

Guest
I've found Gortex seems to work when the rain hits, and you can shake it off, but when your meshing
the water with the Gore material and the bicycle saddle, it seems to soak through the bottom of my
pants. -tom

"Steve Sanfratello" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:eek:[email protected]...
> The temperature is dropping around here and we've had some rainy days too. What do you suggest
> that I wear on commutes and entertainment rides?
>
> Is Gor-tex unbeatable, or can an simple fabric like nylon compete?
>
> This Proproe suit looks interesting and cheap : http://www.rainshield.com/
>
> I've never commuted by cycle, in the winter, before so I'm looking for people with advice and
> experience with the variety of fabrics out there.
>
>
> --
> __/_ _ _ _) /(- \/(- _) .
> -----------------------------------------------------------
 
J

Jacobe Hazzard

Guest
"Steve Sanfratello" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:eek:[email protected]
> The temperature is dropping around here and we've had some rainy days too. What do you suggest
> that I wear on commutes and entertainment rides?
>
> Is Gor-tex unbeatable, or can an simple fabric like nylon compete?
>
> This Proproe suit looks interesting and cheap : http://www.rainshield.com/
>
> I've never commuted by cycle, in the winter, before so I'm looking for people with advice and
> experience with the variety of fabrics out there.

Don't know about that link, but I have found that Goretex is a pile of ****. As 'waterproof
breathables' go, Goretex is expensive, often unnecessarily bulky, and neither very waterproof nor
very breathable. And it's very touchy about being dirty, and difficult to wash.

IMO, for commuting, the best thing is a rain cape. These cost next to nothing, are totally
waterproof (combine with fenders and you will stay dry all over), are plenty breathable because the
underside is open, and you can wear whatever you want underneath for warmth. You look like an idiot
while you're riding, but when you get off the bike totally dry and can stuff your coat into a small
bag, it's worth it.
 
Q

Q.

Guest
"Steve Sanfratello" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:eek:[email protected]...
> The temperature is dropping around here and we've had some rainy days too. What do you suggest
> that I wear on commutes and entertainment rides?

There was just a very long, and good discussion about this on the Massbike.org email list. Go to:
http://www.massbike.org/email/index.htm and look for "warm & dry in cold rain" posted on 08-Nov-03.
That was the first post I believe. You'll find more than enough good advice I'm sure (c:

C.Q.C.
 
M

Marc Vanheyning

Guest
Thus said Steve Sanfratello <[email protected]>:
>The temperature is dropping around here and we've had some rainy days too. What do you suggest that
>I wear on commutes and entertainment rides?

www.icebike.org has a variety of useful information; look for their "cold, wet" clothing
recommendations.

>Is Gor-tex unbeatable, or can an simple fabric like nylon compete?

Personally, I find that Gore-Tex is breathable enough for standing around or walking, but not for
bicycling. I tend to prefer something which is more breathable and less waterproof -- plain nylon is
one option, as are other semipermeable things like Activent. You'll get wet from your perspiration
anyway, so the main thing is to keep you just damp and not soaked, and warm.

Most important is to focus on your head. Get a helmet cover and something for your ears like a
headband. They make form-fitting skull caps that go under your helmet, but if it's warm enough to
rain it's usually too warm for one of these.
 
T

Tbgibb

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, Steve Sanfratello
<[email protected]> writes:

>The temperature is dropping around here and we've had some rainy days too. What do you suggest that
>I wear on commutes and entertainment rides?
>
>Is Gor-tex unbeatable, or can an simple fabric like nylon compete?
>
>This Proproe suit looks interesting and cheap : http://www.rainshield.com/
>
>I've never commuted by cycle, in the winter, before so I'm looking for people with advice and
>experience with the variety of fabrics out there.
>

Gor-tex is good, but make sure any jacket you get has "pit zips" at least.

Coated nylon will keep the rain out, but you really need vents (pit zips at least).

Tom Gibb <[email protected]
 
C

Cheg

Guest
"Steve Sanfratello" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:eek:[email protected]...
> The temperature is dropping around here and we've had some rainy days too. What do you suggest
> that I wear on commutes and entertainment rides?
>
> Is Gor-tex unbeatable, or can an simple fabric like nylon compete?
>
> This Proproe suit looks interesting and cheap : http://www.rainshield.com/
>
> I've never commuted by cycle, in the winter, before so I'm looking for people with advice and
> experience with the variety of fabrics out there.
>
>

I have to chime in here. I've been very satisfied with the Pearl Izumi Channel jacket, even though
it was god awful expensive at about $200. It has stood up to very heavy rain, wet snow, hail, and
sub-freezing temperatures on a 17 mile commute. This is in Seattle so I haven't seen extreme cold,
but it's been down to about 27F. The breathability is very good. The jacket has no vents or pit zips
but it doesn't seem to need them. It's made of a proprietary fabric called eVENT. This article:
http://slate.msn.com/id/2085417, says it is the most breathable material you can get according to
data from the US Army Materials Test Lab.The only problem I have had is that the zipper pull is kind
of weak, but the LBS gave me a new jacket in exchange after mine broke. If you have the cash, it's a
damn good jacket.
 
J

John Grossbohli

Guest
"Steve Sanfratello" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:eek:[email protected]...
> The temperature is dropping around here and we've had some rainy days too. What do you suggest
> that I wear on commutes and entertainment rides?
>
> Is Gor-tex unbeatable, or can an simple fabric like nylon compete?
>
> This Proproe suit looks interesting and cheap : http://www.rainshield.com/
>
> I've never commuted by cycle, in the winter, before so I'm looking for people with advice and
> experience with the variety of fabrics out there.

I rode from FL to NY (and all over the place in-between) in the winter months (early January through
the beginning of April) and my final day on the road was about 70 miles in the snow and the last 40
or so on wet roads. On that trip I rode in everything from t-shirts and shorts to wearing all at
once: two long sleeve poly-wool jerseys, two wind tops, a rain top, shorts, two wind pants, two pair
of gloves and a knit hat inside the helmet with a disposable dust mask over my face to aid
breathing.

Since my office moved this week it is no longer viable to walk to work. As such I'm going to try
bicycle commuting... and will use the car when it gets really ugly! I'll probably use the same basic
clothing approach for this experience with one exception. I'll use a wool vest in the mix.

I use wool for most of my extreme weather adventures (vest, coats, jackets, pants, etc.) and find
that wool is excellent at keeping me comfortable in cold weather even in a moderate rain under heavy
exertion (e.g., helped drag a deer up a significant change in elevation over about 3/10ths of a mile
last week and wasn't cold and didn't feel wet afterwards). Wool is well worth
consideration--nostalgic as it may be!

John
 
R

Rick

Guest
"Steve Sanfratello" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:eek:[email protected]...
> The temperature is dropping around here and we've had some rainy days too. What do you suggest
> that I wear on commutes and entertainment rides?
>
> Is Gor-tex unbeatable, or can an simple fabric like nylon compete?
>
> This Proproe suit looks interesting and cheap : http://www.rainshield.com/
>
> I've never commuted by cycle, in the winter, before so I'm looking for people with advice and
> experience with the variety of fabrics out there.
>

Having read the other posts, I've a few things to add.

Wear a hat, either instead of, or under, your helmet. Pile works really well for under the helmet,
but so does a gore-tex hat. I've used both and like both (Outdoor Research made a gore-tex hat that
I've had, and used, every winter for the past 10 years, but I don't know if it is still available.
It is the same hat that Bill Nye wore on his show, the copycat). The advantage of the hat is the
brim, which is quite functional worn this way.

Gloves provide both additional warmth and better grip on the bars when wet. When really cold, I've
even used ski gloves, though they need to be rinsed often and dried.

I have tried a variety of stuff on the body core. My preference is to simply go with standard
cycling pants and jersey. If it is cold, I will add a windbreaker over the shirt, but the hat is the
most important item. If it is raining, I will wear the white, long sleeve, poly shirt I have. It is
amazing in the wet and sufficies by itself in even the worst conditions we have here in N. Calif.
(which isn't too bad, considering what it is like in most other parts of the world). I tried the
waterproof stuff and discarded
it. I was miserable in it and, often, had to take it off during the ride. The poly shirt gets wet
and saturated, but it doesn't allow the water to penetrate. It does not allow the air to
penetrate when wet and seems to function much like a wetsuit.

Layers work, but, again, it is difficult to get the proper balance between warmth, comfort, and
moisture control (either external or internal). Note that as you cycle, you will warm. It is okay to
be a bit cold for the first 5 minutes. This will quickly pass and it is easier to be a little cold
at first than it is to shed layers as you travel.

Rick
 
A

Alan Acock

Guest
I've tried the rainsheild Proproe product. It is good at water proof. It is very limited at
breathing. The main problem is that it is not durable. I believe 3M designed it as a throw away
material for surgeons. If you are extremely gentle with it, it is not a bad deal. Alan Acock "Steve
Sanfratello" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:eek:[email protected]...
> The temperature is dropping around here and we've had some rainy days too. What do you suggest
> that I wear on commutes and entertainment rides?
>
> Is Gor-tex unbeatable, or can an simple fabric like nylon compete?
>
> This Proproe suit looks interesting and cheap : http://www.rainshield.com/
>
> I've never commuted by cycle, in the winter, before so I'm looking for people with advice and
> experience with the variety of fabrics out there.
>
>
> --
> __/_ _ _ _) /(- \/(- _) .
> -----------------------------------------------------------
 
D

David Reuteler

Guest
In rec.bicycles.tech John Grossbohlin <[email protected]> wrote:
: I use wool for most of my extreme weather adventures (vest, coats, jackets, pants, etc.) and find
: that wool is excellent at keeping me comfortable in cold weather even in a moderate rain under
: heavy exertion (e.g., helped drag a deer up a significant change in elevation over about 3/10ths
: of a mile last week and wasn't cold and didn't feel wet afterwards). Wool is well worth
: consideration--nostalgic as it may be!

wool rocks. i'm a minnesota boy and can't get enuf of it. 2 or 3 layers of wool and a windbreak is
all you need unless it's expletive, expletive cold.

http://www.vintagevelos.com/clothing1.html http://www.woolistic.com http://www.woolywarm.com/
http://www.smartwool.com

(smartwool has what has to be one of the worst webpages i've ever seen in terms of stupid use of web
technology. i've yet to get it to work on any platform i use).
--
david reuteler [email protected]
 
R

Ron Hardin

Guest
I've taken to Nashbar Polar-tec mittens as the handiest hand covering; water so far doesn't seem to
affect their warmth. Everything else I've tried gets soaked and cold. They're loose and sort of
non-hand-conforming but don't affect dexterity much. Get a big size. They're good right from when
you start needing gloves.

If it gets down to freezing, just add a large mitten shell cover.

The strangely oversized effect of the mitten makes it easy to get shells up over your sleeves,
always difficult with that last hand otherwise.
--
Ron Hardin [email protected]

On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.
 
B

Bruce

Guest
Waterproof and breathable fabrics work great, but you have to know their limits. It amazes me when
people complain about sweating when it's cold. If you hate sweating either unzip and cool off or
give up riding!

The basic facts are gas moisture will pass through the teflon membrane if one side has higher
humidity then the other. So if it's raining outside then not much sweat is going to get out,
regardless of what fabric you use. Liquid water will bubble up on teflon and not pass through. And
the nicest thing about the fabric is wind does not get through. But that means you need other ways
to adjust your body temp. Why complain if it works so well you have too much heat!! Adjust!!

Bruce
 
P

Peter Cole

Guest
"Bruce" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> Waterproof and breathable fabrics work great, but you have to know their limits. It amazes me when
> people complain about sweating when it's cold. If you hate sweating either unzip and cool off or
> give up riding!
>
> The basic facts are gas moisture will pass through the teflon membrane if one side has higher
> humidity then the other. So if it's raining outside then not much sweat is going to get out,
> regardless of what fabric you use. Liquid water will bubble up on teflon and not pass through. And
> the nicest thing about the fabric is wind does not get through. But that means you need other ways
> to adjust your body temp. Why complain if it works so well you have too much heat!! Adjust!!

Perhaps you haven't ridden in the rain. If you unzip your jacket, you'll get soaked.
 
D

David Damerell

Guest
Jacobe Hazzard <[email protected]> wrote:
>IMO, for commuting, the best thing is a rain cape. These cost next to nothing, are totally
>waterproof (combine with fenders and you will stay dry all over),

And a mudflap, or your feet get soaked. Even then I get slightly wet between knees and ankles, and
they're heavy work in a headwind, but I still wouldn't trade in my cape for a suit of wizzotronic
technofibre...
--
David Damerell <[email protected]> flcl?
 
F

Fritz M

Guest
Steve Sanfratello <[email protected]>:

> The temperature is dropping around here and we've had some rainy days too. What do you suggest
> that I wear on commutes and entertainment rides?

I found this "Cycling Gear for Colorado Temperatures" page on the Colorado Department of
Transportation website the other day:

http://www.dot.state.co.us/BikePed/Maps/Weather%20Gear.pdf

I'm not a big fan of G-Tex, but YMMV. I use a fairly cheap water-resistant shell that I bought on
sale from Performance, but precip in Colorado is really limited. I layer underneath for warmth.
Cotton and cotton-blends hold moisture and get clammy, heavy, and unpleasant. Polyester fleeces work
great for warmth, comfort, and moisture movement.

Polypropylene is often recommended, but that stuff itches to me and it retains stink quite a bit
more than other fabrics.

For the most part I didn't have to get special gear for cycling since I already own this clothing
for hiking and snow skiing.

On my legs over my bike shorts I generally wear a base layer of very lightweight polyester
(Patagonia Featherweight Capilene). Over that I have some track pants from EMS made with some
wicking mesh polyester type fabric. If it's windy, wet, or below freezing, I put on my water-proof
wind-proof ski shell instead of the track pants.

Torso: a mesh undershirt, thin polyester long-sleeved shirt, and the shell. I'll add a layer or two
as the temperature drops.

Hands: fleece ski glove liner. Below 25 degrees F or so, I use my insulated, water-proof gloves.

Head: fleece cap goes under the helmet.

Feet: I loosen my road cycling shoes and I'm good to go to about 25 degrees with various thicknesses
of SmartWool socks. If I'm caught with unexpected ice, plastic baggies keep my feet dry. If I'm
expecting precip or when it gets really cold, I change the clipless pedals to straps and wear my GTX
trail shoes.

RFM
 
M

Mister

Guest
For cold feet get off your bike once an hour and walk for a few minutes.
 
J

Jay Beattie

Guest
"David Reuteler" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> In rec.bicycles.tech John Grossbohlin <[email protected]>
wrote:
> : I use wool for most of my extreme weather adventures (vest, coats,
jackets,
> : pants, etc.) and find that wool is excellent at keeping me
comfortable in
> : cold weather even in a moderate rain under heavy exertion (e.g.,
helped drag
> : a deer up a significant change in elevation over about 3/10ths of a
mile
> : last week and wasn't cold and didn't feel wet afterwards). Wool is
well
> : worth consideration--nostalgic as it may be!
>
> wool rocks. i'm a minnesota boy and can't get enuf of it. 2 or 3
layers
> of wool and a windbreak is all you need unless it's expletive,
expletive
> cold.
>
> http://www.vintagevelos.com/clothing1.html http://www.woolistic.com http://www.woolywarm.com/
> http://www.smartwool.com
>
> (smartwool has what has to be one of the worst webpages i've ever seen
in
> terms of stupid use of web technology. i've yet to get it to work on
any
> platform i use).

Except that wool takes so long to dry. I assume that Smartwool is somewhat better, but I have never
used that.

There are essentially two schools of thought when it comes to dressing for rain: (1) stay as dry as
possible using some sort of waterproof covering, anything from a dry-suit to a cape, and (2) getting
wet and instead focusing on staying warm and streamline. The first school is probably the best for
the commuter, assuming it is a short commute -- especially for those people who do not have
drying/changing facilities. The second school is best for longer or blustery commutes and training.
It keeps flapping to a minimum and recognizes that no matter what, you are going to get wet if you
ride long enough (either from the inside or the outside). Personally, I hate flapping capes, pants
and jackets and think the best possible rain gear would be tights with water-resistant panel fronts,
booties, mid-weight gloves like Amphibs, and a jacket like the Exte-Ondo (which all my friends now
own). A poly-pro or other thin hat is also good. I use a Burley jacket, which is well made with
plenty of vents, but which is still a little floppy. Always pull your tights over the top of your
booties, use fenders, and, for me, use fabrics that will dry quickly. I hate putting on wet socks
and shoes at the end of the day to ride home. Oh, put your gloves over the air vent in your office;
make sure your booties are not covered with **** that will fall on the floor. I have also found a
special place for my socks where they get plenty of air but people cannot see them. Really, the
logistics of clothes drying can be complicated. -- Jay Beattie.
 
E

Erik Brooks

Guest
"Peter Cole" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:<[email protected]_s01>...
> "Bruce" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> > Waterproof and breathable fabrics work great, but you have to know their limits. It amazes me
> > when people complain about sweating when it's cold. If you hate sweating either unzip and cool
> > off or give up riding!
><snip!> Why complain if it works so well you have too much heat!! Adjust!!
>
> Perhaps you haven't ridden in the rain. If you unzip your jacket, you'll get soaked.

I'm a multi-year, year around Seattle bike commuter. I've ridden the rain lots, and I thought that
Bruce's comments were the most sensible of the lot.

Peter, maybe you have the wrong jacket? I'm happy with my Burley, and I've heard lots of other
positives about the brand. I'm zipping up and down often, raining or not. The jacket should make it
easy to make adjustments, and it's important to do the adjustments 'before you need them'. I view it
like the excellent advice about eating and drinking during physical efforts - if you wait til you
are hungry or thirsty, you've put off the eating or drinking too long for optimim performance.

In the case of rainwear, I think it's important to have good pit zips, 2 way zippers, and also to
have good fenders.

Erik Brooks, Seattle
 
D

David Reuteler

Guest
Jay Beattie <[email protected]> wrote:
: There are essentially two schools of thought when it comes to dressing for rain: (1) stay as dry
: as possible using some sort of waterproof covering, anything from a dry-suit to a cape, and (2)
: getting wet and instead focusing on staying warm and streamline.

heh. well, that nails it. i fall into number 2. wool can take a while to dry out (but not *that*
long) but at least you're comfortable while it does. i've ridden in 0C near soaked in wool and been
reasonably comfortable. i do wear shoe covers, thick wool socks, a wool l/s underlayer or 2, a l/s
wool jersey and some sort of water resistant outer layer (not wool, but some light stretchy junk), a
neck gaitor and wool glove liner and good pair of gloves made from dead cow.
--
david reuteler [email protected]
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads