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  1. #1
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    Rain / Wind jacket suggestions?

    I'm new to the West Coast (Tsawwassen, BC)...moved here from Alberta, where riding in the Fall / Winter can mean serious cold weather gear, but not much in the way of rain.

    I experienced a bit of last winter here, so I know that it's mostly rain, but still cold enough to warrant some insulating. What do all you local riders suggest for outerwear? I have my base layers, and wool jerseys for warmth, wind front tights...I'm just not sure if a dedicated rain jacket is best, or something more breathable.

    From what I've read on the forum, it seems a lot of people don't like to ride in the rain...but I'm all for it! I have my "rain" bike set up, but just need to make sure I stay dry up top!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    PSC
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    I have been using an REI jacket for the past couple of years and it seems to work good in the rain and with layering you can pretty much go down to freezing. It's pretty cheap too.

    http://www.rei.com/product/771257

  3. #3
    Big is relative
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    Showers Pass Elite 2.0. Designed in the PNW for PNW riders. Kind of pricey at $220, but 3-4 tanks of gas saved will pay for it. Two tanks for my F150. They also make Elite rain pants, but my hour and twenty minute commute is just too long to wear a sauna. I just wear poly pro tights and let them dry at work.

    Edit; I read about a product called "rain legs" that is basically rainproof cover over the tops of your legs that cinches at the waist and extends over your knees. I just emailed the company in Holland and asked about international sales. With fenders, a decent jacket and gloves, the rain legs look perfect for our weather.
    Last edited by bigbill; 08-30-2008 at 08:07 AM.
    Retired sailor

  4. #4
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    Even though it's not outerwear, I'd suggest fenders if you'll be riding in the rain a lot- they'll take care of a good amount of the soaking you get in those conditions.

  5. #5
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    Fenders +1

    Quote Originally Posted by heliskyr
    Even though it's not outerwear, I'd suggest fenders if you'll be riding in the rain a lot- they'll take care of a good amount of the soaking you get in those conditions.
    Oh, ya...I have fenders on my rain bike! An absolute must!

  6. #6
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    +1 on Fenders! I also make sure to extend my fenders to almost ground level and wide.

    I also have a set of the Pearl Izumi Amfib boot covers that really help save the toes. I hate having tire water spray fill my shoes when I corner.

    Cheers,
    Mike

  7. #7
    chamois creme addict
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    Just across the bay

    Hey, I am an Albertan transplant too (9 years ago now), I live two bays away from you in White Rock. In my 9 winters of riding here I have experienced just about everything. Last winter was colder and maybe a bit drier, I actually had to buy a new windproof thermal winter jacket (Sugoi RS) to add to my collection. I also spent more time riding out towards Tsawwassen and Ladner last winter, because it was often too icy to head easy into the Fraser Valley.

    For the rainy days of winter it really depends on 4 factors, the air temperature, the intensity of the rain, the intensity of the ride, and the duration of the ride. If I am going 2 hours or less and it is light steady rain and warmer than 8 C then I will likely layer with LS base, LS jersey and thermal vest and toss my rain cape in my pocket in case I need it. Even for longer rides I start out like this but if I am getting way too cold and wet then I add the rain cape. I don't like riding with the classic PVC rain cape unless it is pretty cold and very wet. I find once the rain cape is on I get such a sweat going that I cannot take it off or I will run the risk of getting too cold. A good thermal vest with wind repellent front fabric is an essential piece of clothing for our winters.

    There are newer rain jackets that are water repellent and breathable, the Assos Climajet (very expensive) the Giordana Monsoon jacket or vest (moderately expensive), or the Sugoi HydroLite (still pretty expensive). Plus the Showers Pass jackets which are supposed to be awesome. I am looking to add one of these to my collection, I can't believe I am already thinking about winter clothing and putting together a new winter bike Where did summer go?

  8. #8
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    I use an REI Stratos Jacket, different than the REI jacket recommended by PCS above. I'm very happy with mine. Here's the link:
    http://www.rei.com/product/724360

    It does an excellent job of keeping the moisture out. It also does a pretty good job of keeping the moisture in, but it's no better or worse than any other "breathable" waterproof jacket I've used in that respect. It has nice big pit zips to keep it cool and dry inside on warmer rides. It's a little heavy and bulky for tucking into your jersey pocket, so you have to commit to wearing it or not when you start the ride. In the two or so years I've had mine, I've worn it a LOT. I wear it almost everyday for fall/winter/spring time commuting and on most of my weekend rides (gotta love PNW weather). This past spring I rode quite a bit in cold rain, sleet, snow, and the jacket always did it's job. Now keeping feet and hands warm in that kind of weather is another story...

  9. #9
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    I enjoy a ride in the rain if I don't need to wear my shoes again for a day or two. lol

    My fav rain jacket although it isn't completley waterproof is my Castelli Solo jacket.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the tips!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric_H
    Hey, I am an Albertan transplant too (9 years ago now), I live two bays away from you in White Rock. In my 9 winters of riding here I have experienced just about everything. Last winter was colder and maybe a bit drier, I actually had to buy a new windproof thermal winter jacket (Sugoi RS) to add to my collection. I also spent more time riding out towards Tsawwassen and Ladner last winter, because it was often too icy to head easy into the Fraser Valley.

    For the rainy days of winter it really depends on 4 factors, the air temperature, the intensity of the rain, the intensity of the ride, and the duration of the ride. If I am going 2 hours or less and it is light steady rain and warmer than 8 C then I will likely layer with LS base, LS jersey and thermal vest and toss my rain cape in my pocket in case I need it. Even for longer rides I start out like this but if I am getting way too cold and wet then I add the rain cape. I don't like riding with the classic PVC rain cape unless it is pretty cold and very wet. I find once the rain cape is on I get such a sweat going that I cannot take it off or I will run the risk of getting too cold. A good thermal vest with wind repellent front fabric is an essential piece of clothing for our winters.

    There are newer rain jackets that are water repellent and breathable, the Assos Climajet (very expensive) the Giordana Monsoon jacket or vest (moderately expensive), or the Sugoi HydroLite (still pretty expensive). Plus the Showers Pass jackets which are supposed to be awesome. I am looking to add one of these to my collection, I can't believe I am already thinking about winter clothing and putting together a new winter bike Where did summer go?
    I picked up a Sugoi rain/thermal jacket on ebay...should be there when I get home (I'm in Winnipeg on business, at least I won't have to winter ride here!). I can't believe how much more riding I've done here in BC than back in Edmonton! There are so many great roads around the Tsawwassen area, and there was SO much summer road construction in Edmonton! My goal is to try and ride through the winter as long as possible. I've got my old lugged steel Proctor set up for the winter with fenders, and a good dose of Boeshield inside, so I should be set, as long as I can stay warm and dry!

  11. #11
    Son of Lee Marvin
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    I live in Portland, OR, and rely on a Sugoi 2007 rain jacket. It fits very well, ie pretty fitted, and has huge pit zips. Sadly, this jacket is no longer made.

    I've tried on the Showers Pass jackets, they're high-quality jackets, but have tons of gut room, and I need something that fits me better.

    You may also want to consider Gore brand jackets, their waterproof stuff (with pit zips) is great. Good details make a difference.

  12. #12
    MTT
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    I like the Gore Wind Stopper fabric because it does breathe a bit, but not so much that you will get wet strait away. Basically it will keep you dry for about 40 minutes in steady rain, and the one I have I can zip off the sleeves. That is a nice feature in the Spring and Fall. I ripped it mountain biking, but the rip has not gotten any bigger (for what that is worth).

    I would buy another one. They are very light as well...........MTT

  13. #13
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    While I don't by choice ride in a hard soaking rain, I do get caught out often. I won't cancel a ride just because it's supposed to rain.

    I've tried all kinds of clothing and what works best for me is a light wind breaker-type jacket (I have a Giordana right now). Water repellant. I wear wool under that if I expect to be out in it for a long while or Poly if it will be an intermittent rain day. Descente makes a good long sleeve full zip jersey that is inexpensive and pretty comfortable. Kucaric makes a good wool, but I have yet to find a full zip wool LS jersey..

    I layer up with a polyester vest. Polypro tights and on colder days, I put lycra tights under the poly tights. Some full zip booties keep my toes dry-ish. Wool socks for warmth when I do get totally soaked.

    The jacket comes off between showers, or gets unzipped to dry my 'underlayers' If it's a real deluge, I get wet, but stay warm (like in a wetsuit) because the wind doesn't get in to chill me.

    One thing I've not found is a simple jacket that will slip off while riding...without taking off my full gloves. The Giordana has too tight of sleeves, but it fits easily into my back jersey pocket during 'sunbreaks' Oh yeah..there is a slip on helmet cover..kinda like a helmet condom..that keeps the wind off your head...good for rainy day rides and you can also easily pull it off and insert it into your jersey pocket, too. I wear a poly cross country ski hat on colder days under my helmet.

    Don Hanson

  14. #14
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    speaking of no longer made - Assos used to make a clima windshield, which is still the piece of cold/wet gear that I use the most.

  15. #15
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    3 words for you - Mountain Equipment Coop. They're on Broadway near Main st.

    nobody makes better rain cycling jackets clothes, period.

    http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_l...=1221916398878

    I use the Hydrocycle model , perfect for Vancouver's crap winters. Combined with the Whoosh pants and shoe booties, I stay 100% dry for hours.


    Some people complain about breathability, you really have to wear a sweat-wicking layer under waterproof jackets.

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