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Rain Jackets, are they worth it?(10 posts)

Rain Jackets, are they worth it?Lone Gunman
Oct 19, 2003 2:47 PM
Just finished a week long tour, it rained a few days. In fact this year/season it has rained quite a bit. I have gotten caught out in the rain more this year than ever. Granted it is sometimes fun to ride in the rain, you always have the overall big cleanup job afterward.

My defense for rain has been the $10 plastic rain jacket w/velcro front and side vents. I think I get wetter from the sweat than I do the rain. Also I slow down in rain to avoid a crash, but still get wetter from sweat than rain. Shorts and feet get soaked from spray. Not interested in a gortex suit to stay dry. Are the rain specific cycling jackets worth the expense ($60-$100)(there are alot of them available with a wide price range) or would I be just as dry if I put on a wind jacket sprayed with Scotch Gard?
My experience agrees with yoursKerry Irons
Oct 19, 2003 4:53 PM
Any rain jacket is really to keep you warm, not dry. You sweat more than GoreTex can ever pass, so going that route gets you better made stuff, but it won't keep you dry. And as you note, wet shorts and shoes filling with water can't really be prevented. I wear a rain suit while commuting where I need to keep my work clothes dry, but I don't go hard enough or far enough to work up the kind of persperation I get in a normal road ride. I see no point in expensive rain gear for regular riding.
May be time to experimentLone Gunman
Oct 19, 2003 6:05 PM
May just spray a jacket/wind jacket with Scotch Gard and see what happens. I have Gortex socks which in a heavy rain fill up with water and hold it, also bought some nice Sidi windtex shoe covers that keep my feet warm, not real sure about dry, shoes were wet to begin with the day I tried them. Also tried putting on bag balm on my legs to shed rain, dirt and sand stuck to them like magnets to a refrigerator, what a mistake that was.
re: Rain Jackets, are they worth it?winstonc
Oct 19, 2003 11:09 PM
I bought a Rain Shield 02 cycling jacket for $25. Light, waterproof and breatheable -- really! They use a new material that is much less expensive than the porous teflon used in Gore Tex. It's not constructed like a $200 jacket, but it does the job, though it may seem hard to believe at the price.

I went on a weeklong tour in Quebec this summer... it rained every day, and I had water sloshing back and forth in my shoes for hours one day. As soon as I got back, I bought some Burley waterproof booties. These keep out the rain perfectly.

I also have a pair of Sugoi Bosui Vapor pants which have a Gore-Tex type fabric. They work well but can stick to your skin a little unless you wear tights underneath. I know Rain Shield makes inexpensive waterproof pants as well, but I can't vouch for how good they are.

Maybe you should invest in fenders...
Its less miserable just getting rained onpmf1
Oct 20, 2003 9:45 AM
Unless its cool or cold out, a rain jacket is more miserable than just getting rained on. They're hot, sweaty and generally uncomfortable.

I try and avoid riding in the rain mostly because its hard on the bike and involves a lot of cleaning when finished. Sometimes its unavoidable. On those occasions, I'd rather get weat than get over heated and sweaty.
Agree about Gore-tex, it's better but not perfectPeterRider
Oct 20, 2003 11:07 AM
Have a XCR gore-tex jacket (so that's supposed to be the best), if there is a big climb I'm still going to be wet from sweat. Have gore-tex pants as well, I think the problem is worse with pants.

Something I highly recommend though: the gore-tex oversocks. I've done a ride in March, in more rain than I've ever seen, the feet stayed dry. They cost 30-40$ at

I don't think I ever "plan" to ride in the rain...Lone Gunman
Oct 20, 2003 3:53 PM
it just happens, I have gortex socks that let water in over the tops if it is raining hard and when they fill up, I am talking like waterballoon fill-up. They are from REI. If I run across a breathable jacket for the right price I may give one a shot.

Fenders on my Lemond are not an option since that seems to be the bike I always get caught in the rain upon.
Kitchen sink solutionowmynads
Oct 21, 2003 4:22 AM
A nice, inexpensive (somewhat tacky) solution: Clear plastic cling-wrap over the feet. Stops water in its tracks. Clip in, wrap-up, and go.

Worth $10Keeping up with Junior
Oct 21, 2003 8:08 AM
I struggled for a while trying to find a jacket that actually worked. Finally took one of the $10 rain jackets and hacked the sleeves off to make it a short sleeve rain jacket. This provided enough ventilation to avoid getting soaked with sweat inside when combined with adjusting the velcro opening. Road a 200 mile rainy, cool (60 degree) weeked with my modifed short sleeve plastic rain jacket, arm warmers, a cycling cap and wool socks (and of course shorts and jersey). My main goal was to stay warm and I got the bonus of keeping my torso and butt dry using the plastic coat. In addition, without the sleeves it fits better in a jersey pocket.

Goretex is useless as it does not breath fast enough for the sweat you produce. Burley makes a very well ventilated jacket that my wife has and likes.
re: Rain Jackets, are they worth it?dotkaye
Oct 23, 2003 10:12 AM
Goretex has always worked well for me in the cold (60 deg or below) - kept me both warm and dry. Any temp much above that, nothing will keep you dry, because nothing breathes well enough to get the sweat out. Your wind jacket with Scotch Gard is probably the best bet..