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Help with wet weather gear?(13 posts)

Help with wet weather gear?Dog
May 9, 2001 7:51 AM
I almost never ride in the rain, being here in central California.

Getting ready to do the Race Across Orgeon, June 2-3. Last year, they had a whole lot of snow and rain for most of the 500 miles. To be ready for this, I'm was thinking that a lightweight wetsuit top might be ideal, especially if it's cold and rainy. Any thoughts on this? Anyone tried such a thing (you water skiers?)? I do have regular Goretex raingear, but it does not provide much warmth, and it flaps around in the wind quite a bit, slowing you down.

Also, I'm looking for another crew person to help during the ride. Anyone interested, please e-mail me. Thanks.

Protect also the rearixiz
May 9, 2001 9:00 AM
If its wet - saddle sores are possibility
1. chamois cream
2. plastic clip on mudguard prevent water on saddle and shorts (only a few extra grams but well worth it)
3. extra shorts

I use a NIKE base layer - mainly was made for snow boarders to keep the temp and a windbreaker (small) that is treated 3m water repellent for cold rainiy brevet rides.
UK- Inverse side of global cooling?zelig1
May 9, 2001 9:31 AM
What's up with the climate? Its been the same since September. I'm tired of booties, ls jersies, tights and gloves.

It got up to 22 in Firenze and I thought I was going to die. Of course the gods heard me and then it rained for three days so I felt like I was back in England.
Zelig, don't panic mate...muncher
May 9, 2001 10:08 AM
I'm in Guildford still waiting to get to the first cricket net of the season to actually happen, and it's chucking down with rain yet again. Last night I was taken totally by suprise by the sun, and went home the very long way on my CX - only to nearly die of dehydration in the gore-tex I had to wear on the way to work in the rain. Here, at least, normality is maintained....

Oh yes - I look out of the window and it is spitting again..
Some suggestionszelig1
May 9, 2001 9:24 AM
Doug, you are a glutton for punishment but I admire your fortitude in undertaking these long events. As a veteran year round rider in Boston, wet, sloppy and cold as well as England, wet and cold, I offer the following:

I own a Patagonia wet suit top but I think you'll find it too restrictive (motion and breathing) for the length of your event plus you'll likely overheat. I'd look into the Assos Clima jacket, well made and of material (its not Goretex) which breathes but keeps out water when its wettened. Expensive but just bill a few more hours. Another suggestion would be the much criticized plastic rain cape. I use a Garneau which has a velcro front fastener and mesh along the sides of the torso and sleeves to reduce the clammy effect. The velcro allows for some ventilation control. For a two day event, durability will not be an issue and its will keep water off your torso and out of your ass. Either suggestion will also provide additional warmth although a gillet with a windstopper front is a consideration.

I'd think about bib knickers or knee warmers and leg embrocation.

A biking cap under the helmet will keep some of the btu's in and the brim will offer some protection from the rain and water dripping off your helmet.

Gloves may not be a bad idea and again, I'd recommend the Assos. They're fairly lightweight but very efficient and while not waterproof, they have windtex which allows them to provide some insulation when wet. Ifs its really cold and wet, I'd look at the winter gloves from Addidas or Gore (not as in tex although they're made from that material). I own most of the Pearl gloves and neoprene but don't recommend them in wet conditions.

Your feet will get wet but you can look into some of the lighter weight neoprene booties such as Sidi, Addidas, Carnac, Assos or Giordana. You can also spray them with water repellent or silicone for some additional protection. I've tried goretex booties but if its over an hour, they're a waste of time. If its warmer, take a look at the neoprene toe caps. They'll keep the water and the wind from directly hitting your toes.

Despite all this gear, you will get wet. The point of this stuff is to minimize the impact of the wind on the wet areas. Given your fitness, you'll be generating enough heat even if you're not completely dry. Also, all the stuff can be carried in your jersey pockets.

Good luck
Assoc ClimaMDS
May 9, 2001 8:39 PM
I bought an Assoc Clima about a month ago and have used it once in relatively warm, very heavy rain. Very light weight, packs up very small, good ventilation with mesh covered vents under arms and on back, does breath and keeps out water. Material does flap a bit on the arms but not too bad. Adjustable velcro tabs on the sides of the jacket along with elastic waistband help reduce flapping also. Is expensive. All in all, I like it.

Biggest problem for me on this particular day was that my dura-ace bottom bracket got wet, resulting in creaks when climbing. Problem fixed with a disassemble, clean and relube. Also Sestriere wheels filled with water, but they were easier to drain.
re: Help with wet weather gear?muncher
May 9, 2001 9:40 AM
Doug - another long suffering UK wet rider - my 2p worth.

Neoprene - no way, far too hot and restrictive, you'll suffer.

Gore-tex or similar has to be the way ahead and you should be able to get a jacket with a fit that doesn't flap around too much. Even if it does a bit, it really is worth it for the comfort benefit of being dry from the inside and outside at the same time - I really wouldn't consider anything else for long periods of work in the wet. Capes were good in the old days, and they may still have a place, but Gore-Tex is the way ahead now - it's a different world in the wet. I would ditto that for the lower body too, and prob go the neoprene with spray route for the boots. I have gore-tex socks and neo boots, but you are getting into billing target spending there, and I suppose you may not use them that often where you are, lucky you. Gloves - I would go 2 layer - one warm, the other waterproof for when you need it. Lastly, I personally like a sleveless fleece under my 'tex - that way my arms breathe nicely, and I can open the under-arm zips on my jacket for some real fresh air, even when the rain is on.

Lastly, second the clip on fender idea - great aid to confort for nearly no weight. Would prob go a grunge guard for the rear derail - keeps it dry and properly lubed in the rain for virtually no weight.

Food for thought - hope it helps.
re: Help with wet weather gear?peloton
May 9, 2001 10:00 AM
Not all clothing reccomendations, but helpful in the cold and wet weather.

1) Dermatone- you can get this in small tins at ski shops and other outdoor stores. It's a topical skin balm. Really helps ward off the effects of wind, cold, and frostbite. Contains sunscreen as well. Put it on all exposed skin of the facial area, and you will be happier in the long run. Climbers and other cold weather athletes use the stuff, and I can't say enough good things about it.

2) balaclava- also availible at ski shops. It's a head and neck cover designed to fit under a helmet. Keeps your ears warm, and will hold in more heat than a cycling cap under your helmet.

3) bag balm- made in Vermont, and sold in square green tins in many drugstores. Works well to make irritated skin feel better, and can help to ward off the effects of cold. Put some on your feet, and you'll be less susceptable to the cold and wind. Works as a saddle creme as well.

4) polypropylene underlayers- this is the key to staying warm. Polypro wicks away moisture where it counts- right next to your skin. Hot Chilis and other brands make thermal underwear of the stuff. Synthetic, so it doesn't pick up odors quickly either- very good for your crew!

5) Gore tex is good. You already knew that.

6) Don't wear anything made of cotton. Once it gets wet, you'll freeze your boys off.

Good luck
re: Help with wet weather gear?JBergland
May 9, 2001 12:30 PM
Having some experience with wetsuits (knee boarding and jet-ski) I, like others, would suggest against using one. You can get wetsuits in a variety of different thickness... and you might be able to get by with a thinner one, but it would be hot, and not very comfortable (not 'cut' for being on a bike).

I would throw out the idea of multi outfits, with the goal not being to stay 100%, but dry enough to stay comfortable. IMO, the more a person wants to stay dry, the more bulk they will need to add to what they are wearing. Rain capes/jackets always catch the wind, not to mention make a lot of noise!! A good base layer followed be a semi water proof/semi warm layer, followed by a vest with a water proof front/shoulders might work nicely. This would NOT keep you warm and dry all day long... but I think it might be more comfortable and easy to change (when toooo wet or weather condt. change.

Whatever you end up wearing... good luck and have FUN!!!!
May 9, 2001 1:15 PM
I've read that this is what the pro's grease their legs w/ in wet, cold weather. Never tried it though.
LayersMass Biker
May 9, 2001 2:07 PM
Wet and warm (say 50 deg +): knickers for the bottom. LS base layer (cheapo polypro or somesuch synthetic). SS or LS jersey. Armwarmers add functionality. Rain poncho (take cheap clear plastic rain jacket and cut off arms. You can also find ponchos in surplus stores etc.) Fingerless gloves are okay in these temps. Wool socks. Plastic bags over feet. Shoe covers (but your toes will still get wet). Cycling hat (go for the old school - KAS, Gitane etc.)

Wet and cold (say below 50 deg): knickers for the bottom. Heavier LS base layer - wool is great here. LS jersey. Rain poncho. Long fingered wool gloves. Goretex running mitts over the gloves. Wool socks. Plastic bags over feet. Booties. Wool cycling cap.

Other tips: vaseline for the legs (it really does work, but be prepared to work to get it off); fenders (opt for the clip ons - make you less miserable; many layers of gloves (I am a big fan of the Goretex mitt option); bring those chemical heat packets - stuff one under each (wool clad) foot and you'll warm - wet, but warm.

Doug - it has to be below 30 degrees for me to trot out the true winter jacket. Anything above that is usually solved by variations on wool jerseys and wind vests. I've found that keeping the core warm is critical, and keeping the hands warm (and hopefully dry) helps too. That's why I think springing for relatively cheap waterproof mitts that go over warmer gloves makes a lot of sense - this is what has got me through the New England winters.

You won't stay dry, but I hope you stay warm.

re: Help with wet weather gear?Jz
May 10, 2001 5:42 AM
Just curious, what route do you guys take through Oregon? I ask because just riding South to North, Oregon is only about 350 miles in length. Do you guys weave around the mountains or ride to the coast or something?
Thanks, everyoneDog
May 10, 2001 7:22 AM
It seems the consensus is against the wetsuit idea. Goretex and layers it is. The skin treatments look like a good idea, too. A racing buddy uses the Born product line, which includes a skin warmer and some waxey sealants. Might look into that.

Here is the route: It's more like a Race Around Oregon, now. Check this for the weather at this race last year; not encouraging:

Thanks again.