Author Topic: Rain jacket for biking  (Read 2314 times)

alsoknownasDean

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Rain jacket for biking
« on: July 23, 2017, 06:01:02 AM »
It's winter here, and I should probably get a reflective rainproof jacket when riding my bike, especially home from work when it's often still dark. Currently I'm often riding while wearing a black woollen jacket (I usually ride in work clothes).

I had a look at a LBS for bike jackets, but most of them appear to be designed to go over biking jerseys or tshirts instead of over a work shirt and woollen jumper or over a hoodie.

Currently when it looks like rain, I tend to think 'stuff it' and drive or take public transport. Riding wearing something else and changing when I get to work is an option, but it'd probably destroy most of the time saved biking compared to public transport. Although if I've got no choice when it rains...

Does anyone have any recommendations? Should I just look at the next size up (keeping in mind that I'm a 2XL as it is so finding larger size bike jackets may be very difficult)? Should I get a normal rain jacket and accept that it probably won't breathe all that well?

Any suggestions on brands or places to buy? I've checked the local shops ($$), the big chains like Rebel (again, limited sizes and $), and buying from Amazon or REI (worth considering, if they ship to Australia, most Amazon sellers don't).

Thanks :)
« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 06:03:35 AM by alsoknownasDean »

GuitarStv

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Re: Rain jacket for biking
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2017, 11:31:06 AM »
Rain jackets tend not to breathe very well.  For that reason I just use my cheap water-resistant jacket  (in flourescent green with lots of reflective patches) and deal with getting wet when it's really coming down.  I'm a fan of zippers under your arm pits to help keep cooler, but YMMV.  Stick your change of clothes in a plastic bag in your pannier or backpack and it'll get to work dry . . . then you can change quickly in the bathroom if necessary.

Front and rear fenders for your bike make a tremendous difference in the wet . . . I find that an awful lot of the water you get on you comes from your front and rear wheel, not the sky.  With them you will stay an awful lot drier (especially in light drizzle or wet road conditions just after a rain).  I'd always suggest you get them before looking at a fancy jacket.

Clean Shaven

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Re: Rain jacket for biking
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2017, 12:53:40 PM »
Showers Pass rain jackets seem to be pretty popular, but I've never used them.

Since I get hot and sweaty riding in any weather, the only rain jacket (of sorts) that I like for riding is a cycling poncho.  Cut longer in back for riding, thumb loops to keep the front end on the handlebars, and lots of airflow underneath for ventilation.  Cheap too, compared to jackets.  I really only ever use it for bike touring. 

As GuitarStv said, X2 on recommending full coverage fenders for riding in rain. 

The poncho I have is similar to this, and bright orange for visibility. 
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0018YVVXC/ref=twister_B00N2HUJB8

Ocelot

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Re: Rain jacket for biking
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2017, 09:02:35 PM »
Cycling rain jackets only really work well with cycling clothes, as you've already surmised. I've commuted by bike or run every day of my adult life so I've tried just about everything, and honestly the most comfortable, practical solution is a separate set of cycling clothes to commute in and fresh work clothes in your backpack (waterproofed if necessary). If it's warm I skip the jacket and just get wet, it's more comfortable than getting sweaty and clammy and then wind up wet anyway. If it's cold I use a cycling-specific rain jacket with good ventilation, mine's a Specialized Deflect but there are lots of good options. 
It's amazing what is tolerable and comfortable when you know there's a dry set of clothing waiting when you get to your destination. Also +3 for fenders, even a basic minimal set will more than halve how much water gets thrown at you.


alsoknownasDean

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Re: Rain jacket for biking
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2017, 04:25:24 AM »
Thanks :)

So yes to installing fenders? I'll look into that.

Whilst I'm happy to ride in my normal work clothes on most days, I'm open to having a spare set of clothes in a drawer at work in case I get absolutely soaked (which has only happened to me twice, once in summer).

I wonder if something like these would work:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DNQ63RQ?psc=1 (maybe not that one as it's too small)
https://www.amazon.com/Viking-Open-Hi-Vis-Waterproof-Jacket/dp/B00LJVN3GC/ref=pd_sim_193_8?_encoding=UTF8&refRID=DF0XQQQX6G0Q8SS2T0EW

Something small, lightweight and high-vis might be a good idea, keep it folded in my bag and just put it on where necessary :)

Maybe I'll keep an eye out on the stores that sell stuff for tradies. They'll certainly have high-vis clothing that'll be rainproof.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2017, 04:36:27 AM by alsoknownasDean »

meghan88

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Re: Rain jacket for biking
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2017, 08:13:19 AM »
I love my gore-tex rain poncho for wet precipitation, whatever the temperature.  I can wear my work clothes underneath it, and my knapsack, and everything stays dry.  I bought mine on eBay.  Hunting stores might have them too.  I drape the front two corners over the handlebars, being very careful to allow enough play to allow me to turn abruptly.

Add fenders and you're good to go.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Rain jacket for biking
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2017, 02:55:22 AM »
Hmm, I've had a quick look on a couple of local 'outdoors' store websites, and found a few that could work. I'll also look into keeping a change of clothes at work in case I get soaked.

This sort of thing could work:

http://www.kathmandu.com.au/mens/clothing/jackets-and-vests/zeolite-men-s-jacket.html

Although, $165 is a bit exxy.

http://www.kathmandu.com.au/mens/clothing/jackets-and-vests/lite-ace-men-s-active-jacket-v4.html

https://www.anacondastores.com/clothing/mens-clothing/mens-jackets-outerwear/denali-mens-hi-vis-performance-windbreaker-jacket/p/90071816

Thanks :)

HappyCheerE

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Re: Rain jacket for biking
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2017, 06:12:12 AM »
I got this super-cheap biking poncho a month ago and it's actually very satisfactory: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NB9B3GU It's quite heavy so stays in place well--I even use it as a rain cover when the bike is locked up. Fenders are a must-have, though! I ended up getting a $3 cover for my panniers as well because the poncho didn't fully cover them, so now I no longer need to take the bus in the rain, hurray!

meghan88

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Re: Rain jacket for biking
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2017, 03:34:14 PM »
I got this super-cheap biking poncho a month ago and it's actually very satisfactory: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NB9B3GU It's quite heavy so stays in place well--I even use it as a rain cover when the bike is locked up. Fenders are a must-have, though! I ended up getting a $3 cover for my panniers as well because the poncho didn't fully cover them, so now I no longer need to take the bus in the rain, hurray!

Good find!  I am keeping those details for when my current poncho gives up the ghost.  It's seen a lot of use over the years.  Mind you, I might be retired by that point.  I hope.

Forgot to mention, I also bought some huge oversized army-issue gore-tex mitten shells off eBay for about $6.  I can wear gloves or mitts inside them in the winters and they come up to my elbows, so therefore the tops are under the poncho and no rain gets in.

Snow

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Re: Rain jacket for biking
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2017, 01:06:46 AM »
Everything GuitarStv said. Fenders make a huge difference. Keeping a separate set of biking/working clothes help as well, but I'd say that also depends on how heavy/hilly your trek is and how hard you bike.

I lucked out last week and got a used rain jacket for biking on our equivalent to Craigslist. It is one size more than I need, so plenty of room for an extra layer when autumn winds start getting colder. I know you're "supposed" to get proper kit, but I just bike in a t-shirt and tights, with my rain gear in my bag as necessary. Looking to invest in panniers soon, which make a huge difference in whether or not you arrive at work with a sweaty back.

sw1tch

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Re: Rain jacket for biking
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2017, 09:14:37 AM »
If you don't want to spend too much, another alternative is to use whatever gear you have and get a reflective vest to wear as the top layer.  That'll at least get you by on days that it's not raining.

I use something like this: https://www.amazon.com/HiVisible-Reflective-Reflector-Running-Cycling/dp/B01NCQTVFI/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1502118674&sr=8-18&keywords=reflective+vest.

That's not the one that I have (I got mine off of ebay for something super-cheap like $2), but you get the idea.