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Best Rain Gear

apprent1ceapprent1ce Posts: 58
edited November 2015 in Road beginners
Cycling last night in the very heavy downpour the shortcomings of my current kit were very apparent!

As my cycling nights are pretty much fixed I intend to go out whatever the weather and wondered what people's recommendations are for autumn wet weather cycling after dark? Interested in thoughts on the very best products and also best buys.

Thanks for any feedback.


  • My Winter and Autumn kit are very similar really on the base layers / jerseys that change.

    An example, I was out last night in the rain, Sportful Giro 2 Bib Tights. I prefer these for night rides due to the extra reflectivity. I had a lightweight merino base layer and a Rapha Pro Team Jacket.
    It wasn't a cold night last night so I don't mind not being 100% waterproof.

    I do have a Castelli Squadra packable waterproof, but to be honest don't really see the point, I get just as wet from the inside wearing that.

    Colder wetter days, I would layer up. I run fairly cold so this won't be everyone's choice:-

    Sportful No Rain Fiandre Bib Shorts, pretty good, warm and reasonably dry. Not massively expensive, think these can be picked up for less than £100.
    Always a base layer, then Rapha Winter Jersey, over the top of that I would wear a Rapha Rain Jacket. If its not too cold I would swap the winter jersey for a Brevet jersey or similar. The rain jacket works well, but it really has to be raining at the start of the ride for me to take it out. It does pack into a back pocket, but its bulky.

    I have cheaper kit that works well, I tend to use these when going off road in the winter, I have a Bontrager RXL 180 Softshell, similar to the Pro Jacket. Not full on waterproof but for Autumn weather its fine. Also an old Bontrager Race Stormshell jacket, works good but does seem to cook me more than the Rapha.

    I've tried lots of kit, but I now trust Rapha so tend to gravitate towards them.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    You need to ask yourself whether your priority is to stay dry (ish)(e.g. commuting) or simply stay warm (e.g. training) as you'll unlikely succeed at both! Firstly, no waterproof I've encountered like GoreTex or eVent will keep you completely dry due to condensation on the inside. I tend only to wear hardshells for when it's completely hooning-down. Softshells are better at keeping you warm but won't keep you dry - Castelli Gabba and clones are good for autumn / spring and high-intensity but not really a deep-winter garment IMO. For sub-zero, then the latest jackets like Castelli Alpha are awesome. Legs are harder to keep dry and mudguards + overshoes are the most effective. There's only one waterproof tight I'm aware of: Endura Stealth but can be a bit clammy when working hard, otherwise it's back to a softshell-fronted tight. If you're a mudguard denier then a pair of Gore-Tex bike shorts are good for keeping the spray off your rear.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Full mudguards and overshoes.
  • nfkbnfkb Posts: 7
    any user of the Fiandre No Rain Tights ? They are appealing to me. With a gabba 2 they might be my kit to ride this winter in West Vlaanderen :)
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    Personally I would go for

    1) A really good coat. I have a Gore Bikewear "race cut" minimal 1 layer light weight (I have two of them exactly the same) and a Paramo coat. Any of the Paramo coats are good, probably the Velez Light is best for cycling
    See my blog but it might be slightly out of date with the current state of the market

    2) wind proof and vaguely water "resistant" tights. These will keep off very light rain when they are new and keep you warm even when wet

    3) Gloves that are warm. I have used Sealskin gloves but find that the best strategy for long rides is carrying spares and for short rides is to just say never mind.

    4) peaked caps are good at keeping rain out of your eyes

    Generally speaking I am "man at Gore Bikewear" I like all their stuff
  • TjgoodhewTjgoodhew Posts: 628
    I run warm and dont mind getting too wet. I would rather get a bit damp than to sweat in a waterproof.

    So for me its Sportful No rain leg warmers, Nanoflex armwarmers a pair of winter bib shorts - currently wearing Ale Klimatik and my trusty gabba. I use the base layer to vary warmth - so a summer base for warmish days and a thermal base when its cold

    I do have a sportful hardshell but find it too warm unless its really cold.

    I have found that unless it is raining heavily for a long period of time a Gabba and a decent base layer will keep me warm and dry. And if it is raining really hard i will jump on the turbo.

    One final thing to add - warm water repellent gloves.
    Cannondale Caad8
    Canyon Aeroad 8.0
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    From November onwards my evening rides feature:

    Roubaix bibtights (old pair of DHB, newer pair Campagnolo) - these stay warm even when wet.

    Wicking thermal LS baselayer (M&S!) plus a LS merino mid layer if v. cold.

    Gore Phantom softshell for light to moderate rain - it's warm / windproof / v. breathable but not waterproof.

    If it's tipping it down or likely to be, the Phantom is replaced by a Gore Path jacket (Goretex Paclite) which is windproof / waterproof and impressively breathable but needs an extra layer beneath it for warmth.

    Gloves / mitts depending on the temperature. I just go for warmth and accept I'll have wet hands if it rains

    Buff on head to keep ears warm and soak up the rain coming through the helmet vents, although I am considering some kind of winter cap so the peak keeps some of the rain off my specs

    And as metioned above, the most important bits of kit for riding in wet weather:- Full SKS Chromoplastic mudguards and some Cheapo Planet X neoprene overshoes
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    There is little you can do in very heavy rain. Any breathable jacket will be overwhelmed in very heavy rain. The choice you have is completely waterproof and take it easy so you don't boil in the bag. Or be warm and a bit damp wearing quality breathable, water resistant clothing.
  • Light/intermittent rain or shorter trip - Gabba

    Heavier rain and/or longer ride - Rapha Pro Team race cape
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,038
    Full mudguards and overshoes.

    Bang on.. if the OP does not already use these then any further suggestions are just leading the OP to spend more and more money on the impossible.
  • k-dogk-dog Posts: 1,652
    Yep, turns out most of the problem is water coming up - and the rear goes right up your crack as we've all learned - so mudguards makes a huge difference - nice long ones keep your feet a lot drier too.

    I tend to concentrate on being warm - a little damp on the front is no big deal, decent overshoes and a breathable light jacket work for me for all but the worst conditions.
    I'm left handed, if that matters.
  • 964cup964cup Posts: 1,362
    Nothing new here. Guards and overshoes; merino base layer; nanoflex leg warmers; roubaix shorts; Gabba + nanoflex armwarmers or Fiandre LS jersey for 8-15 degrees; Rapha softshell with long-sleeved baselayer for 0-8 degrees; below that full tights (Castelli or DHB roubaix) LS base (or SS base + merino arm warmers) + rapha classic jersey + either Castelli Confronto or Rapha rain jacket depending on how wet it's likely to be. I carry a packable rain jacket (Castelli Sottile Due) on spring/summer rides if it's forecast to chuck it down. Gloves matter - two thin layers can be better than one thick one, and the more water-resistance the better. Haven't found perfection, and don't like neoprene on my hands, but have some old Pearl Izumis that seem to work surprisingly well when it gets properly chilly, and use goretex ski gloves below zero.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    No one use winter boots rather than overshoes?
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    Not gone for the winterboots option yet. If I had a long winter commute then I'd have clicked it but I don't so its only Sunday rides I need the protection for. And if its absolutely foul - the turbo calls.
  • No one use winter boots rather than overshoes?

    I use both - but then again I do get very cold feet! I have still found that even then I sometimes get water ingress through the lower shin, and with a waterproof membrane in the shoe, the water just stays in there sloshing about.

    Getting clothing right in wet weather is an art form that I have yet to master, but one thing I would say that as long as your feet and hands stay dry (or warm at least), then the rest is less important. I have yet to find a solution for the hands - The Sealskins waterproof gloves I have were wringing wet during the Tour De Yorkshire ride last May, not sure if this was from ingress from the wrist area or not. I have heard that neoprene gloves are good in the wet, and act like a wetsuit in that they keep warm even when wet?

    As said before, it's usually a case of Fully Waterproof = wet from the inside, Fully Breathable = wet from the outside, so it's a compromise either way.
    My general rule of thumb is: Drizzle/light rain/showers = Gabba. Peeing it down/persistant all-ride rain = Rapha hardshell jacket.
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