Author Topic: Rainwear for the GDMBR  (Read 5463 times)

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Offline Nicolai Michel

Rainwear for the GDMBR
« on: April 28, 2014, 09:08:31 am »
I'm starting the GDMBR from the South in early June. Being mostly a fair-weather cyclist, I haven't done any touring in wet weather. I'll have my shell jacket, of course., I have a helmet rain cover, but it seems a bit redundant with the jacket's hood. I have Gore-Tex shell gloves I could bring. Because of my short pedal spindles my old (heavy and bulky) neoprene booties no longer fit without interfering with the cranks. I'll mostly be camping. I could buy waterproof socks and rain pants, but how necessary are these for the GDMBR?

Offline John Nelson

Re: Rainwear for the GDMBR
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2014, 10:33:26 am »
Depends on the temperature.

If it's 80 degrees F, you probably don't need any protection from the rain.

If it's 40 degrees F, I like to have a rain jacket, helmet cover and waterproof socks. Rain pants and waterproof gloves would be good too, although perhaps not essential. You might also want a saddle cover if you have a leather saddle.

Offline Nicolai Michel

Re: Rainwear for the GDMBR
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2014, 11:10:00 am »
Thanks John. I have a vintage Selle Italia Flite. On a recent (rare) ride in the rain and dirt the leather got really abraded by the sand between it and my shorts. What could I apply to the leather to restore it a bit and help keep it happy (without making it slippery)?

Offline mbattisti

Re: Rainwear for the GDMBR
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2014, 07:05:45 pm »
Thanks John. I have a vintage Selle Italia Flite. On a recent (rare) ride in the rain and dirt the leather got really abraded by the sand between it and my shorts. What could I apply to the leather to restore it a bit and help keep it happy (without making it slippery)?
Now you've done it.  Get ready for a huge debate on everything from Brook's Proofide to used motor oil (check out Sheldon Brown's article about leather saddles). I might as well start things off by mentioning my favorite:  SnoSeal

Offline Nicolai Michel

Re: Rainwear for the GDMBR
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2014, 07:13:00 pm »
OK, I'll see what Sheldon has to say. It's funny that you mention SnoSeal, because that's what I thought of first. I probably have some somewhere left over from the 90s...

I've ordered some light pants and socks. A bit of extra weight is probably better than being cold and miserable ;)

Offline John Nelson

Re: Rainwear for the GDMBR
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2014, 11:29:56 pm »
Thanks John. I have a vintage Selle Italia Flite. On a recent (rare) ride in the rain and dirt the leather got really abraded by the sand between it and my shorts. What could I apply to the leather to restore it a bit and help keep it happy (without making it slippery)?
I'd use whatever the saddle manufacturer recommends.

Offline bong_crosby

Re: Rainwear for the GDMBR
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2014, 02:19:11 pm »
I wouldn't underestimate the importance of good, tested rain gear.  Being from the mountain west, I know how a bluebird day can put a rain storm on you in minutes with temperature drops of 20 to 30 degrees and it might not just be rain, but sleet, hail, and snow.

Gore-Tex is good but bulky and expensive.  And as far as its breathability claims, if I'm really exerting myself, I haven't found any material that can keep up with my glands and doesn't get wet and clammy. 

Yes, pants are necessary.  Not just for the riding part but for staying dry in camp. 

For my raingear setup, I use a vented REI or Marmot jacket with hood.  REI pants.  No helmet cover, I get a size larger than I usually wear to account for extended arms in my riding posture and to allow it to be pulled over my helmet.  Shower Pass zip over shoe covers.  And GORE-TEX shells for my hands.

Don't forget a wicking base layer for arms and legs.

There's nothing more enjoyable than riding in the rain, warm and cozy and nothing more miserable than riding in rain and sleet without proper gear.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 02:21:41 pm by bong_crosby »

Offline chrismagness

Re: Rainwear for the GDMBR
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2014, 09:13:36 am »

This discussion has largely missed a major point:

You're going to get wet riding in the rain, it doesn't matter what you're wearing.  Waterproof/ resistant fabrics (even if they claim to be breathable) won't breath to the extent that your body emits moisture during exercise.  Furthermore, water will find ways to seep in: you're on a bike.  The key, in my book, is staying warm, not dry. 

I rode the divide way back in the day and carried full gortex rain gear and neopreme booties: my first foray into wilderness travel.  I've learned a good deal over the years, and fabrics have changed.  My set-up would now be much different!

My feet get cold riding in the rain even on a warm summer day, booties rectify this issue.  A shell jacket with a hood (sil nylon or precip style jacket) and perhaps pants.  Hood is best under the helmet.  Pants (of same material) are optional.  Look into these materials because they are lighter and less bulky.  And weight is a consideration:  extra gear will slow you down, you don't need it!  You could easily ride the GDR with 15 lbs or less of base weight gear, a Bob of course, would double this as the trailer itself weighs 14 lbs.

An ibex, icebreaker, or smartwool long sleeve shirt will help keep you warm if you intend to ride in the rain.  While synthetic fibers are hydrophobic and wick, wool is one of the only materials that retains loft has insulating properties when it's soaked.

pm me and I'll give you my phone number if you'd like to have a chat concerning this stuff..

Offline Nicolai Michel

Re: Rainwear for the GDMBR
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2014, 05:12:34 am »
Thanks for your thoughts. I'm now starting in the North in July (thought I still think South-to-North is better,) so have some extra time to test my gear.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Rainwear for the GDMBR
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2014, 08:07:11 am »
You can get experience using jacket hood or helmet cover in next rain without leaving home. Personally, I've found a jacket hood is awkward under or over helmet. I wear sandals touring, in large part they can get wet without problem; no socks. Presuming warm weather, I take off my gloves when it's heavily raining. I take pants, if no other reason for warmth and wear in camp when there are flying bugs; not as important as jacket. There will be the usual replies no waterproof, breathable garment works, you're going to get wet. My reply, there is a difference between just being damp and being soaked.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Rainwear for the GDMBR
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2014, 10:07:02 am »
I've found a jacket hood is awkward under or over helmet.
+1

The hood under the helmet creates so much wind noise that it impairs my hearing. The hood over the helmet pulls up the jacket. Not putting up the hood at all causes the hood to flap around and interfere with my rear-view vision. So I prefer a jacket without a hood, and use a helmet cover if I want to keep the rain off my head.