Tuesday, March 1, 2011

rainwear survey for bicyclists

Dear Readers:

I'm conducting a decidedly UNscientific survey of bicyclists and rainwear. Please feel free to answer the questions below:

1. Would you describe yourself as:
a. Year-round commuter in all weather
b. Year-round commuter in all but snow and ice
c. Year-round commuter in all but snow, ice and really, really cold/heavy rain
d. Fair-weather commuter

2. If you answered a, b or c above, do you ride in a rainy climate at least two months out of the year where you live?

3. If you use bicycle rainwear when you ride, do you prefer:
a. raincape with optional leggings/gaiters/spats
b. rain suit (jacket and pants)

3a. Do you wear waterproof shoe covers?

4. When cycling rainwear is advertised as "waterproof", do you expect your rainwear to keep you:
a. Totally dry; garment should repel the rain AND allow my perspiration to pass through fabric to outside
b. Nearly entirely dry; some condensation from my sweat is just part of the deal
c. Mostly dry; some leakage is to be expected, especially in any garment that offers venting

5. When cycling rainwear is advertised as "waterproof", how long do you expect it to keep you dry?
a. 1-3 years
b. 3-5 years
c. 5-7 years

6. When cycling rainwear is advertised as "waterproo/breathable", how long do you expect it to keep you dry?
a. 1-3 years
b. 3-5 years
c. 5-7 years

7. How often do you launder your bicycle rainwear?
a. never
b. once every 3-5 years
c. every year
d. 3-5 times a year
e. More than 6 times a year

8. Do you launder bicycle rainwear according to manufacturer's instructions, including use of recommended specialty detergents and re-proofers for athletic apparel?

9. How much are you willing to pay for a bicycle rain jacket or pants advertised as "waterproof"?
a. $50-80
b. $80-100
c. $100-150
d. over $150

10. How much are you willing to pay for a bicycle rain jacket or pants advertised as "waterproof/breathable"?
a. $80-100
b. $100-150
c. $150-200
d. over $200

11. (Optional) Favorite and least favorite brands of bicycle rainwear by name:

To save space in your response please just refer to questions by number. Feel free to invite your friends to respond too. I would do this at some survey web site but haven't figured out how to use those yet. Or which one. There seem to be several. Thanks for bearing with me here.


Scott Loveless said...

1. a.
2. Yes. I live in the mid-Atlantic. We get it all.
3. b.
3a. Heck no. Waterproof light hikers in the winter months. My feet get a little wet the rest of the year.
4. b.
5. a.
6. a.
7. a.
8. n/a
9. a.
10. a.
11. I settled on O2 Rainshield jackets and pants two years ago. My first jacket lasted two winters as my primary wind shell. I just replaced it early this winter. The pants don't get worn as often, so I'm still on my first pair. The pants tend to stay in place when I'm on the bike, but work their way down when I'm walking. I keep them up with cheap, clip-on suspenders.

Bicycle Kitty said...

1. b/d (commute way less in winter, but still commute some)
2. yes. stupid Portland. = )
3. b.
3a. heck yes. stupid rain.
4. b. i don't expect breathable unless specified.
5. d - forever. my goretex set the bar high. it just keeps going!
6. see 5.
7. c.
8. yes.
9. $10. sorry, waterproof is useless to me on the bike.
10. d. being dry = priceless.
11. Goretex jacket. Showers Pass roadie pants. The jacket is beautiful and bomb proof. The pants are very functional, although there's a bit of dampness that comes thru the softshell knees. They're quiet and warm and comfy though.

Keith Moore said...

1. b
2. Seattle; we're lucky to have two months of sunshine out of the year.
3. b
3a. Sometimes, but I've yet to find any that I like.
4. b
5. c
6. c

Clearly I have unreasonable expectations.

7. d
8. yes
9. d
10. d

Favorite jacket: Showers Pass
Favorite pants: Foxwear

The Merry said...

Damn -- failed the first question with a d. Though I was looking at rain pants this weekend and considering them. There is really no good reason for me not to ride in most weather. (I do draw the line at ice, but's that mostly because I think drivers don't know how to drive in snow/ice around the Portland Metro area.)

bikelovejones said...

Bike Kitty -- WHICH GoreTex jacket?
So far the most durable jackets I've ever used were the Burley Rain Rider (the old model with the velcro-closure front lasted me over a decade) and the Burley Rapid Rider (two generations later, predecessor to the Rock Point which was sort of a letdown). Recently-tested Showers Pass Club Pro lasted about two dozen rides in steady rain before leaking.
I may be ready for a GoreTex jacket.

the other Adam said...

1. a

2. Great Lakes, so when it's not rainy season it's either winter or thunderstorm season.

3. Neither (fenders; goretex jacket; shorts, synthetic tights or quick dry hiking pants). Can usually pull work clothes on over the tights by the time I lock up and get inside, because they don't hold water and dry fast.

Rain pants are more uncomfortable than just getting rained on and you still get wet from sweat. I haven't worn them for 15 years and don't even own any anymore.

3a. Sometimes. When it's warm I just wear sandals.

4. If you're asking what I expect from a jacket, then b (a is not possible). If you're asking what I expect from the marketing term "waterproof" I expect it to be waterproof, sweaty and uncomfortable.

5. c

6. d) 8-10 years

7. d

8. I use appropriate detergent on all my clothes so it doesn't get special treatment.

Goretex doesn't usually need any reproofing until it's a few years old. Just stick it in a hot drier.

9. Under $80 because jackets like that are just for emergencies.

10. c or d depending on the jacket - any less is false economy.

11. Both my favorite and my least favorite were from www.mec.ca (both discontinued models).

Michael R pdx said...

1: e (? none of above) Lapsed year round, all weather
2: Yes
3: a jacket and chaps/leggings (Rainlegs)
4: c. some sweat and come leakage is part of the game
5: b
6: b
7: d
8: No, No soap or detergent. essentially just run through rinse cycle
9: History shows c
10: b
11: Favorites: Rainlegs, Jackson and Gibbens - great long wearing jacket.

EvoDavo said...

Evo the non conformist here... I have come to assume all advertising is a lie. Unless I get first hand testimonials where the rider looks me in the eye and says, "I have it, I wear it, it works;" I'm skeptical. However, if I get that, I'm more open on price, etc.

If I may make an observation... cyclists seem to really quiz each other about rain gear; making me think I am not the only suspicions one out there.

Sorry for the non compliant response.

bikelovejones said...

EvoDavo: I understand. Your non-conformity brought a smile to my face. And I think the reasons cyclists are so hung up about rainwear is artly about the gear and partly about having to ride in the rain; how wet are any of us willing to get on a rainy commute? It's SO personal, you know?

Mark said...

1. Would you describe yourself as:
a. Year-round commuter in all weather

2. no - I live on the prairies.

3. rain suit

3a. No, but will probably start

4. b. Nearly entirely dry;

5. b

6. a

7. b

8. yes!

9. c

10. a

11. MEC makes some good products at very good prices, North Face makes some decent breathables.

Lee said...

1. a. Year-round commuter in all weather

2. Yes.

3. b. rain suit (jacket and pants)

3a. Yes.

4. b. Nearly entirely dry; some condensation from my sweat is just part of the deal

5. a. 1-3 years

6. a. 1-3 years

7. a. never

8. Not applicable.

9. c. $100-150

10. b. $100-150

11. Favorite jacket: Showers Pass. I have no least favorites, yet. For pants, I use LL Bean waterproof pants. They are not perfect, but they are waterproof. I'm still looking for a good and affordable rain pant.

lynnef said...

1 b
2 yes, 13 miles from you!
3 c (jacket, sometimes formerly waterproof wool tights, usually I just get wet legs)
3 a no. Goretex shoes
4 b
5 b
6 b
7 d
8 sort of
9 I wouldn't buy it
10 c
11 Showers Pass Elite 2.0. For the kind of riding I do, there are no other viable options. I've got an SP Double Century, but it makes me kind of sticky. That eVent fabric is amazing stuff.

slow rpm said...

Hello BLJ

Being a sailor,I have been wearing the same Helly Hansen heavy duty jacket and pants for the last 20 years.They are geasy and dirty but they never let me down.For foot wear,only Australian made Blundstones for me.

Mr. Fusion Jazz said...

2.yes, Tacoma
3.a, 3a Sometimes
10.c (for something that works i.e.4a to 4b)

I don't really have much experience with jackets. Mostly I will get too hot and won't wear a jacket above 42 degrees. I'll make do with wool and a vest in light rain.

The jacket that I have is Descente with the special material (cannot recall the name of the jacket or material, 5 years old). I do stay mostly dry and the material is breathable but what I realized is that the rain just soaks into the outer layer of the jacket rather than repels. So when I take the jacket off, it stays wet for hours and drips.

My favorite piece of raingear (and this may have to do with how little I actually ride in the rain) is Rainlegs. They are compact, convenient and give me the kind of protection I want for my 30 minute commute. (Protection = mostly dry without being drenched from sweat. I hate rainpants for the sweat factor.)

Gene from Tacoma