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Essential Guide to Jackets
Posted on: Wednesday 17th February 2010
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Introduction to Jackets - Cycle Waterproofs
It has been said there's no such thing as bad weather - only the wrong clothes. We couldn't agree more. If you're a cyclist in the UK and you want to make the most of your riding time, you have to invest in a waterproof jacket. Thankfully modern waterproofs are a million miles away from the clammy, leaky crinkly things we all had as kids. Modern waterproof jackets owe their existence to the fabric developed by WLGore -'Gore Tex' - these days there are many versions of this microporous membrane material that stops rain water from getting in but allows moisture vapour from sweat to escape. The theory is the hard working membrane keeps you dry.
In reality, it actually does work - to a point. There is only so much the material can manage and you will need to manage the venting of your waterproof jacket during strenuous activity, such as riding up long steep climbs. So, cyclists usually look for jackets which have a degree more venting options than jackets made for hiking, climbing or nipping to the shops, details such as pit zips, packets with vented backs and even removable sleeves all help cyclists manage their core temperature during their ride. If you are staying dryer, you are more comfortable and more comfort means more fun. Fun is good.
Beyond the weather cheating fabric, you can have as many or as few technical features as you feel necessary. One of the best selling jackets from Wiggle has been the multi award winning Pro Speed model from Gill an eVent (now called the dhb eVent Wickham jacket) fabric jacket stripped of every unnecessary feature, leaving only it's great cycling ergonomics. But if you think you need handwarmer pockets, a map pocket, stowable hood or arm pit zip vents, then there are models with those too. Modern waterproof jackets are so comfortable and stylish, you'll probably end up wearing them off the bike for other outdoor activities as well as cycling.
Even entry level waterproof jackets can be peppered with features and you can expect these jackets to do the business in foul weather situations. Look for microporous laminate materials, sealed seams, storm flap, pocket baffles and some ergonomic tuning for the cycling position.
Intermediate:Many of the more expensive waterproof jackets will feature higher quality materials which will perform better under more severe rainfall situations. Many feature laser cut, thermally welded seams removing the needle holes created with traditional thread which can lead to water ingress. Fit and ergonomics may be more tailored to riding.
This is where the extra expense makes a huge difference. Premium price means premium quality from the basic ability to shed water for extended periods, through to a more function specific design ethos, jackets may be stripped for sleek performance or loaded with the highest level of features.
Gore Fusion II Waterproof Cycling Jacket (More Details)
Wiggle price: £242.99 (BUY NOW)
dhb Wickham eVENT Waterproof Cycling Jacket (More Details)
Wiggle price: £65.99 (BUY NOW) - SAVE 45%!
Altura Nevis Waterproof Cycling Jacket (More Details)