UKC

Nearly 'waterproof' cycling tights - any recommendations?

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 rlines 08 Oct 2021

I'm looking for recommendations on a wet weather tight for hilly Pennine commuting. In the past, my personal system for those deluge mornings was to have some near 'waterproof' (but not really waterproof or I'd boil in the bag) tights, lapped over some waterproof overshoes. This seems to keep my cycling shorts and shoes reasonably dry, which means I don't need to put on soaking wet kit at the end of the day or the next morning.

A number of years ago I had a pair of own brand tights from Mountain Equipment Co-op in Canada that were extremely water repellent, but not waterproof. They typically leaked in at the un-taped seams before the fabric started letting water in too. The thing that made these so good was that they were intrinsically water repellent, and it wasn't down to a short term DWR treatment that would soon wash off in intensive wet use.

So does anyone have any recommendations of a really hardwearing wet weather commuting system, made up of stuff that is generally available to buy now? 

Post edited at 09:01
 elsewhere 08 Oct 2021
In reply to rlines:

Almost in the grand UKC tradition of not answering the question as I won't mention overtrousers, but these were my best buy for commuting through Glasgow winters.

https://www.probikekit.co.uk/sports-footwear/shimano-xm900-spd-cycling-shoes-grey/11241529.html

So much nicer than putting dirty wet overshoes on over wet cycling shoes to go home after work, write this out 100 times! Haven't used overshoes since.

Slightly damp after a 50min downpour but good enough, non-skiddy vibram sole and look more like walking boots than weird cycling shoes when you wander round shops or go to the pub.

Altura night vision jacket - hard wearing, pit zips are good. The commuter classic but heavy so consider something lighter if you prefer.
Some brilliant irreplaceable Aldi winter jerseys from long ago (brushed fleecy inside, often branded for cyclists as "Roubaix" )
Altura night vision and amazon/ebay cheapo tights (brushed fleecy inside, Roubiax style)

Light rain or drizzle - https://www.wiggle.co.uk/castelli-squadra-long-gilet, water resistant front and mesh back is very good. Weighs nothing.

Altura Night Vision Waterproof gloves, although look at Decathlon. My meshy summer & non-meshy spring/autumn full finger Decathlon gloves are good. 

If you are commuting in normal clothes then no idea. Maybe jacket, spare normal trousers at work in case you get soaked and Shimano (or equivalent) boots.

Did I mention the boots enough? They're good, although I can confirm they are not waterproof when level of water goes over the bottom bracket and your ankles go underwater as you pedal.

Mudguards - some people swear by them, I only have bikes with mudguards so I have no comparison.

Wool walking socks.

Post edited at 09:59
In reply to rlines:

For winter commuting or in bad rain I've used DHB winter tights and, while I don't think they are particularly water repellant, it doesn't matter as they don't hold a lot of water and keep me warm. Same for feet using neoprene over shoes in cold, wet weather. I would have thought this would apply to most cycling tights.

 LastBoyScout 08 Oct 2021
In reply to rlines:

Castelli NanoFlex tights are my choice, as the best fit on me - they've just had an update to Xtra Dry:

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/castelli-nanoflex-pro-2-bib-tights

See also Sportful NoRain, DHB, Assos, etc - most have some DWR treated offering these days.

 LastBoyScout 08 Oct 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

My personal experience of waterproof shoes is that they're great at keeping your feet warm in dry ('coz they're windproof) and light rain conditions, but once you get into heavy rain/splash through a couple of puddles, they fill up with water and you just end up with your own private puddles.

In reply to rlines:

If you don't actually mind your shorts getting wet when riding but don't want to put wet shorts on at the end of the day, why not just carry a spare pair?

Post edited at 09:45
 elsewhere 08 Oct 2021
In reply to LastBoyScout:

Not my experience over a few winters so I've been luckier but that's with continuous road spray & rain sometimes. Maybe because they're boots rather than shoes and I do have mudguards. The worst I got was slightly damp but warm toes.

Post edited at 09:53
In reply to LastBoyScout:

> My personal experience of waterproof shoes is that they're great at keeping your feet warm in dry ('coz they're windproof) and light rain conditions, but once you get into heavy rain/splash through a couple of puddles, they fill up with water and you just end up with your own private puddles.

Overshoes with normal shoes are better in this regard

In reply to elsewhere:

> Not my experience over a few winters so I've been luckier but that's with continuous road spray & rain sometimes. Maybe because they're boots rather than shoes and I do have mudguards. The worst I got was slightly damp but warm toes.

Mud guards are the key. My legs/feet just don't get wet when I ride my bike that has them.

 elsewhere 08 Oct 2021
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Any idea if MTB mudguards are any good for commuting?

I've started taking my commuter (cyclocross) bike up into the hills including easy MTB routes and mudguards occasionally jam up with mud but it still needs to remain primarily a commuter bike.

In reply to elsewhere:

> Any idea if MTB mudguards are any good for commuting?

> I've started taking my commuter (cyclocross) bike up into the hills including easy MTB routes and mudguards occasionally jam up with mud but it still needs to remain primarily a commuter bike.

All mudguards will help. It's ultimately about coverage. My commuter bike with full length mudguards allows me to go through deep puddles with a bit of spray wetting the toes of my shoes.

I have an MTB which I use as a bit of a hack bike and it has much smaller 'guards which stop spray up the back and the worst on the legs but puddles and wet roads = wet feet and shins.

 elsewhere 08 Oct 2021
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Thanks. Looks like I need full mudguards on my commuter but used for everything bike.

Post edited at 10:54
 nniff 08 Oct 2021
In reply to rlines:

Stolen Goat Orkaan stuff is good, particularly the jerseys.  They are very short of stock in tights in the same fabric.  It's all made by Bioracer, so you could look there, but it's hard to find in the UK (my Bioracer long sleeve jersey is brilliant)

However, I have rather given up on legs an drain - in the winter I wear double-fronted Assos tights - they don't bead much now, but warm and wet is OK.  Assos do a  full winter version but the  price will make you weep - 'Bonka' or some such name.

Feet are more troublesome.  My current solution is wooly booly socks inside sealskins/altura waterproof socks, with masking tape wrapped around the top to stop water running down my legs and into them (not man enough for gaffer tape).  Then shoes, then neoprene overshoes (which are not waterproof, just sweaty).  This arrangement works well.

If it's really pounding down on the commute in the morning, I might put overtrousers on, but only about three times in five years

In reply to rlines:

A wetsuit may suffice 😁

In reply to elsewhere:

> Not my experience over a few winters so I've been luckier but that's with continuous road spray & rain sometimes. Maybe because they're boots rather than shoes and I do have mudguards. The worst I got was slightly damp but warm toes.

Or hang the wet cycle shorts over the back of your office chair to dry, plus it helps deters people from coming to your desk to ask you stupid questions, 2 birds one stone!

In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Second this.

added a wind proof smock.

and mud guards essential 

 Toby_W 10 Oct 2021
In reply to rlines:

used to have endura longs with a waterproof panel on the shin but they stopped doing that model (10/10 for years in many cycling mags).  I now have the eye wateringly expensive ASOS longs with neoprene bottoms that I put over the top of my over boots.

They are fantastic and as I save a couple of grand a year by cycling I don’t worry about the price of bike stuff anymore.

The nano casteli stuff is very good but I’m too tall.  I’ve no doubt endura have a modern equiv of the ones I had.

best of luck finding something.

Toby


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