Proper wet weather gear means you can race and train in comfort all year round but what is a waterproof???
Well we’ve had a typically British summer with lots of rain, so I thought I would give you all the lowdown on waterproofs, water resistance and breath ability so here go’s: (again this is the basics there is a lot of science but this is all you need to know)
Waterproof Clothing: This is a garment made from a waterproof fabric with all seams taped or welded and featuring weatherproof zips and pockets. This type of garment is best used for prolonged exposure to wet weather, it also provides an effective barrier against wind.
Please note. The jacket and construction may be waterproof but water can get in through the neck, up the arms or up the body also any pockets vents or zips left open will allow moisture in.
Water Resistant Clothing: This is a garment that is made from a waterproof or water resistant fabric but does not feature taped or welded seams. The zips and pockets may not have weather protection. These are designed to offer emergency protection, to protect against wind chill or when the weather is warm and damp. They will leak during prolonged exposure to wet weather, water resistant clothing is more breathable than fully waterproof clothing.
Breathable: This is the ability of a fabric to allow water vapour in the form of perspiration to escape.
Waterproof breathable clothing allows perspiration to escape while remaining waterproof (this is achievable because water vapour is considerably smaller than water droplets and a waterproof and breathable fabric has millions of holes that allow vapour transfer while resisting water droplets.
Any item that is classed as breathable can of course only work with the body and surrounding climate, so if you regularly sweat buckets as you climb your least favorite climb in shorts and jersey , you are clearly going to sweat buckets when encased in a waterproof jacket also if you are riding in 100% humidity there is nowhere for your perspiration to go so you will still be wet from sweat.