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Cycling to work though the rain this morning got my me musing over the possibility of using hydrophobic spray to treat my mid-priced soggy DHB bib tights into something that could perform like the more expensive castelli nanoflex garments. My main gripe with cycling in winter rain is the cold wet feeling on my exposed thighs. Remembering something I watched a few weeks ago on some gadget show on the telli where hydrophobic spray was used to waterproof everyday items making them impervious to stains and water, I wondered if maybe if I could simply by a £10 can of the stuff and turn my bibs into high performance, exotic cycle gear. Hydrophobic spray covers stuff in tiny little nano rods which are so close together that water droplets don’t touch the fabric and simple bead up and fall off. Sounds good, so long as these nano-rod things don’t get in the way of breathability, but the show didn’t mention that.

Anyway, I’m tempted to take the plunge and try it out for myself, but before doing so I want to ask if anyone here has tried this yet? If so what were the results? Does it affect the breathability of fabric? Does the water proofing work on stretched lycra? etc

29 comments

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SamShaw [266 posts] 2 years ago
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The info on Crep Protect states that it lasts "up to 2 weeks", probably a lot less if you're washing your clothing regularly!

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Scoob_84 [381 posts] 2 years ago
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It wouldn't last a single wash  40

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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What have you got against hydros?

Hydrophobe.  4

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andycoventry [110 posts] 2 years ago
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You could try something like this:

http://www.snowandrock.com/grangers-30-degrees-proofer-300ml-bottle/clot...

Seems to work ok on re-waterproofing my snowboard stuff - although it probably needed to be waterproof in the first place.

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notfastenough [3709 posts] 2 years ago
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Not tried it, but I can't wait for Neverwet to come to market - the demo videos of that are crazy. I'll be able to buy a pair of nice white sparkling trainers (an indeed cycling shoes!) without being broken-hearted at the first sign of dirt.

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Scoob_84 [381 posts] 2 years ago
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more on the stuff, just need to find the right product that can withstand my washing machine

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-06/super-hydrophobic-spray-ma...

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Scoob_84 [381 posts] 2 years ago
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This is the stuff i want, not the usual water repellent spray.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/superhydrophobic-spray-neverwe...

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Leviathan [2141 posts] 2 years ago
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Scoob_84 wrote:

This is the stuff i want, not the usual water repellent spray.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/superhydrophobic-spray-neverwe...

I am thinking of trying neverwet but not on clothes, on my bike.

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movingtarget [144 posts] 2 years ago
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Are your dhb tights already DWR treated? I've used Nikwax TX.Direct treatment that you just dump into the liquid softener chute in the washer for my technical gear to replenish their water repellency but not sure if it would work as well for untreated clothes. I *think* it would because the DWR finish gets washed off over time and what you're doing with the Nikwax is reapplying the DWR but maybe the fabric has to have a special substrate for the DWR to stick to first? The nice thing is it's definitely made to maintain breathability so wouldn't turn your kit into a steam suit. It might not hurt to contact Nikwax and see what they think. Here's a link to the Nikwax TX.Direct webpage just in case http://www.nikwax-usa.com/en-us/products/productdetail.php?productid=267

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Martyn_K [185 posts] 2 years ago
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Do as the pro's do and rub dollop of vaseline in to your thighs, knees and shins.

It makes it harder for the water to penetrate the skin, thus keeping you a touch warmer.

The only drawback i have found is that the road grime does stick to your legs a bit more.

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PJ McNally [591 posts] 2 years ago
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Martyn_K wrote:

Do as the pro's do and rub dollop of vaseline in to your thighs, knees and shins.

Can't see that helping my morning routine - note the OP was asking about cycling to work, not all-day pro riding.

Personally on rainy days i supplement my bib tights with a cheap pair of "waterproof" overtrousers - the dirt-cheap basic ones scrunch up nicely to fit in the bottom of a pannier until you need them. Doesn't look very pro but keeps >90% of the rain off, so you stay warm.

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dunnoh [199 posts] 2 years ago
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I have Sportful no rain bibs. Waste of time - they stop rain for all of 2 minutes. I'm going to buy a pair of proper waterproof trousers come payday, I'm sick of being soaking wet and I don't care anymore that I don't look like a so called proper cyclist!

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Scoob_84 [381 posts] 2 years ago
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Aside from not looking Pro, the other significant trouble with waterproof trousers is breathibility and boiling up! And as usual with his game, you have to part with a wedge of cash if you want waterproof and breathable clobber.

I think I'll continue just getting wet legs when it rains and toughen up a bit.

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Scoob_84 [381 posts] 2 years ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:
Scoob_84 wrote:

This is the stuff i want, not the usual water repellent spray.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/superhydrophobic-spray-neverwe...

I am thinking of trying neverwet but not on clothes, on my bike.

This stuff looks great, but having read user reviews yesterday on amazon.com, there are a few downsides. Its gives your everthing a rubbery feel, it attracts dust, you can't wash the dust off because water doesn't come into contact with it, the nano stuff rubs off easily and easily washes off with the use of detergent. Other than that its ace.

Didn't think about using it on the bike though, that could be a great idea.

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dunnoh [199 posts] 2 years ago
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Scoob_84 wrote:

Aside from not looking Pro, the other significant trouble with waterproof trousers is breathibility and boiling up! And as usual with his game, you have to part with a wedge of cash if you want waterproof and breathable clobber.

I think I'll continue just getting wet legs when it rains and toughen up a bit.

I commute 5 days a week in Manchester and although the gabba is standing up OK in the rain, my legs are so cold and wet that I've ended up with pneumonia resulting from a particularly awful mornings commute. I have a pair of gortex walking trousers that I will try for size and see how I get on

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GREGJONES [289 posts] 2 years ago
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How about wearing tights without bibs over your summer shorts, then you'd have two layers over your thighs.

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fernlyn [4 posts] 2 years ago
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I have a pair of Endura Thermolite tights and find them very good for 8 mile winter commute even in heavy rain which we have had lot of lately, this winter has been quite mild here in London but last winter I was riding in them at -9. They go through the washing machine every couple of days but are are still good after countless washes though slightly faded.

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FMOAB [267 posts] 2 years ago
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How a set of Rainlegs, designed for just this very thing. Reviewed by roadcc http://road.cc/content/review/56364-rainlegs-wind-and-waterproof-leg-covers.

I have a set and they work well.

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bashthebox [751 posts] 2 years ago
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I need something for commuting too - damn this wet january.

As I wear normal cloths to ride in, the ideal would have been the Hincapie rain pants, which scrunch down small, are tapered in the leg and would be slingable over my jeans. But those seemed to come and go within a season, before I could buy them. Damnit.
The Showers Pass trousers, similar taper but heavier, look like they might do the job, but I think they'd be too hot over the top of my jeans.
Damnit.

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OldRidgeback [2632 posts] 2 years ago
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allez neg wrote:

What have you got against hydros?

Hydrophobe.  4

Could be rabies!

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David Arthur @d... [702 posts] 2 years ago
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If you haven't tried them, mudguards are really useful in the rain, stopping loads of surface water spray up onto your legs

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lolol [199 posts] 2 years ago
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+1 on full winter mudguards, most of the wet comes from spray off the road and bike, its also full of crap (not necessarily literally, but sometimes ). This winter has been brutal for the bikes, so mudguards help there too.

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Scoob_84 [381 posts] 2 years ago
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+2 on mudguards, they stay on my commuter/#2 bike all through the year and consider them an essential bit of kit. I like a rapid commute as much as the next guy and the thought fixing what is effectively a parachute to my bike put me off them for way longer than it really should have, and making do with those ugly mountain bike mud guards that clip onto your seat post and deflect all the road s**t all over my bike.

But having taken the plunge on some crud roadracers I barely notice them, even when going flat out. Most importantly they keep the crap off the road building up over my nice shiny break callipers.

I think i have everything covered for wet weather. The rain coat, mud guards, overshoes, gloves, peak hat under the helmet....its just the legs, which isn't really that much of an issue.

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CygnusX1 [235 posts] 1 month ago
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Bumping this topic, as I've been musing the same idea.  My bib-shorts act like a sponge (especially the pad), too early to resort to mudguards (I try to limit them to Dec - Feb), too tight to fork out for some Sportful Fiandre NoRain bibs or similar... (my commute is not that long, and I can dry my kit on the towel rail in the changing rooms at work) but would prefer not to have that wet nappy feeling.

Has anyone had any luck with hydrophobic sprays like NeverWet or others with "nano" technology, such as Muc-Off Fabric Protect, Woly Wet Blocker, Tarrago Nano Protector? What about more traditional waterproofing products as found in most outdoor shops such as Fabsil, ScotchGard or Nikwax?  

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Leviathan [2141 posts] 1 month ago
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CygnusX1 wrote:

Bumping this topic, as I've been musing the same idea.  My bib-shorts act like a sponge (especially the pad), too early to resort to mudguards (I try to limit them to Dec - Feb), too tight to fork out for some Sportful Fiandre NoRain bibs or similar... (my commute is not that long, and I can dry my kit on the towel rail in the changing rooms at work) but would prefer not to have that wet nappy feeling.

Has anyone had any luck with hydrophobic sprays like NeverWet or others with "nano" technology, such as Muc-Off Fabric Protect, Woly Wet Blocker, Tarrago Nano Protector? What about more traditional waterproofing products as found in most outdoor shops such as Fabsil, ScotchGard or Nikwax?  

Have you tried an Ass Saver? a mini mudguard you put into your saddle, just cut down on spray from wet roads, though it makes no difference in direct rain. 

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newtonk [25 posts] 1 month ago
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dunnoh wrote:

I have Sportful no rain bibs. Waste of time - they stop rain for all of 2 minutes. I'm going to buy a pair of proper waterproof trousers come payday, I'm sick of being soaking wet and I don't care anymore that I don't look like a so called proper cyclist!

Sportful no rain - only to be worn when there's 'no rain'.  Absolute garbage garments.

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Mungecrundle [416 posts] 1 month ago
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When you get to my age, a soggy crotch is a fact of life.

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CygnusX1 [235 posts] 1 month ago
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Leviathan wrote:

Have you tried an Ass Saver? a mini mudguard you put into your saddle, just cut down on spray from wet roads, though it makes no difference in direct rain. 

Used similar - MuckyNutz butt fender - on my MTB, but they don't catch all of the rooster tail (admittedly a MTB off-road kicks up a lot more sh*t than road spray, but then the fender was probably 3 times wider than the standard ass-saver).

Being a martyr to clean lines until the winter months when the full mudguards go on, I would want the original (folding) ass-saver to keep the bike looking as good as possible when not pissing it down, but it isn't compatible/is too much hassle with a saddle bag attached. 

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CygnusX1 [235 posts] 1 month ago
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Just ordered a can of Muc-Off Fabric Protect - will try it out on a pair of bibs that are not long for this world (flatlock stitching starting to unravel).  If successful, I'll try it on newer/nicer kit.  Will report back here how I get on...