Coat suggestions

by Cycle_Jim   September 2, 2013  

I'm in the market for a coat for my commutes through the winter etc, I already have a waterproof cycling jacket from DHB but it looks awful if I'm not on the bike and I find myself as equally as wet wearing it as I would be not wearing it. So basically useless.

The coat must -

- be waterproof
- be breathable
-look good on the bike and off
- have a pocket or two

So far been looking at the usual suspects in urban/chic cycle wear (Rapha/Vulpine also tried howies)
most seem to be really a bit far out my budget

ideally this jacket should cost no more than £100, but I'll stretch to £150 if I must.

Considering a Levi jacket due to the good offer on but levi website has no info about it.

Any suggestions?

Also would like to hear any urban commute tips as well as clothing tips (may help others just getting into it?)

I'll offer up mine - baby wipes, shoes, deodorant and a towel at the office (or uni in my case) if you have a draw...

15 user comments

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If you can fit into a small I would reccommend the Rapha City Rain Jacket. £135 in the sale until Wednesday with the extra 10% code. I hear good things about the hardshell jacket too, only in small on the website but I did see a large in the London Cycle Club at the weekend.

posted by pjay [225 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 19:06

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Have a look at the showers pass amsterdam too. i've got the portland, which it replaces, and have had for over four years. it's a super jacket.

likely to be £150 when it lands over her though, possibly more

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7282 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 22:48

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if you can't afford a showers pass one then surface do one called the aquaphobic, we found the fit a touch odd when we tested it but it might suit
http://road.cc/content/review/50600-surface-hydrophobic-wool-jacket

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7282 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 22:52

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It looks nice, if not somewhat boxy. Not sure it would suit me! Its a throwdown between the Rapha and levi's. Levi is cheaper, rapha nicer. Hmmm

posted by Cycle_Jim [281 posts]
2nd September 2013 - 23:52

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Sorry, can't help re. a coat. I get hot easily so choose the lightest, thinnest layers I can get away with and sod the appearance.

I find full-length mudguards, waterproof overshoes and a cycling cap (whether you wear a helmet or not) make riding in wet weather more pleasant.

Also important:
- good lights
- p-resistant tyres
- well maintained drivetrain and brakes
- confidence in traffic / road skills

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1939 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 0:00

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I get quite hot, so I'm wondering if I'll just end up ditching the coat anyhow.

Been considering some roubaix thermal/fleece-y options to keep me toasty Confused

posted by Cycle_Jim [281 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 0:04

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What do you wear under your jacket? Anything cotton will make you very sweaty. Merino base layers are good.

posted by pjay [225 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 17:50

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It is cotton, relatively cheap cycle wear so perhaps a merino base layer (short or long?) combined with current jacket would be suitable to prevent the boil in bag feeling?

posted by Cycle_Jim [281 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 17:53

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Give it a go with your current jacket, cotton just traps sweat. Howies, Icebreaker and Rapha do good quality merino baselayers. I have heard good things about Torm too, though not tried them myself (torm.cc)

Short or long? Long is probably more use under a jacket, but I have both for different temperatures. I wear two under a softshell when it's really cold.

posted by pjay [225 posts]
3rd September 2013 - 18:26

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The howies's thinner NBL Light and Endura baabaa are lovely under a windproof but not unless the temperature is in single figures - and nearer zero than 9.

I looked at packable jackets from howies and endura too, both £40 IIRC. I have a Gill waterproof jacket for heavy rain but it gets hot in there! Something showerproof, packable and more breathable is better for me 98% of the time.

Tried overtrousers but I think I'd rather get wet legs. Considering some roubaix tights or legwarmers with a coating like Lusso Max Repel or Castelli (Nanoflex?).

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1939 posts]
4th September 2013 - 10:38

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Simon - Was considering the same, Sportful also do some water repellant tights and we saw the Castelli range perform well in the spring classics, it must be good if the pros use it despite the sponsorships agreements!

I'm leaning towards a windproof jersey and tights ie roubaix, and then if the downpours are heavy use my dhb waterproof. I'm not particularly bothered about getting wet on the way home and my commute isn't far (7 miles)

Looking at Chrome Messenger bag as far as a good waterproof bag I hear good things!

SO - Long sleeve merino combined with either softshell jacket or waterproof jacket weather depending!

posted by Cycle_Jim [281 posts]
4th September 2013 - 13:52

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Jim, I think that you have got it right. I ride about an hour each way on my commute and I find that a good soft shell windproof does the job on all but the rainiest days. A decent windproof will be fine in drizzle or a shower and will be much less sweaty than a waterproof. I save the waterproof jacket and trousers for downpours, I get pretty hot and sweaty in there but it's much better than cold and wet. I like Gore windproof kit but it may look too cycle specific for you.
Simon's earlier recommendation for a cycling cap is a really good call too. A cap will keep your head warm on cold days and does a great job of keeping the rain off when it does come down. A simple cotton cap has really made my winter riding much more comfortable.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [309 posts]
4th September 2013 - 14:07

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Jim, the Castelli jacket/jersey (I forgot the name) is apparently so good that non-sponsored pro riders were wearing them in the cold early season races like MSR.

Ah, found it! Gabba.
http://road.cc/content/news/78651-milan-san-remos-other-winner-castellis...

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posted by Simon E [1939 posts]
4th September 2013 - 16:40

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YES!! The gabba. Looks nice, quite expensive though...

I wear a cap, even on some summer days I'll wear a cap and if it gets too hot stow it in a jersey pocket!

So - nice windproof jersey - merino LS base - roubaix tights - overshoes - more caps. Save the jacket for a downpour

Sound about right?

posted by Cycle_Jim [281 posts]
4th September 2013 - 16:46

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Have you got full length mudguards?
Biggest difference in my opinion as the majority of wet days it is just surface water rather than from above.

posted by MrBLH [31 posts]
4th September 2013 - 18:10

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