I wanted to start a discussion about people's experiences using bike bags. Whether people find hard shell bike bags work bette? Or whether soft shell bags work just as well? If you've had any damage while transporting your bike? If you think it's more about the airport baggage handler? Or any secret techniques to avoiding damaging your precious steed. Do the soft shell bags fold away neatly? Or are they cumbersome? Have you had problems fitting the case in your car.
Soft shell jackets are, on the whole, pricier than more traditional ‘hard shell’ or fleece/Roubaix style non-waterproof jackets. They offer a compromise between the warmth and breathability of a non-waterproof training top and the out and out weather protection but potential sweatiness of a waterproof.
This impressive windproof jacket from Castelli is a top option for use through the autumn and winter.
The main material used here is a Soft Shell fabric from Gore’s Windstopper range (Windstopper comes in several different flavours – it’s not one specific fabric). All the red and white panels are Windstopper, it’s just the black sections on the underside of the arms and across most of the back that are a fleecy and more breathable Roubaix.
A fabulous design, the Gore Bike Wear Oxygen SO is among the best jackets of this type that I’ve ever ridden in.
The Oxygen is made from Gore’s own Windstopper soft-shell fabric, which blocks out cold air superbly and, with a fleecy inner face, adds a decent amount of warmth. Unlike some similar jackets, it has Windstopper rear panels rather than a more breathable Roubaix fabric back there, so it works well in cold and windy weather when you want all-round protection from the chills.