July 5, 2022

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has introduced {that a} La Nina climate occasion has begun which suggests cooler and wetter circumstances for many of the east and north of the nation this summer season.

So now could be the time to test your moist driving gear. Don’t merely belief that it’s going to shield you.

I came upon the arduous means yesterday that my long-trusted rain gear is now not waterproof.

As an alternative of taking the heavy obligation 100% assured plastic and rubber gear which might get sizzling and sweaty, I took lighter weight, breathable gear.

This gear has stitched seams that are taped on the within with a rubbery materials.

Pulling the gear on and off over time dislodges this tape and even pulls it out utterly.

I didn’t discover out till I rode for about half an hour in average rain solely to seek out my pants and jacket beneath had been saturated.

The tape had utterly come out of the pants and was largely dislodged within the jacket.

So my recommendation is to test the within seams of your gear and if the tape is lacking or dislodged, throw them out. They’re nugatory.

That’s a disgrace, too, as this gear is usually extra snug to put on and isn’t low cost, both.

In reality, I’ve discovered that cheaper rain gear product of plastic could also be uncomfortable in the summertime, however it can hold you dry.

One in every of our riders had waterproof boots that had been failing, so he ingeniously wrapped them in plastic from Bunnings.

One in every of our riders augmented his “waterproof” boots wth a roll of plastic from Bunnings!

Waterproof guarantee

I’ve checked all my waterproof gear and none presents a lifetime assure.

Additionally, observe that “weatherproof”, “water resistant” and “water-repellent” should not the identical as “waterproof”. These phrases imply the garment isn’t watertight even in mild showers if you end up driving.

And test whether or not it says the gear is 100% watertight. Some may additionally embody an Ingress Safety (IP) ranking.

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This ranking consists of two numbers. The primary from 0-6 measures safety from international our bodies equivalent to mud, whereas the second from 0-9K measures resistance to water. Click on right here for extra particulars.

Additionally observe that your supposedly waterproof gear could solely be assured to be impervious to water in some areas or simply have watertight pockets.

Waterproof warranties are usually the identical because the garment which is often from one 12 months to about three years.

Producers might match jackets and pants with extra strong and heavier waterproof membranes and supply longer warranties.

Nevertheless, that may influence on consolation, weight and value.

So it’s vital to take care of your waterproof gear.

Draggin Hydro waterproof jacket and pants
Testing waterproof jacket and pants


One of many fundamental issues with waterproof failures is that you could be not discover a fault in your gear once you put it on.

You solely discover out once you go for a journey and get caught within the rain.

And even probably the most minor fault, crack or cut up can suck in moisture if you end up driving at freeway speeds!

There could be a lot of causes for waterproofing failures:

  • Waterproof leather-based gear is often the primary to present in as a result of it could possibly age and crack;
  • Boots can develop minuscule cracks within the soles from merely strolling round in them;
  • Racing boots with bolt-in toe sliders can change into unfastened as they repeatedly hit the bottom, permitting in water;
  • Waterproof pants can develop small tears within the lining or you possibly can dislodge the glued-on taped seams when you pull them on whereas carrying your boots;
  • Folding waterproof clothes may cause them to put on and cut up on the creases;
  • Carrying waterproof gear in your bike scrunched up on a rack and secured by Occy straps may cause rips and put on;
  • Gore-Tex pants and jackets ought to final a very long time, however the outdoors layer can get worn from rubbing in areas such because the armpits, crutch and bottom;
  • Zippers can change into rusted from rain and highway grime and even waterproof zippers can change into gummed up by mud and bugs; and
  • Machine washing your gear can take away or destroy the watertight capabilities of some supplies.
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Waterproof care

King Canute discovered he couldn’t maintain again the tide and sustaining waterproof driving gear could be comparable.

Nevertheless there are some issues you are able to do:

  • Boots will last more when you solely put on them on the bike and do restricted strolling.
  • Common remedy of leather-based with shoe polish, particular softeners and waxes equivalent to Dubbin could assist delay their waterproof life;
  • Take your boots off earlier than pulling on waterproof overpants;
  • Re-spray your textile gear with waterproof sprays;
  • Retailer your gear in a cool, dry cabinet;
  • Cling your jackets and pants and by no means fold them;
  • At all times enable moist gear to dry in a well-ventilated space out of direct daylight earlier than storing;
  • Carry waterproof gear in a secure place in your backpack or bike baggage, ideally rolled up, not folded;
  • Give zippers an occasional spray with silicon or rub them with an acceptable wax to assist the zipper slide easily and last more; and
  • Leather-based gear requires particular consideration. Click on right here for our complete tips about take care of your leather-based gear.

Washingwet mud water crossing adventure forget

Using within the rain and even doing water crossings not solely get your gear moist, but in addition soiled.

So you must periodically wash your gear earlier than storing it away.

See additionally

When washing your gear, all the time comply with the producer’s directions. They often stipulate a hand wash or mild, warm-wash machine cycle.

Lengthy, sizzling machine washing cycles can restrict the waterproofed lifetime of a garment.

By no means use material softener when washing and most producers warn towards tumble drying or ironing.

Nevertheless, observe that some supplies, equivalent to Gore-Tex, truly require tumble drying or ironing after washing to revive their waterproof qualities. Watch this tutorial video.

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Consumer error

Generally it’s not the gear that fails, however the rider, says a former product supervisor Ron Grant.

“Nearly all of moist claims I imagine are primarily attributable to incorrect utilization or fitment,” he as soon as instructed me.

“You possibly can have the perfect jacket on the earth, however when you don’t get all of the closures appropriately positioned, guarantee your shirt collar or cuffs aren’t uncovered (which creates a wicking level for water entry) you’ll nonetheless get moist.

“If you happen to put on gloves over your cuff, water penetrates by means of the jacket stitching within the chest and arms, runs down between the outer shell and the skin of the waterproof liner (so the rider continues to be dry) and drains straight into the gloves. This isn’t a glove problem however a rider fitment problem.

“Likewise with waterproof boots. I see riders purchase ‘shorty’ waterproof boots after which complain they get moist ft.

“If in case you have a have a look at their rain pants when their ft are on the pegs, the rain pants could journey up simply sufficient to permit water into the boots.”

Ron warns that water will finds its means into that 1% weak space in your entire driving ensemble and spoil your journey.

He says he left for work just lately within the pouring rain on his Triumph Tiger 800 fitted with a brand new, massive touring display screen to guard him from the weather.

“This new display screen creates a little bit of a vacuum between the display screen and I might see water droplets swirling round in entrance of me round my throat space,” he says.

“I didn’t actually take into consideration this too effectively, however I had pulled my neck-sock on earlier than becoming my jacket because it’s extra snug that means.

“The droplets finally soaked my neck-sock which depraved the water downwards wetting my jumper and shirt. My waterproof jacket didn’t fail, it was the dummy carrying it that failed!”