Well choose one winter jacket It is key to enjoy cycling just at the time of the year in which weather conditions are the least favourable for cycling.
Really us it is difficult to understand how is them managed twenty or thirty years ago cycling enthusiasts to ride in winter. Today it is unthinkable to see a Bicyclist during colder without its corresponding jacket “wind”. But what is meant by “windscreen”? It is simple, currently all the Cycling clothing: Winter shorts, long gloves for winter, overboots–they are made with a membrane windscreen that protects us from the wind, cold and, to a lesser extent, water. The main virtue of this type of membranes is that they have managed to reconcile two apparently opposite principles: insulation and breathability.
The windscreen is an invention of mid-1980s. They were the German company engineers Gore Bike Wear who discovered that if they applied a layer of Teflon expanded (PITFEe) they were able to increase the insulating capacity of a cyclist pledge. The key of the invention is that to expand Teflon (insulation material) by applying heat were able to create millions of micropores which allowed the breathability of the garment, largely keeping the insulating properties.
Interestingly, Gore He had to create his own line of Cycling clothing with this system why manufacturers of that time did not believe in the “Windstopper”, thus was born the first Cycling clothing the first membrane windscreen and with them the Gore Windstopper jackets.
Upon the expiry of the patent, many manufacturers have developed its own membrane using a principle similar to the original (with variations depending on the quality of the garment). Even so, many brands prefer to pay Windstopper license by the prestige that entails.
The birth of the Gore-Tex
Windstopper membrane protects from wind and cold but is not waterproof, they are only “makes”; i.e., they protect a fine rain, but insistent rain garment stall. This is because a conventional windscreen membrane does not seal the seams of the garment, whereupon the water at the end would enter into. To remedy that, Gore -once more – evolved its membrane to create the Gore-Tex, a type of also breathable fabric, and this one does, completely waterproof because it allows heat sealed seams. They were born the Gore-Gore Tex jackets.
In the same way that happens with Windstopper, we find the Gore-Tex membrane in clothes of this brand and clothing from other firms. It should be noted it’s unique membrane (impermeability and breathability) such that we can currently find on the market – perhaps that is the reason why, with Gore-Tex garments have a fairly high price.
When can I use these jackets?
We can find Windstopper membrane of various types and applied on jackets in different proportions. For milder temperatures, Demi-season, the garment will take wind protection only in the front of the sleeves and the torso, while at lower temperatures, it will be used in 100% of the garment, but the Windstopper jacketsthey are practically essential to ride when the temperature drops 15 ºc. We will protect from the outside, wind chill and repel the first drops of water. If you want extra protection, a last layer of insulation, a technical jacket of high range that protects us in rainy climates with high humidity can be North of Spain then we will have to choose between jackets with Gore-Tex.
Can I use 2 or 3 layers?
The answer must be kept in balance various aspects: comfort, flexibility, insulation, thermal sensation and breathability.
We have already mentioned the Windstopper or the Gore-Tex affect the insulation being breathable, but… do you provide us comfort and enough heat? This is answered with the kind of jacket that we choose, Softshell or Active (Hard) Shell. The first, high-end, very soft and very elastic, allow a great fit to the body and not only insulate from the outside but that its finish of NAP generates heat.
The second, much more rigid and thin isolated even more than the previous, but does not generate heat, retaining only the generated by the body, because it induces a greater feeling of cold, they are jackets that are known as “membranes”.
In the majority of cases and depending on the thickness of each, usually with a Softshell we will use 2 layers and with an Active Shell, it is more likely that we use 3.
What cannot resolve jackets is what area practice cycling, what hours left to roll or if we are friendly or warm. If we are going to be little time at low temperature, they may be better a three-layer and keep the jacket in the backpack when raise. It should take into account that if we left only with two layers, not we remove the jacket all the way.
What should I not use!
The important thing in any physical activity in winter, in addition to isolate themselves from the outside is kept dry. Sweat causes friction, cools quickly by lowering our body temperature and can lead to problems of hydration our performance to decrease. We must therefore avoid any conventional plastic raincoat, so not it transpires, and replace it with any Jacket Gore-Tex Soft Shell or Active Shell according to the layers that we carry. We must not use first layer cotton t-shirts, although it pleases us touch retain sweat and provoke cold. It is much better to take one of the thermal t-shirts for Gore bike or any Jersey.