Cycling cape?

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mjr
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Re: Cycling cape?

Postby mjr » 7 Jun 2019, 3:24pm

TrevA wrote:[...] The billowing in the wind, the puddle collecting in between your arms [...]

That sounds like cape is too long at the front or not positioned far enough over the handlebars.
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thirdcrank
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Re: Cycling cape?

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Jun 2019, 3:51pm

LittleGreyCat wrote: ...
My experience of bicycle capes goes back to the early '60s when they were heavy non-breathable plastic.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a modern light weight breathable cape, perhaps with enough spread to cover handlebars and rear rack? ...

TrevA wrote:I bought a Carradice Pro Route cape to use on my commute. I used it twice and remembered why we gave up using capes years ago. ...


For lightweight and breathable, on an earlier appearance of this hard annual, I did a bit of research and discovered that pipers (bagpipes players) seem to favour a cape of the police type ie more of a cloak - open at the front - which protects them and their pipes but allows playing them. At that time, there was a company advertising such a cape in goretex, although I cannot see anything of it now.

For breathable but by no means lightweight at 1.2 kgs, I see Hilltrek do a Ventile poncho, which looks to be versatile in terms of being able to be worn in different ways and used as a tarp.
https://hilltrek.co.uk/clothing/shirts- ... le-poncho/

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feefee8
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Re: Cycling cape?

Postby feefee8 » 7 Jun 2019, 4:27pm

thirdcrank wrote:For lightweight and breathable, on an earlier appearance of this hard annual, I did a bit of research and discovered that pipers (bagpipes players) seem to favour a cape of the police type ie more of a cloak - open at the front - which protects them and their pipes but allows playing them. At that time, there was a company advertising such a cape in goretex, although I cannot see anything of it now.


We do indeed wear a waterproof cape when piping in the rain, and more frequently than I'd like. There is an inner part and an outer part which are joined at the collar, with the outer part acting as the cape, which comes to the hips and fully covers the bag when playing (the drones and chanter are still fully exposed to the elements). Both of these parts can be fully closed by poppers (was buttons back in the day). Mr Anthony also sells matching hoods which are massive, as they are designed to cover your glengarry (hat) as well as your head and tie rather fetchingly round the chin.

I think they'd be a little unwieldy on the bike - generally the inner part ends below the knee and would get in the way if not fastened and would be a bit restrictive if fastened. There are straps on the cape which you put your arms through to minimise flappiness if the poppers are open but you might want them closed to be of any waterproof benefit.


In short, I wouldn't use one on a bike without a lot of modding but I'm biased having spent a lot of time in one doing the thing it was designed for!

LittleGreyCat
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Re: Cycling cape?

Postby LittleGreyCat » 7 Jun 2019, 4:42pm

Thanks for all the replies so far.
Today I am wavering towards just wearing a waterproof jacket if required, and (for the summer) assuming that the rain will be warm(ish).

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Re: Cycling cape?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 7 Jun 2019, 4:45pm

I notice that a lot of the cape wearers in this thread mention the advantage of not having to wear overtrousers, whereas lots of us don't bother with overtrousers anyway. I wonder if this is a point which decides whether or not a cyclist will be a happy cape wearer? If you like to keep your legs dry no matter what the activity, you'll be glad of a cape, but if you're happy to ride in the rain with nothing extra on your legs, you're better off with a jacket? Another factor would presumably be how happy you are in strong winds. (I'm not a cape wearer; sounds to me like they're pretty good for keeping you dry but as someone who hates getting steered by the wind, I'd probably not like a cape. Very happy for others to prefer it to a jacket though.)

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Re: Cycling cape?

Postby ambodach » 7 Jun 2019, 5:42pm

When I started cycling it was cape or nothing. In high winds it could be a nuisance but with the right tension it could be controlled. If the rain eased off it was bundled in front until sure the rain was off completely as it could be redeployed easily for showers. I still carry a light plastic thing which fits in a chopped lemonade bottle in a bottle holder. For torrential showers which seem to be increasingly common I often just stop and wait it out being completely dry in the cape.

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Re: Cycling cape?

Postby mjr » 7 Jun 2019, 6:00pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:I notice that a lot of the cape wearers in this thread mention the advantage of not having to wear overtrousers, whereas lots of us don't bother with overtrousers anyway. I wonder if this is a point which decides whether or not a cyclist will be a happy cape wearer? If you like to keep your legs dry no matter what the activity, you'll be glad of a cape, but if you're happy to ride in the rain with nothing extra on your legs, you're better off with a jacket? Another factor would presumably be how happy you are in strong winds. (I'm not a cape wearer; sounds to me like they're pretty good for keeping you dry but as someone who hates getting steered by the wind, I'd probably not like a cape. Very happy for others to prefer it to a jacket though.)

I can't stand overtrousers, but I like dry thighs because wet thighs go cold easily and that makes pedalling very hard work. Rainlegs are good but not perfect in high summer. Nevertheless, jacket+rainlegs is my compromise when I'm riding with others and so don't want to trade speed (of deployment and cycling) for more dryness.

It's about keeping your body dry as well as your legs. Every summer waterproof I've had lets the rain in somewhere (my current Polaris one lets sufficiently heavy rain get forced in past the taped zip flaps) much more easily than my cape does.

I think it would need to be very strong winds for me to be "steered by the wind" - the sort of 40+mph stuff that makes any cycling a bit iffy. Mostly it's just harder work and hey, I'm cycling partly for fitness anyway... :lol:
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LittleGreyCat
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Re: Cycling cape?

Postby LittleGreyCat » 7 Jun 2019, 6:27pm

mjr wrote:<snip>
I can't stand overtrousers, but I like dry thighs because wet thighs go cold easily and that makes pedalling very hard work. Rainlegs are good but not perfect in high summer. Nevertheless, jacket+rainlegs is my compromise when I'm riding with others and so don't want to trade speed (of deployment and cycling) for more dryness.<snip>


Thanks for the pointer to Rainlegs.
That looks an interesting compromise for summer riding.

This is reminding me of the difference between touring and local riding.
Normally if it rains I just stay indoors. :lol:

ANTONISH
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Re: Cycling cape?

Postby ANTONISH » 8 Jun 2019, 8:42am

I used rainlegs for a couple of years.
They were fairly effective - with a rain jacket at least I could ride all day in relative comfort.
The drawback I found was the straps and buckles. Often as I dismounted a strap would catch on my saddle which made me likely to fall.
I bought some overtrousers and hacked off the lower few inches. This allowed more freedom of movement and was cooler than the longs and more effective than the rainlegs.
With overshoes this works reasonably well - I don't think I'd like to ride in cold wet weather without some leg cover.

Nothing is as good as a cape though :)

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Re: Cycling cape?

Postby thirdcrank » 8 Jun 2019, 8:50am

feefee8 wrote: .... Mr Anthony also sells matching hoods which are massive, as they are designed to cover your glengarry (hat) as well as your head and tie rather fetchingly round the chin. ...


Ideal for helmet wearers, then! :wink:

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Re: Cycling cape?

Postby Gearoidmuar » 8 Jun 2019, 9:05am

I've had capes. They are great when there's no wind. Then they aren't great.
Goretex is partly breathable.
What works well in rain if it's warm, is a plain fleece. If it gets soaked, take it off, shake it, and off you go again.

I've experimented with all kinds of rainproof jackets. Goretex is not bad. I tried Ventile. Let some water in. The best, and I've had three of them and still have two, is Nikwax Paramo. It's a multilayered job that you wash periodically in a special washing liquid. You can blow through it but it keeps the water out and you get no condensation. The jackets are a little bulkier than Goretex. They're VERY durable. I'm using one of them touring for 10y.

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feefee8
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Re: Cycling cape?

Postby feefee8 » 8 Jun 2019, 11:15am

thirdcrank wrote:Ideal for helmet wearers, then! :wink:


Ha ha! Indeed!

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Re: Cycling cape?

Postby mjr » 10 Jun 2019, 12:33pm

Today I enjoyed the fringe benefit of the cape in that I remained dry head-to-toe while walking from parking spot to shops :)
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mercalia
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Re: Cycling cape?

Postby mercalia » 10 Jun 2019, 12:56pm

One issue with the Carradice cotton capes. They need reproofing now and then. I remember one advocate on his website eventually gave up on them as he wasnt able to successfully reproof his. Any one here with the cotton Carradice one ones had to reproof his/hers and suceeded?

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Re: Cycling cape?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 10 Jun 2019, 7:43pm

mjr wrote:Oh yes, flapping in the wind: my cape is the second-least aerodynamic thing I've cycled in in the last decade. I try to avoid using it on the open fens because it makes pedalling so much harder work in any headwind at all, but it's better than nothing if I've not got my smaller waterproof and rainlegs with me, or I want to lessen how damp my shins/calves and feet get. It's great around town because my speed is mostly limited by junctions and traffic, not available power, although if it's raining hard when I arrive then I do feel like I get funny looks if I walk into offices or shops wearing it instead of a regular raincoat.

Just out of curiousity, what's the least aerodynamic thing you've cycled in (either in the last decade or ever)?