I told you about basic bicycle rain gear options of waterproof shells from Louis Garneau and O2 available from Bicycle Garage Indy in Bicycle Rain Gear Basic, part 1. These are effective and economic choices for the fair weather rider. The rider looking for rain gear for long training rides and tours, or for four-season riding, is going to want the features that come in more technical gear.
These "technical" jackets and shells combine breathable fabrics with a variety of vents and other features that allow you to adjust for changing riding conditions. They are made with fabrics that will meet the lightweight packability needs of the sport rider, or the durability needs of the regular bicycle commuter or long distance touring rider.
Typical features of technical bicycle rain gear may include a vented back, with a covered mesh panel, a zipper or mesh opening along the arm and arm pit, zipper storm flaps and/or water resistant zippers, adjustable wrist openings, a cycling cut waist line, and an adjustable collar. Some will have an attached or removable hood.
The primary difference in these jackets is the packed size and overall ruggedness. Some fabrics will allow for a lightweight or even "ultra-light" jacket that will fit into a jersey pocket. The heavier fabrics that will hold up to daily commuting and long distance touring will need to go into a rack trunk or pannier once they are stripped off.
Bicycle Garage Indy’s light-weight offerings include the Showers Pass Club Pro ($109.99) and Double Century ($124.99). Both are designed for full weather protection that will fit in a jersey pocket. Another packable jacket is the Gore Bike Wear Path Jacket ($199.99). Along with functioning as rain gear, these jackets are also serve well as spring and fall shells in cool weather.
I will cover the commuter and touring oriented rain gear, and my first 600 miles with a Showers Pass Elite 2.0, in part 3 of this series.
Showers Pass, Gore Bike Wear and Louis Garneau are just a few of the brands of bicycle clothing you will find at either Bicycle Garage Indy location, North (Indianapolis, in the Clearwater area on 82nd St.) and South (just west of I-65 on County Line Rd, Greenwood).