It’s time to renew bike clothes’ waterproofness

In 2009, I bought a Platzangst Hardride jacket for bike riding in wet and cold conditions. While obviously being somewhat of a fashion item, it was said to offer a 5000mm water column while still offering an mvp value (that’s “breathability in grams of water per square metre in 24 hours”) of also 5000. In I’d say the first year of using it, the jacket worked great. Rain just rolled off and the climate inside the jacket was okay when opening the zippers on the sides.

I got used to that and didn’t pay much attention to riding in wet conditions since the jacket kept the worst away from me. Some day in 2010 though (after being conventionally washed for a couple of times), after like only a half an hour in the rain, I noticed the rain got through and I got really cold. Apparently, I didn’t pay much attention to fixing that afterwards. In 2011, my daughter was born, so I didn’t ride that much and avoided the rain mostly. A couple of weekends ago though, I rode in the rain again and the jacket’s performance was so bad, I almost stopped riding before even getting to the first trail.

So I decided to do something about that, but before I tell you how and what, let’s see how bad the performance of the jacket really is …

As you can see, after having moved the water around, it almost entirely soaked into the jacket and hardly anything rolled off.

The next video shows a different, newer, almost unworn trailtech jacket’s water-proof performance.

In this case, the water rolls off, leaving only very little water behind. Not nothing, but hardly anything. The old jacket used to do that just as well.

The third video I made was from a pair of oryx pants. They are not said to be water-proof, just water-repellent, but also used to do a way better job than they do today. They were bought in 2010.

Most water is soaked up here, too.

The last video before getting to the washer shows a 5 year old, often worn, often washed, Gorebikewear Active Shell Pants:

There’s no water soaking whatsoever – and these pants have seen a LOT of riding and no special treatment of any kind. Well, they sure are expensive, but seeing this simple test is rather impressive to me …

So let’s do something about it … I wrote an email to the producer of the jacket and asked them what to do about it and they told me to get a set of Nikwax Tech Wash and TX.Direct Wash-In and use it with the jacket. So I ordered a set.

Nikwax says to first wash the clothes with the Tech-Wash thing in a washing machine fully cleaned of leftover detergent from previous use. So the first thing to do was to clean the detergent container of my washer… tadaaaa:

The next step is to wash the clothes in an applicable program with the Tech Wash product. I’ll keep you updated on how this turned out …

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