Best clothing for commuting in the tropics?

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Best clothing for commuting in the tropics?

Postby norman99 » Sun Nov 01, 2009 3:31 pm

G'day,I started commuting to work about 4 months ago, and have missed the few showers in that time, but I live in Cairns, so they're about to get a hell of a lot heavier and more frequent! I was just after any advise on the best type of jacket to get for use during the wet season. Whilst my commute is only about 15 min, it can still get cool if you get completely soaked (i.e. no jacket/protection at all). The real problem is as soon as it stops, it's just really humid and muggy so I'm looking for something light enough that I can pack up into my bag if needed, whilst still providing a reasonable amount of water/wind protection.

Does anything exist that would be suited to this climate, or will I just have to compromise between being warmer when it rains, and not ridiculously hot when it stops?

Thanks in advance, Michael
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by BNA » Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:00 pm


Re: Best clothing for commuting in the tropics?

Postby Supe » Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:00 pm

I live in Darwin and have ridden through the Wet season. I don't bother with trying to keep dry. I just accept I am going to get wet. I'm ghetto. :mrgreen: As long as I have a shower and clean clothes to look forward to, I'm good. My concern is that my bag containing my work clothes remains dry. Not directly relevant to your request on technical clothing... but I really think you'll find it difficult to stay dry, no matter what. Riding through puddles, rain that's pelting down, cars splashing you; it's onslaught of the wet matter. And given the commute is so short, a bit of coolness is endurable and might be seen as a relief from the humidity.
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Re: Best clothing for commuting in the tropics?

Postby beauyboy » Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:28 am

I know brissy is nothing compared with Cairns but here is what I do.

First thing is to fit your bike with Mudguards. The majority of moisture you will get on yourself during rain (excluding a storm) will be flicked up from your tyres so mudguards are amazing for reducing that.

Second is that if you believe your bare chest will not scare small children and women, ride without a shirt.

thats what I do.

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Re: Best clothing for commuting in the tropics?

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:46 pm

I'd expect that lycra would be best for those type of conditions. Speedos, to be specific. :lol:
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Re: Best clothing for commuting in the tropics?

Postby not4resale » Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:53 am

beauyboy wrote:Second is that if you believe your bare chest will not scare small children and women, ride without a shirt.

I was thinking the same thing! :mrgreen:

I'll be doing the shirtless thing this summer on my rides to the beach. Lycra tan is not a hot tan! :D
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Re: Best clothing for commuting in the tropics?

Postby Davyd » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:57 pm

I have been taking an interst in cycle clothing and while I live down south I think the learnings transfer

Splashguards yes - and some are very cheap and take seconds to put on take off
And Clothing

There is the standard variants of Gillet/vests - my standard one is mildly water resistant - but absolutely cust the wind chill (which you indicated is your issue), and comes off in seconds and stows in a pocket. that and a wither lycra shirt keep me going through winter in Melbourne. I may end up damp or even soggy in very heavy rain - but not really uncomoftable

Alternatively there are rain jackets - there is a reall range from the $30 splashproof end to the cats and dog style at over $200.

It sound to me like a $30-70 jacket would suit your need - diverting some /most water and stopping the chilling effect afterwards, and still light enough to pack away and commute with without weighing you down.

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Re: Best clothing for commuting in the tropics?

Postby a » Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:10 pm

Meh. With any moderate to intense excersise in the rain, you get to choose between getting wet from rain or getting wet from sweat. Waterproof breathable fabrics are great and all, but nothing lets out all the sweat you generate with any kind of moderate excersise.

Your only out for 15 mins - and its Cairns FFS - just get wet - your not going to get cold.

In Sydney in the winter in the wet - I concentrate on staying warm and stopping the wind. getting wet while riding or running is a given.
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Re: Best clothing for commuting in the tropics?

Postby Redbull » Mon Nov 09, 2009 6:57 pm

sans vetements :twisted:
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Re: Best clothing for commuting in the tropics?

Postby rustguard » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:24 am

could a poncho be any good?
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Re: Best clothing for commuting in the tropics?

Postby Pax » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:40 pm

As Donald says Brisbane doesn't qualify as tropical but I find it warm enought that I only put on a jacket in the rain if it is winter (to cut the wind not to actually stay dry).

Certainly in summer it is pretty hopeless trying to stay dry (wet from sweat if not wet from rain!!) and what is the point really...its often a relief to get wet in the heat of summer. Quite like it actually.
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Re: Best clothing for commuting in the tropics?

Postby hartleymartin » Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:12 am

I don't own one, but I imagine that a combination of full-length mudguards and a cycling cape would be most suitable in your situation
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Re: Best clothing for commuting in the tropics?

Postby Fred Nurk » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:19 pm

As a fellow Cairns commuter (and a former resident of Darwin) I fully understand the issues involved, though I don't tend to get so cold once I'm moving. I own a Goretex jacket for these sorts of things, but really, I've yet to find an occurence where I'm better off wearing it rather than just getting wet. I usually find I sweat so much that its just as wet wearing the jacket as not, and I bought the lightest Goretex jacket I could find.

That said, I agree with the other posters about mudguards, though thats something that I've not yet done. As Supe says too, whats important is whether your backpack or other means of carrying clothes to work makes it through dry. Getting soaked on the commute in is one thing, having to spend the day in damp clothes is another entirely.
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