HOT Weather and ATGATT

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by perryg114, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. awonderfulworld

    awonderfulworld Lone Rider

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    I just rode to/from the BMWMOA meet in Bloomsburg PA last weekend - 1400kms - in a 'stich onesie. Rode with the stich, boots, full face helmet behind an aeroflow on my GS and... I didn't mind it at all. It was 38c plus humidity when I was riding.

    It sucked when I stopped, but moving I was perfectly fine. I actually found it more comfortable than my old Olympia AST/Ranger combo. Keep the zips open and it's comfortable.

    Did I sweat? Yes. But constant hydration from a water bladder in the tank bag solved the lost fluids. You take in a lot of water/gatorade (I alternated). I refill the 2L bladder at every gas stop. Shorts and a wicking tshirt are key as well to keep your temp in check.
    #61
  2. Hypochondrius

    Hypochondrius pretentious hipster

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    A Bedouin nomad in the middle of the desert:

    [​IMG]
    #62
  3. njd

    njd Long timer

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    If it's too hot for you to ride in all mesh gear then it's just too hot for you to be riding.

    The only time I feel hotter when wearing my mesh jacket and pants is when I'm not moving. Otherwise I'm fine.
    #63
  4. ADVWannabee

    ADVWannabee Been here awhile

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    This thread is very timely for me. I never ride without a jacket, boots, gloves and FF helmet. I almost never ride without all of that and mesh pants. But this past weekend I went to the vintage bike races at mid-Ohio and it was in the mid-90's temp wise and probably that humidity wise. It was miserable. I left the pants at camp when my friends and I headed out for a ride in the country. I didn't go 2 miles before I ditched the jacket as well. It felt great riding in jeans and a t-shirt. :D Considering Ohio has not helmet law and it seems most bikers there do without, I still felt over dressed.

    I am 99% ATGATT, but sometimes it is either stay home or ride with less gear. I don't like doing it, but in this case I had to. For riding from mid-Ohio back down to Marietta the day before going home, I wet my t-shirt down under my jacket and that worked pretty well.
    #64
  5. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    Last year in the middle of August, it was 95 and humid. I wore my Olympia mesh pants and jacket, plus my BMW All-around boots, full face helmet and BMW Summer gloves. On my ride home from work, while in a sharp corner at 60 mph, a kid pulled out in front of me, sending me tumbling off the road and into the woods. The bike landed straight across my back.

    Every piece of my armor took a hit. Shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, foot, hand and head all has scuff marks where the road, the gravel shoulder and the woods had scraped against me. I didn't "walk" away but I didn't have a single broken bone nor a single scratch on my body. The only blood was from the ambulance crew that had a hard time starting an IV. The only real injury was 3 compression fractures in my spine, for which I spent 3 days in the hospital.

    Without all the gear, I would have had a snapped spine. I likely would have broken my shoulder and hip and probably my knee. At the very least, I would have been rashed all over my left side. My face would be sausage.

    Gear isn't comfortable. Its comforting. Mesh gear in the summer is a requirement for me. I'm looking into phase change vests to help keep me cool, but leaving gear off is not an option.
    #65
  6. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

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    Wow, that's pretty impressive. The sort of thing that might have gotten you some freebies if you documented it up real nice with pictures.

    I can't imagine many back protectors saving you from a bike landing on your back - just wow.
    #66
  7. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    Pics? Documentation you say? All here: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=609922&highlight=back

    My wife hates the pic of me laying next to the bike. She wishes I would just delete that one. I kind of like it. It reminds me of why I am ATGATT. The guy that took the pic was the driver and he lifted the bike off my back.

    Maybe I'll send a link to Olympia. I sure wouldn't mind a new set of pants.
    #67
  8. Spam16v

    Spam16v Squid Rocket

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    vented & armored jacket, Klim Dakar pants, Tech 2 mid boots, MX gloves, Nolan Modular helmet.
    #68
  9. DougZ73

    DougZ73 Fading off.........

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    FWIW..I'll be doing a street ride to the Catskills(NY) here in the near future. I own Tecknic over pants, Fieldsheer textile pants( not sure which model) and Thor Ride pants for dual sporting. Although this is street ride, I'll be wearing the Thor Ride pants. They are waterproof, yet have venting*, and are made of the same fabrics most street textile pants are. Added bonus, they have actual pockets.

    * I have never opened the vents for dirt riding, since we are always going through puddles and what not. I am optimistic they will do a great job keeping my legs cool while riding.

    I'll be wearing my Alpine Stars Free Ride padded shorts as well as Thor shin/knee guards underneath them....just like I do when dirt/dual sport riding.
    #69
  10. TallRob

    TallRob Long timer

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  11. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Mesh doesn't work for me, and I'm surprised it does for so many folks. I've never been so hot than the time I rode to Atlanta in a full mesh Motoport getup. Miserable was just the beginning. I could feel every bit of the heat from the bike and asphalt. Add to that the feeling of riding through a blow dryer and I guess mesh just doesn't work for me. I couldn't keep my camelbak full enough.

    I decided to give mesh pants another try a month or so ago and left on a 4 day 2000 miler in mid 90's heat. I was miserable. Mesh? Never again for me.
    #71
  12. der_saeufer

    der_saeufer ?איפה בירה

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    So much this. I live in Sacramento. When I moved here from Seattle in July 2008, I thought I was going to die of heatstroke on my 15-minute commute in a JR Atomic (solid but vented and light) jacket, Carhartt pants, hiking boots and FF helmet. I think it was 95º that day, which is 2º above normal.

    I immediately bought a mesh jacket. After living here 3 years, I'm used to the heat. I use the mesh jacket for offroad riding where I'm not moving much, but I really only commute in it when it's REALLY hot, and I never wear it for long rides anymore.

    But, I'm that guy that mows the lawn in jeans at 5pm on a 105º day, and the last time my A/C was on was over two years ago when people were visiting from cooler places. The human body is surprisingly adaptable, and you get used to the heat relatively quickly if you're not constantly running from A/C to A/C.

    You're right on the money.... here comes the science :deal

    The reason sweating works to cool the body is not simply because sweat is warm but because evaporating water uses a large amount of heat to change phase. If this weren't the case, people would die of heatstroke just standing around any time the temperature got much over 100º.

    To raise one gram of liquid water from 0ºC to 100ºC takes 100 calories (small c, the heat unit, i.e. 1cal=4.18J). To evaporate that same gram of water, turning it from 100ºC liquid water into 100ºC water vapor takes 539cal, and you haven't changed the temperature a bit.

    If that water is touching your skin when it becomes water vapor, it absorbs a fair amount of that heat from the skin, helping your body stay cool. If liquid water/sweat gets blown off your body as a mist, it absorbs all the energy for the phase change from the atmosphere and does essentially nothing to cool your body.

    When you wear a "rapid wicking" t-shirt on a very hot day (say 105ºF/40ºC) while riding, especially in a dry climate, your sweat gets wicked and then blown off your skin to evaporate on the shirt or in the breeze. Same goes for that t-shirt under a mesh jacket as the wind flows freely through. Put a vented, solid jacket on with a heavier but tightly-fitting cotton t-shirt (extra points for long sleeves) and you get soaked in sweat, but all that water is evaporating while touching your skin, and it cools your body far more than it would just getting blown away.

    If all that sweat is blowing away without cooling your body, the body's natural reaction is to sweat more. All that extra sweat still blows away and now you're really farked: you can't keep your temperature down and you're blasting precious water into the atmosphere.

    That's why riding on a really hot day in just a t-shirt feels awesome as your clothes dry out after sitting at a stoplight, but at 70mph on the slab (once your clothes are dry) it feels like you're a loaf of bread in an oven and you get thirsty in no time flat.

    As the billboards here say, "Agua, sombra, descanso. Sin ellos no se puede trabajar." (Water, shade, rest. Without them you can't work).
    #72
  13. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    I have heard more than one long distance rider make the same comments about mesh. It seems mesh makes for a lot more evaporation which means a lot faster dehydration. Most LD riders seem to prefer vented gear, rather than mesh as it keeps out radiant heat and helps your body retain moisture better.

    Shorter distance riders, like commuters, have very different needs. Dehydration isn't so much of a problem with a 1 hour commute. Drink up before you go and when you get home and you're GTG. Radiant heat isn't so big a deal on the right bike, with the right fairing either. Mesh is the only way I can tolerate my commute when the temps get into the upper 80's and in the mid-70's, its very pleasant. I don't ride like you do though and I think that's the main difference.
    #73
  14. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Good points. It appears we're both "correct". Still, I find even locally that mesh rocks for around 10 miles, then it's the blow dryer thing all over again. As always YMMV, or to each his own:lol3
    #74
  15. Sasquatch2112

    Sasquatch2112 scatology expert

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    Year round I wear a full R2P suit. I carry a bicycle water bottle in my tank bag. When I stop, or ever hour or so I will stop. Right before I start up again I will pour water into the open vents of the jacket and pants the roll on. Make sure you are too close to the person in front of you, or you will have mud. The evaporative cooling makes it cool for the first 30 minutes and then it is bearable for the next 30.

    My 2c.
    #75
  16. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    Awesome post. I just quoted this in another thread here. I hope you don't mind. I think others can benefit from reading this.
    #76
  17. der_saeufer

    der_saeufer ?איפה בירה

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    Not a problem, and thanks!

    After re-reading my post today I do feel compelled to point out that mesh is NOT always a bad thing. If you're riding in town or doing some lower-speed riding (e.g. slow forest roads), that added airflow helps your sweat evaporate, especially where it's humid. When you're riding the slab across Arizona, though, too much of a good thing can literally kill you from heatstroke and dehydration. Mesh also helps evaporative cooling vests work better--you're trying to evaporate a hell of a lot more water with one of those than a sweaty t-shirt.

    As twigg pointed out, it is completely possible to ride across Death Valley at 4pm in August without dying, but you'd better have appropriate gear (a lightweight, light-colored vented jacket, cotton t-shirt, etc.) and a metric assload of water in addition to being acclimated to heat; coming from Juneau to Death Valley in August and trying to do anything outside in the heat of the day is a recipe for disaster. I still wouldn't do it. 124º is good weather to sit in air conditioning and drink beer.

    Personally, I commute (15 mins) in mesh when it's really hot, and I'll deal with the blast furnace on the way to the National Forest, because 25mph on FS roads doesn't keep me cool in the solid jacket. If I'm riding any length on the road, though, I'll put on the vented jacket and arrive sweaty.
    #77
  18. GSDiva

    GSDiva Adventurer

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    I had to weigh in on this. I haven't taken a long trip in the heat for awhile, but last Friday I rode to meet some friends and it was in the high 90's. Normally I ride in Olympia gear. The pants are mesh and the jacket is Hi-viz yellow with vents in the front, back and inner arms. I always wear my Sidi touring boots because they just feel right. I haven't found a pair of summer weight gloves that work for me, so there is a problem there. I also always wear a full face helmet. So, last Friday, right before I left, I completely soaked my cotton long-sleeved shirt and the bicycling shorts that I wear under my mesh pants before I put the pants and jacket on. I was nice and COOL, but I was thirsty. I needed a camelbak. I did make the mistake of having all my vents open. The shirt dries out faster that way. I made a stop before I met my friends, so I soaked my shirt again in the bathroom of Whole Foods. That time I closed up all of the vents so my shirt didn't dry out as fast. Evaporative cooling works for me!
    #78
  19. Okie Preacher

    Okie Preacher Been here awhile

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    Yesterday afternoon as I made a run across OKC on the Turner Turnpike the thermometer on the GS hit 116. (It was actually about 107 outside but the bike gauge always registers a little high.) So the blast-furnace effect was coming through my Motoport Air-Mesh on high. I have found that the only way to stay comfortable is to stay covered up underneath. I wear a long sleeve turtleneck Nike Dri-fit T-shirt and full legs to match on days like yesterday.

    The forecast for this weekend is much the same and I have a 600 mile run to Colorado on tap. For a longer run in this extreme heat I carry two of the T-shirts with one soaking in water in a small ice-chest in the right pannier. I swap shirts once an hour and the evaporation cools like a charm. Works for me. YMMV.

    p.s. October can't get here quick enough. This summer has been brutal on the Plains.
    #79
  20. cliffy109

    cliffy109 Long timer

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    I have been thinking a lot about this and I'm the kind of person who is open to realizing he has been wrong. However, in reading der_saeufer's description, it finally stuck me that I'm not sure I buy one critical part of the "mesh is bad in very hot weather" argument. It presumes that sweat is going to leave your skin before evaproating. I can see this with wicking under garments but I don't think this happens otherwise. Mesh gear doesn't allow wind to blow droplets of sweat off your skin. It just appears to allow it to evaporate faster which would mean cooler. The fact is, I'm not sure the body can replace that sweat quickly enough in some circumstances but I don't see it as a problem otherwise.

    I'm ready to learn more though.
    #80