A wise clothing salesman once said that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. There’s a lot of truth in that nowadays with so many new technologies available to us all.
One of the advantages of being part of a clothing company with Sean Kelly is getting to test out new clothing as it comes to market, and sometimes beforehand.
Last December a nice big box arrived full of goodies. The one most sought after was the Ultimate Rain Jersey. Given the success of the Castelli Gabba, I really wanted to try out the ONDA alternative and see if it lived up to the hype.
My first morning out it was 4 degrees above zero and raining pretty heavily. I felt almost naked as I rolled down to the main road to meet Anthony, with just the Rain Jersey on and a long sleeve ONDA Polartec base layer beneath.
Feeling the cold rain against my face I awaited the chill to permeate my body. For over four hours I cycled away with the group almost oblivious to the inclement weather. Much of this was due to the effectiveness of the Rain Jersey but part was also down to the alergic reaction most of the group have to any Garmin reading under 32kph.
Arriving home as I disrobed I carefully checked to see if any rain had permeated the jersey. It had, but I never felt cold or wet, so overall, on it’s initial outing the ONDA Ultimate rain jersey had done its job. Being able to wash it at 40 degrees also helped to rinse out all the dirt and grime so it was good as new again the following day.
Throughout the spring I continued to wear it on and off and it always kept me warm and pretty much dry in the worst of conditions. Then came the Ultimate test for the Ultimate Rain Jersey.
On May 30th having cycled up and down Tickincor and Powers the Pot for over 12 hours the heavens opened as a storm blew in. I was freezing cold and ‘man overboard’ wet, and when I stopped to change I was unable to remove my now saturated clothing without a lot of assistance. I was in trouble and needed something that really would work in those conditions. My body was gone beyond the point of being able to keep itself warm. This really would be the test of the motto about no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing.
The temperature was hovering around 8 degrees as darkness descended. Time after time I climbed the 6k climb without having to open a zip to cool down. Time after time I also descended the 6k in the cold rain without ever feeling cold or the need to put on a rain cape. Overall this was as thorough a test as any garment of this type could be put through and overall it passed with flying colours.
The jersey comes with detachable sleeves, which I have rarely removed but it’s nice to have the option on warmer wet days.
It really does offer value for money for a garment of this type and with the option to have it fully customised in your club or team colours in its entirety it also gives a nice alternative for club spins in bad weather.
The An Post CRC Team were one of the first to use the Ultimate Rain Jersey during their 2014 spring campaign in Belgium and helped to develop it into the garment that it is today.
Another piece of clothing that I wear consistently in wet weather is the ONDA High Tech Algarve Rain resistant thermal Bib Leggings. These have a Cytech Carbon Chamois and are incredibly comfortable and most importantly warm.
The overshoes that I most wear are the ONDA Polartec Waterproof overshoes. They are really tight to put on, as they have no zip or velcro, but once in place work really well. I have even sprayed them with a hose after returning from a spin without any water getting through. This is not to say that your feet stay 100% dry as there will always be a small amount of water that will make its way through the cleat and heel openings of any overshoe. I find them warm enough to wear all winter long but some may need a slightly heavier overshoe for when temperatures drop below zero.
These items are available from the growing number of ONDA dealers throughout Ireland and also available online from www.seankellycycling.com
For anyone who may be interested in getting the Ultimate Rain Jersey fully customised for their team or club or for any other custom bikewear enquires I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a taste of some of the testing conditions that I have put all of these items through.