Yes, it sounds obvious, but as cyclists we really do need the very best of materials for our clothing. If you’re out riding in the English Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales or here in the hills that surround Nice in France, the rain always seems to fall heavier than elsewhere. That’s why you have to ensure that the gear that you wear is the very best. If you’re warm and dry on the bike, then it doesn’t matter that it’s raining, you’ll still ride well and hopefully enjoy the challenge!
We use 3 layer technical fabrics on our waterproof jackets here at G4. We select the very best materials and then our design team weave their magic, making sure that the ergonomic cut fits you perfectly, allowing you freedom of movement, including access to the pockets on your jersey, with a rear opening that clips shut when not required. We want to give you the most comfortable ride possible. We also chose a specific technical membrane, rather than Gore Tex, which is the most frequently used and most familiar fabric. Let us explain to you why we chose a technical membrane other than Gore Tex.
Gore Tex is of course very waterproof, but as cyclists, we also produce liquid ourselves when we work hard – sweat, and lots of it the harder we work. The main disadvantage of Gore Tex is, that it is only functionally when the osmotic pressure between the membrane and fabric is high enough, what means that the difference of the temperature must be high enough. In effect, Gore Tex membrane on a common piece of clothing will stop being breathable when the temperature of the air around you is above 15-18°C. As you are cycling hard, the sweat will condense on the inner side of your clothing and you will get wet on the inside. Here in the Cote D’Azur it’s often warmer than 15 degrees, as our UK lead, Robert found out recently when he visited from a wintry North Yorkshire in early March… but it still rains!
Like you, here at G4 this is unacceptable in our clothing range; remember, we believe in performance and elegance, so we searched around for the very best waterproof membrane, choosing one that both breathes well and repels the rain. It had to function by repelling water, like GoreTex, but give far better wicking and breathability. Finally, we looked at the various layer options, to see which of these was the best for us.
At a simple level, 2 layer material is: 1 layer of fabric bonded to a waterproof membrane. The quality of both the fabric and the membrane will determine both the cost and how it performs in use. It can be heavy in use and not very flexible. Not well suited to staying comfortable when cycling.
Next in line is 2.5 layer: it’s basically the same as 2 layer, but there is no need for a separate lining. It’s extra durability comes from spraying a thin protective film sprayed onto the membrane on the inside of the finished item of clothing. The disadvantage here is that whilst it can be very light, it isn’t as durable as 3 layer material. We want to ensure that our products last as long you want to ride, so we looked at the 3 layer technical options.
Our G4 technical 3 layer material is laminated and offers the very best durability for the lowest bulk, which means that we can produce breathable jackets that are ultralight and compressible, easy to stow away when not in use, and which perform superbly when the rain comes along. Laminated 3 layer products are the very best for breathability, helping to wick away your own moisture. The 3 layer technical fabrics have a more durable scrim layer, bonded to the membrane layer, producing the most durable and protective jackets available… G4 performance level. Thankfully Robert and Geoffroy benefitted from wearing our light weight cycling rain jacket for the Paris Nice Challenge in March!
Next time you’re are looking at cycling jackets, think about the layers of technical fabrics used, and remember that our ultralight rain cycling jacket is more than just a rain jacket; its thermal insulating fabric cuts out the wind, providing protection from the cold. The jacket’s materials provide both ventilation and improved heat regulation for optimal breathability, because we’ve already done the research for you, meaning that you get performance and elegance – you get G4.