With the arrival of spring, many of us are getting back on our bikes for the commute to work, the ride to school or the quick jaunt for errands. As you get into gear, now is the time to prep your favorite cycling outerwear for the occasional rain shower.
Cycling-specific outerwear faces some stiffer challenges than other performance outerwear: It can get dirtier from abrasive road grit, and breathability and built-in reflective elements can be bigger factors. Nikwax products are safe and effective with all of these variables. For products with a built-in chamois, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions for cleaning.
Here are a couple of telltale signs that your outerwear needs washing:
1. Wetting out: When water absorbs into the surface of the fabric it will prevent the breathable layer from working. This “wetting out” is a sign that the durable water repellent (DWR) surface treatment has been compromised. A good cleaning—and possibly reproofing (see below)—can improve your experience.
2. Visible dirt and stains: Urban cycling can be gritty and messy. As a good rule of thumb, one leading cycling gear maker recommends that daily commuters wash their jackets about once a month.
Stay drier and more comfortable through these easy steps:
1. Wash: To start, clean any residual detergent from your washing machine soap dispenser. Read garment care instructions and the Nikwax Tech Wash label for dosage. Close zippers and any hook-and-loop tabs. Wash and rinse thoroughly.
2. Proof: If after a wash cycle your jacket is still wetting out, you may need to reproof the garment to restore water repellency. To do this, start a new washing machine cycle with Nikwax TX.Direct 2.0 Wash-In treatment. Read the Nikwax label for dosage. Rinse thoroughly.
3. Dry: Review the manufacturer’s instructions for care of your garment. Nikwax does not need heat to activate, so using a dryer is optional.
4. Get back on the road.
Like lubing your chain or maintaining tire pressure, a little attention to your cycling outerwear can contribute to greater happiness in the saddle. Now get on your bikes and ride!