Taking care of waterproof cycle clothing

Taking care of waterproof cycle clothing

Monday 22nd August 2016

Living in the UK and being a cyclist, waterproof clothing is an essential. Even in the summer! But as we head into winter, our waterproof gear is even more important than usual, and to make sure it stays waterproof and in good condition, we need to care for it properly.

Bike Pro Racing stock the Altura range of waterproof clothing. We trust its reliability and quality, and cared for well, will last you a good amount of time.

Not caring for the clothing well will cause the performance of the waterproof clothing to fall away.

Below is some advice and tips from Bike Pro Racing to keep you waterproofs in great condition.

The worst enemy of your waterproof cycle clothing is using you washing machine with standard detergents. These detergents strip off waterproof coatings and fabric conditioners will clog the pores and fibres that help fabric wick and breathe. Always read washing instructions.

  • First of all - follow the instructions displayed on the garment's label. They aren't there for fun and doing so will mean you get the best out of your waterproofs
  • As a general rule DO NOT use fabric softeners and DO NOT tumble dry. If using a washing machine you should only wash at 30 degrees C and use Non Biologic detergent.
  • If you are using biological washing powders in your washing machine it is advisable to rinse the machine before washing waterproof clothing.
  • Once the spin cycle on your machine has finished allow the garment to drip dry.
  • If you need to get an oil stain out of a waterproof we would recommend using a specialist product
  • Waterproof cycle clothing must be washed regularly in line with the specific washing instructions to ensure the technical fabrics used by manufacturers like Altura continue to function at a high level.
  • The frequency of washing varies greatly dependant on type of use, conditions and personal preference. Don't be afraid to wash technical clothing, provided washing instructions are followed washing will enhance performance. As a guide:
    • Commuter on a daily basis = wash it weekly
    • Occasional user = wash monthly
    • Heavy use = wash after each use (High impact use)
  • Waterproof jackets should be washed regularly using a specialist product
  • A technical proofer should be used intermittently to enhance the Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating and prevent wetting out.

More on DWR

Most waterproof fabrics feature an external treatment known as a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) which beads the water on the outside of fabric, letting it run off. Fabrics lose the DWR over time meaning the water soaks in to the outer layer of the fabric. This is called "wetting out". Wetting out reduces breathability, comfort and performance with fabrics feeling wet and cold to the touch. When this occurs garments should be treated with a proofer. This treatment reapplies the DWR ensuring the fabric functions as new.