if you have the right protection options, training or serious fitness riding in legitimate rain is not only manageable and tolerable, but can almost be enjoyable. At the very least you get a certain amount of pleasure and satisfaction from overcoming the elements and meeting your goal. Specialized has tapped into some great fabric options for their cycling clothing, and when it comes to riding in the rain, Polartec's Neoshell® offers the latest technology in waterproofing, excellent moisture transfer- even in the rain, and features impressive and supple 4-way stretch for a sleek and comfortable Form Fit that allows the rider to perform at a high level. Remember this is the Race-Series Rain Jacket, so the expected riding position is low, and effort level is high.
The pliant and soft Neoshell is considered to be fully waterproof, and has a full stretch membrane within it's full range of motion- which is rare for a waterproof piece and difficult to execute. It doesn't sacrifice breathability when stretched. Like all such layered textiles, Neoshell is a system, so the movement and stretch of the piece actually heldp with active moisture transfer, while the one-way membrane is continually reacting to the climate inside, passively releasing heat and moisture. The exterior-face blocks water but actually has micropores that allow air in, which assists the transfer process. Specialized tapes all of the seams for complete waterproof construction, and adds a watertight YKK AquaGuard® zipper to prevent unwanted water seepage, even during high-speed riding in the rain. Every detail and challenge in making this jacket has been thought through and solved with smart design, fabric technology and superior construction techniques.
The cut and finishes of the Race-Series Rain Jacket are cycling-specific. The rear is cut longer for coverage, the front is short to prevent bunching and discomfort. The sleeves are long with a tapered cuff and the collar is cut for a balance of coverage and comfort. As the inner surface is soft, the jacket will glide over a jersey or thin thermal layer without catching or feeling restrictive, and even works next-to-skin. Uniquely effective reflective features provide 360 degree visibility all day long.
Polartec's Neoshell and Specialized's knowledge and skill have melded to created a lightweight, perfect rain shell that will not only change the way you feel about riding in the rain, but how you think about the progression and capabilities of technical fabrics, leading you to wonder, what's next?