Sunday, February 5, 2012

Waterproofing the bike cover, trailer tires, and more riding gear

Ed here,

A few weeks ago, I rode my Wing to work like a I do every morning.  I knew rain was in the forecast, but it did not matter.  When I got to work, I put my full bike cover on the Wing to protect it from the rain.  It rained all day.  When I came out to go home, I noticed my seat was wet.  My cover has always seeped a little when the rain is heavy because the nylon get saturated.  This made me think a little, you can bet we are going to get rained on during our ride so I started thinking about a way to improve the water beading ability of our cover to repel rain better.  I want to make sure the bike is protected as much as possible from the rain when it is parked at campsites.

Many years ago, I had a pair of hiking boots that I sprayed down with a material that caused the water to bead and roll off the boots.  I thought to myself that this could probably work great for the bike cover.  So I went looking in the garage for this can (it has been sitting in my garage for about 19 years).  I found it and decided to spray down my cover.  Water now beads up and rolls right off the cover.

I searched and searched on the internet and could not find this stuff.  This can is about 19 years old but is still great stuff.  Based on my internet search, there are many similar products out there.
I hung the bike cover from a clothes line in the garage.
I just sprayed it down and used all that was left in the can.  I let it dry for about an hour and gave it a test.  The water now beads right off the cover.
We are going to replace all tires (bike and trailer) before we leave on this trip.  Yesterday, I started looking for tires for our trailer.  The trailer currently has four bold pattern rims with 4.80-8 tires.  I was considering upgrading the wheels to accommodate 12 inch wheels rather than 8 inch wheels.  Upgrading to a 12 inch wheel would help reduce bouncing.  Unfortunately, upgrading to 12's is not an option as they would not fit into the wheel wells of the trailer.  So my task for this week is to find tires for the trailer.  I may wind up buying rims and tires because it is not that much more to buy the tires on a new rim and then I would not have to deal with the hastle of mounting the new tires.  Stay tuned.

Earlier this week, Devon and I purchased riding pants.  We have been looking for pants that are well vented, waterproof, and have a thermal liner, that way we can wear them in all conditions.  We were able to find a pair that fit the bill, the Tourmaster Venture Air Pants

The nice thing about these pants is that they are available in "short" sizes.  Devon and I are short, we both have 30 inch inseams.  The "short" pants are a perfect length.  One thing we did find with these pants are that they run a little on the small size.  I wear either a 36 or 38 inch waist depending on the pants, so I ordered the XL which is supposed to be a 36-38 inch waist.  They actually fit more like a 34-36 in waist, but I am trying to drop a few more pounds before our trip so hopefully they will be a little more comfortable.  Devon's ran about a size too small also, we have ordered an exchange for hers to the next size. 

These pants should provide a ton of flexibility for the various temperature ranges we will encounter.  With the thermal liner in, they are quite warm.  With the thermal liner out, they are a mesh pant.  If it rains, the waterproof liner can be used with the thermal liner in or out so these pants will work perfectly for all riding conditions we may encounter.  Here are some of the feature of these pants.

The Tourmaster Venture Air Pant.  The pants have two zippered pockets, hip pads, and adjustable knee pads.  The adjustable knee pads are wonderful, I found with many other pants that I was wearing shin guards rather than knee pads.
The legs are zippered and a Velcro flap covers the zipper.  Notice the shell of the pants is mesh.
Here is the waterproof membrane.  
The thermal liner.
These pants do run a little on the small side.
The waist band has adjustable straps.  When I (Ed) wear my pants, I have them on the furthest out setting.
I also wanted to get a mesh riding jacket for Devon.  This is because we are having to plan for temperatures from the low 30's to the high 90's.  I have been looking for quite some time and recently found a pair of matching mesh coats with thermal liners being sold by a member of a motorcycle forum I frequent.  The price was very reasonable for both, so I reached out to the member and decided to purchase the jackets.  I already have a mesh coat, but now Devon and I will match.  The jackets are the OSI Cool'R series jackets.  These jackets have a removable full sleeve waterproof thermal liner, so we are considering using just these coats for the trip rather than bringing our winter riding coats and mesh coats.  I figure using these in conjunction with the heated gear that we would be OK.  This would give us more flexibility with less bulk, but we will need to test it to make sure they are plenty warm.  These jackets run on the large side.  Here are some of the features.

The coats were in excellent shape.  The fellow I purchased them from said they were worn about 5 times.  They recently moved to Florida and sold their Goldwing so they no longer needed the jackets.  The jackets have pads for the elbows, shoulders, spine, and kidneys.
The waist is adjustable with Velcro straps.  The jackets will breathe nicely with the thermal liner out due to the mesh shell.
The thermal/waterproof liner.
There is a nice pocket along the left zipper.
The Kidney pad is zippered to allow for more room if needed when sitting.
These coats run on the very  large side.  I would say they wear like an XXL rather than an XL.
Well, only 117 days and counting.  The trip is really coming together.  We have been hearing from many other riders headed the same direction we are going around the same time, we hope to meet them on the road.

Talk to you next week,

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