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A study in waterproof fabrics for high performance cycling jackets —
As cyclists we know that one of the harshest conditions that you can face is a cold and wet ride. The wind chill increases as moisture hits your body, meaning that you really need the right apparel in order to embrace this weather. This is why we designed our SturmPrinz: a race-specific, high performance hard shell that acts as a barrier against the elements whilst locking in the heat that you produce to keep you warm. But, as we all know, there are days when the weather is a bit warmer and you hanker after a more pared-down and packable rainproof jacket with the same level of protection. Until now, a jacket fitting that bill hasn’t existed. Our answer to that is the Equipe RS Rain Jacket, or the Schlosshund.
It's a jacket that we are majorly excited about, not only because of its elevated performance but also because of the technology packed into its compact size, and the rigorous testing it has undergone. In short, this jacket has not been easy to develop. Its tangent followed our standard R&D process, born from the idea of what we want to achieve then looked at on a multitude of planes: on a fabric level to scope out suitable materials, before moving onto the cut, features, packability, race-worthiness, and refinements.
Our sturmPrinz remains the go-to jacket for winter and the harshest conditions faced on a ride, so while we were happy to borrow inspiration and knowledge gained during its creation and invest this into the Equipe RS, we knew that the lightweight aspect would mean starting from square one. And so we did.
To us, the term waterproof has no ambiguity. It needs to perform as soon as the drops begin to fall.
For hard, dynamic riding from early season training to races in inclement weather in spring, summer and fall:
Milder climates and less intense conditions require a change of tact when it comes to being equipped for your ride. You're looking for a lightweight, versatile ally for rides like these. We've got just the thing. An effort to bridge the extremes, the brand new Equipe RS Rain Jacket steps up as a benchmark-setting lightweight rain jacket with supreme packability and performance.
At 170 grams, the Equipe RS Rain Jacket weighs less than half the sturmPrinz. It’s not only supremely packable but also extremely protective thanks to its reliance on our brand new 3-layer softshell construction, taped seams, a clever triple zip system, and a host of other features. For rides when the sturmPrinz might feel like overkill, you know it’s the right time to unleash the Hund.
What do we ask of a waterproof fabric?
For ASSOS to classify a fabric as sufficiently waterproof, we're looking for a water column of 10,000 mm and upwards. That’s the ability of the fabric to withstand water pressure. The pressure of rainfall is typically between 1,000 mm and 2,000 mm, so our 10,000 mm limit is generous. Lesser jackets often try to get away with less, but that just won't cut it for the committed cyclist. Our in-house developed fabrics have to demonstrate that they can retain this figure over a minimum of 20 intense cycles in the machine too. The strict testing protocol follows the UNI EN 20811:1993 norms, which outlines its procedure like this: "A specimen is subjected to a steadily increasing pressure of water on one face, under standard conditions, until penetration occurs in three places. The water pressure may be applied from below or from above the test specimen. The hydrostatic head supported by a fabric is a measure of the resistance to the passage of water through the fabric."
The act of being continually doused in water is obviously highly reminiscent of riding in torrential rain, so the testing serves a purpose.
But what about the specific construction of the Equipe RS Rain Jacket?
The Equipe RS Rain Jacket is crafted with our brand new Schloss textile, a purpose-created tri-layer softshell. A water-resistant membrane has been effectively bonded onto a open grid-like internal layer, which means exceptional breathability is a given. The high-tech hydrophilic membrane delivers a superlative waterproof performance and it’s all brought together with watertight taped seams and minimal stitching. Exactly. We’ve thought about it all, so you don’t have to.
What about its water repellency?
That's the jacket's ability for water to bead right off it and it's efficiently coated onto the high performance hydrophilic membrane of the Equipe RS. With a focus on environmentally sustainable production methods, we've adopted a greener version of the common Durable Water Repellency treatment and dialed our treatment method to ensure on-par impermeability. Every single ASSOS material with DWR undergoes a multitude of tests after 5, 10 and 20 washes. Our greatest stipulation is exceeding the UNI EN ISO 4920:2013.
Breathability: what does it mean for me?
Spring showers, inopportune summer rainfall, and changeable autumnal conditions: from 5 degrees to 25 degrees, the Equipe RS is a lightweight and capable, race-tuned rain jacket. And despite practicing lighter-duty capabilities than the sturmPrinz, we don't see many occasions when the Equipe RS won't be the right choice.
Buy the jacket here
Meet the rest of the ASSOS rain gear:
One of the most complex products ever designed by ASSOS, we threw out the rulebook with this one, paying no heed to expenses. It's the most race-tuned, effective waterproof around. BMC Racing Team will attest to that too.
TRITON: Robust, lightweight and engineered to give freedom of movement. Featuring a perforated, PTFE hydrophobic barrier that regulates temperature by osmosis.
- Taped seams where necessary, a dropped tail for road spray, immediate access to jersey pockets, elasticated cuffs, reflective accents.
• Rain Cap: perfect to keep your head dry during the harshest weather.
• Rain Glove: complete your kit with these gloves, crafted from neoprene to keep you hands warm during the storm