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Old 06-07-2011, 11:11 PM   #60
Miles of Smiles
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Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Tool Shed
Oddometer: 1,840
Finally read the IronButt article and it seems that I'm doing everything right.

After having lived ten years in the Texas Big Bend region of the Chihuahuan Desert, I have some personal experience beyond reading about this stuff.

Routinely making runs to Midland, El Paso, Austin, and Houston in the Summer will teach you a few tricks for survival in high temps and various levels of humidity. The article confirmed what my experience had taught.

When it's over 90F and I'll be spending more than an hour on the bike I'll wear bicycle shorts and wicking shirts, Merino Wool is my favorite so far, also will wear Merino Wool socks, and I've been wearing a Texas Headskin under a full-face helmet year-round since the mid-80's.

Carrying a three-liter hydration bladder in the tankbag, filled with ice water to sip on is standard procedure, just like when I ride my mountain bike in those temps.

Riding behind a windshield with a mesh suit seems to be fine based upon the parameters outlined in the article.

Great article! Anyone who rides in these temps should have that information.

Condemning any application of mesh in these temps and referencing that article really isn't doing the research merit, as the author states how any suit that provides ~10 mph ventilation combined with wicking undergarments will minimize the heat gain and reduce the water loss to a manageable rate.

A good understanding of the physics and their effects on the body will allow anyone to make a mesh suit work well in such an environment, when they take steps to reduce the velocity of airflow inside the suit.

Even on a naked bike, if there is too much airflow this could be as easy as placing a wind barrier between the chest and the front of the suit. Cut up a pizza box, or use one of those free classified papers to create a make-shift wind barrier inside the jacket on those rare occasions you may need to.

Granted, wearing a mesh suit with bare skin underneath and all the armor removed, riding on a naked bike without hydration could be a bad combination when taking a multi-hour ride in triple digits.

That seems to be an unlikely scenario, though a squid or a newb could make the mistake.

Keep in mind the article is in Iron Butt magazine and is specifically targeting folks riding long distances and encountering extreme conditions.

Consider how often you find yourself riding for hundreds of miles in these conditions each year and make the appropriate choice for the lion's share of the riding conditions normally encountered.

This article (IMHO) is insufficient reason for most folks in the South and West to entirely avoid buying mesh.

Well, unless you are a practicing nudist living in Death Valley, commuting to Phoenix on a Norton Commando through the Summer months.

This is The Internet. Confirm for yourself anything you may see while visiting this strange and uncertain land.

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