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Old 02-21-2011, 09:52 AM   #1
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Why am I getting wet elbows?!

It seems like there is a flaw with Gore tex jackets - that is, I seem to get wet on the inside of my elbows, as in the front, top of the fore arm. I've had this happen with my Streetguard jacket, my Darien and my Klim Valdez! So I'm starting to think there is some issue with gore tex and the fact that at times, you are riding with your arms bent, water sitting in the fold and somehow getting through... maybe!

Anyone else experienced this? Am I just strangely unlucky? I can't believe three different gore tex jackets have failed in similar ways... I find it hard to believe it's sweat - the inside of your elbow is hardly renowned for being sweaty!

Ideas?? Getting a little disappointed spending this much money on jackets only to have them leak
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:02 AM   #2
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If this is happening with several different jackets, its time to look at something else. I would suggest first looking at your gloves. Are you tucking them inside your cuffs or are the cuffs inside the gaultlet? Whichever it is, switch it. Then, make sure it is very well sealed.

I commute about 1000 miles per month and I ride in rain often. Goretex works but it also reveals any flaw in how you assemble the gear on your body. Water migrating up the sleeve from the cuff is very common. I thought I had things well organized for my riding style but I didn't. I used to have my gauntlet outside the sleeve. That often lead to water on my wrists and on my forarms. I now tuck them inside the jacket. My jacket has strong velcro cuffs that I tighten over top of the glove and that has solved my problem. Other riding positions and bikes could require the opposite configuration.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:06 AM   #3
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Thanks Cliffy - but it doesn't seem to be down to the wrist, just a spread 2/3 inches above and below the middle of my elbow.

I have noticed it more when wearing cotton which is the wrong thing to be wearing under gore tex, but if cotton was the issue, I wouldn't have thought the elbow would be the first place to show it. Next time I go out when it's proper wet I will make sure I wear a wicking base layer to rule that out...
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:17 AM   #4
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I had an issue with both shoulders leaking on a waterproof jacket, I use the jacket for street and dual sporting. It turns out, the last time I hit the ground on the dual sport it happend to be shoulder first. This repetition finally abraded the waterproof liner enough to cause leaks.

Try noticing if there is any habit or storage proceedure which might cause it to wear prematurely in that area.

Cheers,

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Old 02-21-2011, 12:23 PM   #5
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I had an issue with both shoulders leaking on a waterproof jacket, I use the jacket for street and dual sporting. It turns out, the last time I hit the ground on the dual sport it happend to be shoulder first. This repetition finally abraded the waterproof liner enough to cause leaks.

Try noticing if there is any habit or storage proceedure which might cause it to wear prematurely in that area.

Cheers,

Steve
In terms of storage, I'm surprisingly good and making sure these jackets get hung up on a regular coat hangar... so that shouldn't cause an issue...

In terms of usage, I guess the nature of off-road riding leads to a lot of arm bending... which would crease at the elbow... And even riding on the road, I often stand up as a break from sitting... but that does sound pretty suspect - simply bending the arm, you wouldn't have thought it would cause it to leak... Would you?
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:33 PM   #6
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Gore Tex does not breath when it wets out as it can do when the fabric bunches up where your elbow bends.

You actually sweat a lot there. I think it's a sweat accumulating because the Gore Tex isn't breathing.

Have you maintained these jackets (wash, reapply water resist treatment to the fabric so it doesn't wet out)?
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:04 PM   #7
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It is usually the accumulation of ll sweat, or the failure of the Gore-tex due to too much flexing. The easiest way to tell is to just stand in the shower with your jacket on-if you are not sweating and it gets damp, then obviously the gore-tex has failed. A grey cotton shirt will make it incredibly obvious where it is leaking.

If you haven't crashed in them yet, and it looks to be in reasonably good condition, contact W.L. Gore for an RMA number and maybe they'll fix/replace them.

If you have, then it is time to break out the seamgrip and chase leaks.
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by fishkens View Post
Gore Tex does not breath when it wets out as it can do when the fabric bunches up where your elbow bends.

You actually sweat a lot there. I think it's a sweat accumulating because the Gore Tex isn't breathing.

Have you maintained these jackets (wash, reapply water resist treatment to the fabric so it doesn't wet out)?
I haven't retreated them in a while - that would be a good start.

And I guess I should try the standing in the shower test, although I am gonna feel incredibly stupid doing it!

I should also take more seriously the need to wear wicking base layers rather than super absorbant cotton!
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:26 PM   #9
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... I should also take more seriously the need to wear wicking base layers rather than super absorbant cotton!
I think you have your culprit there. Cotton under Goretex is a sure way to turn body sweat into liquid. Try using a wicking base layer and see if that doesn't make a big difference.

Another issue is that Goretex requires at least a 4* temp differential between the outside temp and inside the suit. On hot days this also causes sweat to accumulate.

But my bet is that you're sweating and trapping that moisture in the cotton in an area that gets no ventilation.

-jeff
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:27 PM   #10
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I would say to try and treat the jacket with some sort of spray concentration.

The glove thing is another issue too.. After long days in the rain it seems to get in some where.

I wear the Triple digit rain covers and they help.

If I wear them under my cuff, water blows up in over time and if I wear them over the cuff, water seeps into them wetting my hands.. my elbows and lower arms tend to get wet... sucks.. guess its just part of riding in the rain.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:01 PM   #11
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I think you have your culprit there. Cotton under Goretex is a sure way to turn body sweat into liquid. Try using a wicking base layer and see if that doesn't make a big difference.

Another issue is that Goretex requires at least a 4* temp differential between the outside temp and inside the suit. On hot days this also causes sweat to accumulate.

But my bet is that you're sweating and trapping that moisture in the cotton in an area that gets no ventilation.

-jeff
Thanks - it just makes going to work kind of annoying... I don't know many button downs made from a wicking material!
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:31 PM   #12
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Thanks - it just makes going to work kind of annoying... I don't know many button downs made from a wicking material!
Can you change your shirt at work? There's a thread about this going on right now..

-jeff
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:08 PM   #13
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Can you change your shirt at work? There's a thread about this going on right now..

-jeff
I can... It's just annoying to have to carry one more thing to work....
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:29 AM   #14
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Just found this while browsing the web
-Spray rubbing alcohol on the inside (if the garment is unlined)
-Watch for dark spots to appear
-Seal

http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/...-holes-alcohol
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:27 AM   #15
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Let's look at the facts here. This has happened on several Goretex jackets. It has happened in spite of the fact that you are careful about storage. You seem rightly skeptical of this being sweat. I agree that sweat is unlikely. If this were sweat, you would have also mentioned it under your arms and on your back and neck. Moisture just on your arms near your elbow doesn't suggest sweat as the culprit. It sounds like water to me.

I know you don't believe it, but I'm absolutely serious when I tell you to try wearing your gloves different. I commute daily on a bike and often hit rain. I also wear a cotton dress shirt.

It really depends on the type of cuff on your jacket and the style and length of the gauntlet on your glove. It depends on your riding position and normal speed. It all has an impact. Any water that seeps its way in from the cuff can migrate up your arm. As has been mentioned, Goretex doesn't really breath so it has to go somewhere. It will accumulate and absorb into your clothing.

I was remined of this last night when it started to rain. Normally, my gauntlet is covering the cuff of my sleeve. That is the easy way to put my gear on. However, if I do that and it rains, water travels down the outside of my arm and into the lining of the glove. My fingers get wet and eventually, so does my arm.

My cuffs have velcro to adjust the opening. I undid the velcro so I could tuck the gauntlet into it. I made sure it was secure against my skin and then tightened the velcro cuff over top of the gauntlet. Movement is slightly restricted this way but water can't migrate in. Its also secure enough that with my riding position, water can't blow up into the cuff.

Again, your gear may be different so just take a look at what you're doing and try something different.
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