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Mountain Bike Jacket: How to choose your Cycling jacket?

Waterproof and windproof jackets are popular with cyclists and mountain bikers all year round. Space-saving and often useful, they have a place of choice in the bag of the forward-thinking cyclist.

With or without inner lining, waterproof or just windproof, their prices vary from around 20 euros to over 350 euros.

So it's important to choose the jacket that's right for you!

Different criteria for choosing a mountain bike and/or road jacket


Waterproofness is the main criteria when buying a jacket. It is expressed in "Schmerber" and is measured using the "water column" system. Water is applied to the test jacket under increasing pressure. 1 Schmerber corresponds to 1mm of water applied to the jacket.

Following the test, a jacket with a resistance of 2000mm will keep you dry if you have to deal with light rain. A jacket with 10,000 Schmerber will keep you dry in almost all situations. The top-of-the-range cycling jackets are designed to withstand a water column of 15,000mm.

The Goretex® label, which can be found on a large number of Gore Bike Wear jackets is also a guarantee of quality for a MTB jacket. The Gore® brand offers a technology that combines several membranes to create jackets that are warm, ventilated and waterproof.

Membranes prevent external moisture from entering but allow moisture inside the jacket to escape (the molecules of water vapour coming from the human body being smaller than those of external water drops).

The windproof effect

The windproofing effect should also be taken into account. Some windbreakers may be sufficient to protect the rider during a ride at moderate temperatures (10-15 degrees).

To avoid too much wind, a close-fitting jacket is preferable.

Some windbreakers can protect against the rain, some are simply water-repellent, others are waterproof (the criteria to be used is the water column).

Choose a breathable jacket to prevent you from overheating. It retains its windproof effect but prevents your body from sweating excessively.

The "Windstopper®" label developed by the Gore® brand is also a reliable indicator of whether the jacket meets the quality requirements (lightweight, breathable jackets) that you can expect.

Warmth and breathability

Thermal mountain bike jackets are great for winter or cold weather. They will keep you warm throughout your ride. However, most of them are not waterproof, so you need to be sure that it won't rain during your ride, or bring a waterproof jacket to wear over them.

It's important that these jackets are breathable so that you don't sweat excessively and stay comfortable. Jackets using Gore technologies have membranes that allow excess heat to escape, keeping the user in the best possible conditions.

Breathability is measured in gr/m²/24h, i.e. the amount of water vapour the jacket lets through in 24 hours. A highly breathable jacket will let through up to 30,000 grams.

There are also jackets that combine waterproofing and thermal insulation, so you can use just one jacket instead of two in winter.


Of course, it's vital to choose a jacket that's best suited to your size: the size guides on each product page are there to help you!

It's also important to buy a jacket that fits you well. An ill-fitting jacket will reduce your aerodynamics by increasing your air intake, both at the wrists and across the chest.

Cycling jackets, some key models :


Castelli Gabba


Spiuk Race


Mavic Cosmic Elite H20


Endura MT500 II

To sum up, when choosing your jacket:

You'll need to decide whether you need a jacket with thermal insulation, as well as options such as improved ventilation, reflective strips, high-quality waterproofing and viable zips and seams. The choice of cut can also have an impact on the purchase of a jacket, depending on your riding style.



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