Richa Textile Jacket with c_change technology
I came across some of this gear today in a local bike shop. It is made with a newly developed technology from Shoeller of Switzerland that is claimed to be both waterproof and breathable but also maintains the body temperature at a constant level. Here's a link to a supplier: Richa Spirit C-Change Motorcycle Jacket - Grey/Black Motorcycle Gear from Road Bike Bitz
It has often been mentioned that one of the problems with Goretex, or similar, is that the rider may well stay dry but the jacket itself seems to hold loads of water making it a PITA in a tent or anywhere else that doesn't encourage fast drying. So my question is, has anyone bought and used any clothing and does it do what is claimed, particularly, does it reject water successfully? I can say that the look and feel of the material is different to a normal textile finish, a bit more like nylon in many ways.
Think you will find this is similar in principal to rucca and hein gericke laminates where the goretex type membrane is joined to the outer cordura so there is less ability for the outer fabric to hold water, The outer layer is then proofed again with the likes of goretex spray on treatment - the theory being water is shed off. It works to a reasonable degree but (I speak from experience of one of the hein gericke jackets) it still soaks up some rain and becomes colder than say an outer nylon - I used mine in Norway in early May this year ( still pretty chilly over the Arctic circle) and when wet the jacket was very cold. I resorted to putting on an overjacket and that made a huge difference. It also defies the point of such an expensive jacket. If your not going to use it in such cold conditions its OK. But it still holds water a bit after a long ride in the rain so you still have the problem of a wet jacket say in a tent. Nylon over-jacket still seems the best solution, cheap, replaceable if damaged and can be left outside of your tent if its soaked. Its still a bit inconvenient though.
I cannot help with the c-change material, but I have had two Richa jackets and pants with the "old" type gortex.
The first was bought in 2002 and it was brilliant, well made, smart style, and almost totally waterproof, used to just get wet where the wind blow the damp between the jacket and pants onto my belly, but then only after a very long wet ride.
In 2006 I changed to a new Richa set of similar but more modern looking design, (changed 'cos the blue colour original didn't match my new yella bike) and that turned out to be bad news, basically they had reduced the quality of many of the parts/workmanship ! the goretex gusset at the crotch easily caught in the zip and ripped it several times, so the rain got through there, and ther jackit zip broke, and the pants pockit zips broke, the jacket pocket velcro came unstiched it was not up to the same standard.
I have this year bought a Heine Garrick Master 5 jacket and pants, they use the same goretex as Rucha and that repels all water and doesn't increase in weight, it is great :thumbup1:
c_change from Schoeller textile AG
I am the sales manager for Schoeller textiles North America. I read the below threads with interest. I am a rider myself and although I haven't done any long trips, I have certainly ridden in my share of adverse weather. Here are some comments I made in response. I have been in the technical outdoor apparel design and production world for well over a decade, and have worked with brands and factories around the world and here in the US too. (vanson and aerostitch). I was responding to my marketing manager who spotted the c_change threads.
-Richa: must be some euro brand…no doubt there are lots I have never heard of. Glad to know they are using c_change.
-Like most c_change in motorcycle jackets (like Harley for example), they are using a “drop liner” or “z-liner”. This is (as you probably know) where the c_change is installed in the jacket as a liner, inside the main shell, which is constructed separately.
As such, the shell itself is not necessarily waterproof, or designed to prevent water entry. In fact, the shells are often loaded with pockets and zippers and vents and other design details that are water/wind entry points. The idea is that the water and wind will get stopped by the next layer, which is the c_change z-liner, hanging inside the shell. Which it does, BUT the shell may be completely saturated, especially if it has a cheap-ass DWR finish (or no DWR finish). Thus the shell will not dry out quickly. Thus the issues mentioned in the threads.
The only way to really prevent this issue is to make the shell itself out of a WPB fabric, or at the very least, design the shell in such a way that water and wind entry points are minimized, and use a quality DWR finish.
Because of the cost associated with making waterproof shells (seam-taping being the big driver) and the lack of pockets, zippers and other catchy design details, these products are thin on the ground. (aerostich and a few others).
Schoeller Textil USA
206 283 6991 Office
206 601 2279 Mobile
schoelertexusa - I think you will find the jackets from both Rucca and Hein Gericke that I refer to do not use a drop liner system, the Goretex material (maybe as a complete liner is laminated to the outer material in my case -cordura and leather outer material) - and as such appears to all intensive purposes to be one layer of thin material. It has welded waterproof zip pockets etc and yes they are pretty expensive - ranging from £400 - to around £900 for some of the Rucca stuff. They do shed water pretty well and remain dryish but my own finding with the Hein gericke stuff at least was it still retained some water in the surface material. This was however after a lot of miles of use and I suppose accumulation of road salt and dirt. Cleaning and re proofing the jacket has helped a little but not completely stopped the water clinging on and making the material very cold in use.
DWR (durable water repellent) finishes
That sounds spot on...cost is usually the giveaway.
So, what you are experiencing is the reduction in the effect of the DWR finish. You are correct that road salts/oil/grime all have a negative effect on the original DWR finish, and that cleaning and re-treating with aftermarket products only goes so far. Part of the problem there is that the original DWR finishes are heat-set at a very high temp...as high as the nylon will allow without breaking down. There is no way to re-produce that at home, even in the hottest of dryers.
Here is another problem with maintaining these finishes: in order to clean them, you need to use a detergent (especially for road oils/grime). Getting the detergent completely back out of the fabric is nearly impossible. Detergent kills the DWR effect dramatically. It is in fact an "anti-DWR", and a very powerful one at that. So you are fighting this battle at home as well. Multiple rinsings (preferably in a tub where there is no chance for residual detergent to be present) are the best way to beat this.
Nobody, including us, has been able to solve these issues with a permanent finish. It is a sort of "Holy Grail" of fabric finishing technology. The best you can get is high durability + oil resistance. Very few DWRs out there have an oil-resistant component. (our nanosphere is one). The oil resist helps, but still does not eliminate the problem!
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