Chuck and all,
In the product description Brooks goes on at some length about the *reflective* tweed trim on their new cape as well as its all-English heritage. It may not be adequate but there is at least something reflective there. As to Brooks' Italian ownership, this cape is about as un-Italian as it gets. Here is Brooks' description:
"This garment was conceived and designed in Savile Row in London, by a tailoring and textile designing duo whose primary motivation was to create a rain cape that would serve their needs as commuters.
The cape is constructed in Manchester, England using the finest waxed cotton, reflective tweed, and leather accents. Yes, reflective tweed, from Dashing Tweeds, which when not in its reflective state, provides the cape with the visual accents for its fashionable exterior, as well as providing a clue to its English heritage."
I have used both coated (non-breathable) capes and jackets (slickers) as well as breathable (Gore-tex and others) jackets and find that I get just about as damp inside one as the other. Waxed cotton certainly is at least as waterproof as anything else available and its finish is renewable.
A cape of any fabric offers significant airflow underneath the waterproof layer to help ventilate the heat and keep one drier relative to a non-breathable jacket that conforms to the body more. No question that a cape can be less "aero" than a jacket, but the CR community is not primarily concerned with aerodynamics, is it?
Jon Spangler not a strict Anglophile but a cross-channel lover of both English and French leather on bikes in Alameda, CA USA
On Jan 11, 2011, at 9:26 AM, paccoastcycles wrote:
> And I give Brooks two raps on the knuckles with a spoke ruler for not paying attention to the longevity of their customers. I refer to the dearth of reflector material on the rain cape. But then, fashion does have its price!
> Disclaimer: my shop proudly sells Brooks products, mostly the saddles.
> Chuck Hoefer, who doesn't follow any ball sports
> Pacific Coast Cycles
> Oceanside, Ca.
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Jon Spangler" <email@example.com>
> To: "Dale Brown" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Monday, January 10, 2011 10:32 PM
> Subject: [CR] Brooks introduces the world's most fashionable rain cape (KOFcandidate)
>> As one who used Burley Bev's rain capes and half-a-gaitors extensively in Eugene, OR, years ago (pre-Gore-tex
>> and well within the CR timeline) this new/old fashion entry took me back a ways....
>> The latest rain cape from Brooks is absolutely the most fashion-forwad cyclist's rain cape that I have ever seen.
>> Very retro, too, and definitely a KOF-qualifier as such with the waxed cotton and tweed trim.
>> I'm sure the price will be suitably astronomical, too, but many of our "tweedier" riders may still go for it....
>> Nostalgically yours from Alameda, CA USA,
>> Jon Spangler
>> who is hurting, indeed, over the University of Oregon's loss tonight in the absolutely non-KOF
>> BCS despite the fact that the BCS itself is heretical....
>> Jon Spangler
>> Linda Hudson Writing
>> TEL 510-864-2144
>> CEL 510-846-5356