First impressions of the Windrider, with some Windshadow blowing in.
The Windrider is a relative of the Windshadow, made from the same light, slightly stretchy ripstop with a DWR coat. The fabric is what makes both worth a good look as it’s comfortable, good looking and functional.
At least as good as anything else I’ve seen for the job.
It keeps out the wind, as you’d expect, but it breathes reasonably well and with the DWR it’ll keep off a shower too. In sustained and/or heavy rain it’ll soak through and you’ll want a hard shell, but I find I rarely need more (use a hard shell once every few weeks on a 20 minute cycle commute) and when you don’t need a hard shell something like this is just plain more comfortable to wear. Even when you need to take a hard shell anyway (touring, for example) the better comfort makes the extra (low!) weight worth carting along too.
Colour is a choice of a bit dull ( ”titanium” grey) or a bit too exciting (“blaze” orange). I went for the latter which is pitched at not-quite-road-mender for good visibility in traffic. I have no objection to being seen, but figure I’d be seen well enough in, say, scarlet which would be a bit less eye-searing. The reflectives are quite discrete with a red band across the lower back and a silver line up the front zip. They seem to work well and work on my preferred “enough is enough” rather than “more is better”. No reflectives on the sleeves which would highlight signalling a bit better is a minor blip-ette.
Cut is designed for a gentle forward lean so is shorter than the Windshadow at the front, but a little curiously isn’t any longer at the back. Non-cycling under-layers may well hang out the bottom at the front and if you like to be stretched out on drop bars it may be short at the back. I ride relatively upright (a Brommie ‘M’ and a TSR with flat bars up and back as far as they’ll go) and it’s great for me. Visit your nearest Rohan shop and I’m sure they’ll let you try one out on your own bike!
The sleeves are a smidge longer than the ‘Shadow but aren’t too long off the bike. They’re finished in a stretchy binding tape which gets rid of the fuss of adjustable cuffs without any real downsides. They’re wide enough to roll up easily but not excessively baggy. Just about perfect for me, in other words.
Neck has a draw-cord if you like that, though without it I find the collar is high enough to protect but not too high as to be uncomfy. More good work.
Front pockets are tremendous. Two generously big, OS map no problem numbers with long zips mounted high so they’ll clear moving hips and legs, and also rucksack belts if you’re wearing one. These are mesh backed so they can be used as vents. I’m ambivalent about the back pocket, not because it’s poorly done but I just don’t see the point and I’ve never bothered using the ones I’ve had over the years. If you like them, it’s got one… It does rather rule out the jacket for walking with a big pack ’cause it’s right where the lumbar pad will be, so you’d be better off with a Windshadow if you’re going for one or the other and you have a big pack in mind. Shouldn’t be an issue with a day pack though.
Pockets are all finished with neat little fabric pulls on the zips. For some reason the main front zip doesn’t get one which is odd but hardly a deal-breaker and easy enough to add your own.
I’d say that as a general purpose jacket the Windshadow is better: no back pocket and a little longer at the front plus a pretty good hood make for useful differences on foot, but the Windrider is the better tool on a bike and it would be for running too (in fact it would be a great running top for cold weather).
Now, if only there was a way of putting both in a magic box and fusing them for a one-windjacket-to-rule-them-all… I’ll take the hood, front length and colour (“Crimson” from the ladies’ version) from the Windshadow, the front pockets, reflectives, sleeves and cuffs and extra length (relative front to back) from the Windrider.
Rohan Windrider Review by Peter Clinch
A big thank you to Peter.
We are really grateful for this excellent review of Windrider. Feedback like this enable us to continually improve all our products and the service we offer. I guess the term together we are better has real meaning. So please send us all your thoughts and observations on any Rohan products. We are listening. Use the comments below if you would like to talk to Peter or us about the Windrider and Windshadow and please contact us with questions and reviews. Anytime.