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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been on a few amazing rides recently where the PO is just everywhere and there is just no way to avoid touching it. I've had pretty good luck with just making sure I thoroughly scrub down w/ soap afterward, but still sometimes get an itchy rash on my lower leg b/c I'm wearing shorts w/ pads so oils are getting in there.

I either need to start wearing pants or some type of lower leg protectors for riding in certain spots, but I still want to wear my knee pads and preferably not be too hot. What is your setup for totally covering your legs but still wearing knee pads and still getting some ventilation?

Thanks!

PS - Not riding in PO is not an option! ;)
 

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I've wondered about this as well.

It makes me wonder if something like, "Invisible Glove" would work. I've used it prior to working on cars before and it keeps oil and grease away from your skin, so that when you clean up afterwards, everything mostly just rinses off. I wonder if you could apply to your legs before riding.
 

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Most of my riding is through singletrack with occasional bits of PO reaching across.
I've been wearing soccer socks tucked into my knee pads for a few months on these trails, including a number of 90F+ days, and I haven't had much issue with PO on my legs. I do the dish soap + rag within half an hour of 2-3 hour rides. I wash my gear after almost every ride.

While skin tight fabric goes against the idea that the oil will still be on your skin, it works for me, I can be less paranoid about Lyme disease, and wow, the fashion!
 

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I wonder if Zinc sunscreen (it's a physical barrier) also helps block it. Bathing right after with focused attention (soap + rag) to exposed areas has been working for me so far.
 

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RIDDLELDDIR
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Skyno- Talking about how to ward off, and not get oak (blisters) on your skin NEVER gets old..

Dermatitis is mediated by an induced immune response. Urushiol is too small a molecule to directly activate an immune response. Instead, it attaches to certain proteins of the skin, where it acts as a hapten, leading to a type IV hypersensitive reaction.
 

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Skyno- Talking about how to ward off, and not get oak (blisters) on your skin NEVER gets old..

Dermatitis is mediated by an induced immune response. Urushiol is too small a molecule to directly activate an immune response. Instead, it attaches to certain proteins of the skin, where it acts as a hapten, leading to a type IV hypersensitive reaction.
That's some good tech right there.

The other piece I'll add is skin is a barrier and time is the enemy. Every hour after contact counts. In fact, every minute.

Thus it can be washed off easily immediately after contact. Sometimes, if I don't have clean water (like a crik), I would use powdered dirt, like a dry rub.

:)
 

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RIDDLELDDIR
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Thus it can be washed off easily immediately after contact. Sometimes, if I don't have clean water (like a crik), I would use powdered dirt, like a dry rub.

:)
Yep. Calculate dose, versus prolonged exposure and establish the needed process to remove the oil. Creeks, springs, rivers, etc are all great opportunities to wash away the olis while riding. If you live in the rest of CA that has no water features, like say, Fort Ord where PO is abundant, and there is no water, your chances blistering later on, after a 2hr ride is prob 80% without intervention.

Everyone has their superstitions.. Tecnu, Dawn, Bleach.. Gas... For me, none of that stuff works. I think tecnu is a gimmick. Everyone buys it, spreads it around with their bare hands (how else do you apply it, I mean) and contamination into other, lesser desired areas happens.

I myself am sold, after all these years, on 90% alcohol in a spray bottle, pressurized water, clean, sterile, white towel(s) preferably terry cloth.

I will say that whenever I backpack into the Ventana Wilderness, and know the trials are going to be overgrown, I just pack a Tyveck pesticides suit.. $6 on Amazon, non-permeable and packs to about 4", weighs 1.5oz.
 

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I am super allergic to PO, and I bike a lot in area where poison oak is everywhere, so i use long socks (baseball or soccer) and I use my knee pads all the time. Since I have done that I have not have poison oak.
 

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I've been thinking about getting a pair of DH pants to wear, preferably something very stretchy to allow pedaling. The Fox Flexair look like they'd fit the ticket, but I'm having a hard time finding them in normal size (32). I have the Flexair Delta LS jersey and it's really nice.
 

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I work in PO a lot and have heard just about everything. Apparently there used to be some liquid you were supposed to drink that would immunize you over time. I guess it was a low dose of an urushiol solution or suspension. Anyway, he said it was much like the day after eating super hot salsa, except for a couple weeks. Sounded like a horrible experience but it was a great story. He also said it seemed to be only marginally effective. Some other guys swore by rubbing Tecnu on their skin and using it like Ivy Block and then washing well after exposure.
In the way of clothing, I would think something like long spandex would work being sheer and having less for the oil to cling to.
Me, I just gave up and get it when I get it. My reaction isn’t horrible like some people so I just deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I ride some *ahem* less-used trails at Pacifica and Waterdog. My issues with PO have gone away after I started using these

https://www.backcountry.com/sugoi-leg-cooler-sug001p

I carefully take them off after the ride, before I take off my socks (to prevent any contact with skin). They go straight in the laundry, and I do the whole scrub down with a microfiber towel in the shower also..
Lots of good info here thanks a lot!

Ananth do these "leg coolers" actually have a cooling effect? These could be just the ticket - also interested in some DH pants , but those do look pretty damn hot - temp wise that is!
 

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I do find them cooler than bare skin in the sun. They are very similar to the Underarmor heat-gear stuff if you are familiar with that. The big advantage being they don't interfere with your bibs/liners.
 

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Softshell pants is what you want.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/...s-pants/bontrager-omw-softshell-pant/p/13457/ Trousers Denim Pocket Textile Standing


This Bontrager one is very pricey but very good. It offers good knee and abrasion resistance as well with all those bushes creepin in.

And.... the other thing that's good to have is an ebike. That way you can focus on protective pants and top without having to compromise too much for pedaling efficiency and cooling issues.
 

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Lots of good info here thanks a lot!

Ananth do these "leg coolers" actually have a cooling effect? These could be just the ticket - also interested in some DH pants , but those do look pretty damn hot - temp wise that is!
I use calf sleeves (often marketed as compression products) since I already wear knee pads and along with (underlapping) calf length socks gives me 100% skin coverage on the legs. Doesn't look very stylish, but keeps stuff off (PO and ticks) really well. Oh, and also often use arm sleeves as well for the same purpose....

In terms of feel, I don't think I feel "cooler" when I wear the sleeves on legs or arms, but they don't make me feel hot either, and they provide the additional benefit of protecting from UV as well. So neutral from a comfort perspective. You just have to get used to wearing them.

Other things:
- I keep large size alcohol wipes in my pack in case I need them on the trail
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M650DVS
- I keep old cotton T-shirts (rags) as well as a bottle of Isopropyl in the car for when I return, in case I need them for cleanup.
 

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...

Ananth do these "leg coolers" actually have a cooling effect? ...
I sweat way to much to consider any pants-based solution, glad Ananth and Shinjon already wrote about "coolers" or sun sleeves. Hadn't considered this to be one of their benefits, but it's true that I haven't had PO since I went to these things full time. Also good for spotting ticks.

On the subject of their cooling effect, I suspect that has a lot to do with what sun protection program they are replacing. As an OCD ginger riding in Norcal sun, I am way more comfortable during and after a ride replacing SPF 45+ smears with thin fabric on my arms and legs for my rides.

That alone has kept me notably cooler, but in the right conditions, splashing them with water creates some more immediate evap cooling sensation.

Peel them off at the car/home at the end of your ride, and you don't need to worry about grease all over your dashboard/car doors/kitchen table before you have a chance to wash sunscreen off. If you suspect PO contact, throw these in a the wash and you're done.

Almost forgot: Cons:
- you will look ridiculous.
- family and friends will remind you

Good luck!
 

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