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Riding In The Rain(56 posts)

Riding In The Rainbikenbo
Nov 7, 2002 7:08 AM
Its raining here in Fresno today and as I'm driving to work I see a guy riding to work in the rain. Commuting with a backpack and rain gear. It was INSPIRING to say the least. I feel guilty for not commuting today. How many of you ride in the rain? I don't mean getting caught in the rain, but don't avoid it or ignore it? I guess I'm just a wimp.....:)

Ride Anyway???!!!
Chris
Not me...ClydeTri
Nov 7, 2002 7:18 AM
Makes no sense..if you own car, use it on rain days...riding in the rain is dangerous. There are plenty of other days to get riding in. Also, not fun to ride in rain.
re: Riding In The RainJS Haiku Shop
Nov 7, 2002 7:23 AM
as i am often in the saddle for extended periods of time, and frequently drive a good distance out of town to attend rides, i would not consider in either case canceling my participation due to weather. the best way to prepare for the challenges of riding in the rain and other "character building" conditions is to routinely train in same.

there are many other positive aspects to riding in poor conditions. the only way to know them is to find them for yourself.

the only drawbacks i have found are having to wear or carry more stuff, and increased bike maintenance.

one of the best feelings for me is to know that i'm on the bike in 40 degree pissing rain at 9:45 pm in the dark, fighting a headwind, spinning sore legs, reminding myself that the guys i'll be riding with on the group ride are at home eating twinkies and watching professional wrestling. you get what you pay for.

YMMV

-J
Excellent topic. I don't ride ...Allez Rouge
Nov 7, 2002 7:26 AM
... in the rain, at least not intentionally, but lately I have been intrigued by the notion of trying it. I am one of those relatively rare people who really LIKES rainy days. I view them not as wet and dreary but as soothing and yet oddly stimulating. But that's when I'm snug in the house, maybe on the couch with a good book -- a lot different than being out on the road on a bicycle under the same conditions.

The two things that would concern me would be my visibility to motorists, and keeping my glasses clear. The latter is always the biggest problem when I'm caught in a shower during a ride.
Although it's not my favorite thing, I have set out for rides inbill
Nov 7, 2002 7:28 AM
pouring rain. When it's cold, as well, rain is even tougher to take, but once you're moving it's not but so bad, as you know.
This is NOT to say, of course, that I have never turned off the alarm and gone back to sleep. This is not to say that I haven't, more often than not, turned off the alarm and gone back to sleep. The times that I have set off in the pouring rain were largely when I was on a cycing trip of some sort and didn't have much choice, anyway.
I don't commute on my bike (shame on me).
re: Riding In The RainPEDDLEFOOT
Nov 7, 2002 7:39 AM
I'm fortunate enough to have a nice trail about a quarter mile from my house.When it's raining out I usually hop on the trail and ride there without the need to be cocerned with traffic on the roads.I love riding in a nice steady rain if the temperature is anywhere over 55.Otherwise I just go to the gym and do a Spinning class or something else there.I don't usually ride on the road in the rain.Traffic is bad enough to deal with in good weather.
woosie heretarwheel
Nov 7, 2002 7:42 AM
If I get caught in the rain, I'll keep riding. But I won't generally start a ride if it's raining, unless I'm on a bike tour where I have no choice or it's rained for days and I'm going stir-crazy. In NC, extended rainy spells are unusual, although the past month has been an exception. So, I just do other things on rainy days -- walk, spin cycle, row or swim. I don't feel safe riding in the rain because I know drivers can't see as well and my glasses get all spotted up so I can't see either. I also don't like having to dry, clean and relube my bike. And I don't like having to dry my shoes for 2 days afterwards. If I had a reason to ride more often in the rain -- like commuting every day -- I would set up a rain bike with fenders and get some better rain gear.
drying shoesJS Haiku Shop
Nov 7, 2002 9:09 AM
a tip from mister wonderdog now has me stuffing wet shoes (sans insoles) with newspaper. stuff, let sit overnight, remove, repeat if necessary. if you leave them on top of the dryer during a "heat" cycle, even better. dry 'em overnight or faster. make sure to leave the tongue and straps open, and unlace if applicable.
fill w/paper and put on the heat vent...merckx56
Nov 7, 2002 1:19 PM
not only are they dry, but toasty when you put 'em back on!
Some of us just don't have a choiceB2
Nov 7, 2002 7:43 AM
Well not really, but here in Seattle in rains sometimes :-). A couple of years ago they recorded measurable precepitation for something like 120 days consectively.

Get yourself a rain bike and a good light. I've got an old Bontrager Race mountian bike converted with a slicks and fenders. Works pretty good.

It's really not that bad riding in the rain unless it's 36 degrees and raining. Now that's bad!

Bryan
Uh Seattle (found this message on the Cascade B-club Forum)Scottland
Nov 7, 2002 7:52 AM
OK, now that I've posted a flip answer and doggerel --

You're riding in the rain, so what modifications, if any, do you make from a non-rainy day?

Visibilities issues: even if you are riding during daylight hours, dank rainy days reduce visibility. You want to be seen. So you may want to use reflectors and lights, if you don't already, and wear reflective and/or bright clothing.

Road conditions issues: Roads may be more slick in the rain. I haven't had a problem with skidding out on rainy days, but I go slower on rainy days. You might find the same thing with a car commute -- you'll need to plan some extra time perhaps to get to/from work. You should be aware that other vehicles will also need more time and room to stop.

The upside is that multi-use trails are much more sparsely used during cold and rainy days, and you might be able to fly down the Burke-Gilman on a dank, rainy morning in November in a way you couldn't at the same time on a beautiful sunny morning in August.

Dampness issues: you'll arrive at work damp, which is presumably more of a problem than arriving at home damp. There's two modes of thought on this -- either make youself as dry as possible under your layers, or give up on trying to make yourself as dry as possible, and ride wet.

If you go for the first option, then you'll want a gore-tex or similar jacket, gore-tex or similar rain pants, booties for your shoes to keep your feet dry, and a helmet cover over your helmet. You'll definately want fenders to keep as much rain and muck as possible off of your feet and back.

If you go for the second option, then you'll do things like wear SPD sandals with thick socks for the ride in to work, and then wear another pair of socks for the way out. You'll wear quick-drying fabrics, so your jacket, jersey, and tights will be dry for the ride home after being soaked through for the ride in. You'll keep a fan in your office to dry your clothes upon arrival -- even with cool air from a fan, your clothes will dry much quicker than without one. When you get home, you can put your shoes next to the heat register. Or have two pairs and switch off, which is what I do.

Cleanliness issues: rain, and even just wet pavement means that you and your bike get sprayed with road film. If it's a warm wet day, you'll get that familiar black ring on your calf where your sock ended and your bare leg began. Having a shower at work is nice under these circumstances. As the weather gets progressively colder, more of the muck just ends up on your outer layers and it's more a laundry issue and less of a personal hygene issue. Your jacket will dry, and you'll brush off the mud, and it'll be fine for the next day. Again, you'll want fenders in general to keep the muck off of your body.

As for your bike, you'll find yourself cleaning your bike much more often than if you don't ride in the rain. More than a week without a scrubbing, and you'll feel it in your drivetrain.

Warmth issues: wet does not equal cold. You should dress with the same layers as you would on a day that was the same temp, only dry. Even so, you should avoid fabrics that get notoriously cold when damp, such as cotton. I love on dry fall days wearing a flannel shirt as a warmth layer on my bike, but it quickly becomes a nuisance in the rain.

I hope this covers the basics. I'm sure someone will chime in on their personal experience if different or if I missed something.
I've seen that bike at work. Do you work at a certain companychopper
Nov 7, 2002 10:19 AM
that is right off of the Sammamish River Trail?
Nope Sorry - W side Lake Union on Dexter (nm)B2
Nov 7, 2002 10:58 AM
aaahhhhh, WRQ I take it?....................................nmchopper
Nov 7, 2002 1:31 PM
aaahhhhh, WRQ I take it?....................................nmB2
Nov 7, 2002 5:21 PM
Well not exactly. We're close to WRQ, the little two story building across the street and north a few blocks (immediatley south of the Swedish Cultural Center parking lot on the west side of Dexter)...SG Taylor Construction.

I commute from the east side though. South Bellevue across I-90, Lake Washington Blvd to U-Dub, Burke Gilman trail to Fremont, across Fremont Bridge & south on Dexter. About 17 miles each way. Unfortunatley I need a car for work every so often so I only ride in 2 or maybe 3 times per week. Think I can get the boss to buy a beater car or truck for the office or maybe split the cost for one? I guess I won't find out until I ask.

Bryan
re: Riding In The Rainbikenbo
Nov 7, 2002 7:50 AM
I think JS hit the nail on the head. Riding in the "Harsh Elements" can promote character building. As long as you're relatively safe that is. Snow, ice, wind, heat (I live in Fresno) even hills can be a character builder if you let them. Remember the Conan (I think it was) creed "That which doesn't kill you, makes you strong"....

I'm really not advocating extreme risk taking, just having good old fun, safely, of course.

Think about it...
Chris
It gets my bike dirtyLLSmith
Nov 7, 2002 7:52 AM
I don't go out to ride if it's raining. It's harder for me to see so I figure it's harder for people to see me.I don't mind the rain, but I don't want me and my bike to get all wet.
RegularlyEager Beagle
Nov 7, 2002 7:53 AM
Commute in the UK and you ride in the rain regularly.

Riding in the rain is not dangerous, or mysterious. Just ride safe like you should do normally and there's no significant problem.

Get a peak for your helmet - keeps lots of the water off your face/glasses. Get fenders, and an extension for the front one as close to the grounds as possible to stop the wheel spraying your feet, a breathable jacket and gloves and some shoes covers and you are most of the way to being comfortable. I don't bother with waterproof trousers - lycra stays warm when you are wet and a decent jacket keeps the important upper stuff dry (make sure you have a drop tail jacket that will allow you to sit on the back flap on the saddle).

If you are going to do a lot of it, use some old tube to seal you seat post/downtube and headset joints.

Lastly, get spare patches/tubes, almost all my punctures happen in the wet, as the rain washed all the cr@p out of the sides of the roads onto the surface where you ride.
Ride anywaymass_biker
Nov 7, 2002 7:54 AM
Sometimes it rains, sometimes it doesn't. Riding in the rain is okay as long as it is above 50 or so. Racing in the rain, while not fun, is okay if it is above 45 (i.e. typical New England racing weather). Not a great way to spend a couple of hours, but if you're pre-registered...

On those rainy/crummy training days, it helps to have a beater bike. I have one set up for foul weather - cross/touring bike with fenders and wider (700x28) tires than normal, same gearing as on the racing bike, same pedals etc. Great for wet days - great for the winter too.

Don't underestimate the power of fenders. And while you're out in the rain, keep in mind that your stopping range etc. is going to be less than normal, and that visibility (yours and motorists') might be compromised. Just getting out and riding is good enough - no need to set land speed records in the murky muck.

MB
YupRay Sachs
Nov 7, 2002 7:55 AM
I commute by bike rain or shine. Serious lightning, really strong winds (much over 30 mph and its too easy to get blown into traffic), and deep snow are the only conditions that generally keep me off the bike. You don't melt when you get wet - neither does your bike! If it's cold, dress for it. Fenders are pretty critical too. I have 'em on one road bike and my commuter / tourer.

As far as recreational riding, I tend not to go out on a discretionary ride in a serious rain storm. I frequently go out on a spotty day and end up riding in periods of rain. I've also had long days on tours when I rode many miles in very rainy conditions. While I wouldn't choose those rides, they frequently turn out to be the most memorable, fun, epic rides in my memory bank. As long as you can stay warm, once you're soaked through, there's nothing else to worry about. Those rides end up being a blast!

I don't find riding in the rain particularly dangerous. You obviously have to be less aggressive in the corners. But I find that cars generally give me MORE space in the rain.

Go for it,

-Ray
you gotta be kiddingJohnG
Nov 7, 2002 8:03 AM
Only JA's or serious racers ride in the rain. ;-)

JohnG
gotta be rain readyScottland
Nov 7, 2002 8:05 AM
We do it all the time, it is no big deal.MB1
Nov 7, 2002 8:05 AM
Since we started riding every day of the year we ride in all sorts of ugly weather. It has gotten to the point where I like bad weather a lot-the areas we ride in are almost empty in bad weather.

For rain-fenders, gore-tex clothing, warm gloves, a helmet cover and visor make all the difference in the world. Riding a fixte or SS in the rain also helps keep the maintainence to a minimum.

Having fenders is wonderful, I am always amazed that it took me so many years of riding (or not riding) in the rain before I finally got fenders. It is so nice to not be covered with dirty road spray-even if you get wet from the rain you are still a lot drier and cleaner with fenders on your bike. Fenders also keep the road spray from your front wheel off your face and glasses. A good helmet visor along with fenders really improves your ability to see while riding in the rain.

Be prepared!
Rain's a treat where I live; here's a Seattle trickcory
Nov 7, 2002 8:07 AM
Reno only gets about 6 inches of rain a year, so we look forward to it. It's raining a little this morning, and I saw several people riding. I'm going out at lunch if I can get free.
I've spent a lot of time in Seattle, and on the ferry last year I talked with a woman in her 70s who was heading to Bremerton with her bike. She had full fenders, of course, and a waxed cotton poncho with thumb loops. The fenders kept off the spray, she said. The poncho covered her body, leaving open space underneath for ventilation, and she hooked her thumbs through the loops to keep the front of it down. Says she rides all year and doesn't get any wetter than she would waiting for a bus or walking from a parking garage.
Rivendell used to sell the ponchos; don't know if they still do. But you could add loops to any surplus-store rain poncho, and they come in bright yellow and orange.
in LondonMJ
Nov 7, 2002 8:12 AM
rain is an almost everyday thing - it is not unsafe - it is water - bikes are not china - nor are you - rain should never stop you from being out on the bike

get some rain kit and be happy
re: Not an issueMike Prince
Nov 7, 2002 8:32 AM
I have several freiends in the Pac NW and in the UK and they all have a common saying - "If you don't ride in the rain, you don't ride".

Like Tarwheel, I also live in NC although much further west. We get all kinds of neat weather near the mountains and often you leave home in clear skies and are in the pouring rain or snow when you get up the mountains.

If there's a chance of rain or it's raining already at the house when I leave, I'll tuck a cap in my jersey (amazing how that little visor keeps your glasses dry) and usually I have a small taillight attached to my seatpost. Wear a bright jersey and you're set. As one poster said the first five minutes are the worst, after that you're wet and you really don't get more wet.

Three "p" things to look out for - painted stripes (or leaves in fall), puddles and punctures. Painted stripes are fun - had one of my worst spills last year on a wet road stripe, worse than ice. My philosophy on puddles is avoid 'em if you can - sometimes they're half an inch deep, other times they are 6 inches deep - you can't tell. I think most (90%) of my punctures in the last 3 years have been in the rain, debris gets washed to the roadside and I have seen an article that alleges that a tire's tread rubber gets softer in the wet, allowing debris to penetrate it more easily.

Maintenance not really an issue with rain. Contrary to the prevailing opinion on this board, you do not need to do a complete overhaul after every rain ride. After a ride in heavy rain, I will drop the bike from about 3' up onto its wheels to knock off the majority of water, remove the seatpost so that any moisture in the frame can escape overnight, and wipe and lube the chain. 10 minutes of work tops. Your pretty shiny bike will not die in the rain. The key is to not let water pool up anywhere like bolt heads or in cables. The drop approach displaces an incredible amount of water.
A lot of it depends on the roads where you ride...DINOSAUR
Nov 7, 2002 8:34 AM
I don't mind getting wet it it's not a typhoon. Actually riding in the rain can be darn right enjoyable. What keeps me from riding in the rain is the roads I ride on. I ride on back country roads in wooded areas. Storms cause tree branches to come down and potholes to appear overnight. Nothing worse then descending and coming around a curve and encountering a large tree branch laying in the middle of your lane. Pine needles also do a good job of covering up glass and there is nothing worse to stop for a puncture when it's wet and cold and you are dripping in sweat. Also there is the traffic problem, not only do I have to lookout for road hazards it's the people who refuse to slow down when the weather gets bad. This is the first rain of our season where I live. People will be crashing left and right and I don't want to be anywhere around them. I don't mind going out for a ride and get sprinkled on halfway through the ride, but if it's raining hard I'll stay inside. Now if my right heel didn't bother me, I'd slap on some running shoes and run through the winter and cycle when I could, but those days are long gone due to injury. That's why some guys cross train, time for me to pull out the old Concept 2 rowing machine, dust it off and check the batteries and do the Ben Hur thingy...
re: Riding In The Raintigermilk
Nov 7, 2002 8:36 AM
While waiting for the train this morning I saw a guy riding up Beacon street in Boston with his cold weather gear. It was raining a little, cold, and windy. Had a couple of thoughts to myself

1) you've got another 30 minutes of riding to find decent stretches to train on
2) the 90 minutes of Zone 2 power training I'll be doing indoors this afternoon will be more comfortable and probably a better overall workout than training in miserable weather.
3) it's cold, windy, and rainy. What are you doing outside?

Riding should be fun. What fun is had when cold and wet?
re: Riding In The RainPMC
Nov 7, 2002 8:41 AM
For me it's a seasonal thing. In the spring, I don't mind it at all as I've been itching to ride outside for months. This last spring I remember riding on days where the temp never broke 40 degrees with high winds and driving rain. In the fall, I'd rather just hop on the trainer in the basement than solo in the rain. If I've made plans with others I'll still go but that doesn't happen that often.

Today? - sunny and 58. Cutting out of work early hoping to get a good 3-4 hours in before the sun goes down...
Wow... I can't believe it.......CARBON110
Nov 7, 2002 9:40 AM
Outside having an important meting or conferance at work, or attempting to impress someone, why would you not ride in the rain? You spend mucho $$ on your bike but worry about the rain? The only thing I get sketched about is when its raining and the temp. goes below 36 degrees. My first race this year it was 31 degress in Greenville SC and we had more than 2inches of rain on the road. You do need to clean your bike well afterward though. I like coming home from a rainy ride, all dirty, standing outside on my porch, cleaning off my bike first with a towel and degreeser :) , getting undressed and taking a long ass bath,
Then jumping onto RBR. I thought everyone did this........
Regularly, both commuting and road rides, but snow sucks nmPdxMark
Nov 7, 2002 9:44 AM
Yes - Not A Huge Issue If You Have The GearGregory Taylor
Nov 7, 2002 9:51 AM
I do the bike-commute thing regularly, so not riding in the rain is generally the exception rather than the rule.

Getting wet really isn't the issue - humans are about 70% water anyway, right? So I don't worry about staying dry. Rather, I dress for chill and cold. There is nothing more miserable than 38 degrees and raining. For the bike, front and rear fenders are key. They keep the road crap off of you and your bike. After you ride, bounce the bike a few times on its wheels to shake off excess water. After the bike dries, I generally lube the chain and go over the derailleurs and brake pivots with some spray lube. Sometimes I take the seatpost out and drain any water that may have worked its way down into the frame and bottom bracket.

As for clothes, Pearl Izumi Amphib tights, a couple of layered jerseys, a rainjacket, booties, and neoprene gloves work for me, even if I eventually get soaked. I use an Ortleib messenger bag to carry my crap. Its so waterproof that I'm convinced that you could take a shower while wearing it and your stuff would stay dry.

On the ride home, visibility is more of an issue. You need lights, of course. Traffic in DC can get REALLY squirrely at rush-hour in the rain.

Sunday fun rides are a different kettle of fish. Light steady rain? Sure, let's go. Heavy rain? Screw it, let's have another doughnut.
Fenders may keep rain off of you, but they still permit spraybill
Nov 7, 2002 10:42 AM
on the poor suffering sucka behind you. Fifty miles behind your wet ass on the Seagull was MY idea of a great time, I'll say -- mineral water, I think they call it. Tastes, umm, gritty.
The best was the sudsy look -- Taylor hadn't quite washed the soap out of his shorts. Rain and movement equals SUDS!
We had fun, though.
At least you guys had confirmation that I wash my shorts...Gregory Taylor
Nov 7, 2002 11:50 AM
Man, that was embarassing.

For those of you playing along at home, Bill is referring to a charming little rain-related incident at this year's very wet Seagull Century. Bill and the Lardbutts (didn't they have a crossover hit in the '60's?) were steaming along at a fair old clip when he helpfully pointed out to 6,000 people that my pants were foaming. Yes, foaming. Rump Rabies? Nope, Woolite. I had washed out my shorts, and hadn't quite gotten all of the soap out of the chamois when I rinsed. At least they were clean...
Now wait a minute. We confirmed that they were SOAPY, whichbill
Nov 7, 2002 12:06 PM
certainly implies that they had been washed at some point in their not inconsiderable history. This is different, my foamy friend, from confirming that they were THEN clean.
The overall impression was thoroughly disgusting. I mean that in the nicest possible way.
I'll grant you....Gregory Taylor
Nov 7, 2002 12:43 PM
...that at that particular stage of the ride - 35 or so very wet and gritty miles - my shorts probably lacked that certain minty freshness usually associated with the word "clean". And I won't begin to describe the very strange rash that sitting on a soapy seat gave me...
It's a BLASTAndy M-S
Nov 7, 2002 9:53 AM
I'm still working on my new(er) RainBike (see: Bikeshots in the Gallery, "Classic/Take 2" if the attached photo doesn't show) but I love riding in the rain. You need (or should have) decent fenders, and it shouldn't be your most-loved bike or anything, but if you know what you're doing, riding in the rain can be the greatest thing...

Back in July I rode/raced through Wilmet and Evanston, IL, with a bunch of other crazy people one wet, wet Saturday morning. It was like a crazy endurance event, but in a good way. You ended up wet and gritty (I have a jersey with permanent road grit stains in back--I didn't have my fendered bike that day), but it's an experience you won't forget.

Ride in the rain. I dare ya.
Its not the rain I don't like...UncleMoe
Nov 7, 2002 10:27 AM
Its the drivers driving in it.

I have no problem hitting a MTB trail on a rainy day assuming the trail can take the abuse when wet (don't anna mess up the trail).

But riding on the road scares me because San Diego (and I think most CA drivers especially) are clueless on how to drive in the rain.
No big deal!Anaerobic_Nut
Nov 7, 2002 11:38 AM
Riding in rain is no big deal; you get used to it just like driving your car in the rain. Be careful and stay alert! Being a serious cyclist, I don't have much choice and will ride in most conditions. Keeps my skills sharp for racing. However, its a personal preference; if you don't feel comfortable, then don't do it IMO
Glasses are a pain, what do people do?KenS
Nov 7, 2002 12:51 PM
My major complaint about riding in the rain is the buildup of spray on my (corrective lens) glasses. At some point I am completely wet and my glasses are covered in wet, cruddy flecks.

How do people deal with cleaning glasses while riding?
re: Riding In The RainHereford Flyer
Nov 7, 2002 12:53 PM
A few photos of my winter/wet bike set up for a wet British winter here in rual Herefordshire.

Squeezed a pair of full mudguards/fenders on, mudflap on the bottom of the front guard is essential in heavy rain - keeps the worst of your feet. Wear a cycling hat under your helmet, the peak keeps all the rain out of your eyes.

Nightime rain/winter riding - a couple of flashing Cateye 5 LED lights and a large Cateye always on LED. Reflective tape on guards - from an auto store. A really good set of front lights. Just got a pair of British Lumicycle 13 volt NiMh lights running a 12w spot and a 35 watt spot. The 12 watt is plenty for the darkest Hereford country lane it will run for over 3 hours. Just use the 35 watt for tricky descents. No connection with www.Lumicycle.co.uk , but they have got to be one of the best and lightest system about at the moment.

If you got the wet bike - no excuse just get out in the rain!



35 WATTS! I am enviousteamsloppy
Nov 7, 2002 10:55 PM
Nice Bike.

What is model and manufacturer of your 35 Watt bike light? 20 Watt is the common high wattage lamp in the "States" (or is it "colonies").

P.S.
The posts in this tread are an example of the medal, character and undauntable courage of people from Britain. It's sort of like reading a climbing register in Nepal, Agentina or Alaska: the worse the weather and danger, the more the British appear.
So well observed....Eager Beagle
Nov 8, 2002 1:41 AM
It's a little known fact in the States I have nociced, that all bikes in the UK are fitted with a little wind driven device that sounds like the roar of a Spitfire on take-off, to put steal in our soles on wet days, and a tiny hub-dynamo driven heater in the downtube, which when combined with an on-board beverage maker concealed in the top-tube, ensures that the stern-of-sole British rider has a plentiful supply of piping hot English Breakfast Tea to warm him through, no matter how sodden his tweed cycling pantaloons become on account of our maritime climbate.

"Mad dogs and Englishmen, go out in the mid-winter rain"

You won't find Johnny Foreigner doing that...

:-)
So well observed....Hereford Flyer
Nov 8, 2002 2:15 AM
Give me Southern California and iced tea any time, you just gotta make the best of the British winter. Before it became my my winter bike it had once known the sun and roads of Orange County, for 6 months, back in 1990 (even did 4 or 5 races). I think it was a bit upset at having mudguards squeezed onto it for the first time though!

P.S

Top Tweed tip = I find wrapping cling film round ones tweed pantaloons gives you an extra 4 or 5 hours riding time if its really wet.
Ah - a true modernist!Eager Beagle
Nov 8, 2002 9:20 AM
I may try your suggestion. I am currently seeking dry solace in a solution of a stern waxed gentleman's overtrouser, assisted by a generous smearing of goose fat.
35 WATTS! I am envious - LumicycleHereford Flyer
Nov 8, 2002 1:56 AM
Lights are made by Lumicycle a small compamy here in the UK.
You can only buy direct from there web site.

www.lumicycle.co.uk

The system I have just got is the twin headlight with a fast charger. The system is very flexible. You can spec bulbs from 5 watt through to 35 watt and in either spot, mid or flood beam. They use Halogen MR II bulbs, cost about UK £8.oo per bulb and only take a few seconds to change, so you can change for the type of ride or conditions. Burn time varies from 8hours for the 5 watt to 1.2 hours for the 35 watt. The 20 watt will run for 2.3 hours and its plenty bright, but I find the 12 watt at 3.3 hours gives me plenty of light. Oh and you can choose between a bottle sized battery or a frame bag battery, NiMh at 13.2 volts.
NICE! And some questions ...Allez Rouge
Nov 8, 2002 6:14 AM
The tubes on this frame look a little oversized. Is this steel, or aluminum (or is the word "aluminium")? Either way, given your experience where a lot of cyclists ride regularly in the rain, would you recommend an aluminum or carbon frame over ferrous steel? Or does it really matter that much, assuming you dry things off carefully after a wet ride?
NICE! And some questions ...Hereford Flyer
Nov 8, 2002 7:27 AM
The frame was custom built for me back in 1987 by Keith Coppell (small custom builder near Liverpool, sadly no longer building). Its just standard size 531C DB with microcast lugs, Cinelli spoiler BB shell, vert drops etc. I suppose it's classed as retro these days. Hope to get new frame in 2003 probably Ti of some sort.

Personally I don't think frame material matters to much as long as you give your bike a good wash or hose down on a regular basis, especially if your roads get salted a lot.
155 Queen's Finest Nuggets though!!!! nmEager Beagle
Nov 8, 2002 9:23 AM
SWEEEEEEEET!!!! nmAnaerobic_Nut
Nov 8, 2002 11:40 AM
How about pedals/shoes?Allez Rouge
Nov 7, 2002 1:39 PM
My regular road shoes with Look cleats are slicker than you-know-what even when it's dry. Are walkable (SPD-type) shoes and pedals recommended for riding on wet days?
Lake makes walkable Look-compats.jw25
Nov 7, 2002 2:46 PM
I forget the model, but they have a decent tread with a large cleat pocket, and aren't too expensive, either. I know one of the big 3 catalogs has them. Not too styley, but that's probably good for rain shoes.
Cheaper than different pedals, too.
Daylight rain ride OK, but after dark, w/cars & rain, it's deathteamsloppy
Nov 7, 2002 10:26 PM
Road riding in the Rain and Dark is an impossibly dangerous combination that has not been emphasized enough in this thread. (By contrast, rain, dark and Moutain Bike riding on a dark trail is way sensuous and very enjoyable.)

With the headlights of cars, other incident light and the drops of water on your glasses, goggles or bare eyes, a road cyclist can't safely see in the dark while its raining.

Cold and Dark can be handled with technology (clothes, halogen and batteries). But, there are no windshield wipers for road cyclist that I am aware of that makes rain and dark conquerable.

I drove to work today because of the rain (near you in the SF Grey area). I also saw a diehard cyclist in full rain raingear tonight, after dark, and felt an admiration (like you).

But, I broke a humerus and collar bone riding my bike earlier this year and safety is an important issue (surgery costs over $15,000). I commuted to work daily by bike May to November (here in California). Yesterday was probably the last "regular" commute by bike day until there is another dry spell.

It's the rain after dark that makes visibility non-existent and justifiably stops the regular daily commute to work for most people.

If you have a job or task that allows you to ride in the rain during daylight, then go for it. It's very sensual and, more importantly, admirable.
as mentioned elsewhere in this threadMJ
Nov 8, 2002 10:14 AM
if you want to ride in Europe you have to get used to the dark and the wet

it's dark by 4:00pm this time of year and has rained most of this week in London

riding glasses help out with the windscreen wiper issue
re: Riding In The RainWoof the dog
Nov 7, 2002 11:03 PM
At some point, the weather can get really bad so you will be paying attention to things like bad weather and getting in on time, certainly not to the correct heart rate etc. Would it make sense to ride in wet rain when its 30 out and you were planning on going for 3 hours? I don't think so. You gotta do it sometimes to get some experience, sure thats great for that, but not on regular basis. Do you really believe that those who drive to work everyday instead of riding are actually slower than those who get to ride in? I don't think so, kids, cause you know what, I may drive around too much but I come home and ride rollers or ride outside in the evening for about 8 hours a week (plenty for me at least) including gym. If you want results, you would train right and not get by w/ sporadic wet weather riding when you are still asleep (at least I would be) and can't take a good shower or have to ride with a backpack for like 30 minutes. You would get a much better workout by driving to work and then riding after. Yes, it depends on the person, but it seems like driving (as much as I hate cars) is not that bad of an idea. Apparently, for the majority of people here, keeping the weight down in winter is a problem, so sure, knock yourself out senseless with riding in the crappiest weather possible (yes, I agree it is really fun actually), but don't get pissed when a biking dog passes you up the hill in spring.

Woof, the dog that shaves his legs.
Without disagreeing with anything you say ...Allez Rouge
Nov 8, 2002 6:08 AM
... not wanting to miss a "training day" is not the sole reason for wanting to go for a ride. I'm a card-carrying member of the Old Guys Who Get Fat In Winter brigade, and the more riding I could do in bad weather the better off I'd be come spring. But when the weather is bad I miss the mental therapy of a long, satisfying ride even more than I do the physical part.