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What do you wear for rainy day commutes?(15 posts)

What do you wear for rainy day commutes?LinuxDude
May 6, 2003 9:55 AM
Too many rain days here in NYC. I can't just stop bike commuting because of some wimpy rain. What brand, model pants jackets, gloves do you guys use for your rainy day commutes. Any help would be great
Depends on time of yearonespeed
May 6, 2003 10:01 AM
For cold icy winter rain, I will wear a subway car.

For summer rain, a fender, and regular clothes. I have found that rain gear never really works-you eventually get wet. So I just go with getting wet from the start. The fender is a must however, I just cannot stand the water up my ______.
Depends on time of yearLinuxDude
May 6, 2003 10:11 AM
onespeed, thanks for pointing that out.
I am more interested in rain protection in the springtime.
For the winter rains I guess I could just add some warm layers underneath.
Pretty much agree. If I ride in the rain, I get wet!dzrider
May 6, 2003 10:15 AM
I wear pair of Hind Dri-Lete tights that are 2 sizes too big over my bike shorts and a Nalini Sinchi jacket. They keep me dry a little longer than it takes me to warm up which is all I need. Both dry out very quickly for the ride home. In cold weather I wear Salvation Army wool under the jacket for its warm when wet properties. I also like GoreTex over sox and wool sox in cold, wet weather. I drive if there's snow or ice.

Strong second for the fender - I use an SKS clip-on.
Nothing fancyRJF
May 6, 2003 10:13 AM
Up here in Oregon, I use just a simple yellow rain jacket you can find at any bike store. Nothing fancy. Sidetrack booties on the feet (booties are a must to keep feet warm). Sealskin gloves keep the hands dry. Unless it dips into the 30s, I'll just wear my Nema baggie shorts. I find that wearing long pants or tights is a waste. They are just one more piece of wet clothing to dry out during the day. Put some fenders on the bike, too.

The thing about riding in the rain is to not be afraid of getting wet. Sounds obvious, right? If you bundle up with a huge, thick rain jacket and rain pants, you're going to sweat like a pig and you will be soaking wet from sweat. If you dress down a bit, you'll be wet from the rain. The key is to experiment with clothing until you find the right balance to keep you warm. The wet part isn't important -- you will be wet one way or the other. Warm is the key.
re: What do you wear for rainy day commutes?Fender
May 6, 2003 10:29 AM
I live in S.F. and commute to work on my bike. (1 mile) When it's raining I'll just slip on a pair of performance rain pants and rain jacket over my work cloths. no gloves or shoe covers. I just clean my shoes with a paper towel once at work.
re: What do you wear for rainy day commutes?PdxMark
May 6, 2003 10:48 AM
Burley Rain Rider jacket, PI Amfib gloves in winter, any ol' gloves otherwise, gore-tex socks inside cycling shoes (good year-round), for legs anything from shorts to tights to Performance gore-tex pants (yellow) for the hardest rains in winter.
the perfect solutiontarwheel
May 6, 2003 11:15 AM
Just towel off when done riding.
The clear Rain jackets are the best deal - keep you warmMaartin
May 6, 2003 11:35 AM
I commute 13 to 20 miles each way depending on the route. I found that when below 57 it can get cold fast. I use those cheap (2 for $30 at Performance) clear rain jackets the pros use. I leave one at the office. They do not breathe but keep you warm. If you don't you will freeze. I rode 17 miles last fall and the temperature dropped from 55 to 45 in a hard rain (about an hour in traffic). I started loosing feeling in my hands, arms and really felt like I barely made it.
that's no goodLinuxDude
May 6, 2003 12:31 PM
Are you guys saying that there are no solutions to this problem? I will get wet no matter what I wear, if I'm under the rain long enough? I don't understand?
Are you saying that breathable fabrics like Gore-Tex, will eventually let the water through? Is this also the case with nonbreathble fabrics and plain plastics?
Guess technology has failed us after all? :(

What about a bicycle umbrella? :)

It's just that I hate the feeling of being wet, even if I'm not feeling cold.
Water gets in!dzrider
May 6, 2003 12:59 PM
It comes down your neck and up your sleeves. The more waterproof you go the more you sweat, which is probably worse than rain. It's only water; you won't melt!
Fenders and a ponchocory
May 6, 2003 4:03 PM
Rivendell sells a waxed cotton poncho with thumb loops, so you can hold the front out on the brake levers. With fenders to catch the spray and the poncho on top, almost no water gets in, and air circulates under the poncho so you don't get sweaty. I imagine any decent backpacking poncho would work, and it would probably be cheaper--I think Riv's is $65, and it's on the skimpy side for a Clyde.
Fenders and a poncho are great for SOME situationsRay Sachs
May 7, 2003 9:11 AM
I use them in warmer weather when I'm riding around town or on my short commute. But I tried wearing a poncho on a bike tour once and it really sucked when I was trying to pile the miles on. It catches any sort of wind and make bike handling a real challenge - it can be really hazardous on a fast descent. I gave up on mine after about two hours of serious riding in the rain.

I agree with the other folks - you're gonna get wet so focus on staying warm enough or cool enough. In really warm weather, I don't wear anything extra except a visor to try to keep the water out of my eyes. During a cool summer rain when I could get cold from it, I use a light windbreaker to keep the wind away from all of that wet skin, and maybe knee warmers. When it's really cold out (not below freezing, but say raining and 40-55), I wear a full Burley rain suit - that actually keeps me dry on a short commute where I don't work up a sweat.

re: What do you wear for rainy day commutes?Geardaddy
May 7, 2003 11:49 AM
If it's warm or only misting, then you don't need much. However if it's raining hard or it's cold (40F's or 50F's), then top-to-bottom rain gear is nice. Yes it is also true that if you're riding fast and wearing rain gear, you will get soaked from the inside-out, even with breathable fabrics. But IMO that's still better than getting soaked from the outstide-in because *everything* gets soaked and you can get hypothermic if it's a cold rain. With rain gear on, your torso is the only area that gets soaked from the inside-out, and you can stay warm.

In warmer conditions I use those simple transparent rain jackets on the top, and I have a pair of Lemond waterproof pants (they are pricey, but I found them on a closeout). The rain jacket has a simple velcro closure and venting under the arms. For the feet I actually wear plastic bags (from a loaf of bread), which can be tucked inside the rain pants and secured with rubber bands around the ankles. I can clip in to my pedal right through the bag, and it's completely waterproof. If you don't want to be cheap like me, then there are water proof shoe covers that you can buy. For my hands I will just use my usual gloves, as I can live with those getting wet.

In colder conditions I will use a warmer waterproof "randoneur" jacket that I picked up at REI. Also, I'll try to use some full-finger gloves that won't easily soak completely through. Again it's your torso that will likely get hot, and it's better to have a jacket with venting panels or pit-zips, etc. than supposed "breathable" materials.
re: What do you wear for rainy day commutes?mackgoo
May 7, 2003 2:25 PM
If it's raining when I'm ready to go I take the car.