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Riding in the rain(10 posts)

Riding in the rainKaboom
Oct 30, 2003 12:38 PM
I'm a newbie teenager cyclist that got into cycling a couple of years ago. Up to now, i only cycled in spring and summer, but this year i'm determined to ride the whole year, no matter rain, snow, hail, cold or wind.
I'd like to know if there are any real risks for the bike/rider, and if there is any equipment that will help if riding in the rain (tires etc...) Also, how one should dry the bike after arriving back home.
biggest riskSteve_0
Oct 30, 2003 12:45 PM
is reduced visability. Be sure to dress brightly. Obviously, take corners carefully Studded tires if riding in ice. Obviously, rain gear.

As far as after the ride, clean the chain well. Water on the bike isnt the enemy; its all the gook that gets caught in the chain. Keep bearings packed.
There are risks...PsyDoc
Oct 30, 2003 12:47 PM
...with riding in general, rain or shine. But, riding in the rain can be a bit more risky as the streets will be quite slick...stay away from the painted lines. I would suggest getting wider tires and possibly a red blinking rear light to increase the likelihood motorists will see you when it's particularly dark out.
Fenders...without a doubt . nmGFocker
Oct 30, 2003 12:54 PM
re: Riding in the rainFredrico
Oct 30, 2003 1:47 PM
Just commuted to work last week in light rain, and was reminded to carry a dry pair of socks.

The main risk of riding on wet roads is losing traction and falling. Slick spots can come from oil, leaves, steel plates, manhole covers, even seams in the pavement. Since bicycle tires have such a small contact patch, slicks have as much, if not more traction than treaded tires on wet roads.

Aside from watching a bit more carefully where you're going, the other issue is coping with getting wet.

Fenders are the first line of defense. They'll keep the filthy water from the road off your knees and back. The bike will stay cleaner, too.

Rain capes are great for keeping the upper body dry. They can be draped over a backpack. But the legs will still get drenched, so if the temps go much below 70 degrees, polypro or another fabric that retains body heat when wet is necessary, covering legs and feet. Waterproof pants and shoe covers are great for insulation, but get hot in temps above 50-55 degrees.

As rain makes the sky dark, a flashing tail light is good to have on. It would also help to have wipers on eye cover, although this isn't as much of a problem as one might guess. Breath condenses on the inside of eyeglasses. To get rid of it, just bend your head down or to the side, and let a few drops of water trickle down the inside of the glasses.

Bikes are designed to get wet. Bare metal will rust, so one must keep the bike painted and waxed, and the chain lubed. Wipe off the bike upon getting home, and dab a little lube on the chain, so it won't rust. Check the tires for cuts and glass, much more a possibility rolling over wet roads than dry ones.

There's no need to be afraid of cold and rain. Body heat keeps you warm.
re: Riding in the raingtx
Oct 30, 2003 2:03 PM
slightly wider tires (25s or 28s are good)
slightly lower tire pressure (100psi is good)
slighlty lower seat (drop it .5cm or so)
fenders
proper clothing/booties/non-fogging clear lense glasses
...and you're set!
Braking in the rainkokaku
Oct 30, 2003 2:14 PM
Feather your brakes occasionally to wipe water off the rims and be aware that your braking is reduced. Learn to favor your front brake more than your rear as you have a lot more stopping power and are less likely to skid out the rear wheel (which becomes a real problem when the road is wet). Take greater care cornerning (again you don't want to slide the bike out from under you).

Useful clothing: rain jacket, rain pants, shoe covers, change of socks for when you get where you're going.

Definitely lighting: anything that will make you visible, especially since it gets dark early now.
How much cash do you have to invest...biknben
Oct 30, 2003 5:10 PM
Warm weather gear and raingear is gonna get costly. Don't let this discourage you but just prepare yourself.

Things you will not regret getting:
Rain:
-Fenders. If you bike doesn't have clearance, get some plastic clip-on fenders.
-Rain Jacket. I would consider this mandatory for temps below 65* or so.
-Cycling cap. Yes those stupid looking hats are great for rain rides. They fit under your helmet and the visor keeps rain out of your eye. An alternative is a helmet with a visor. I don't wear glasses in the rain. Drops of water mess up your vision and fogging is a problem.
-Wider tires. Find the largest cheapo tire that will fit in your frame.
-Blinking lights. Cars are gonna have a hard time seeing you in the rain. They don't expect to see cyclists out on the roads. Help them by being as visable as possible.

Cold:
-Booties. Gotta keep the tootsies warm.
-Glove liners. They cost near nothing and will allow you to ride in temps 5-10* colder with the same gloves.
-Thermal head cap or Balaclava.
-Layered clothing. Start with a good base layer tank from Craft or PI and work your way out.
-Thermal jacket. Something that blocks the wind in the front but breaths in the back.

Snow:
-Studded tires. http://www.nokiantyres.com/bike/winter/index.html
One minor recommendationTrent in WA
Oct 30, 2003 10:35 PM
A good wet-weather lube will help keep your drivetrain happy. I'm fond of 30W motor oil, either straight up or diluted 3:1 with odorless mineral spirits. It resists washing off better than anything else I've tried (and I've tried everything from ProLink to Phil's Tenacious) and is cheap as cheap can be.

Trent in strangely dry (for now) Seattle
re: Riding in the rain - tipsSaddle_Sore
Oct 31, 2003 6:49 AM
I do a lot of my cycling in the rain (it usually is raining here in the UK, especially when I get home from work).

Lights - as many as you can handle. I ride with one on the rear of the seat stem, one on the rear fork, one on the rear of my CamelBak, all set to blinky-mode. I also wear some armbands that have lights built in and run off calculator batteries. You might also want to try for some TyreFlies - these screw onto the valves of your tyres and are good for increasing side-on visibility. As for front lights, as good a set as you can afford.

Gear - a peaked helmet really helps keep the rain out of your eyes or from building up on your eyewear if you are a speccie-wearing cyclist like me. Fogging up can happen, but is easily dealt with.

Get some waterproof socks. I currently use Sealskinz and I haven't looked back. They keep your tootsies toasty without the need for overshoes.

Get a decent waterproof top as well. There are so many out there. I favour the ones by Gore bikewear, they come in a variety of eye-searing colours and are usually plastered with scotchlite reflective tape as well.

As for riding, resist the temptation to get into an aerodynamic tuck position and keep your eyes glued to the road. Slick patches can really upset your day!