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Rain gear- need advice(15 posts)

Rain gear- need adviceCritLover
Jan 4, 2004 4:28 PM
My ride started out with a light sprinkle this morning and turned into a pretty steady drizzle before it ended. Call me a wuss, but except for a really important event, I never go out when it's raining.

My first problem is, how do you keep your feet dry? I was wearing Pearl Izumi rain covers, and after 20 minutes my feet were completely soaked! I figure the water wets the tights which seeps down into the sock, but then how are they supposed to work if that happens? Rain covers= dry feet, no? Should I have pulled my tights up above the top of the bootie? I saw a guy with neoprene booties, but thought those would just get soaking wet and then your socks would follow.

Also, are tights that have a waterproof front panel effective for keeping the backs of your legs wet? Or do I have to go get fenders for that? My bike is really small and I'm not sure how well they'll fit. The front of my tights were also wet, but it didn't seem too bad until I slowed down.

What can you recommend to keep yourself dry? Any good products?
If you do it often, fenders and Gore-TexCory
Jan 4, 2004 5:26 PM
Where I live now, we only get about seven inches of rain a year, so I just stay home until it stops. It's rare enough that I actually look forward to it, and enjoy riding in it.
If you plan to do it often, though, fenders are a huge help. It can be tough, as you noted, to fit them to a modern bike (no room under the brakes, generally), but there are ways to do it with zip ties. Post again if you want some tips--it's come up here before. Or look around the Salvation Army, etc. for an old bike that either has fenders on it or has room for them. I got one for my wife for $30.
Gore-Tex pants and jacket are about the only solution I've found to stay dry without fenders. If you do mount fenders, though, a poncho works surprisingly well--the fenders stop the spray, the poncho blocks the rain and air circulates underneath. You can attach thumb loops to hold the front of the poncho out with your hands. Flaps like crazy, but you're probably not going to be going fast anyway.
mmmmmmmm..sprinkles.cydswipe
Jan 4, 2004 5:30 PM
I have a pair of Gore-Tex pants from Nashbar that I love. They are wind/rain proof. I got those on sale for under $90. A lot of folks on the board reccommend the Burley rain jacket. I've never tried one on. I posted a question last fall and that jacket got the best review. As for feet. Performance has these socks made of Gore-Tex. They are kinda expensive. I don't own a pair. You could try those with a pair of good socks. Anything Gore-Tex is pricey, but, it works really well. They also make helmet covers and shoe covers if I remember right. You could try www.qbike.com and look for sales this time of year.
Good Luck!
Been there...done that...biknben
Jan 4, 2004 5:36 PM
Do these look familiar?


I've used them once. I got the same result as you did. After not to long they were nothing more than water balloons. Water ran down my leg and under the elastic. I haven't used them since.

Funny you mention the neopreen dude. This is what I use for cold and rain.


I have sprayed mine with this water-proofer.


These can be found at outdoor-type stores or stores that sell boots. Water will
i eventually
get in if it's raining hard enough or I ride through big puddles. If it's just drizzling, light rain, or wet roads, these will keep my feet dry.

Beyind that, how about a cheapo seat-post mounted fender for the back? It will keep your butt dry. I used a MTB one on my commuter last year before going with full-fenders.
It's kind of pointlessKerry Irons
Jan 4, 2004 5:45 PM
If you want to ride to work and need to stay dry, then a rain suit is just the ticket. It's still hard to keep your feet dry - I just keep a pair of shoes at work and let the commuter shoes dry all day if I've had to ride in the rain or snow in the morning. However, if you're riding for exercise or training, you're going to be sweating fairly seriously. Inside a rain kit, you're going to be soaked with sweat. The purpose of rain gear in that circumstance is to keep you warm. Keeping you dry is well nigh impossible.
Rollers or....the bull
Jan 4, 2004 5:52 PM
just get wet.
It is going to happen.
Your outside for 4 hours riding in the rain.
If you are a gear-nut, like me then get a rain bike!
This makes the rain all the more fun!
While I am riding along all wet, I think to myself, "HEY, I AM RIDING MY RAIN BIKE"!!!!! Then eveything is a little better.
The water won't kill you.
re: Rain gear- need adviceSaddle_Sore
Jan 5, 2004 2:01 AM
Living in the UK, you get used to plenty of rain right quick!

For your top half you've got plenty of choice, I ride a Gore top in lemon yellow that's got a Gore-Tex membrane and so does the job, but like most things with Gore-Tex involved they don't come cheap.

Bottom half, if you are really allergic to rain water then you need to get some Gore-Tex pants - keep you dry and breathable, but the cost for your outfit will be escalating all the time.

Feet - best I've found so far are Seal Skinz socks - these are the business. No need for fussy booties to pull on over your feet (which don't work anyway), just stick your feet into a pair of these and then forget about puddles. Check the website out:

http://www.sealskinz.com

It helps if your bike is fitting with spray guards both front and rear (I think the Americans call them fenders), my commuter bike is (full length ones).
re: Rain gear- need adviceMJ
Jan 5, 2004 5:55 AM
agree with other UK poster - it rains alot here - you get used to it

rain is... ... nothing to be scared of - yes it's true you may get wet

trying to stay dry when it's raining is a losing battle - you really only need to stay warm - fenders are a big help - neoprene booties work great for me

is there a problem with getting wet from rain rather than from sweat?
re: Rain gear- need adviceSaddle_Sore
Jan 5, 2004 6:36 AM
Gotta agree with you there MJ, keeping your core temperature up is the most important thing. Biggest moans about cycling in the wet for me are:

i) I wear glasses and have yet to find a satisfactory way of stopping it beading up on my gigs - they don't come fitted with wipers.

ii) I cycle at night mostly, and I worry about dozy motorists not seeing me, although I wear seven lights so they'd have a job.

iii) My Mrs. has a go at me when I come back into the house a sodden mess, dripping on the floor (the bike gets wiped down first).
re: Rain gear- need adviceMJ
Jan 5, 2004 7:24 AM
agree - glasses and rain are a bad combination - rain seems to make motorists more distracted - you actually wipe the bike down? very impressive... I commute every day and ride on weekends - I'd be wiping the bike down all the time if I did that after every wet ride

where are you in the UK? I'm in London
learn to love itcmgauch
Jan 5, 2004 7:39 AM
When I know my feet are going to get wet, I try to wear wool socks. Wool insulates even when wet so you have relatively happy feet.

I ignored this rule yesterday & went out in a soaking rain with thin socks, sealskins & booties. I was OK because it was pretty warm, but my feet were soaked.

Note to self: put fenders on the fixed gear. That cold spray is really rude 1st thing in the a.m.
Rain is supposed to be WetKeeping up with Junior
Jan 5, 2004 8:54 AM
Staying warm should be your goal rather than staying dry.

Wool socks are the ticket for warm feet. Plastic coated toe covers can help with some road spray.

A cycling cap can help keep your glasses dry and your head warm although be careful with wet cotton caps if it is really cold out.

The only area I like to keep dry is my butt. Obviously fenders are best, you might consider one of the partial fenders that simply attaches to your seatpost. Since I don't ride in the rain on a regular basis I use a raincoat with a tail to keep my butt dry. My favorite is one of the cheap, clear plastic raincoats. I cut the long sleeves off and made it a short sleeve raincoat which allows for adequate ventilation, but keeps my core body warm and butt dry. Add arm warmers if necessary. My wife has a Burley raincoat which is well made and well ventilated if you must stay dry too.

Without a lot of experience (practice) and a lot of buying you are going to have a hard time finding clothes that keep the rainwater out and still let your sweat escape. And of course you will need different gear for different temperatures.
thanks allCritLover
Jan 5, 2004 8:58 AM
In response to comments about loving/enjoying the rain. I really don't mind it and it can be fun, but only if my hands and feet are mostly dry. I don't mind riding my good bike, or even getting the wet stripe up my back, I just need to feel comfortable in order to stay out for a while.

As for my feet, yes Ben, those are the offensive item, I'm gonna email PI and ask about them. Anyway, my socks were soaked, I mean completely drenched (and not sweat- eech that would be nasty). Once the water got cold they were not rideable, and I couldnt chance any of illness (can that lead to illness?).

Those sealskins sound like a good deal, but if it's cold out, I would probably still need booties for warmth/wind protection. Also some goretex pants would be great if I can find them on sale.

I wish I could ride without glasses, but my contacts wouldn't be too happy. I heard Rain X on the lens works well, so maybe I'll try that.

And for fenders, since I don't ride in the rain that often, is it feasible to take them off in between? I remember the last homemade fenders post and I don't have an endless supply of zip ties to keep reattaching. How about these SKS RaceBlades? Do you think they're really easy on and off?

http://www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk/public/index.php/product/MGK30S.html

Thanks for the help!
Remember: You Are About 70% Water Anyway (nm)Gregory Taylor
Jan 5, 2004 11:26 AM
Commuting in your work clothes is one thing, but when ridingbill
Jan 5, 2004 10:02 AM
for riding's sake in the rain, I never worry much about it -- the principles of moisture wicking away from the body and release remains more important than keeping the moisture away from your body. Waterproofing just cuts down on airflow and increases the moisture inside, IMHO.