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Old 05-24-08, 11:20 PM   #1
Chansnewbike
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Riding in the rain?

Hi, I'm planning to ride my bike no matter what weather condition. There's two things I think I need to consider when riding on a rainy day.

1) I need some sort of rain coat that can keep me, my hands, and perferably my legs dry. But I need one that doesn't clip on to the wheels and also not to wide so it doesn't clip on to trees. I can't find any sort of raincoat and i'm asking u guys if you know.

2) My bike doesn't have that sort of smooth "lamination". My bike is a Giant TCX1 with aluminium frame. By the feel of it, it doesn't seem to have a lacquer. Are lacquer coatings supposed to protect the bike frame from rust and paint scratches? If so, then this is something I probrably need to consider.

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Old 05-24-08, 11:29 PM   #2
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1) Get a winter cycling rain jacket.

2) Aluminum doesn't rust. You will be fine.

Good luck with taking the plunge as an all-weather cyclist. People will think that you are crazy at first, but that should just make it all better.
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Old 05-24-08, 11:32 PM   #3
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1) Get a winter cycling rain jacket.

2) Aluminum doesn't rust. You will be fine.

Good luck with taking the plunge as an all-weather cyclist. People will think that you are crazy at first, but that should just make it all better.
Problem is, i don't know where to find a "winter cycling rain jacket" (if there is even such thing). You or somebody will have to give me a link to a store site.
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Old 05-25-08, 09:42 AM   #4
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I prefer rain capes to jackets, at least when it's warm out, as they are much better ventilated. It's basically a poncho that extends from your back, over your torso, and over your hands; there are thumb loops to hold it in place. It's like a tent underneath, hence the good ventilation. It can also be quickly removed or put on (I can usually do it on the bike).

However, it is not very aerodynamic - not a problem at 10-12 mph, but if you are going to ride at 15-20+ mph, it will, um, enhance your workout.

I'm not sure about your tree clipping issue - I don't find the cape to be particularly billowy...but they're not form fitting, either. So this may or may not be a problem. They do tend to be robust...

The biggest difficulty most people have with biking in the rain is a psychological barrier to getting wet, summed up by the statement that "he doesn't have enough sense to come in out of the rain." Once you get past this hurdle (and it seems like you may have already), choosing proper gear is just a matter of personal preference.
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Old 05-25-08, 08:14 PM   #5
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Since I'm a cheap SOB, and not really up there on the income ladder to start with, I fall back on the cheap alternatives.
1.) Wal-Mart rain jacket/rain pants; keeps the rain out and the sweat in, but I've found that sweat evaporates faster. Also, since it has a hood, I can wear it inside the helmet.
2.) Long plastic bags (like bread-loaf bags) over socks, inside shoes; feet stay dry, but not shoes. Also have used rubber shoe covers w/ cleat area cut out.
3.) Gloves continue to be an issue -- the best thing I ever found for rain protection was the old "gauntlet"-style rubber gloves we had in the army for our chemical protective gear -- like a 'lite' inner tube with fingers.... Can't find 'em now, even at the surplus stores....
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Old 05-25-08, 09:47 PM   #6
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Performance, Bike Nashbar, www.showerspass.com
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Old 05-25-08, 10:12 PM   #7
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You get what you pay for. If you're serious about riding in the rain, go with the Showers pass jackets (and get the optional hood) and rain pants, and get some waterproof gloves and shoe coverings. The gloves and shoe covers should all be on clearance now as the bike shops gear up for summer.
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Old 05-25-08, 11:39 PM   #8
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Consider looking at motorcycling rain gear. They will be easy to find in stores and online and will work great for bicycling as well. While bicycle shops may not have a "rain gear" section, motorcycle shops usually do.
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Old 05-26-08, 12:13 AM   #9
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Consider looking at motorcycling rain gear. They will be easy to find in stores and online and will work great for bicycling as well. While bicycle shops may not have a "rain gear" section, motorcycle shops usually do.
Good bicycle rain gear will be properly vented; motorcycle rain gear may not be. it's an important design consideration, because you're going to build up a lot of moisture inside from the physical exertion of bicycling. Any bike shop worthy of calling itself a "bike shop" should have rain gear, or be able to order it.
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Old 05-26-08, 03:06 AM   #10
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For summer riding, consider a backpack that will keep a set of clothes and shoes dry for when you reach your destination (if arriving dry is of importance). Then, just ride wet - it's only water.

Winter riding in the rain is a bit more of a challenge, as you have to balance protection from the rain against overheating and becoming wet from your own perspiration. For really hard rains, for me, nothing beats a rubber rain suit. Most have some vents, but in that sort of weather, if you ride, you are likely to get wet, either from within or without.

In less of a downpour, I like the newer generation of rain resistant non-rubberized rain gear. It's designed to manage water while allowing your body to "breathe" more as if you were wearing normal clothing. In a downpour, water will penetrate and you will eventually get wet.

Hoods can be a nice feature, but I prefer some sort of cap under my helmet to manage the water - keep it off my face and out of my eyes.

As for your feet, again, during the summer, I might just carry an extra pair of shoes in a water-proof backpack and let my feet get wet. In the winter, depending upon the make, those shoe covers can keep your feet dry and WARM!

I never worry too much about water on my hands. I just dry them off when I get to where I'm going.

In the winter, I make certain my gloves will keep hands dry and warm. In those situations, I will reach for whatever works - ski gloves or even mittens. Warmth is as important as dryness. If you are moving along at 20+mph in sub-freezing temperatures, you need to protect your hands from the cold. I will forgo style and cycling function in favor of warmth in these conditions.

Glad to hear that you don't intend to let the weather stop you.

Have fun.

Caruso
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Old 05-26-08, 06:11 AM   #11
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you could try looking at some performance rain gear for Sailing. Gore-Tex is our friend
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Old 05-27-08, 02:14 PM   #12
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Nashbar has a rain coat for $14 that I've been using for the last year that is remarkably descent: http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...3A%20Outerwear . The sides of the coat are mesh and therefore allow your body heat to expell. You don't realy end up getting any rain coming in along the mesh. For rain pants you have to buy something descent of they will tear within a few uses. I have the J&G rain pants for $36: http://www.bicycleclothing.com/Water...ain-Pants.html . You can upgrade to the breathable ones for about $70, but I was cheap and just got the regular ones. I used them almost daily during my Winter commute as a wind block over my tights and they are holding up fine. I've heard good things about the J&G rain coats as well, but have not had one personally. Now that I know I've use the rain pants so much, then next time I migh spend more for the breathable ones. So on the cheap you can be set for around $50 for descent to good quality rain gear. An other item that I like is the helmet rain cover. For slight rain I don't care, but for when it gushes, the helmet cover helps keep the rain from running down your neck and the inside your coat. I also just got a set of shoe covers. It didn't rain yet, but those should help a lot during heavy rain. I hate soaking wet feet. I still need to get some sort of rain gloves for the Fall... cold wet hands make for a lousy ride.

Happy riding,
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Old 05-27-08, 02:35 PM   #13
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I have a 15 mile commute each way, This is both a commute and exercise for me. I arrive home, and at work each day wet, whether or not it is raining. I shower and dress in clean dry clothes after each ride. I do have fenders on my bike - they help to keep me and the bike clean when the weather is nasty. When it is cold, I do have a jacket that I wear more to keep warm than dry.
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Old 05-27-08, 02:35 PM   #14
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I spent the last five or six years using a relatively low-end Col d'Lizard winter jacket in the rain. It was okay(ish), but it finally fell apart and I just took delivery of a nice Showers Pass Elite 2.0.

Can't wait for the next downpour...

I think the main thing with rain riding is to try to stay warm and comfortable. That means a different dry/wet factor for each person--for example, I don't mind my legs getting wet, as long as it's not in my shoes--and there's a lot of trial and error along the way.

And don't skimp on the headlight and taillights.

My best solution for cold hands, BTW, is Moose Mitts.
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Old 05-29-08, 02:13 PM   #15
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Thanks for your help, I think I will be looking at the Shower Pass products. Think I'll be buying the hoodie, elite coat, and rain cover shoes. I'll think about the pants later...
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Old 05-29-08, 02:30 PM   #16
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OMG, I'm melting!!!







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Old 05-29-08, 03:40 PM   #17
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I live in the Seattle area. I ride in the rain often. Here is what i wear:

Pants - Gortex or some type of water resistant pant that allows moisture to move to the outside away from you.
Jacket - Nasty cold...i wear a ski jacket (gortex) with a Sugoi visibility jacket over top. During warmer weather I wear a wind breaker under the Sugoi visibility jacket. If it is warmer, I wear just the Sugoi jacket. Usually the Sugoi jacket keeps all of the rain off of me and it is ventilated.
Hands - I usually wear gloves in all conditions except warm weather.
Helmet - I have a stretch reflective helmet cover that keeps my head dry.
Eyes - Goggles made by Kroop keep my glasses dry and my eyes free of debris.

Bike - All of the bags on my bike are resistant to water and the bike has fenders and a fairing. The fairing keeps my feet, legs and upper body dry. I have a recumbent, so the fairing covers a large area. Personally I go riding in the wet weather without waterproof pants unless it really rains hard. Hard ran travels down my arms and drips onto my legs when it rains hard.
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Old 05-29-08, 05:50 PM   #18
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I'll chime in for a bit. When it gets about freezing 32 and above with rain or sleet I put on the following layers: polypro or wicking type long or short sleeve shirt. Duofold brand 50% wool and 50% poly bottoms.(Warmest and driest things ever.Check Ebay for 12 pairs at $50.00 should last you a lifetime.)Second layer is Merino wool pullover pullover top.I get mine at Old Navy.Machine washable and probably under $20.00.Outer pants I go with lined,nylon "wind pants" or warm up pants with elastic cuffs.Dicks or REI has these.For an outer jacket I've got a bright yellow and flourecsent red warm up jacket with big inner pockets and full zipper.Sometimes I use my hi-viz plastic jacket but this overheats and really isn't that good.I went to a ski shop and got a good pair of gloves with full cuff sleeves.I bike in all kinds of crazy weather and have never been under dressed.I use and like a lot of the new fabrics but I'm never without wool.Modern wools especially Merino is not itchy,dries very fast,is very durable and the darker colors hide stains.What's not to like about wool? Plus it comes from sheep.Oh yeah forgot my feet.I still use Look Delta cleats and a good over shoe.Pearl Izumi is good but I like my Look booties better.
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Old 05-29-08, 06:04 PM   #19
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I like the showerspass jackets. Although I got a great deal on a sugoi jacket with zippered vents. Has worked extremely well for me. I also use REI rain pants during cold wet weather. Waterproof gloves work wonders.

Get fenders.

I recommend that you use lots of lights during bad weather.

I use chemical warmers in case I underdress during the winter months. I don't ride in the snow or icy roads. Basically, I am too lazy to swap the tires for those with metal stubs.
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Old 05-29-08, 10:20 PM   #20
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A good deal if they're your size:

Showers Pass rain pants

Worn once, BIN price is $30 below retail. You might want to try a pair on though, just to make sure of what size you wear. I ended up buying a size larger than what I would think I would wear.
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Old 05-29-08, 10:38 PM   #21
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During the dark and rainy wintery commutes, I wear bright colored reflective rain jacket and pants, it may show the dirt or stains more readily, but at least it betters the odds of the motorist being able to see me.
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Old 05-31-08, 09:39 AM   #22
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Add a really bright light or two. The water droplets on all the drivers' windows are the biggest detriment to visibility.

Of course, that goes without saying...
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Old 05-31-08, 10:02 AM   #23
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wool, wear the waterproofs as little as possible. well waxed leather work gloves, with wool liners underneath if its really cold. I ride in Seattle and commute by bike year round.

I work in a bike shop. i see people with ripped up and torn up cycling gloves all the time, also complaining about their handwear. Cycling gloves that blow out in two months, worn out in one season, stinky, STINKY neoprene gloves, etc..... I mean, virtually EVERY winter rider I see in the shop has these problems with winter cycling glove- its endemic to the cycling glove arena.

HOWEVER the faction of 1% of rainy season riders that use leather work gloves in the NW that I've talked to in the shop are very happy.

I'm of the opinion you need two jackets for 'rainy' weather because there's a LOT of variation i 'rain'.

get a weather resistant, non waterproof shell in addition to a waterproof raincoat, and you will be a happier camper. Again, try to wear the waterproof as little as possible.

Best Waterproof/breathable fabric is EVent.

Best non waterproof shell use Epic by Nextec silicone encapsulated fabrics, but next to impossible to find in cycling specific clothing.

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Old 05-31-08, 11:17 AM   #24
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if it is just rain water prof a change of clothes and get wet, I have found nothing in the last 10 yrs that will keep me 100% dry so i just plan to get wet and go. I find jogging jackets made of synthetic fabrics over the appropriate number of layers in the winter is the way to go poly under layer and so on. BUT this is just for me. find what makes YOU more comfortable and go with it.
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Old 05-31-08, 06:31 PM   #25
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For summer riding, consider a backpack that will keep a set of clothes and shoes dry for when you reach your destination (if arriving dry is of importance). Then, just ride wet - it's only water.
It's only water and you can only get so wet.

In the spring/summer/fall I just accepted the fact that I'd get wet. If I knew the day was gonna be rainy I might wear different clothes that I knew wouldn't absorb a lot of water. I'd maybe wear a lightweight rain resistant coat, or if it was going to pour, a raincoat. Fenders would help with inevitable spray. But the eventuality of it was I was going to be wet. So I always had a change of gear at work. And a backup set of clothes in case my current set got wet on the ride in.

Winter weather required a whole different approach.
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