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  1. #1
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    Newb riding in rain...

    Ok so I live in central Florida, it'll rain every day about 4-6. This is my time during the week to ride. So basicly if I go out at this time it's is a gamble. Yesterday I was at the 12 mile mark and was shooting for 20, the clouds looks so dark I said to hell with it and headed to the house. It never rained and I feel like I wasted what was feeling like a great ride. I've never been caught in the rain on a road bike. The tire obviously army made for water. Any advice on riding in the rain? FYI I'm basicly riding a 4 mile loop around a golf course and doing laps trying to reduce lap times right now so I'm never more than 2 miles away from my house.

  2. #2
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    As long as the it isn't too heavy or windly I ride in the rain. Never had traction problems. Fenders are very nice and a really good rear blinky. Cycling clothes are much more comfortable as are polyester socks. I really should get better pedals as my feet slip sometimes.Cleaning and reoiling the chain is critical afterwards.

  3. #3
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    The painted White Lines at intersections and Fog lines become slick as Ice when wet....Stay off of them
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  4. #4
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    The painted White Lines at intersections and Fog lines become slick as Ice when wet....Stay off of them
    Ditto railroad tracks, manhole covers, and metal grates or plates.

  5. #5
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Allow extra distance for braking. And like Neil and 10 Wheels said, avoid pavement paint and metal surfaces like the plague, or at least go over them straight and slow - no turning while they're under your tires. Railroad tracks in general also need to be crossed at 90 degrees, regardless of weather.
    Last edited by CraigB; 06-15-11 at 08:41 AM.
    Craig in Indy

  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnA42's Avatar
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    Never more than 2 miles from home? I say go for it. When it starts to rain head for home and make sure to follow all the good advice given above.

  7. #7
    Senior Member jmeissner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnA42 View Post
    Never more than 2 miles from home? I say go for it. When it starts to rain head for home and make sure to follow all the good advice given above.
    +1
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnA42 View Post
    Never more than 2 miles from home? I say go for it. When it starts to rain head for home and make sure to follow all the good advice given above.
    Still havnt gotten my pack for the bike with the extra tubes/co2/tools etc. Planning on getting that this weekend. The 4 mile loop by my house actually is nice and curvy, good riding, lots of bikers on it. Trust me I wanna go out n about more now seeing I really had no trouble biking 20 miles, want to up that # and explore!!

  9. #9
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    All that info is great, thank you. Never would have thought about the white lines! Down here mainly when it rains....it downpours for like 30/45 mins, then gets all sunny again. Guess if that happens find coer and wait it out.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Remember that the first hour or two of a rain the roads are EXTRA slick because of all the oils and fluids coming to the surface.

  11. #11
    Senior Member jr59's Avatar
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    Accept that you are going to get wet.

    Remember that everything painted on the road gets slick, more so when it first starts.

    Think about driving a car in the rain, you don't see as well, KEEP THIS IN MIND! The cars won't see you on the bike as well.

    Other than that, go for it.

    I enjoy riding in the summer rains, it's zen like. It cools me off.

    Just be EXTRA careful, and make sure to wipe down your bike and drive train.


    ALSO; Beware of the lighting that comes with those fl afternoon showers.
    rain= ok... lighting= NO GOOD!
    Gravity hates us all, but it hates me more than thin people!

  12. #12
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    Very true JR, I was outside all day working off a 35' lift, way to hot. Right at the end of the day it started raining & I just stood in it for a while (seeing was already drenched), felt so damn good!

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    I grew up in South Florida and now live in Central Florida as well so I know the roads and the weather patterns well. I try to ride the paved trails as much as possible, but have a route like you mention nearby that I will ride if I don't feel like heading over to Cross Seminole.

    A few things:

    1. As mentioned, the lines that are painted are slick, but they also use a decal type here in FL that I've found even slicker... be very careful with them.

    2. Just staying away from the decals isn't enough sometimes. If it's been awhile since there's been some rain (not a problem lately) a light rain can cause a slick as it displaces oils/vehicle fluids that may be on the road. Also remember that all our roads are graded to the outside so debris may wash to where you're riding causing potential puncture hazards.

    3. Scan ahead for drainage/puddle issues. We're pretty near the water table here. On my route there's more then one spot that if it's one of those quick but heavy downpours it doesn't drain fast enough initially.

    4. Drivers are idiots in the rain. If it's one of our routine afternoon t-storms, you have to be careful of the drivers since visibility for both you and them goes to crap. Just think of all the dolts on I-95/Turnpike going 35 in the left lane with their hazards on (somehow they think it will protect them when they can't see themselves).


    Whether driving or riding, my most prized possession for seeing are my polarized sunglasses. It has to really get dark for me not to feel like I see better with them.


    I may be exaggerating things a bit, but having driven in FL for about 20 years and riding in central FL for a few, I've seen enough hydroplanes and hit enough deceiving puddles to be extra cautious.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo2811 View Post
    Ok so I live in central Florida, it'll rain every day about 4-6. This is my time during the week to ride. So basicly if I go out at this time it's is a gamble. Yesterday I was at the 12 mile mark and was shooting for 20, the clouds looks so dark I said to hell with it and headed to the house. It never rained and I feel like I wasted what was feeling like a great ride. I've never been caught in the rain on a road bike. The tire obviously army made for water. Any advice on riding in the rain? FYI I'm basicly riding a 4 mile loop around a golf course and doing laps trying to reduce lap times right now so I'm never more than 2 miles away from my house.
    Harden the **** up.

    No offense. "HTFU" is a cycling term. It means "deal with it and get stronger."

    Get a set of good road tires, which will provide better traction. "Wipe" your rims by gently braking before you do the real thing, and give yourself extra room to stop. Avoid metal and paint on the roadway like the plague. Run a head and tail light when it's rainy. Go more slowly than you would if the roadway was dry.

    Get a pair of wool socks, and a merino wool base layer. Forget water-proof jackets, because you'll stew in your own sweat. Anyway, it's not like hypothermia is a big concern right now. Even in the dead of winter, you can ride a bike in the rain when it's 33 F, and as long as you don't wear cotton or stop for very long, you'll be fine.

    Then stop doing laps, and find a nice, scenic route to enjoy.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  15. #15
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    I really can't think of a bike tire that is made for water that isn't marketing fluff. Best bet is to accept you are going to get wet and ride slower.

    Use 10 Wheels and The Historians suggestions, and mine would be to make turns slower than normal, and avoid puddles since you don't know what lies beneath the surface.

    Another suggestion would be to watch what you have on your head or in your hair. Sweat, hair care products, sunblock, & residual laundry detergent (if you are wearing a cap or something) all sting when they run into your eyes during a downpour.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member JohnA42's Avatar
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    In addition to painted and metal surfaces, watch out for things like leaves or other debris that can stay wet even after the roads are dry. I broke an ankle like that at very low speed.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Yes, don't worry about getting wet as you will, no matter what you do or wear. Just enjoy it for what it is. As your in Florida, I don't think you'll have to worry about staying warm, but I always carry some rain gear to wear if I flat that'll help keep me comfortably while fixing it.

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    There is no such thing as a rain tire for a bike especially a road bike. There simply isn't enough of a contact patch for water channels in the tires to do anything and you can't hydroplane with high pressure tires. There is a table here http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html that says to hydroplane with a tire at 100 PSI you would have to exceed 104 MPH.
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  19. #19
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    All good stuff, newbies getting some great info, things I would have never thought of, nothing like experience, unless you count learning from others mistakes, I count it and regard it highly. Thanks

  20. #20
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exile View Post
    I really can't think of a bike tire that is made for water that isn't marketing fluff.
    Quote Originally Posted by zachsilvey View Post
    There is no such thing as a rain tire for a bike especially a road bike. There simply isn't enough of a contact patch for water channels in the tires to do anything and you can't hydroplane with high pressure tires. There is a table here http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html that says to hydroplane with a tire at 100 PSI you would have to exceed 104 MPH.
    Sure. Even among slicks with no tread, though, some tires grip the road much, much better than others. Some have better traction in general, and some track well in the rain.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  21. #21
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    To the guy that said to harden the f up, chill the f out. I just wanted info cause I havnt had to ride in the rain. I love working out in the rain, esp down here, cools you off. And bro, if you read the OP, I live in central florida...I am not getting wool socks.

    Actually got my EMG pack all filled up today and headed out, and got caught up in a great thunderstorm. Very greatfull for all info, Definatly helped out.

    I havnt yet been to the Seminole trail but it's not to far from my house. One of these days I want to get out there but time is hard to come by in this household.

    Once again thanx for the help!

  22. #22
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    Central FLA here.

    For rain tire try Conti 4-seasons. This is my commuting tire. Stupendous wet grip.

    Careful with vegetation debris, cars grind it into pulpy slime.

    Road garbage, like glass shards, sticks to the tires better in the wet, proper inflation is crucial.

    There are some high-grade merino wool products that nearly impossible to tell they are wool without looking at the tag.

    I ride in the rain, lightning is non-negotiable, tho.

    Good luck.

    SF
    I take great pride in my humility.

  23. #23
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    sci_femme is right about debris. It will stick to a wet tire much more readily than it will to a dry one, giving every little thing more time to work its way through the tire to get to your tube.

    A skill that's worth cultivating is cleaning your tires as you ride. I do it every time I've had to ride through a patch of glass. Gloves are mandatory for this, as is extreme caution, especially when doing the rear, as it can be surprisingly easy to get a hand caught between the tire and the seat tube.
    Craig in Indy

  24. #24
    Senior Member JohnA42's Avatar
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    I got rained on the other day, 10 miles from home. 10 uphill miles from home. What are you gonna do? I took it easy and was thankful I had wool socks on.

  25. #25
    Member RonE's Avatar
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    I too live in Central Florida and have to contend with the summer afternoon storms. The biggest problem with these storms is that more often than not they are very fast developing, fast moving and can quickly cause significant street flooding. Often, they are accompanied by heavy lightning and high winds, which can make bicycling through the storm a very unsafe activity.

    I only trust weather forecasts for generalities. I try to watch the radar before departing and do my best to adjust my bike commute schedule to minimize my exposure to such storms. Also, I try to identify possible shelters along the route so that I know where I can wait out a storm if necessary.

    Always carry lights, and most important, be extra diligent during rains and on wet roads.
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