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Thread: tips for rain

  1. #1
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    tips for rain

    I'm probably wussing out today but what do y'all do for rain.
    Unfortunately my current bike is my temporary commuter as I hope to build one within the next 6 mo and I don't want to spend money on fenders since I'm waiting for my first paycheck and currently broke. So I don't have fenders...
    Please post any tips about rain, but I'm interested in particular about keeping shoes dry, and storing wet clothes/coats in a small locker.
    Thanks,
    scott

  2. #2
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    When it rains I just ride regardless. Once you're wet, all the fears about rain will disappear immediately. I've never used fenders, and never worried about wet clothes or anything else. Simply bringing a dry change of clothes for the ride home takes care of that problem. You can get some decent snap-lock waterproof bags for the inside of your panniers from most camping stores, and they're not too expensive. Certainly much cheaper (and in my view more effective) than the so-called "waterproof" panniers.
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    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    For shoes, I wear shimano sandals and sealskinz goretex socks.
    Cycling shoes never dry for me over the course of a work day, the sandals are dry in 10 min.

    At work I hang my clothes near a floorboard heater and have a small fan i turn on to help dry them, Cant help you with locker suggestions, sorry.

    In warm weather I wear a sugoi viper jacket which is their superlight windbreaker, keeps me mostly dry for a commute. In cold winter rain i wear showers pass rainjacket. Keeps me totaly dry but if its above 65 degrees its too warm to keep up with sweat removal for me.

    Warm weather i just wear cycling shorts and get wet from waist down. Rainy mornings i wear cycling shorts and leg warmers and get wet from waist down. Cold winter rain i wear cycling shorts and windproof tights and get wet from waist down.
    Jarery

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    Senior Member Steev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarery
    Cycling shoes never dry for me over the course of a work day,
    I tried putting them behind the computer the other day, worked better than the drier at home.
    How's the new job? Riding there yet?

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    hell's angels h/q e3st ny brunop's Avatar
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    1 word. fenders. yer good 2 go.

    man up.
    ". . .a striped jersey under his jacket; bared calves (outside the bicycle track); cap pushed back; feet in a false position on the pedals; a barking horn, a disorderly appearance, an always-dry tongue, and a definite fondness for wine merchants. . ."

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    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    1-get fenders. 2 would be "get fenders" too if I were feeling that snarky.

    When it's warm, I don't mind just riding through the rain, but without fenders it would suck. Riding in the rain is just getting wet, riding in the rain without fenders is eating mud and coming into the house and making a mess.

    When it's cold, I wear a vented rain jacket from bicycleclothing.com, which was a very good investment.

    As far as wet clothing, I wring out my (poly) shirt and stick it on top of my monitor, it's dry in 2 hours. Then I stick my shorts up there. I'm in good shape by the time I need to head home. This is one of the reasons I keep declining the "upgrade" to an LCD monitor
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    I have a 15 mile commute, and I shower at each end of it, so getting wet is no big deal - I ride regardless of weather except for lightning and ice on the roads. Fenders are great, and I keep a vented jacket in my pannier for when it rains and it gets chilly.

    Lucked out this morning , rode in under dark clouds, but not a drop. Got into work, showered and looked out the window - pouring rain should be gone by the time I head home.

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    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steev
    I tried putting them behind the computer the other day, worked better than the drier at home.
    How's the new job? Riding there yet?
    I drove for the first week only, of the 5 days, 2 days the bridge was closed due to head on collisions. I quickly started showing up to the new shop in spandex.

    New job is awesome, adding the surrey hillclimb is awesome (old yale road is a great climbing workout) but trying to get from sapperton to the pattulo absolutly sucks. That stretch between the old labatts brewery and the bridge is beyond my comfort zone for safety on the road. I'm pretty much forced to ride the sidewalk for that mile or two. I've not seen anyone ride the road there, they all pop up onto the sidewalk till the bridge.

    The only alternative I can find is adding a few miles uphill and head up thru sapperton, past queens park, and then head to the bridge. Adds about 10 min to my commute.

    Sorry for the hijack, now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
    Jarery

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    -If two bikes are going in the same direction, ITS A RACE!

  9. #9
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    I'm also currently in the "no fenders" camp. Not for financial reasons, just 'cause I've never used them (...so don't know what I'm missing?). I'm happy to get rained on, and I don't believe that there's a product out there that will effectively keep the rain out and let the sweat out while I'm riding. I basically dress to keep warm/cool enough, not to keep dry.

    I keep a towel at work to dry off, wear quick-drying clothes (except for my shoes) while I'm riding, and have a pair of dollar-store glasses to allow me to keep my eyes open in the heavy rain. I had been carrying clothes in a _heavy_ drybag intended for canoeing; now I just take in an extra change of work clothes on some of the sunny days to leave in my office for the wet days, so all I carry in the rain are tools, water bottles, and a ziploc with my wallet and phone.

  10. #10
    The spirit is willing... engo's Avatar
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    I love my fenders, but sometimes my feet and panniers get wet anyway. To keep my work clothes dry, I pack my things in plastic bags first. When my shoes get wet, I let them air dry for the day, and then run the hand dryer in the washroom through them before I head home. Good technique to quickly dry gloves too.

  11. #11
    Senior Member zoridog's Avatar
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    When I was going fenderless, I would carry spare clothes and shoes. On the bike, I wear LLBean rubber bottom shoes. Getting wet isn't all that uncomfortable in the summer.

    I always use fenders because tires throw oil/gas on your clothes (not to mention little stones and such).
    I miss bicycle commuting.

  12. #12
    hell's angels h/q e3st ny brunop's Avatar
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    folks who commute in the rain are heroes!!
    ". . .a striped jersey under his jacket; bared calves (outside the bicycle track); cap pushed back; feet in a false position on the pedals; a barking horn, a disorderly appearance, an always-dry tongue, and a definite fondness for wine merchants. . ."

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    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    Wear sandals and nylon cloths that will dry quickly. Just embrace the rain. As long as it isn't too cold, who cares if you get wet. Take your work cloths ina water proof bag.

    Remember, though, the fenders aren't just for you. They protect the bike also. I'm talking about bearings and such that will need maintenance sooner if you ride in the rain without fenders.

  14. #14
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    Here (nebr) it seems like when it rains there is Lightning! I do not ride in lightning.
    Maybe those guys that make their own lights can come up with something to make biking safe in a storm.

  15. #15
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    What do you guys recommend for fenders?

  16. #16
    Arrgghh me hearties! damian_'s Avatar
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    You can make your own fenders.... turns out they aren't that high-tech. Bend an old scrap of metal, plastic, cardboard or what-have-you to the right shape... attach it with zip ties, coathangers, staples, etc. to the frame. Make your own struts too.

    Be creative... a couple of hours and $0 and you'll have a pair working just right.

  17. #17
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    I wear plastic grocery bags on my feet (I ride clipless) and tape the tops with silk tape. Looks ghetto as hell, but works. Just cut a small hole in the bottom for the cleats. Stuff newspaper in the shoes to help them dry out when you are done riding. I also wear a rain suit that I got for like 20 bucks ~ 6 years ago. Mine had bibs for the pants which I thought I would not like at first, but have grown to love because I can sometimes get away with just wearing those and be well protected from tire spray when the road is still wet or it is not raining too hard.

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    First of all, a baseball hat under the helmet is a must, especially if you wear glasses.
    And yes, fenders. (I like the SKS, which are $40, but a lot less of a problem than my Freddy Fenders are, and which are a bit cheaper.) Fenders for me means the difference between just getting wet and having absolutely sopping-wet shoes.

    But I really do need a waterproof jacket for spring and summer. I have a great waterproof jacket for winter (Mountain Hardwear, which I believe is on par with the Rainpass jackets). But I'd like something for the warmer months that beathes, something with huge pit zips, I think. The Sugoi Viper jacket looks great, but it's also $120. If it really works, I'll get it. But does anybody use the Rainshield O2 jacket? (The yellow one pictured, $35 at Nashbar.) Or the house-brand water-resistant cycling jacket from the Canadian retailer MEC? This looks pretty good to me. (It's about $58 US.)
    I've given up on rain paints, but there's got to be SOME jacket that works when it's 50 degrees out, right?
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  19. #19
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    1 - fenders, not so much to keep the water off you, but everything the water on the road has in it.
    2 - Gator shoe covers. I will eventually go the goretex sock/sandal route for warm weather, but use this for cold rain.
    3 - Everything in a plastic bag inside my panniers. I use rain covers, too, but don't trust 'em completely.
    4 - A rain jacket with lots of vents/pit zips. Breathable is great for doubling as a windbreaker, but zips are a must for rain. I like rain pants that I can unzip half-way up the leg. I'd like rain "chaps" if I could find such a thing to only cover the front of my legs.
    5 - Lights!!! Even if you only ride during daylight, you're near invisible in the rain for some reason. Make yourself into a Christmas tree.
    Nothing says "in good times and in bad" like a good pair of fenders

  20. #20
    These go to 11. DavidLee's Avatar
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    Summertime I'm wearing sandals (platform pedals), my bike shorts and poly t-shirt. Warm rain doesn't bother me. I have some Freddy Fenders front & rear, fenders are a must but I gather you see that by now after seeing the responses here. I do have an inexpensive rain jacket with mesh side vents from Nashbar & a kick ass Louis Garneau helmet cover also bought at Nashbar.

    I'm actually more concerned about my bike than my own well being in the rain.



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    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    The MEC one is great. Inexpensive, well made, and simplistic. Awesome value for the $.

    The rainshield O2 has great breathability, crappy longevity. Its fine to have as an emergency jacket, not as something you plan on wearing, it rips really easy apperently.
    Jarery

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  22. #22
    Speed Demon *roll eyes*
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    My Kona is getting a present: a really nice sealed cartridge bearing headset, bottom bracket, and mavic wheelset which should just about do the trick for bike protection from the rain. I did that with my mtn bike - went mavic wheels/hubs, chris king headset, and shimano xt bottom braket about 5 years ago (all in one season) and have done zero maintenance on it since. Rain, shine, mud, snow (as in snow, NOT SALTY SNOW!!), water, whatever... dead smooth with no wiggle or crunching from the parts at all. I look forward to this upgrade on the kona since the original headset on the crossbike got crunchy after getting caught in the rain 3 times.... POS!!! (the headset, not the bike)
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  23. #23
    Ex-Lion Tamer Bklyn's Avatar
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    OK. Jarey and DavidLee: Are these jackets light enough for a spring rain? Is that Nashbar plastic thing actually breathable?
    Quote Originally Posted by unkchunk View Post
    Sure, that sort of behavior might be acceptable in California, where people are all concerned about color video and feelings.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    OK. Jarey and DavidLee: Are these jackets light enough for a spring rain? Is that Nashbar plastic thing actually breathable?
    The nashbar one is a plastic bag with vents down the side, bike shops here sell similar. They are decent for their purpose. Good to carry on a ride where it looks like you may get caught, so you can put it on then head back home. Not something I would wear to head out on an hour commute in the rain with. But its dependant on your own comfort level.

    I think the mec one will give you a lot better value since it also works great in colder weather with some wool layers underneath. As for summer use, its not an ultra light like the sugoi viper or stealth, it doesnt fold up into your jersey pocket. It is on the light side compared to full fledged rain jackets. Again its your own personal comfort level as to if its light enough.. In florida in summer, anything will be too warm. Thats why i use the lightest I can buy. The viper i use isnt waterproof, it its pouring when i leave for work, im gonna get wet. The mec would prolly keep me dryer from rain, but make me sweat more.

    Sorry I cant give you a definate answer. Too much depends on how sensitive you are to heat, cold, wet etc. But mec jackets are widely recognized as great function and quality for your money, i doubt you'd be disapointed. If its too warm for summer you'll have a great sping/fall/winter jacket
    Jarery

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    -If two bikes are going in the same direction, ITS A RACE!

  25. #25
    These go to 11. DavidLee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bklyn
    OK. Jarey and DavidLee: Are these jackets light enough for a spring rain? Is that Nashbar plastic thing actually breathable?
    My Nashbar jacket is not the most breathable jacket, hence the cheap price. My arms have gotten wet from a 65š ride home, it all depends on your comfort level.
    Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~ James E. Starrs

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