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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 08-18-07, 09:13 PM   #1
Fazel
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Rainwear

What does everyone here wear during a rain storm? I have been looking around and found a few items from gore-tex(www.gore-tex.com) but they seem fairly expensive. I also found rain sheild(www.rainshield.com) which was recommended by commuterdude.com. Has anyone tried these products? Do they work well? What have you tried and found effective. The rain storms in Nebraska can get pretty nasty so i need something that will work well.
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Old 08-18-07, 10:29 PM   #2
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I've been using the classic Burley cycling jacket, but I am looking for a replacement. I think all of the following features are must-haves:

1) True waterproofness.

2) At least one exterior pocket

3) A high collar that can be cinched to keep water from trickling down your back.

4) Some kind of venting (e.g., pit zips). Breathable fabric may keep the inside of the jacket from becoming clammy, but it does little to cool you down.
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Old 08-18-07, 10:32 PM   #3
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Just ride naked and towel off when you get to where you are going. It's not like the cops will want to stop you... it's raining for **** sake!!
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Old 08-18-07, 10:49 PM   #4
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I wear a jacket like this (with a long sleeved biking shirt underneat I stay warm to 0 degrees C):
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1187498772989

I put this over my helmet to keep water off my head, off my neck and most importantly off my glasses: (http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1187498891899)

And I wear tights I got years ago that are gore-tex on the front and spandex on the back. I stay dry and not too hot.
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Old 08-18-07, 10:57 PM   #5
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I use a showers pass elite. I havent used it in a heavy enough rain to give an honest review of it yet. It works great in cool weather though.
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Old 08-19-07, 03:08 AM   #6
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military surplus CDN Forces rain poncho.
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Old 08-19-07, 06:43 AM   #7
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If it's warm, don't worry about rain gear. You'll probably get just as wet from sweat (and much smellier) as you will from riding "unprotected" in the rain.
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Old 08-19-07, 06:50 AM   #8
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Campmor Poncho or a Carradice Duxbak You can also add assless chaps (Rain Legs) to the poncho for added protection. Fenders, mud flaps and spray guards can help.

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Old 08-19-07, 07:05 AM   #9
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military surplus CDN Forces rain poncho.
I will have to check this out, Bushman.

I prefer ponchos over all else. Rain clothes, no matter how breathable they are in theory, get clammy inside.

The best combo I have found is a bike with fenders and mud flaps and a good heavy-duty poncho. Want to get really fancy? - use gaitors on your legs too.

I picked up some ponchos in China a couple of years ago that are really neat. They have a clear plastic front area so that your lights will shine through them. I think these were actually designed for use with mopeds.

Still, the poncho/fender is not complete. From what I have found, when it rains, bicyclists get wet. You just want to reduce how wet you will be and try to ride in comfort as best as possible.
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Old 08-19-07, 07:11 AM   #10
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Campmor Poncho or a Carradice Duxbak You can also add assless chaps (Rain Legs) to the poncho for added protection. Fenders, mud flaps and spray guards can help.

Aaron
Aaron, you found it for me! Wow, I have long been looking for a ponch with thumb and feet straps like the Campmor poncho you showed on your post! I had heard about the Brits using them and even asked my English friends to see if they could get one for me, but no luck.

This is great. I am puting it on my Christmas list for sure!
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Old 08-20-07, 05:23 AM   #11
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I wear a jacket like this (with a long sleeved biking shirt underneat I stay warm to 0 degrees C):
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1187498772989

And I wear tights I got years ago that are gore-tex on the front and spandex on the back. I stay dry and not too hot.

I personally will have to buy the pants from MEC as I would feel too self conscious in tights coming in to work .

That jacket looks nice - which colour did you get? How's it holding up?

What do you use for gloves? Did you visit the paddling side of mec? (that's my plan).

W.
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Old 08-20-07, 06:15 AM   #12
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If it's warm (say around 70*F and up) I just wear my regular poly shirt and shorts.

I generally wear a waterproof/breathable jacket from J&G (www.bicycleclothing.com) if it's chilly (< 70*F) and raining. I also wear the same jacket as a shell when it's cold out (I wear it all winter, down to -25*F last year) obviously with more clothes underneath.

I wear just shorts down to about 45*F and let my legs get wet. Then I put on some loose rain pants.

If it gets colder, I just start adding thin layers.
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Old 08-20-07, 07:23 AM   #13
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If its warm to slightly chilly (greater than 45 degrees F) I just ride and enjoy not being hot and sweaty for once.

If it is chilly (30-45 F) I wear a base layer and a couple of long sleeve synthetic layers; for my legs I wear tights; in addition I will put on a pair of water resistant gloves or wool gloves, then I plastic bag my feet before putting on my shoes, and a rain cover for my helmet.

If it is nasty (less than 30 F) I wear a base layer, a long sleeve synthetic layer, and one or two wool sweaters; for my legs I wear tights (and for uber cold I will throw on a set of long underwear over the tights), a pair of water resistant or two wool gloves, plastic bag and double wool sock my feet before putting on my shoes, I usually wear some sort of balaclava together with a rain cover for my helmet.

As you can see, there is absolutely no rain gear in my list. I learned ages ago in the boy scouts that you are much better off expending your effort at staying warm than you are at keeping dry. Just keep the important stuff: feet, hands, and head dry in cold weather. I found it helpful the first couple of winters of full time bike commuting to keep a journal of the temperature when I left, what I decided to wear, and then anything that was uncomfortable when I got to my destination. Remember though, if you are dressed right you will be freezing for the first couple of miles.

Post Scripto: One should also note that what would be an unbearable cold and wet commute in the fall will be a rather pleasant shorts and t-shirt ride come spring. The body does remarkable things at adapting to cold and wet conditions over the course of the winter.

Last edited by bike2math; 08-20-07 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 08-20-07, 08:02 AM   #14
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I bought the same Campmor rain cape mentioned above and it works great. Never owned a real cape before!

It's just a poncho with hand/handlebar straps and a seat strap. Works well, although in high winds your legs will get wet and will slow down somewhat going into the wind.
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