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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 02-27-09, 08:18 PM   #1
Ricardo
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How to deal with rain?

Guys,
I am in the market for some fenders. Id like to hear which work better: SKS or Planet Bikes' fenders. These will go on an old mountain bike frame. I'd also like to hear how you guys deal with rain when it catches you on the bike. Waterproof poncho? Any other clever ideas?

Thanks,
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Old 02-27-09, 08:26 PM   #2
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I have the Planet Bikes and they are alright... i have no complaints...

I usually just get wet... and take a hot shower when I get home... The fenders really help keep the nasty road crap off you though that was my biggest complaint before getting fenders...
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Old 02-27-09, 08:31 PM   #3
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I just replaced some SKS Chromoplastic fenders with Planet Bike Hardcores.
As far as I can tell, they're absolutely identical. Mounting hardware is just slightly different but I wouldn't care one way or the other.

I went with the Planet Bike because it looked about right and was cheapest.

If I were going for looks, I'd go with some from Velo Orange:
http://www.velo-orange.com/fenders.html

No commercially available fender comes with a suitable mudflap, so you'll have to fix that yourself regardless. You may be able to take advantage of the Planet Bike's mudflap to attach a bigger one yourself, or it might get in the way, I don't know. I only replaced my rear fender so far because it was the one that got broken (stick blew into my rear wheel spokes in a windstorm, no fender would have survived).

As far as rain, I have a jacket and a helmet cover from J&G:
www.bicycleclothing.com
It's about 3 years old now, I wear it whenever it rains and isn't above about 70*F and all winter, and it still shows no sign of wear whatsoever.

(when it's warm I just prefer to get wet, it's actually pleasant if you're wearing poly bicycling clothing - with cotton, the only answer is to take it off).

I wear just running pants on my legs if it's colder than about 55*F or so and raining. Yeah, I get wet, but my legs warm the water up and it's not cold enough to bother me. It was raining and 39*F a couple of days ago, and I wasn't bothered at all. Raining and 49*F this morning and honestly I hardly noticed except my glasses were a bit obscured.
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Old 02-27-09, 08:40 PM   #4
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Guys,
I am in the market for some fenders. Id like to hear which work better: SKS or Planet Bikes' fenders. These will go on an old mountain bike frame. I'd also like to hear how you guys deal with rain when it catches you on the bike. Waterproof poncho? Any other clever ideas?

Thanks,

Well, I ride a 20 year old Specialized Hard Rock with street slicks. It's got Freddy Fenders which went on fairly easily.

When it's warm, I just stuff everything including a change of clothes into shopping bags and drop the bags into my backpack and I get wet, my stuff stays dry. When it's cold, I have a rain suit.


And just in case, I keep a spare change of clothes there. That helps so that when it rains, I don't have to pack spare shoes among my stuff.

And when I ride, I remember Gene Kelley doing his "Singing in the Rain" dance. Its good for morale.
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Last edited by Artkansas; 02-27-09 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 02-27-09, 09:21 PM   #5
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No commercially available fender comes with a suitable mudflap...
This is generally correct IMO, but the Planet Bike Cascadias are the best of what's out there, their mudflap is much longer and more useful than most.

In wet weather, baring the fenders to keep the road grime off me, I either just let myself get wet, training and fun rides in decent weather, or I wear a Raincape.
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Old 02-27-09, 09:32 PM   #6
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Screw getting wet from the outside. If its raining in the winter and spring, I mostly wear my raingear. Yep, sometimes you get wet from sweating, but I dont much like getting hit by cold rain.

In the summer, I just usually wear my rain jacket in the morning, sometimes nothing and just get wet in the evening.

Days on end of 30 some degree weather and rain gets on my nerves if I just let myself get wet.
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Old 02-27-09, 10:38 PM   #7
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I've had Planet Bike and I've had SKS, and, though both are certainly good, I like SKS better. They seem more solid, and the front fender covers more of the wheel, which helps keep your feet dry.

I ride in rain gear most of the winter, a light jacket and pants. It's an arrangement that works really well for me. If it's really cold, which isn't often, I just add a layer or two underneath. If I start to sweat, I just take the rain gear off; if it's raining, I don't want to take it off, obviously, but when it's really wet I'm usually riding quite a bit slower anyway, and sweat isn't much of an issue then.
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Old 02-27-09, 11:39 PM   #8
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I get much more snow than rain, but have Planet Bike Hardcore fenders on my Giant, with 2.1 knobbies. They work ok, but the rear rods are only just long enough to let the rear fender clear the tire, and the front splash-guard at the bottom of the fender funnels the spray onto the toes of my shoes. Still much better than riding without, but if it rained more often I'd be looking for something better.

I just wear a cheap Briko rain jacket, and it works fine. You always have to balance how much weather you want to keep out with how much "weather" you want to keep in - I almost never zip the coat and still wind up sweaty. My legs stay warm even wet, so I don't worry about that.
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Old 02-28-09, 01:08 AM   #9
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I wear my rain gear which keeps me mostly dry and comfortable. I have SKS fenders on my bikes since PB stuff is not available here in Europe. On really cold wet days, I'll put on waterproof shoe covers to keep my feet happy. I also have a pair of clear sunglasses to keep water and grime out of my eyes. Not only does that help my visibility while riding, it also reduces the chances of getting an eye infection.
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Old 02-28-09, 06:35 AM   #10
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I consider SKS vs Planet Bike more like a Ford vs Chevy thing. Each have their fans, both do a good job.
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Old 02-28-09, 09:56 AM   #11
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If you order directly from PB, they ship for free if you belong to a bicycle advocacy group.
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Old 02-28-09, 10:54 AM   #12
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The best fender depends on the bike (and the use). For road/hybrid/city/roadster etc. I'd pick SKS for "narrower" tires and PB Cascadia for wider tires. Do consider the Velo-Orange mentioned above. Now that they are pre-drilled they are at least as easy to mount as the others -- and they offer better coverage (they wrap more of the wheel). Any of the three should do a good job - just leave enough clearance for mud or snow or ice or whatever shows up in your area.
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Old 02-28-09, 11:30 AM   #13
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I have the Planet Bike Cascadia fenders and they are the best I've had so far. Tried most of the one's on the market. Most full fenders are adequate. I've rode these in pouring rain for a couple hours and the bike and me were clean. Even rode down miles of muddy dirt road once and only a small amount of mud was on the bike. None on me.

The mud flaps are decent. You will still kick up a rooster tail, as my wife found out while riding behind me. Still, they are the best I've found.
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Old 02-28-09, 12:13 PM   #14
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I was just thinking about this very question yesterday biking home in the rain. Luckily, I had a hood on my jacket but the rain soaked through and rain was hitting me in the face, sometimes making it hard to see.

I have a water-resistant trench coat for warmer weather but I'm in the market for something more substantial that I can easily throw on over my clothes if it starts to pour. Also, how do I keep my head dry and rain out of my face?
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Old 02-28-09, 12:45 PM   #15
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Wear glasses to keep the rain out of your eyes.
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Old 02-28-09, 12:52 PM   #16
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I have some SKS chromoplastic fenders that came on my bike (craigslist). They were great the couple times I rode in the rain with them, but since then I've taken them off just because I didn't like them for whatever reason. They're solid fenders, though.
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Old 02-28-09, 01:00 PM   #17
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...Raining and 49*F this morning and honestly I hardly noticed except my glasses were a bit obscured.
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I was just thinking about this very question yesterday biking home in the rain. Luckily, I had a hood on my jacket but the rain soaked through and rain was hitting me in the face, sometimes making it hard to see.

I have a water-resistant trench coat for warmer weather but I'm in the market for something more substantial that I can easily throw on over my clothes if it starts to pour. Also, how do I keep my head dry and rain out of my face?
I just started riding in the rain this winter after conscientiously avoiding it for years, Besides a rain jacket and rain / windproof pants, I wear a billed baseball cap under my helmet. It keeps my eyeglasses pretty clear. In addition as I'm hunkered down against the rain, I can dissosciate myself and imagine I'm sitting under a canopy lookiing out at the rain. Someone on BF asked why not a cycling cap, but this would be like just standing underneath an overhang, barely out of the rain.

All in all, with a beater bike, riding routinely in the rain is not a bad as I imagined it from those times I was reluctantly caught in it.
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Old 02-28-09, 01:09 PM   #18
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Fenders, helmet cover and a rain jacket help keep me dry. Unless it's really hot/humid I don't get very sweaty. I also wear rain colored pants so it makes it hard to tell when they're wet...
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Old 02-28-09, 07:51 PM   #19
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Fenders, helmet cover and a rain jacket help keep me dry. Unless it's really hot/humid I don't get very sweaty. I also wear rain colored pants so it makes it hard to tell when they're wet...
Once the weather gets over 50 degrees, I no longer wear rain gear. Could care less if I get wet then. It's even desired in the summer.

Rain colored pants? You wear clear pants?
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Old 02-28-09, 09:02 PM   #20
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I'm a Roadie so I use Roadie stuff on my Roadie bikes.
I've got SKS raceguards but they have to be left on permanently really.
I've found Phillips guards really good - unclip really easily and the clip is small and light. They do almost as good a job as SKS too.
I wear booties - my feet still get wet but they stay warmer and the road grime doesn't get on my cycling shoes.
I wear a helmet (my rain helmet) that I glued a bright green helmet cover on - to keep out the rain/cold and for visability (I have a mirror on that helmet like I do on my other helmet too).
Jacket - I wear a bright yellow rain jacket made by Netti. It cost me $200 but its really good - its bright yellow so safe, a heavier fabric so doesn't flap around much (unlike thin ones) and it still folds up (just) in to my cycling jersey pocket.
I also have an orange GroundEffect (yay, NZ made) Storm Trooper jacket that cost more and has more features (like a hood for under helmet) but basically its too big for me and flaps around.

I have to have good winter gear as our race season is through the winter (sadly and strangely).
Happy damp riding, Paul ;-)
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Old 03-01-09, 04:10 PM   #21
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planet bike

I use Planet Bike Cascadias on my bike. It offered more coverage than an old pair of PB Speedez I had on a mountain bike. I recently swithched bikes and though the Speedez were fine the Cascadias were a lot better on the new bike keeping road grime off myself and the bike.
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Old 03-02-09, 12:01 AM   #22
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As far as rain, I have a jacket and a helmet cover from J&G:
www.bicycleclothing.com
It's about 3 years old now, I wear it whenever it rains and isn't above about 70*F and all winter, and it still shows no sign of wear whatsoever.
+1 on the J&G. I bought a jacket and pair of pants from them a month ago and I think they work great.
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