Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-06-10, 04:58 PM   #1
therobotfuture
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It started raining, what do I do now?

I have been commuting for about 2 months, and have enjoyed it thoroughly. Today it is raining. I don't have a problem getting wet, but was wondering if there were any safety issues with riding on racing slicks, I have Ritchey race slick tires (700 x 23). I don't want to start home and realize I am going to most likely eat **** at some point. The rain is light, but there will be a nice slick surface on the road.

Is this going to be dangerous with my tires? or should I be OK if I ride cautiously
.
therobotfuture is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-10, 05:07 PM   #2
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
Posts: 6,955
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
The typical bike tire can't hydroplane until over 100 MPH, so you don't have to worry about that part.

Just be careful with the reduced grip of wet roads. Painted and plastic road markings, tar strips, and metal are especially slippery, as are wet leaves in the road. Brake earlier to clear the rims too.
tsl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-10, 05:09 PM   #3
bhop
Senior Member
 
bhop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Bikes: Bianchi Via Nirone 7, Jamis Sputnik
Posts: 1,895
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Pros race in the rain with race slicks.. just sayin..
bhop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-10, 05:25 PM   #4
Kojak
Senior Member
 
Kojak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: PNW - Victoria, BC
Bikes: 2002 Litespeed Vortex - 2007 Trek Madone 5.9 - 2004 Redline Conquest Pro - Specialized S-Works Festina Team Model - 93 Cannondale M 800 Beast of the East
Posts: 1,482
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsl View Post
The typical bike tire can't hydroplane until over 100 MPH, so you don't have to worry about that part.

Just be careful with the reduced grip of wet roads. Painted and plastic road markings, tar strips, and metal are especially slippery, as are wet leaves in the road. Brake earlier to clear the rims too.
+1

Your best option for normal but wet roads is getting tires with a slick (no tread features) tire with a grippy compound. As for paint, man-hole covers, gratings..... listen to tsl.... he knows what he speaks of.

Or, you can listen to Sheldon Brown:

Tread for on-road use
Bicycle tires for on-road use have no need of any sort of tread features; in fact, the best road tires are perfectly smooth, with no tread at all!


Unfortunately, most people assume that a smooth tire will be slippery, so this type of tire is difficult to sell to unsophisticated cyclists. Most tire makers cater to this by putting a very fine pattern on their tires, mainly for cosmetic and marketing reasons. If you examine a section of asphalt or concrete, you'll see that the texture of the road itself is much "knobbier" than the tread features of a good quality road tire. Since the tire is flexible, even a slick tire deforms as it comes into contact with the pavement, acquiring the shape of the pavement texture, only while in contact with the road.

People ask, "But don't slick tires get slippery on wet roads, or worse yet, wet metal features such as expansion joints, paint stripes, or railroad tracks?" The answer is, yes, they do. So do tires with tread. All tires are slippery in these conditions. Tread features make no improvement in this.
Kojak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-10, 05:40 PM   #5
1nterceptor
LET'S ROLL
 
1nterceptor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NEW YORK, NY - USA
Bikes: 2014 BMC Gran Fondo, 2013 Brompton S6L-X
Posts: 3,872
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
biking in the rain on Bontrager Racelite slicks, 700X25
#!
1nterceptor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-10, 05:44 PM   #6
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Bikes:
Posts: 13,695
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 300 Post(s)
Just be more vigilant, and get most of your stopping power from the front wheel. Paint or metal in the road will make your tires slide - it can be effectively the same thing as hydroplaning. If you go over a metal slab, keep in a straight line, and don't brake until you get to the other side.
Seattle Forrest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-10, 05:49 PM   #7
therobotfuture
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the advice guys.
therobotfuture is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-10, 05:50 PM   #8
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
Posts: 33,712
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
If this is the first rain in months, be very careful of oil that seeps up from the asphalt, particularly at intersections. You should be fine, just take it easy.
caloso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-10, 05:56 PM   #9
zonatandem
Senior Member
 
zonatandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Bikes: Custom Zona c/f tandem + Scott Plasma single
Posts: 10,858
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 28 Post(s)
You could always use a bit less pressure in your tires for a larger footprint on the pavement.
zonatandem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-10, 05:56 PM   #10
Kojak
Senior Member
 
Kojak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: PNW - Victoria, BC
Bikes: 2002 Litespeed Vortex - 2007 Trek Madone 5.9 - 2004 Redline Conquest Pro - Specialized S-Works Festina Team Model - 93 Cannondale M 800 Beast of the East
Posts: 1,482
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Beyond all the advice, I actually enjoy riding in the rain, once I'm out and in it..... unless it's below 40 degrees, then it can get a bit miserable.
Kojak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-10, 07:52 PM   #11
Arcanum
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 2010 Kona Dr. Dew, Moose Bicycle XXL (fat bike), Yuba Mundo V3
Posts: 903
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsl View Post
The typical bike tire can't hydroplane until over 100 MPH, so you don't have to worry about that part.
At one point I figured out that you could potentially hydroplane on ~30 psi tires if you got up to around 40 or 45 mph. That's unlikely to happen.
Arcanum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-10, 08:05 PM   #12
electrik
Single-serving poster
 
electrik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Toronto, Canada
Bikes:
Posts: 5,098
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hydroplane on a bicycle tire and you'd be on your butt quick... thankfully you have to be going very fast! What is more dangerous is rain washing away all the micro-grit that gives your bicycle tire grip. Usually road paint, sewer grates and street-car tracks are gonna get ya!
electrik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-10, 09:36 PM   #13
cooleric1234
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Aurora, CO
Bikes: CAAD9-1, Windsor Cliff 29er
Posts: 1,306
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've often heard the argument that bike tires can't hydroplane. That's all well and good, but is hydroplaning the only cause of a tire slipping? I honestly don't know, but I doubt it. It seems like debunking hydroplaning is a bit of a straw man argument, people don't care how they go down in the rain, just whether or not they do.
cooleric1234 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-10, 09:45 PM   #14
gerv 
In the right lane
 
gerv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Des Moines
Bikes: 1974 Huffy 3 speed
Posts: 9,534
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcanum View Post
At one point I figured out that you could potentially hydroplane on ~30 psi tires if you got up to around 40 or 45 mph. That's unlikely to happen.
I would consider this an arcanum. And also likely to give yourself a severe charley horse.
gerv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-10, 10:14 PM   #15
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Bikes:
Posts: 13,695
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 300 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooleric1234 View Post
I've often heard the argument that bike tires can't hydroplane. That's all well and good, but is hydroplaning the only cause of a tire slipping? I honestly don't know, but I doubt it. It seems like debunking hydroplaning is a bit of a straw man argument, people don't care how they go down in the rain, just whether or not they do.
I think you're right.

Like most people in this thread have pointed out, anything other than pavement ( or dirt ) is dangerous when things get wet. Metal grating means your tires have very little traction, and could lose their grip if you messed up. Same with paint, like road striping. Or leaves on the edge of the road. Or even some pavement - stuff you're more likely to find in urban parks where bikes shouldn't be anyway. Watch out for all of this stuff. Don't turn too steeply here.

I've locked my rear wheel a couple of times when it was wet and I had to make panic stops. The back wheel starts to slide sideways in an arc ... it's scary for a split second, until you let up. Rely mostly on the front brake; the weight moving forward as you stop keeps the tire pressed up against the roadway.

This is probably obvious, but don't lean as far into turns because you have less contact area with the road this way, and your tires already have less grip.
Seattle Forrest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-10, 11:16 PM   #16
XianRL
One-track, one-speed mind
 
XianRL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Columbia, MO
Bikes: Surly Karate Monkey, Schwinn Le Tour Luxe, Rustbelt Marco polo bike
Posts: 358
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Now on to the part about not getting too wet, right?
XianRL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-10, 11:47 AM   #17
hairlessbill
Daily Rider
 
hairlessbill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Boulder, CO
Bikes: 89 Bridgestone MB-3, 93 Bridgestone RB-1,93 Bridgestone MB-1, 95 Klein Fervor, 02 BikeE AT, 06 Surly Cross-check, 8? Schwinn Frontier
Posts: 638
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One word: fenders.
hairlessbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-10, 11:58 AM   #18
AdamDZ 
Bike addict, dreamer
 
AdamDZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Queens, New York
Bikes:
Posts: 5,165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
And avoid puddles, they may be hiding unpleasant surprises!

For not getting wet in cold temps it's hard to beat Pearl Izumi's Amfib tights and bibs. O2 rain shells are cheap and effective for the upper body. Columbia hiking outerwear is also good and they often have sales or look for an outlet shop.
AdamDZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-10, 12:27 PM   #19
neil
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Bikes:
Posts: 736
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Rain is great riding, but you do have less grip. I've never fallen due to rain, though, and it's unlikely you will. Slicks are actually better in rain because they give you more contact surface. I have skidded my rear tire on a couple of occasions, but it's easy to recover from a fishtail.

Go slow on corners, and give yourself lost of braking distance. Enjoy.
neil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-10, 01:02 PM   #20
exile
Senior Member
 
exile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Binghamton, NY
Bikes: 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker, 1999 Jamis Exile
Posts: 2,858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just be more cautious when riding in the rain.
exile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-10, 01:19 PM   #21
jeffpoulin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 2,177
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Painted and plastic road markings, tar strips, and metal are especially slippery, as are wet leaves in the road.
This is great advice. When riding on wet roads, try not to roll over anything that isn't asphalt.

Quote:
Beyond all the advice, I actually enjoy riding in the rain, once I'm out and in it..... unless it's below 40 degrees, then it can get a bit miserable.
Funny, that's when I enjoy riding in the rain the most because I can wear as much as I want and not get too hot or wet. I dislike summer rain the most because anything that will protect against the rain will be too hot, so my only option is to get wet, which I don't like.
jeffpoulin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-10, 01:48 PM   #22
electrik
Single-serving poster
 
electrik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Toronto, Canada
Bikes:
Posts: 5,098
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Here is some bonus seasonal advice, never turn or brake on wet fallen leaves!!
electrik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-10, 01:57 PM   #23
andrelam
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Buffalo NY
Bikes: Gerry Fisher Nirvana, LeMond Buenos Aires
Posts: 1,035
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooleric1234 View Post
I've often heard the argument that bike tires can't hydroplane. That's all well and good, but is hydroplaning the only cause of a tire slipping? I honestly don't know, but I doubt it. It seems like debunking hydroplaning is a bit of a straw man argument, people don't care how they go down in the rain, just whether or not they do.
The Michellin web site, clearly posts that Hydroplaning is not a problem with bike tires... but as you note, things can get slippery. The problem is that knobby tires are worse than slicks on normal roads. At the end of the month I'll be switching over to my Nokia W109's. I can tell you that I can notice that they have less grip on dry and rainy days than my slicks. Once the snow comes out, the Winter tires are infinitly better with gripping in a few inches of snow. A slick tire would get no grip, but I can power my way throught he snow. On icy roads, the carbite steel studs dig in and give me far more traction and grip than I'd have trying to walk. I can always tell in winter when I am hittting black ice, because my tires get quiet. As other pointe dout painted lines, and steel cover plates are probably the greatest risk, as these can be slick as snot. Just be sure to go easy in the rain.

Happy riding,
André
andrelam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-10, 01:59 PM   #24
modernjess
ride for a change
 
modernjess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Bikes: Surly Cross-check & Moonlander, Pivot Mach 429, Ted Wojcik Sof-Trac, Ridley Orion. Santa Cruz Stigmata
Posts: 2,225
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I love riding in the rain. It's sort of a small yet welcome challenge. Heed the advice posted above. It's all good.
modernjess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-10, 02:10 PM   #25
dwilbur3
Freewheelin' Fred
 
dwilbur3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sacramento
Bikes: Surly Cross Check
Posts: 742
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
+1 Slow down
+1 Slicks
+1 Fenders
Disk brakes are also great and grippy tires. I had some Armadillos that slid all around, but my Marathon Supremes get good grip on wet pavement.

AND, you really don't want to change a tire in the rain, so I'd make sure I had some decent flat protection
dwilbur3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:25 AM.