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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 08-29-13, 10:25 AM   #1
obinice
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What waterproof gear to use, and what bike to use? :)

Good evening ladies and gentlemen!

I have a few varied questions for you (well okay, two, kinda...)

I've just moved house and begun cycling to work daily. It's a 50 minute trip along the wonderful Fallowfield Loop, and I love it. Plus, it saves so much money on travel that I really can't afford to waste, and is the only exercise I get because I am usually too lazy for my own good!

The problem is, I don't think I've got the right gear. See, when it's not raining and it's not cold, a t-shirt and some jogging bottoms are fine. I get a little sweatty, but not enough that it matters.

I work in an office, so I have to change into my suit when I get to work, and look/smell presentable. I'd rather not take extra time having a shower at work unless I have to! So far the weather's been quite nice except for a day or two, but it won't be decent forever (I'm looking at black skies right now....).

On the days that it rains, I've got a waterproof cycling jacket and trousers that I picked up a few years ago from some big outdoor retailer (I forget their name right now....if you're in the UK you can probably guess who I mean anyway!).

They're light and thin and made of some sort of plasticy material, and so they keep the rain out excellently. The only problem is, they keep the heat and sweat in just as well! And by the time I get to work, I'm drenched in sweat. It's literally pouring out of the wrists of the jacket.

So, to my first question! What sort of cycling clothing is waterproof, but also allow heat and moisture to escape so that I'm in a decent state by the time I get to work (and also not super uncomfortable on my cycle, I don't want to spend 2 hours a day feeling like crap, lol)?

My second question is a bit simpler. I have a mountain bike, the same one I've had since high school, about 11 years ago. I've looked after it as best I know how and it runs just fine, but I see everybody else whizzing past me on thinner lighter looking bikes. What sort of bike may best benefit me on this commute? There is one caveat, I have to be able to mount my somewhat sizeable laptop bag on the back of the bike, I've been using bungee cords, they're great for attaching stuff!

Thanks folks
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Old 08-29-13, 11:08 AM   #2
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You need to rethink your goal of staying dry. Staying warm and clean in wet weather is more realistic. A rain jacket with plenty of ventilation helps. Fenders will keep the grit and grime off you. Other than that, expect to arrive wet. Have somewhere for your clothes to dry. Sorry, but that's the reality of bike commuting.
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Old 08-29-13, 11:13 AM   #3
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hi, So, to your first question! What sort of cycling clothing is waterproof
cant go rong with
[h=1]GORE-TEX[/h] not cheap but worth every penney
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Old 08-29-13, 11:15 AM   #4
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Why do you think showering at work would consume more time than showering at home. If you have showers available at work, they are your best bet. That way where whatever your comfortable with for your commute, then shower and change into your suit at work.

Nashbar make a good inexpensive garment bag pannier for carrying suits on the bike.
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Old 08-29-13, 11:34 AM   #5
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I get my waterproof clothing from construction/road crew companies. I use this company: www.alertshirt.com I don't know if they ship to the UK though. But my trick to not getting too hot in them is to always get snap-up jackets/windbreakers. That way I can unsnap them as I heat up, much easier and more customizable than a zipper.
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Old 08-29-13, 01:59 PM   #6
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I'll bet money that Gore-Tex has not changed significantly from when it was first produced. I owned some Gore-Tex around 1995 when I had more disposable income and it didn't do much for keeping me dry on the bike. It was fine for walking around but not up to keeping a cyclist with a 90RPM cadence dry after 40 minutes in the rain. I'm car lite (very lite) so its the bike or mass transit. Mass transit is $5.00/dy. I paid for my commute bike in the first two months of cycling to work. I also have paid for all the various items of rain gear: J&G Jacket (non-breathable), J&G Pants, Rain-Legs (chaps), Helmet Covers (shower caps), Addidas neoprene booties, etc. all bought and paid for with the savings from not riding the bus. None of that gear keeps me dry exactly, but it controls the degree to which one gets wet. That's really about as good as it gets in the 21st Century.

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Old 08-29-13, 02:42 PM   #7
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Mudguards on the Bike and a Cycle Rain Cape in the Front pannier at the ready is how I roll these days.


Pull it over my head and put a rain cap on , the cape over my arms and hands,
keeps my legs and for the most part Feet, dry.

bikes have hub dynamo LED lights , head and tail, mounted low enough to not have the cape drape over them..

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Old 08-29-13, 02:47 PM   #8
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As far as your speed.....

If you still have knobbies on your MTB change them. Get a smooth road tire. You will pick up speed with less effort on paved roads.

Look here for examples.
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Old 08-29-13, 02:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obinice View Post
What sort of cycling clothing is waterproof, but also allow heat and moisture to escape so that I'm in a decent state by the time I get to work (and also not super uncomfortable on my cycle, I don't want to spend 2 hours a day feeling like crap, lol)?
1. A rain cape
2. Waterproof shoes
3. Possibly some gaiters to protect the lower part of your pants

You won't need to change once you get to the office.

Some links:

If you do get a rain cape, user feedback could be useful to others.
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Old 08-29-13, 07:33 PM   #10
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I shower at work, and much prefer it to trying to stay dry. I can cycle hard and get a good sweat going with no worries.

I have a showers pass jacket for when it's cold. When it's warm and raining, I use some waterproof shoe covers I got from MEC, and a helmet cover. I could live with out the helmet cover when it;s warm, but I really hate wet shoes.
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Old 08-29-13, 07:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
You need to rethink your goal of staying dry. Staying warm and clean in wet weather is more realistic. A rain jacket with plenty of ventilation helps. Fenders will keep the grit and grime off you. Other than that, expect to arrive wet. Have somewhere for your clothes to dry. Sorry, but that's the reality of bike commuting.
That's good to know. I'm not the OP, but I too just started commuting by bike and the Seattle winter (== rain) is just 'round the corner. I've got a bike jacket for myself and fenders for my bike. I may want to find a gore-tex jacket, though, if that helps keep me warm.
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Old 08-30-13, 06:40 PM   #12
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In Dallas I use a light rain jacket and don't worry about my lower half.
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Old 08-30-13, 07:22 PM   #13
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+1. Rain cape.
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