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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 04-06-14, 07:01 PM   #1
jrickards
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Waterproof or water-resistant? Overtrousers or tights?

At this time of year and in the fall, rain is more frequent and colder (warm summer rain I can handle, cold rain, not as well). Point in fact, last Friday, I rode home in freezing rain, some of it came down as rain, some as ice pellets. I have a waterproof cycling jacket, waterproof lobster claw overmitts and a waterproof helmet cover. I also have shoe covers but they are barely water resistant, let alone waterproof so I put shoes on, put my feet in grocery bags and then put the shoe covers over top and I'm fine. I'm just wondering how to protect my legs from cold rain.

This is probably a question that the spring/fall cyclists in the wet northwest states and British Columbia (what about the east coast?) have to consider more so than some of the rest of us. What have people who ride in cold rain decided on?
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Old 04-06-14, 07:26 PM   #2
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I adopted a cyclists rain cape , my out stretched arms form an Awning over my legs
and the cape drapes over my hands so the gloves dont have to cope with keeping water out ..
and With mudguards I dont get wet from underneath that way

if its breezy, light rain pants ..


my favorite shoes are LL Bean RUBBER .. mocs are OK now as I dont ride that far , but something higher if the distance was further ..
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Old 04-06-14, 07:28 PM   #3
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I have a pair of packable Columbia rain pants (and jacket) I'll either wear or throw in my backpack when there's the potential for a cold downpour. For light rain something water resistant is good enough.

My legs will get damp no matter what though, -if not from rain then from perspiration. It's OK, I change at work and my goal is to stay warm, not necessarily dry. If you're riding in your work clothes, then it's more of a challenge.

For my feet I have a pair of water proof (mostly) hiking boots. They're not my favorite things to ride in so I'll often just wear wool socks and my regular cycling shoes. My feet will get wet so I bring an extra pair of socks for the ride home and shove paper in my shoes to help them dry while at work.

Last edited by tjspiel; 04-06-14 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 04-06-14, 07:41 PM   #4
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I also change at work, but, I prefer not to get wet (I also have a helmet cover, waterproof lobster gloves, and a good rain jacket). For a light mist I'll wear a pair of water resistant tights (though they're not really tight, so I just call them pants). I have waterproof rain pants for when it's really raining. I just buy the MEC house brand stuff.

I have all my rain stuff in a big zip-loc bag that always comes with me on the commute. A lot can happen in 8 hours at work, and this year the weather men seem to be worse than usual at predicting rain.
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Old 04-06-14, 10:42 PM   #5
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Rode through the winter in Vancouver nearly every day except when icy or too foggy. I usually wore tights but have switched to leg warmers in the morning now that it's getting a little warmer. My legs get wet but they don't seem to get cold on a ride as it isn't much more than an hour. I hang them up at work during the day and they seem to dry out enough by the time I ride home in the evening.

I wear a gore-tex running jacket if it's raining but the gore-tex part is useless and the jacket is too large and baggy. You really just need something windproof for a jacket. Trying to stay dry with a waterproof jacket is hopeless unless you intend to ride slow an easy. I think I'll try a Sugoi Hydrolite Jacket HydroLite Jacket | SUGOI Performance Apparel
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Old 04-07-14, 06:40 AM   #6
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Rainlegs chaps are a good solution for lots of commuters. Clevercycles.com is a good USA source.

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Old 04-07-14, 06:59 AM   #7
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I also change at work, but, I prefer not to get wet (I also have a helmet cover, waterproof lobster gloves, and a good rain jacket). For a light mist I'll wear a pair of water resistant tights (though they're not really tight, so I just call them pants). I have waterproof rain pants for when it's really raining. I just buy the MEC house brand stuff.

I have all my rain stuff in a big zip-loc bag that always comes with me on the commute. A lot can happen in 8 hours at work, and this year the weather men seem to be worse than usual at predicting rain.
I was looking at the Adanac tights you link to above later on last night. They might be all I need.
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Old 04-07-14, 07:02 AM   #8
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Rainlegs chaps are a good solution for lots of commuters. Clevercycles.com is a good USA source.
I had forgotten about these. It is certainly a cool idea but I'd have liked full-length chaps, same basic idea but extended down to the ankles.
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Old 04-07-14, 07:47 AM   #9
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I had forgotten about these. It is certainly a cool idea but I'd have liked full-length chaps, same basic idea but extended down to the ankles.
Rainmates chaps have that feature: LEGS
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Old 04-07-14, 08:13 AM   #10
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Rainmates chaps have that feature: LEGS
LOL, ask and ye shall be given!!!
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Old 04-07-14, 08:22 AM   #11
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Raincapes aren't bad; the rain chaps look like a great idea. But even when I rode every day in a rainy environment (the Netherlands), I preferred a pair of wool tights and something rain proof for my upper body. Still those rain chaps look like a first rate idea. Rain capes work but they can be a drag in a wind.
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Old 04-07-14, 10:23 AM   #12
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they are no wider than you are ..

(i got the HD one from Riv Bike , Grundens , the Commercial fishers Foul weather gear maker
used a rugged fabric thick PVC on the outside.. welded seams ..

Its been OK when there are storm fronts and heavy Squalls on the coast.
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Old 04-07-14, 01:53 PM   #13
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I wear the Rainshield O2 rain pants (the black ones). Excellent waterproof rain pant. I paid about $60 bucks U.S. for them. I don't know what they'd be in Canadian dollars or if that would make a difference. I've had mine for seven years and they're still going strong. They pack down to about the size of your fist.
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Old 04-07-14, 08:51 PM   #14
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As far as I'm concerned, no degree of water resistance is worth anything -- my outerwear is either waterproof or not waterproof. That said, I have a gore-tex windbreaker jacket and pants (made by The North Face) I used all winter. With the warmer spring weather I just don't layer up as much underneath, and this outfit is amazing in a rainstorm.
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Old 04-08-14, 05:54 AM   #15
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Rain capes are simple, one piece things that keep the upper body and legs dry. The only down side is the wind, they are like pushing an umbrella ahead of you. I have Rivendell Splats for my feet. They work really well. They are just a piece of waxed canvas with velcro fasteners that attach around the ankles and under the shoe. They work really well, can be used with any shoe and double as a nice saddle cover when you park.
I just bought a Chrome Rain Hoodie. It is really comfortable, has double zippers, pit zips pockets but the top of the legs are going to get wet. The chaps or some water resistant pants might be a possibility.

Marc
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Old 04-08-14, 03:47 PM   #16
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Portland OR commuter. From head to toe, I wear:
- Cycling cap under the helmet. My helmet is about 5 years old so it is time to replace it. I will probably get something without so many vents.
- Old Burley rain jacket, which I love because it is not breathable, it is flat out impermeable. If I need ventilation, it has huge zippered vents.
- Various gloves, ranging from SmartWool to Castelli neoprene. I don't care about my hands getting wet, the gloves are picked based on temperature.
- Castelli rain pants, also impermeable and fairly slim rather than baggy, so they don't get hooked on the chainring.
- Neoprene booties, which unfortunately are not actually impermeable, so they will get replaced with something better when they get more tatty.

I can stand in the shower and stay dry, wearing this stuff.

Good fenders help a lot too.
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Old 04-15-14, 09:51 AM   #17
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Yesterday was a good test of rain gear at near freezing temps.

- Helmet cover, good!
- MEC lobster over-mitts (worn over long-fingered cycling gloves), good!
- Polaris RBS waterprooof jacket, good!
- Nashbar tights, fine on the thighs, below knee was wet and didn't dry after 8hrs hanging at work, wet for ride home!

Therefore, the problem, even on a wet day like yesterday, was not getting wet on the ride where activity kept me warm but putting on wet tights for the ride home. "Fortunately", the temperature dropped from yesterday morning's +2C/35F to this morning's -10C/16F and I decided not to ride in because my tights were still a little damp (didn't put them in the dryer last night).

I think I'm leaning towards fully waterproof pants such as either Inclyne, Altura or Endura Luminite.
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Old 04-19-14, 02:52 AM   #18
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.

I prefer wool and wicking modern fabrics. I don't enjoy sweating in waterproof fabrics, I'd prefer to get wet from the outside. That said, my commute is a little over an hour each way, downpours are rare (seems like a light rain or heavy mist most of the time), and I've got a shower waiting for me at each end. I might make different choices than merino wool tights and sweaters and technical undershirt baselayers* if I was regularly in downpours or out in the rain for longer, or especially if I didn't have a hot shower waiting for me at each end...

* I'm also wearing cycling bib shorts under everything and a tough pair of shorts (mostly for the pockets) over everything.
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Old 04-19-14, 03:37 AM   #19
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I also like rain capes and used them a lot in Vancouver. When I moved to NZ, I found them less practical as it is much windier here. I therefore switched to Gore-tex pants, waterproof over boots, and a size XXXL PVC fisherman's jacket - I normally wear a size L so the oversized jacket lets air still circulate, but doesn't catch the wind like a rain cape does. I then wear a merino t-shirt and a pair of light pants as a base layer (and change when I get to work). If it's below 10C I'll also throw on either a light fleece vest or light fleece sweater.
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