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Old 12-21-11, 04:40 PM   #1
twentysomething
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Rain, rain, go away....

Do you guys ride in the rain?
I'm not bothered by getting wet, I'm more worried about sliding under a car or something. How slippery is it on a road bike and those skinny tires?
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Old 12-21-11, 05:58 PM   #2
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Its pretty slick when its wet. Best to wait til the sun shines, but you can ride in wet weather, just slow down; a lot!
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Old 12-21-11, 06:59 PM   #3
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Yes it is fine to ride when wet but be more careful because oil and water can be very slippery--here in Northern California it has been a very dry winter so far--over a month with clear skies and moderate temperatures during the day--the opposite of last winter! Mud guards do help and if done right they look really nice!
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Old 12-21-11, 09:30 PM   #4
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No. I'll ride in the cold, but not rain. It ain't fun.
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Old 12-21-11, 09:57 PM   #5
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If you want to ride at all in the Pacific Northwest, ya gotta love riding in the rain. The saying up here is, "there's no such thing as lousy weather, just lousy equipment and clothing." As long as you know how to stay warm even when you're wet, you'll be just fine. IMHO, we PNW cyclists are among the toughest, hardest cyclists in North America because we always ride when it rains (we really think nothing of it, it ain't no big thang, we don't cancel rides when there's a 20% chance of rain like in California), and the snow here is not heavy enough to preclude cycling. Heck, I have ridden the 17 to 20 km to work in a foot of snow on my fixie with 23mm tires. A little tricky going down the steep hills near my place with the back wheel totally locked up, the bike slowly accelerating down the hill, and unable to apply the front brake because then I will crash, but I'm too tough to care...

So traction in the rain on skinny road tires is not an issue. Yeah, you have to be careful on the turns, especially going over painted stripes in the road. And you have to be careful in the summer, when the roads are finally dry, and then it starts raining. The oil rises to the surface in the first 15 minutes, and that's when it might get slippery. Once the roads have been wet for awhile, traction is fine. You can test how slippery the roads are by riding out of the saddle on the climbs and seeing if your rear wheel slips.

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Old 12-21-11, 10:45 PM   #6
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If you want to ride at all in the Pacific Northwest, ya gotta love riding in the rain. The saying up here is, "there's no such thing as lousy weather, just lousy equipment and clothing." As long as you know how to stay warm even when you're wet, you'll be just fine. IMHO, we PNW cyclists are among the toughest, hardest cyclists in North America because we always ride when it rains (we really think nothing of it, it ain't no big thang, we don't cancel rides when there's a 20% chance of rain like in California), and the snow here is not heavy enough to preclude cycling. Heck, I have ridden the 17 to 20 km to work in a foot of snow on my fixie with 23mm tires. A little tricky going down the steep hills near my place with the back wheel totally locked up, the bike slowly accelerating down the hill, and unable to apply the front brake because then I will crash, but I'm too tough to care...

So traction in the rain on skinny road tires is not an issue. Yeah, you have to be careful on the turns, especially going over painted stripes in the road. And you have to be careful in the summer, when the roads are finally dry, and then it starts raining. The oil rises to the surface in the first 15 minutes, and that's when it might get slippery. Once the roads have been wet for awhile, traction is fine. You can test how slippery the roads are by riding out of the saddle on the climbs and seeing if your rear wheel slips.

L.
We are a tough bunch, aren't we! Gladly, I don't have to ride in the snow much, but our freezing fog this year has been a challenge. I will ride to work in that, but no group rides (learned the hard way). But rain? No problem, commute, training, or group rides, as long as the wind is tolerable. It can only get so cold if it's still raining!
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Old 12-21-11, 11:35 PM   #7
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It's not very fun riding in the rain with glasses. Don't wear contacts so, I'd prefer to wait until it's dry outside
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Old 12-22-11, 12:53 AM   #8
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We are a tough bunch, aren't we! Gladly, I don't have to ride in the snow much, but our freezing fog this year has been a challenge. I will ride to work in that, but no group rides (learned the hard way). But rain? No problem, commute, training, or group rides, as long as the wind is tolerable. It can only get so cold if it's still raining!
Well, at least the few PNW riders who post here ride in the rain. However, the typical cyclist in this part of the Best Coast is a fair weather rider. I'll often go weeks without seeing any other cyclists out for training rides when we have our wet season. (We are going to have a wet season this year, aren't we?) My experience in CA is quite unlike that of Ibernhardt. When I lived there it seemed like everyone looked forward to a bit of wet stuff to ride in. It made a nice contrast to the 113F days of summer.
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Old 12-22-11, 09:17 PM   #9
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I usually won't head out in hard rain but I've encountered it on the commute home. If rain is possible / likely I usually take my rain gear and a bike with fenders. I don't have problems with slippery pavement but lighting is important - you need to be seen. Warm rain during the day is not bad; cold rain at night can be a problem.
I rode home last Wednesday in hard rain. I had several challenges. The rain reduced the effectiveness of my lights and kept my glasses coated. The wind blew me around and slowed the commute. The rain was cold and chilled my hands and feet when it soaked in past the gloves and shoes. I could have done w/o that commute but most of the time a little rain isn't a problem.
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Old 12-22-11, 10:10 PM   #10
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Well, at least the few PNW riders who post here ride in the rain. However, the typical cyclist in this part of the Best Coast is a fair weather rider. I'll often go weeks without seeing any other cyclists out for training rides when we have our wet season. (We are going to have a wet season this year, aren't we?)
We've certainly had a fog season....Rain would be nice, wouldn't it - it would warm up a bit.

Group rides in the winter have one prerequisite - mandatory extensions on the mandatory rear fenders.
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Old 12-23-11, 09:23 AM   #11
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Skinny tyres on a wet road and little bit of care has to be taken on cornering but some rubber grips better than others. Michelin PR's work for me in the wet but not Lithions. Never had a problem but I look at the road and if it looks "Oily" from spilt fuel or if it appears that the surface was redone recently then I do not take any chances and slow right down. Never used a "Treaded" tyre either- except on the MTB- as the contact area of a slick is thin enough to cut through and water on the road to make contact with the asphalt. Putting a tread on the rubber does not make much difference to grip unless the surface is broken or there is mud.
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Old 12-23-11, 09:38 AM   #12
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I wont start a ride in the rain, but will finish one. Right up there with the concern about slippery tires is the visibility of motorists. I assume we are less visible to drivers than normal.

and you have to clean the bike when you get back home....
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Old 12-23-11, 10:36 AM   #13
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Rain? How about this?



Seriously, what others have said covers it.
  • Ride sensibly--don't try to carve corners, and allow more distance for braking.
  • Be more careful on slippery surfaces like tar strips, pavement markings, metal (like manhole covers), and oily spots.
  • Some tires are better than others--Continental Grand Prix 4-Seasons are the best--but no tire will make it like a clear, dry day.
  • Puddles hide potholes, so avoid them.
  • Turn on your lights and wear some hi-viz.
  • Fenders are your friend.

Last edited by tsl; 12-23-11 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 12-23-11, 06:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by twentysomething View Post
Do you guys ride in the rain?
I'm not bothered by getting wet, I'm more worried about sliding under a car or something. How slippery is it on a road bike and those skinny tires?
It can be slippery on a wet road, not as bad as snow, and definitely a heck of a lot better then black ice.....
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Old 12-23-11, 08:24 PM   #15
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I wont start a ride in the rain, but will finish one. Right up there with the concern about slippery tires is the visibility of motorists. I assume we are less visible to drivers than normal.

and you have to clean the bike when you get back home....
I use lights in the rain - flashers for irritating visibility.

But, clean the bike? I don't sleep with the thing!
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