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  1. #1
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    Rethinking my cycling gear

    I went out this morning for my daily hourly ride. It was raining constantly but I really didn't want to miss my daily routine. I got completely soaked! I guess I need to rethink my cycling gear for those rainy days. I would appreciate some pointers as to what to buy.

    I wear biking shorts under an UA cold gear tights, merino wool socks, and regular running sneakers. I use polartec gloves, and had a merino wool layer under a PI wind breaker. I had a skull cap on.

    The results: my gloves, socks, and skull cap were completely soaked; and my fingers, toes, and head were cold. My torso was actually dry.

    By the way, I have the NiteRider lights mounted to my helmet, so I guess a helmet cover would be out?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    I got a pair of Merrell Gore-Tex hiking shoes. They keep out the wet and the wind both so my toes stay warmer and drier than they do in tennis shoes. The only down side is they have a slightly stiffer (vibram) sole and don't 'stick' to the platform pedals quite as well. At first it was a little disconcerting, but I got used to it pretty quickly.

    I also use a pair of Bontrager wind-proof gloves. They aren't advertised as water proof -- but today in a light rain they kept my hands dry too.
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  3. #3
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    How about this?

    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  4. #4
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    How about this?

    Does it have a heater and air conditioning?
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  5. #5
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
    Does it have a heater and air conditioning?
    Yes



    Last edited by DnvrFox; 12-09-12 at 06:57 PM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  6. #6
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    I think the formula is:

    insulation+
    wind block+
    sufficient blood flow

    Are the running shoes ventilated, allowing wind in? Are they restricting blood flow with thick wool socks? I suffered cold feet cycling despite wool socks and neoprene covers, until I switched to (believe it or not) sandals. In cold weather I start with a layer of polyester, then a plastic bag, then a wool sock. If it's below 30 I add a chemical warmer above the toes. I have not tried this below 0 yet.

    I use a balaclava for my head, and have never had problems with my head being cold. I don't recommend a plastic bag over the head, although it might work short-term.

    My warmest gloves have been Hot Fingers, which have a layer of plastic that completely blocks airflow. Bar Mits look interesting.
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

  7. #7
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I switched to (believe it or not) sandals.
    That is what I use, although I don't ride as cold as you. Contrary to logic, they can be warm.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  8. #8
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    What kind of temps. are you dealing with?
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  9. #9
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    The cold wasn't the problem. The temperature was a cool 45 or so, but it was the wet weather that made the ride miserable. For example, those polatec gloves have not dried out after hanging them for 12 hours!!


    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    What kind of temps. are you dealing with?

  10. #10
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    My running shoes I wear biking have an upper mesh so it allowed a ton of water inside the socks which became quite a soggy mess :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
    I think the formula is:

    insulation+
    wind block+
    sufficient blood flow

    Are the running shoes ventilated, allowing wind in? Are they restricting blood flow with thick wool socks? I suffered cold feet cycling despite wool socks and neoprene covers, until I switched to (believe it or not) sandals. In cold weather I start with a layer of polyester, then a plastic bag, then a wool sock. If it's below 30 I add a chemical warmer above the toes. I have not tried this below 0 yet.

    I use a balaclava for my head, and have never had problems with my head being cold. I don't recommend a plastic bag over the head, although it might work short-term.

    My warmest gloves have been Hot Fingers, which have a layer of plastic that completely blocks airflow. Bar Mits look interesting.

  11. #11
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    but the issue I have today was primarily the rain, not so much the cold.

    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    That is what I use, although I don't ride as cold as you. Contrary to logic, they can be warm.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Helmet cover, good rain jacket, and rain pants. I don't worry about wet feet unless it is cold, then I use shoe covers. REI and Showers Pass make good cycling rain gear.


    Taking a break from the rain by hanging out under a bridge for a few minutes.

  13. #13
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Gloves and socks from SealSkinz. Waterproof and they come in a winter version aswell if it is cold. Cycling cap under the helmet and although it does get wet- it keeps the skull a bit warmer. Legs and I wear cycling tights just to stop the sting of cold rain hitting them. They get wet but water runs out of them so they never get heavy with the rain.
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  14. #14
    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    In cold, wet weather, I wear four wheels, steel body and a canvas roof - brand name, MG and, having been designed for British conditions, it's cold and I still get wet
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

  15. #15
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    I've found no better wet weather gear than Taiga, and I've tried most of the major brands including Showerspass. Taiga gear is both extremely well designed and extremely well made. It's not cheap, but it's made in Canada and should last many, many, years.

    They have the CYCLOPATH jacket on sale now for CAD 180, which is a hell of a deal.

    https://www.taigaworks.ca/cart.php?m...t_detail&p=633

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    they sell goretex running shoes. I use goretex sock when I ride in the cold...great wind protection. In the rain.....I use the treadmill.

  17. #17
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    For both cold weather and rain, I use a trainer. Although we don't have that many days that are really cold, we do have a lot of rainy days which I avoid riding in unless the rain catches me while already on the road. Being a weather woos, I usually find cover and wait out the rain when that happens.
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  18. #18
    Garlic
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    Doug64's photo shows my favorite wet weather gear--fenders. Would you consider them? Most have a love-hate relationship with fenders, and they're not for everyone and don't even fit on many bikes. They're beautiful things in the rain and make a night/day difference in staying dry in light rain.

    My strategy in heavy, all-day rain has evolved from staying dry to staying wet and warm. I no longer use Goretex, since I'm retired and on essentially no income. Bread bags over the socks and under the shoes (bagtex), a cheap non-breathable rain shell, appropriate hat, gloves, overmitts, and insulation layer(s) for the temperature, even sometimes newspapers covering the torso on descents, a plastic bag in my touring pack to store the dry stuff when I'm climbing. As important as clothing on all-day rides is nutrition and hydration, enough to keep moving to generate heat internally. I'll do squats in the saddle on long descents to help keep my hands warm, for instance, and that takes energy. Sweat control and ventilation become a matter of layer management and experience. It doesn't have to cost a lot.

  19. #19
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    thanks Andrew. Interesting suggestions. As for fender, I don't have any issues against them. They should fit on my bike since it has enough clearance. But I suspect that would still not resolve the issue of wet toes, fingers, and head.

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
    Doug64's photo shows my favorite wet weather gear--fenders. Would you consider them? Most have a love-hate relationship with fenders, and they're not for everyone and don't even fit on many bikes. They're beautiful things in the rain and make a night/day difference in staying dry in light rain.

    My strategy in heavy, all-day rain has evolved from staying dry to staying wet and warm. I no longer use Goretex, since I'm retired and on essentially no income. Bread bags over the socks and under the shoes (bagtex), a cheap non-breathable rain shell, appropriate hat, gloves, overmitts, and insulation layer(s) for the temperature, even sometimes newspapers covering the torso on descents, a plastic bag in my touring pack to store the dry stuff when I'm climbing. As important as clothing on all-day rides is nutrition and hydration, enough to keep moving to generate heat internally. I'll do squats in the saddle on long descents to help keep my hands warm, for instance, and that takes energy. Sweat control and ventilation become a matter of layer management and experience. It doesn't have to cost a lot.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    In my experience, anything that keeps me dry from rain will soak me in sweat. I wear a jacket with a windblocking water resistant front but expect to get wet and wear enough technical layers (merino is a technical sheep) to keep from getting hypothermia.

  21. #21
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    I've been using Sealskin socks also, not for waterproof qualities, but for warmth, for which they work fine.

  22. #22
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    But do they pass as waterproof socks as well? or are there other brands to consider?

    Quote Originally Posted by berner View Post
    I've been using Sealskin socks also, not for waterproof qualities, but for warmth, for which they work fine.

  23. #23
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    Thanks, I will check those out when I go to the LBS to have my tire fixed. I wonder, though, whether this option would mean that I will no longer be able to use the pedal clip/strap (or whatever it is called) since the shoes cover would be too bulky.

    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
    Tex,
    This is a bit different in thought, Doug64 and Downtube both mentioned these in his reply, but have you looked at the cycling shoe covers for wet/cold weather? I would think they would go over your running shoes, maybe a size or two larger but this might be the answer. I am looking at getting some right now at my LBS for the wet we have here. Just a wild idea, maybe it'll work, maybe it won't work. Hope it does help a bit.

  24. #24
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexLex100 View Post
    The cold wasn't the problem. The temperature was a cool 45 or so, but it was the wet weather that made the ride miserable. For example, those polatec gloves have not dried out after hanging them for 12 hours!!
    The best way to dry gloves is to just place them on top of your hot water tank. This assumes you are not using one of the new Euro tankless water heaters.

    45 degrees is not that cold. Here in the Pac NW, we've been riding in about 33-40 deg F (1 to 5 deg C) rain for the past few days. This is what works (I used this setup for a 3-hour ride in cold rain yesterday (about 2 deg C)):

    Fenders with mudflaps, especially a FRONT mudfap that will keep much of the water off your feet.
    Booties over the shoes. Even if the socks get wet, the booties help keep your feet warm. You don't want to have just running or cycling shoes in the rain - there's no insulation so your feet get cold right away.
    Shorts & tights (your legs will get wet, but that won't be uncomfortable, especially at 45 deg F). Rain pants are just too bulky and will just get you too hot. Stretch the bottoms of the tights OVER the overshoes so the water doesn't bleed inside to your socks.
    T-shirt, long-sleeve jersey, wool jersey, Showers Pass rain jacket (in 45 deg weather, you can get away with a short sleeve jersey under the wool jersey). Showers Pass jackets seal out water extremely well.
    Neoprene gloves. Take a second pair of thick warm gloves (they don't need to be neoprene as neoprene tends to be very bulky and hard to fit in a jersey pocket) and change gloves when your hands are soaked.
    Cycling cap under the helmet. Take the pads out of your helmet.

    I'm still experimenting with gloves, since my hands tend to get cold. I've heard snowmobile gloves work really well. If it's not raining, I wear downhill ski gloves at temps below 3 deg C.

    Luis

  25. #25
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I've never figured out how to keep my feet dry in the rain. You can wear rain pants, and you can wear a rain hood *under* your helmet. Or you can go full velomobile (first 20 seconds):

    http://s38.beta.photobucket.com/user...hurch.mp4.html

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