Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Scot-Irish American FS1974JH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    UC
    My Bikes
    Magna Night Hawk 2000
    Posts
    21
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Riding in the rain any tips?

    Hey guys and gals,

    As you all know, I am completly car free. I ride about 60 miles a week if not more. It's been very rainy here in south Texas recently, and its just started up again. Does anyone have any tips about safely riding in (some rain). (light rain?).

    I have a orange rain poncho that folds up real small that protects my clothes, but what about safety on the bike. I average at around 8-12 miles per hour riding on the street. If I fall over in the rain I could not only get hit by a car, but hurt from the fall.

    My bike has had new tubes and the actual rubber tires replaced. The inner tape around the inside of the rims have been replaced and double or even triple wrapped. The tires seem to be pretty safe and will last about as long as the old ones did (and the old ones we're horrible).

    I would feel more comfortable riding on the sidewalk during rainy times, is that illegal? I dont recall it being illegal to ride on the sidewalk but Im not sure.

    Anyone know that?

    And any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,578
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I probably ride a tiny bit slower in the rain, but bikes are actually quite steady on wet pavement.

    Like you said, a lot depends on the tires. Slick treads are probably better than knobbies on wet asphalt, but that's just my impression. I don't know if actual tests have been done. Since you ride a road bike, I imagine you have non-treaded or slick tires.

    Another issue is keeping your stuff dry. I prefer backpacks for carrying things, but they're not waterproof like good messenger bags are. Most panniers and luggage bags seem to let in some water too. I usually put things in plastic bags inside my backpack. A couple times I've put a plastic bag over the backpack too. Camping and hiking ponchos also are designed to cover a backpack.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  3. #3
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Davis CA
    My Bikes
    Surly Cross-Check, '85 Giant road bike (unrecogizable fixed-gear conversion
    Posts
    3,954
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Slick treads are safer. Not just your impression, but a proven fact. In the rain, you want the widest slick tires that will fit on your bike. The reason is that they have a greater contact patch than skinny tires due to their lower pressure. Any tread reduces the contact patch on a bicycle tire. Cars have tread to keep from hydroplaning. Bikes don't hydroplane, so they don't need tread.

    I said you want the widest tires that will fit on your bike. That means two things. Rim width and frame clearance. Sheldon Brown has a chart on this page that will tell you what tire widths work on your rims. You want the widest.

    Slipping is the least of your worries riding in the rain. Just take turns a little slower than you normally would, and try not to ride on painted lines - they are very, very slippery.

    The biggest safety issues riding in the rain are as follows:

    1. Your own braking and stopping distance. Unless you have disc brakes on your bike, it will be longer. Koolstop salmon pads work well.
    2. Seeing and being seen. Orange poncho great idea. Orange is good in the rain because it contrasts with the general greyscale of a gloomy day. Run lights in the rain. Especially rear. Use one solid light and one blinky.
    3. The stopping distance of cars. Less of an issue if you are seen.

    STAY OFF THE SIDEWALK. Cars can't see you. Cement is more slippery than asphalt.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Blossom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Posts
    204
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    One more thing, paint on the road (white lines, etc) are much slicker in the rain. If you are going to take a digger in the rain, 9 times out of 10 it will be because of the paint stripes.

  5. #5
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Houston, TX 77095
    My Bikes
    Specialized Sequoia Elite, Schwinn Frontier FS MTB, Centurion LeMans (1986)
    Posts
    1,470
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Get fenders for your bike

  6. #6
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    2,206
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Visibility is important. If motorists can see you, they can avoid you, especially if you happen to take a fall. That's why lights are so important in rain and poor visibility.

    Your orange poncho is also good since it's a bright colour. I have a reflective vest which I'll put over my jacket in rain or other poor visibility conditions. If you're using a backpack, you can get a reflective orange and yellow triangle which fits onto the pack. Again, this will help make you more visible to motorists.

    Do you find motorists give you a little more room when you're out in the rain? I ask this because I've noticed they tend to give me quite a bit more room if I'm riding in snowy conditions or in rough weather than if I'm riding on a sunny summer day.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    northern California
    My Bikes
    Bruce Gordon BLT, Cannondale parts bike, Ecodyne recumbent trike, Counterpoint Opus 2, miyata 1000
    Posts
    5,605
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Steel plates and man hole covers are even slicker then paint lines. Release your brakes when you go over them. Carry extra spare tubes in the rain, you can't patch a wet tube.
    This space open

  8. #8
    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Speeenard 'laska
    Posts
    1,358
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Bright colors, as noted. I prefer a pancho with shorts and a simple shirt. No multiple layers, no slicks. Skin is the easiest thing to clean off and dry off.
    ''On a bicycle you're not insulated. You're in contact with the landscape and all manner of people you'd never meet if you were in a car. A fat man on a bicycle is nobody's enemy.''

    Tom Vernon.

  9. #9
    bragi bragi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    LHT
    Posts
    2,834
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    1. Get decent rain gear. Some people prefer ponchos, but I find them to be less practical than a decent rain jacket and rain pants. If you use a backpack, make sure it's waterproof, too. (If it's really warm, though, and it doesn't matter what you look like when you get to your destination, just get wet and bring a towel; nothing will overheat you faster than rain gear in temps above 60 F. It's like a sauna.)

    2. Fenders are a really good idea. I live in Seattle; trust me on this one.

    3. Lights are also a good idea in the rain, even in the daytime.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Dancing in Lansing
    Posts
    20,578
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bragi View Post
    3. Lights are also a good idea in the rain, even in the daytime.
    And riding at night in the rain ... our lights get lost in the reflections and it's harder for drivers to see us.

    Eyeglasses....the worst thing about rain. In fact, my glasses are the only reason that I don't like riding in the rain. My new ones have an anti-reflective coating, and that seems to make the water bead up more. Even so, I still have to stop every couple blocks to wipe them off. I carry a pile of old washcloths to wipe them.

    Those little microweave towels that divers use are great for drying off after you get there. You can wring them out almost dry.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Alexandria, VA (formerly Amherst, MA)
    My Bikes
    Miyata touring bike, Xtracycle, Montague DX
    Posts
    280
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My biggest problem with the rain is that it falls into my eyes and blinds me. I found a product that takes care of this called a Louis Garneau western helmet cover. It has a brim that blocks the rain from hitting my face. I highly recommend it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    My Bikes
    Jamis Nova
    Posts
    714
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    rain masks potholes very very well. be ready for suddenly hitting one hard unexpectedly, so never ride with 1 hand/no hands in rain.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    My Bikes
    Jamis Nova
    Posts
    714
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Eli_Damon View Post
    My biggest problem with the rain is that it falls into my eyes and blinds me. I found a product that takes care of this called a Louis Garneau western helmet cover. It has a brim that blocks the rain from hitting my face. I highly recommend it.
    I actually switch out clear lenses into my sunglasses for this =)

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    959
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I found (when I lived in Texas) that rain gear wasn't really necessary for most of the year, the rain is usually warm or at least a refreshing cool. My take is that your concerns should be: 1. being seen (bright colors, lots of reflective tape, etc.) 2. Stopping distance (kool stop salmons, and ride slower and defensively) 3. Road hazards (lots of things get much slicker when wet: bricks, paint, steel plates, manhole covers, grates, expansion plates, rail road rails; corner and brake gingerly)
    4. Deep water (be careful watch out for hidden dangers and in Texas know the area).

    I lived near a ditch that would have fast moving water going over the road in a big rain, more than once I decided to go the long way around rather than try to go through.

    In addition I recomend that you learn some simple bike maintenace: in my experience, if the water goes above any of your bearings you will want to repack them as soon as you can to prevent further damage.

  15. #15
    Justin scattered73's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bayou City
    My Bikes
    Soma Double Cross, KHS Urban Uno
    Posts
    1,051
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I live in Houston and when it rains I don't bother with the rain gear in the summer I will sweat too much getting just as wet. I usually use swimming trunks and an old t-shirt and mtb shoes (though I would use old shoes if I didn't have any) then change clothes when I get where I need to be. If I am only running errands then just stay in the clothes I am in, wet and all. Other than that I have clear glasses to deal with rain drops from hitting my eyes.

  16. #16
    Justin scattered73's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bayou City
    My Bikes
    Soma Double Cross, KHS Urban Uno
    Posts
    1,051
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by bike2math View Post
    if the water goes above any of your bearings you will want to repack them as soon as you can to prevent further damage.
    That's deep water

  17. #17
    Bring That Beat Back Old Dirt Hill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    I lost my legs
    Posts
    939
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i find that i can't wear my cycling shoes in the rain (the wet socks drive me nuts). i have a pair of cheap clipless sandals for this purpose (as well as extremely hot summer rides).

  18. #18
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Green Mountains
    My Bikes
    Colnago c50
    Posts
    1,337
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Be super careful on painted lines and sewer covered, drains, etc. Anything that is metal.

  19. #19
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    southeast pennsylvania
    My Bikes
    a mountain bike with a cargo box on the back and aero bars on the front. an old well-worn dahon folding bike
    Posts
    3,149
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would feel more comfortable riding on the sidewalk during rainy times, is that illegal? I dont recall it being illegal to ride on the sidewalk but Im not sure.
    It depends on the specific location; in some places it is legal to ride on the sidewalk and in others it isn't. In most of the USA I believe it's either legal to ride on the sidewalk, or else the police will let you where it's illegal.

    Riding in the same direction as traffic is almost always safer than riding on the sidewalk. In the rain, it's harder for a bike to behave like a pedestrian on the sidewalk (i.e. going slow and having a stopping distance of 2 or 3 feet) because the brakes don't work as well. I recommend against riding on the sidewalk unless either your distance needed to stop is 3 feet or less, or else you're on a stretch of sidewalk without no driveways, intersections, pedestrians, or doors pedestrians could step out of. That makes the sidewalk impractical for distances over 200 feet, usually.
    Some awesome folks who are working to give Haitians the ability to manage their safety and their lives:
    Haiti Partners

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •