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Recumbent What IS that thing?! Recumbents may be odd looking, but they have many advantages over a "wedgie" bicycle. Discuss the in's and out's recumbent lifestyle in the recumbent forum.

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Old 07-27-10, 04:19 PM   #1
RidingIsGood
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Rain gear for recumbents

I recently put my recumbent back into service as my daily commuter, and today I suddenly remembered that I never had a good solution to dealing with the rain.

I've a very nice Showers Pass jacket that works like a charm on my upright, but the zipper apparently ships water when it's facing to the sky.

I recently swapped to OSS steering, which led to elbow puddles this morning, this I can address by gauntlets over the sleeve openings, but the wet chest thing I don't see any way around.

I was just wondering what other folks were doing/using.

In my feckless youth I was commuting ~ 4500 miles/yr with cheap rain gear and just getting wet, but in my declining years I'd like to think there is a better answer.
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Old 07-27-10, 06:59 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear that you are declining.

I trust you have fenders? That would be #1.
I avoid commuting or other riding in the rain so have no great rain gear. Would some kind of velcro on your cuffs prevent elbow puddles?
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Old 07-27-10, 08:08 PM   #3
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I ride my Trek 820 if it rains. If I have the Volae at work and must ride home in the rain, I get wet and pretend to enjoy the experience.
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Old 07-27-10, 11:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by RidingIsGood View Post
I recently put my recumbent back into service as my daily commuter, and today I suddenly remembered that I never had a good solution to dealing with the rain.

I've a very nice Showers Pass jacket that works like a charm on my upright, but the zipper apparently ships water when it's facing to the sky.

I recently swapped to OSS steering, which led to elbow puddles this morning, this I can address by gauntlets over the sleeve openings, but the wet chest thing I don't see any way around.
.
Huh. My Showers Pass rain jacket worked great two weeks ago for a day-long ride in the British Columbia rain. A little bit of elbow puddle, but my torso stayed as dry as it ever does. (I sweat buckets- in the rain it's a choice between cold 'n' wet and warm 'n' wet.)

Have you talked to the Showers Pass folks? IIRC, they bought the designs and patterns from Burley when Burley got out of the rain gear business. Oregonians know how to make good rain gear.
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Old 07-28-10, 09:08 AM   #5
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Tho' I have no qualms getting wet in my commuting (and I am over 50), rain where I live is confined to a period of a few months. That might make a difference on how you and others perceive your situation.

For breathability and good coverage, perhaps a full faring would do the trick for you? I have seen them used very frequently in Germany and the Netherlands. And of course, they are the way to go if you want to get into competition in the opposite clime, held in Death Valley every spring.

Plz let us know what you figure out.
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Old 07-28-10, 01:16 PM   #6
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I have a nice Arcteryx shell that works great, mostly. The one weakness is that it has one of those new "waterproof" zippers. On long rides in the rain water seeps through, because water ends up pooling on my stomach. On a less reclined recumbent that might not be an issue. Anyway, I just wear a layer of wool so I stay warm.
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Old 08-01-10, 09:11 PM   #7
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I don't have a good answer but I suggest not bothering with 'cycling' rain jackets as they aren't cut right for 'bent riiders - too short in front, unnecessarily long in back. Look at standard outdoor/hiking jackets, as there are many of those with varying degrees of water repellency and more length in front. Give up the 'cycling' fit and you have better choices.
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Old 10-12-10, 09:32 PM   #8
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A lot of bike riders don't wear any rain gear when riding in the rain. They say, go ahead and get wet, you'll dry out quickly once the rain quits. But I live in Montana, and when the weather gets wet in these parts, it also often gets cold. So I bring lots of raingear when biking.

One way to keep yourself warmer and dryer while riding an above-seat-stearing recumbent, where your hands are above your elbows, in cold rainy weather is by wearing rubber gloves with polypro liners. It sounds geeky, but works great. Check out my post at http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ghlight=gloves .

I agree with Jim Hughes that most cycling jackets don't work well when riding a recumbent. They also don't work very well off your bike in cold windy weather because they don't have a hood, and you loose a lot of heat through the vents. When biking in the rain I use a lightweight Goretex "Paclight" parka. I had problems with water sneaking in through the zipper, so I made a lightweight bib out of ripstop nylon which attaches with thin shock cords around my neck and waist. It does a good job of keeping water out of my zipper, and I make it out of nylon which is the same color as my parka, so it isn't very obvious. I ought to do a post about it, with pictures.

I wear a helmet cover when biking in the rain. It keeps the rain off my head, but still keeps my head pretty cool. I like that better than wearing something waterproof under my helmet, which tends to get clammy. If I get cold, I add a thin stocking cap under my helmet and helmet cover.

I wear waterproof shoe covers when biking in the rain. Shoe covers have a hole in the sole for your cleats, and when riding a recumbent that hole is pointing into the oncoming rain, but I nevertheless find that the covers keep my shoes dryer and my feet warmer. I ride a high racer recumbent, so my feet are well above any spray from my tires, which helps keep my feet dry.

I wear lightweight goretex rain pants when biking in cold rainy weather. But the big problem with rainpants when riding a recumbent, especially if it has high pedals, is that the cuffs are pointing forward into the wind, and without gravity to keep the cuffs down near your shoes, you tend to develop a gap between your cuffs and the tops of your shoe covers. My solution is (a) buy rain pants with velcro and elastic on the cuffs so you can cinch them around your ankles, so your cuffs aren't like big funnels which suck up the rain, and (b) I made stirrups out of elastic which go under the arch of my shoes, and keep the cuff of my rain pants covering the tops of my shoe covers. The stirrups attach to my cuffs with snaps, so they can easily be removed. I ought to do a post about those stirrups as well.

I added a nylon helmet visor manufactured by Salamander (primarily a kayaking manufacturer) to my bike helmet. These visors attach with velcro. The long visors do a better job of keeping sun out of your eyes, and they also greatly reduce the amount of rain I get on my glasses.

If you wear glasses, a final tip is to keep a washcloth handy under your bib or in a pocket, so you can wipe off your glasses when you get too many raindrops on them.
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Old 10-13-10, 08:56 AM   #9
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I'd like to hear from anyone with underseat steering. I agree there is a difference in how a bent rider faces the elements which changes the performance of rain gear designed for DF riders. My focus is keeping dry when riding long distances for multiple days.

Currently I'm thinking of a rain jacket, pants, a helmet cover, and waterproof covers for my feet (I use regular pedals/Zefal toe clips and cross-training shoes). I think some sort of velcro closure for around the neck would be good for the jacket. A rain poncho might also work if there's a way to manage the loose fabric to keep it from acting like a sail or inflating due to the open end facing the wind.

Keeping dry when touring is important but I think one can always count on getting a little wet no matter what you do to prevent it.
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Old 10-13-10, 10:11 AM   #10
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Light clothing and warm rain is the best I've been able accomplish.
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Old 10-13-10, 10:37 AM   #11
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No better answer than those described. Gloves or gauntlets to avoid elbow puddles. Sealed zipper or chest bib to avoid seepage (full bib with integral legs even better). Helmet cover. Boots (over cuff), booties (over cuff), or gauntlets to avoid ankle seepage. I'm still using showers pass pants and some other rain jacket today, but bibs are in my future because of cold crotch syndrome in January-February.
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Old 10-15-10, 10:57 AM   #12
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Recumbents are weird.
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Old 10-15-10, 01:10 PM   #13
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Recumbents are weird.
Yes, recumbents are pretty supernatural with their uncanny even fantastic ability to provide some many happy miles and hours for their fortunate riders. Luckily enough, traditional bikes can also be weird.

P.S. Buttfish was just working his way to 50 posts and thus the ability to reply to PMs.

Last edited by gcottay; 10-15-10 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 10-15-10, 11:57 PM   #14
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Yes, recumbents are pretty supernatural with their uncanny even fantastic ability to provide some many happy miles and hours for their fortunate riders. Luckily enough, traditional bikes can also be weird.

P.S. Buttfish was just working his way to 50 posts and thus the ability to reply to PMs.
Yes, sorry about irreverence...made it to 50 though! Thanks for the support.
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Old 10-18-10, 11:05 PM   #15
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I have been using Cabela's raingear for about 25 years.

<http://www.cabelas.com/ghome.jsp?rid=20&WT.srch=1&WT.tsrc=PPC&WT.mc_id=58000000000776214&WT.z_mc_id1=64367335>

They have excellent GoreTex jackets, pants and such - designed for those folks who have fun fishing in all day soakers. I spent all day in one soaker directing the efforts of a back hoe (he was dry) in my old Cabela jacket - and I was dry. You need a model with a storm flap over the zipper that velcros closed.

Another place to look - mountaineering gear. They don't put up with rain/snow/sleet reaching the zipper. They do charge, oh do they charge.
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Old 10-25-10, 08:54 PM   #16
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Thanks to all who contributed to this thread - I learned a lot (gcottay's explanation of explanation of buttfish77's post helped <g>). And am I ever glad I don't live where I have to deal with cold stuff.

Regards, and again, many thanks.
LCD
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Old 10-26-10, 12:02 AM   #17
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I can recommend Red Ledge. Packs really small and works great. Probably doesnt have all the zips and vents a cycling specific jacket would have. Pants are easy to get into and the jacket has a hood which I w2ear under the helmet in cooler weather.

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