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Thread: Rain

  1. #1
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    Rain

    I live in Ireland and am starting to make an effort to cycle, so this this a practical question. Aside from temperatures do you guys ride in the rain? Just dress for it and say to hell with the rain?

    Rain can be more irritating than anything else. Also it can be pretty warm and wet at this time so too many clothes can be very uncomfortable.

    Thanks,

    BadBreaks

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    Of course I do. I don't live in a desert.

    I find the worst temperature is when the thermometre hovers around 15-20 C: too cold (with water evaporation) to ride without raingear, but too warm with it.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  3. #3
    Zin
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    On your what?!? Zin's Avatar
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    I ride in the rian. I am a "hard core" bicycle commuter which means I don't let much stop me from being on the bike twice a day every work day. When it rains how I dress depends on the temperature and wind conditions. Cold rain gets some rain gear. Warm rain I just ride in without any special clothing.

    Hope this helps.

    Bob

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    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadBreaks
    I live in Ireland and am starting to make an effort to cycle, so this this a practical question. Aside from temperatures do you guys ride in the rain? Just dress for it and say to hell with the rain?
    I'm fine with rain - it's cleaner than sweat. Lots of rain where I live, but no winter. (I miss seasons) Rain isn't too bad as long as visibility (them seeing you) isn't an issue. Beware sleet and freezing rain, though.
    --
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  5. #5
    bici accumulatori pinerider's Avatar
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    I knew I was a real bike commuter when I could ride in steady rain when the temp was +3 C and I was comfortable. Fenders are a must, Gore-Tex or other waterproof/breathable fabric is essential. Also make yourself very visible, drivers are blind enough in good weather, a rainy day makes them even worse. Pedestrians that usually behave themselves tend to run willy-nilly on a cold rainy day so ride extra defensively!
    ...!

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    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    If I waited for "good weather" (whatever that is) I would not do much riding. I imagine it is even worse in Ireland. Like many previous posters, I only wear waterproof clothing if it is cold (15C or below). In warm rain none of the waterproof gear I have tested breathes enough.

    --J
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    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    I ride in the rain, infact, I prefer riding in the rain. Having said that, we don't actually get a winter here in Queensland, so that might go some way toward explaining my preferences. I rarely bother with any special clothing in the rain here, it's just too warm. Not to mention the fact that keeping dry in a tropical downpour just isn't going to happen.
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    I should really get some waterproof stuff for riding. This is Scotland after all Its just getting my head around wanting to go out in the rain. Once your out its OK.

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    Senior Member smurfy's Avatar
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    When you all here talk about riding in the rain how many miles are you talking about? I ride to work and back in the rain (seven miles one-way) no problem, unless it's a heavy downpour. I don't think I would want to ride in the rain for the heck of it, though. Why get the bikes all wet and dirty if you don't have to!
    "You handle it like you handle a bicycle" - Jacques Rosay, Airbus A380 test pilot

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    Smurfy good point.
    Since it's a 12 mile ride for me through a storm convergence point, I check the radar. If the radar shows Yellow or Red, I don't ride in. Usually light to moderate rain is OK>

  11. #11
    Ride to remember originalbart's Avatar
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    I'll take the rain over the headwinds any day. Just a personal thing I guess, but the rain has no discernable effect (other than the required maintenance), the wind makes me feel way too mortal.
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    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smurfy
    Why get the bikes all wet and dirty if you don't have to!
    My bike is my primary means of transportation (commuting, running errands, getting groceries etc.) so weather is not very high on my list of reasons not to ride. Come to think of it, I don't really care if the bike gets wet or dirty. I can always clean it up later.

    --J
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    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  13. #13
    無くなった HereNT's Avatar
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    5 min into my ride to work tonight I got dumped on. Completely soaked.

    It stopped while I was smoking out back before heading inside.

    Stupid rain gods hate me.

  14. #14
    Long Live Long Rides
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    I commute in the rain. My one way is 14 miles. I too have a rain jacket. It isn't Goretex but it works. I tried to put rain-x on my safety glasses but that didn't work! I also have some rain pants if it gets cold. I have had good success finding most of my riding clothes at thrift stores. In the summer, it's easy to find fleece pullovers and wool sweaters. I agree with pinerider when it comes to being seen. I probably look like a moving Christmas tree! I'm used to it. I can tell how afraid the driver is by how far into the other lane goes to pass! Makes me smile.
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  15. #15
    無くなった HereNT's Avatar
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    Don't you love it when they actually cross the centerline to avoid you? I've had people go completely in the other lane before, doing the wrong way against traffic. That's such a nice thing, especially since rain soaked streets make everything louder and all the cars seem closer. I get 'spooked' a lot easier in the rain, because it sounds like that car is an inch away from your rear wheel. In reality, they are often a couple feet out, doing all they can to avoid you...

  16. #16
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Get good fenders. They will keep a lot of street muck off of you and your bike.

  17. #17
    Evil Genius capsicum's Avatar
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    We get wet cold winters here 2-13C/35-55F drizzly dampness 40 inches/100cm of rain a year during Sept-June, though it varies a good bit from county to county my spot is 40". A spot of snow for a week a year is standard as well.
    I even cross country ski in the rain(sometimes at night) I found that hydrophobic breathable insulating matierials are best. Hydrophobic does not mean 'water proof' it just means that the material doesent like water and thus does not soak up large amounts of it.
    Use a close fit base like lightweight tights(wicking is fine), then an insuating layer(or two thin ones), preferably a turtle neck, made of breathable hydrophobic (water hating) material, and carry a waterproof shell in case you get cold or for warm ups and need to really block the wind. You will get damp but the warmth and breathability/quick drying will be there. Oh and gloves, -you pick.

    Polyester fleece is good(you know Polartech) it comes in regular and stretchy, different thicknesses and wind blocking from standard, that lets through about 50% of the wind, to wind "blocker" which lets about 2% of the wind through (more air exchange than gore tex). It doesn't hold much water, and retains well over 80% of it's insulating value when wet.

    I have heard good things about polypropylene, warm when wet and quick to dry, but I don't have any experiance with it. The fibers them selves don't soak up any water unlike nylon which can absorb 9% by weight into the fibers themselves.

    Wicking polyester mixed with a touch of spandex makes for exellent tights/long underwear for a base layer. Polyester absorbs less than 1% water into the actual fibers. It has a warm feel while nylon has a cold feel, it is also nearly as abration resistant as standard nylon.

    Acrylic/wool blend socks stay warm when wet, last a long time, and feel good.

    cotton is bad bad bad for cool wet weather, it absorbs a ton of water and looses nearly all of it's insulation when wet.
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  18. #18
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    I also live in Ireland and am a fairly hardened commuter. The secret to Irish rain is stay warm on top with a reasonable jacket. Using the Cannondale EPIC one at the moment, really great waterproofing. At the bottom don't wear waterproof pants as dont need it with the rain. Jacket has zips which open under the arms. Importand to breath that.

    Very doable and enjoyable

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    Stay away from light fleeces and polo necks in IReland, weather just not cold enough often enough. Never really need more than two layers. I live in Dublin and am a seasoned all round commuter by bike

  20. #20
    cut my gas use in half Jessica's Avatar
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    if the rain is really pouring, dry clothes in a plastic bag do the trick. While on the bike, I rarely get cold (cold nose, cold toes, cold ears, but I am warm). Hurricane would stop me, but anything less than high wind, i ride.
    And I am sure there are other choices I haven't thought of, yet...

  21. #21
    . . . rosebud . . . Diggy18's Avatar
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    I've only been out in light drizzles on a couple of occassions, and I get freakin' soaked from my own sweat. Is there really a waterproof material that will let out the sweat you generate by riding??

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