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Spring is Coming: rain planning thread

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Old 01-28-18, 04:57 PM
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tandempower
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Spring is Coming: rain planning thread

As spring approaches in the northern hemisphere of Earth, you may be contemplating the issue of rain and how you will deal with it car-free. What gear, techniques, and curses/blessings will you utilize to deal with rain? Are you sticking with tried-and-true methods or considering new innovations? What tech/gear would you like to see developed and/or popularized so that it is available at an affordable price in local stores?
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Old 01-28-18, 05:28 PM
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A lot of people worry too much about getting wet now and then. Get some decent gear. It will help. And it gives you something to play with while you get wet.
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Old 01-28-18, 05:44 PM
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Better the rain we're getting now than last year's Snowmageddon.


The grass will come back sooner too.
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Old 01-28-18, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
As spring approaches in the northern hemisphere of Earth, you may be contemplating the issue of rain and how you will deal with it car-free. What gear, techniques, and curses/blessings will you utilize to deal with rain? Are you sticking with tried-and-true methods or considering new innovations? What tech/gear would you like to see developed and/or popularized so that it is available at an affordable price in local stores?
Because rain can happen at any time in Tasmania I bought a good quality comfortable rain jacket. At something in the neighbourhood of $200, it is a good investment.

Edit: This one: https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5034-3...olution-Jacket ... $189 plus shipping! A bargain! I got it in yellow.

I do have rain tights with articulated knees as well ... something very much like these, or perhaps these are the ones:
https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5033-251/Adanac-Tights I picked them up on sale for about $60 and love them.


I also have mudguards, helmet cover, and good quality rain gloves I picked up on sale for only about $50. Oh and several options for keeping my feet warm. They'll never be completely dry in rain but at least they'll be relatively warm.

With as much rain riding as we do it is all worth it.

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Old 01-28-18, 05:53 PM
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At every place where I have worked or attended classes----basically anywhere I would be for long enough not to want to stay in wet cycling clothes--- I used ingenuity to create places to hang my wet stuff (and in a hot humid climate, sweat used to get me every bit as wet as rain.)

Every situation was different. I cannot generalize. I can say that in one factory, I found some room air conditioners that cooled the offices (while the workers sweltered on the factory floor) and I rigged some plastic strapping to dangle stuff in the hot exhaust. Won't work everywhere but it did work there.

Pretty much everywhere I found some way to hang or lay out wet stuff. Stuff like socks (not an issue for me) are best at least laid out, not balled up ... but where? I would suggest each person look around and get very creative. I have never found a place where I couldn't do something besides wear wet clothes or stuff stuff into plastic bags to grow mildew.

Generally, if it is hot (and if I am cycling, I am generating big watts ... of body heat, not leg power,) a wicking T is better than rain gear. I mentioned in another thread a wool sweater (insulates when wet! ) works well.

Cold rain is the killer. Pretty much no way to balance body heat and external moisture .... all the zipped vents, flaps, slits in the world have never worked for me. I went with kayaking gear and washed the sweat off later ... and hung the clothes inside out.

I have a windbreaker/weather shell vest with detachable sleeves ($20 from perfomance bike on sale) which is just awesome. On cold days it blocks the wind, and keeps the heat in, but it has lots of vents.

The sleeves are even better---windproof, waterproof in a shawl design so you don't have to mess with them like armwarmers, but can still wear them without the vest. On days above about 40 i can wear a base layer, a jersey, and the sleeves and be fine.

Summer is not the issue. Early spring and late fall are the killers--IMO.
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Old 01-28-18, 05:56 PM
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My main employment for over 25 years was mowing lawns, rain was good for business.


My clients dying off wasn't.
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Old 01-28-18, 06:33 PM
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No need to wait for Spring,it is raining right now.
Unfortunately I don't have a Wynter bike yet.
I will be hunting up a rain cape and better shoes.
My running shoes are good but I want something better.
I guess a good greasy tune up on the bike is warranted as well.
I will have to work on my pick up lines too.
Pretty soon there will be good looking biker wimmen out there.
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Old 01-28-18, 07:00 PM
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Cain't see them as they roll by in their pickup trucks.
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Old 01-28-18, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
What tech/gear would you like to see developed and/or popularized so that it is available at an affordable price in local stores?
Nothing new is required, getting rained on while cycling and staying relatively comfortable has been well thought out long ago.
Check out the sub-forum Commuting for well equipped machines and kit reviews.

Mudguards have been a standard feature on town bikes for over a century, a variety of styles, sizes and materials are readily available at a range of price points.
Just like a good rack once installed always available for use.

Rain gear need not be cycling specific, any sporting goods store or discount big-box will have inexpensive jackets and stuff for campers, joggers and golfers that is perfectly serviceable to stay dry enough on a commute. An inexpensive rain jacket can reside in a bike bag rolled up always ready for use, Rain showers just happen, as do cold fronts.

Invest in a proper British cycling cape like those from Carradice that are both functional for town use in really warm weather and durable enough to be a last rain-gear purchase even if used for decades. The full range of capes, spats, shoe covers, cycling specific jackets, pants, helmet covers and other gear is on close-out prices now at the tail-end of winter. Buy end of season deals for quality kit at a big discount for the dedicated all-weather rider.

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Old 01-28-18, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast View Post
Cain't see them as they roll by in their pickup trucks.
Yes but they will stop if I look helpless.
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Old 01-28-18, 09:53 PM
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When I first got into regular distance cycling a few years ago I asked a friend that was one of the best cyclists I knew this question. He never drove because he couldn't see directly in front just out of the periphery. I figured he surely had the perfect rain gear. He just smiled and reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone. He said he had plenty of friends who would come give him a ride. I have more rain gear than he ever had. That being said if it is raining before I go out, I don't ride the bike. There is always tomorrow.
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Old 01-29-18, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Because rain can happen at any time in Tasmania I bought a good quality comfortable rain jacket. At something in the neighbourhood of $200, it is a good investment.

Edit: This one: https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5034-3...olution-Jacket ... $189 plus shipping! A bargain! I got it in yellow.

I do have rain tights with articulated knees as well ... something very much like these, or perhaps these are the ones:
https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5033-251/Adanac-Tights I picked them up on sale for about $60 and love them.


I also have mudguards, helmet cover, and good quality rain gloves I picked up on sale for only about $50. Oh and several options for keeping my feet warm. They'll never be completely dry in rain but at least they'll be relatively warm.
With as much rain riding as we do it is all worth it.
Good information, thanks. Do you modify your bike or riding style in the wet weather?
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Old 01-29-18, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Good information, thanks. Do you modify your bike or riding style in the wet weather?
I prefer not to ride in the rain if I can help it and will choose to go to the gym instead of a rain ride, but that's because rain here often means 5C and howling a gale ... really not nice. However, if a brevet is schedule on a day where there's rain, we ride as usual. And we'll usually get out for rainy rides other times as well to test the equipment.


Me on May 13, 2017


It was just after that ride I decided to get the yellow jacket I mentioned above. The blue one in the photo is good, but it is rather lightweight for the chilly temps.
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Old 01-29-18, 10:41 AM
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All my bikes have fenders.

I keep a complete change of clothes at work including socks and shoes. I have a place to hang the wet stuff.

In rainy season I often carry my rain cape back and forth in my trunk bag. Alternatively it might make sense to leave a spare one at work; however, unlike clothes, you don't necessarily need to have more than one cape. I also keep a helmet cover in my bag. It's good for rain or cold.

I bought rain pants and immediately discovered they were way too sweaty so I never use them.

I have access to a shower at work but it is very rare that I use it.

My urban route is sheltered enough from the worst gusts of wind that the cape is manageable.

My only weak spot is that I don't have good gloves for freezing rain. but I could probably find some.

I also keep a plastic grocery bag in the trunk bag to routinely cover my Brooks saddle when the bike is parked at work. I use it every day, rain or shine, as you never know.

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Old 01-29-18, 11:12 AM
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Mudguards on the bike, Cyclist's rain cape on me..

they, Models, look better than I do. https://momentummag.com/cycling-rain-cape-spring/








....

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Old 01-29-18, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I also keep a plastic grocery bag in the trunk bag to routinely cover my Brooks saddle when the bike is parked at work. I use it every day, rain or shine, as you never know.
I keep my saddles covered with plastic grocery bags always to shield them from sun damage, but they may help when it rains too, idk.

Plastic grocery bags are amazingly versatile freebies. I save them and use them as trash bags, lunch bags, dirty-laundry bags, bags for keeping travel clothing separated into different categories, etc. etc.

No wonder they were objects of worship in American Beauty:
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Old 01-29-18, 10:55 PM
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I finally splurged on some proper rain gear to prepare for the cold November rains this year - so of course, we had an especially dry season.

My rain jacket isn't the greatest in terms of breathability, but it is hi-viz yellow! I also have my winter windproof soft shell, which is water resistant enough for light rain days (but a bit toasty for 50F and over.) The big splurge was some Showers Pass Transit pants, which are pretty darned good and look kind of like sporty track pants (which is what half the people around here wear to go out, anyways.)

Leather boots for going to work; neoprene socks and overshoes for longer recreational rides. My feet get damp, but not as bad. I've also found that disposable rubber exam gloves under Thinsulate work gloves work well for wet rides.

I was previously just riding my single speed with a small detachable fender - it is a good fast commuter and rain bike. My newer gravel bike is also good for foul weather. Options!

For the most part, though, we do not have much rain until late May. The whole groundhog thing doesn't make much sense in the upper Midwest: six weeks from February 2 is an early spring!
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Old 01-30-18, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
I prefer not to ride in the rain if I can help it and will choose to go to the gym instead of a rain ride, but that's because rain here often means 5C and howling a gale ... really not nice. However, if a brevet is schedule on a day where there's rain, we ride as usual. And we'll usually get out for rainy rides other times as well to test the equipment.


Me on May 13, 2017


It was just after that ride I decided to get the yellow jacket I mentioned above. The blue one in the photo is good, but it is rather lightweight for the chilly temps.
Lighting and bright colors aren't often mentioned as "rain gear" but they really are!
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Old 01-30-18, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Lighting and bright colors aren't often mentioned as "rain gear" but they really are!
Good point.
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Old 01-30-18, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Lighting and bright colors aren't often mentioned as "rain gear" but they really are!
Cycling kit has always put rider visibility as well as comfort, form and function into basic designs for decades, with modern fabrics some eye-popping kit for any weather is readily available at reasonable prices. A glance at the Commuting, Touring or Long Distance sub-forums where BF members ride in a variety of weather conditions self-supported for considerable distances/time will show how it's done with practical well designed kit. No need to try to re-invent the wheel in LCF-style, this stuff has been well sorted for the last century or so already.

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Old 01-30-18, 05:08 PM
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On my beater bike, one pannier bag contains my ever-present rain pants, Gore-tex wrap around shoe covers, a long-sleeved, adequate cycling jacket, and a billed baseball cap, if the rain is heavy enough; I would avoid a downpour if possible (as a commuter). Wet feet are miserable in any weather, and I do use plastic bags inside the shoes.

IMO, the worst riding conditions I might encounter is rain at less than about 40 F, and I carry two pairs of relatively waterproof fisherman type gloves, one Neoprene and one rubberized, to get me to work. A shower and a large table fan await me there.

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Old 01-30-18, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
As spring approaches in the northern hemisphere of Earth, you may be contemplating the issue of rain and how you will deal with it car-free. What gear, techniques, and curses/blessings will you utilize to deal with rain? Are you sticking with tried-and-true methods or considering new innovations? What tech/gear would you like to see developed and/or popularized so that it is available at an affordable price in local stores?
Nothing. I just get out and ride. Oh wait, I do utilize a plastic grocery bag as a backpack liner.
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Old 01-31-18, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Roody View Post
Lighting and bright colors aren't often mentioned as "rain gear" but they really are!
You have my vote on that too.
I hadn't considered it at all.
Lights should be on in so-so weather not just at night.
Good thing I am adapting a flashlight for the start of the season.
Two months to go and I am out there.
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Old 01-31-18, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Cycling kit has always put rider visibility as well as comfort, form and function into basic designs for decades, with modern fabrics some eye-popping kit for any weather is readily available at reasonable prices. A glance at the Commuting, Touring or Long Distance sub-forums where BF members ride in a variety of weather conditions self-supported for considerable distances/time will show how it's done with practical well designed kit. No need to try to re-invent the wheel in LCF-style, this stuff has been well sorted for the last century or so already.

-Bandera
That cape is kind of a reverse mullet - a little too long in the front and too short in the back
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Old 01-31-18, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by PdalPowr View Post
You have my vote on that too.
I hadn't considered it at all.
Lights should be on in so-so weather not just at night.
Good thing I am adapting a flashlight for the start of the season.
Two months to go and I am out there.
For something better than a flashlight ...

Go to your local MEC and get yourself some bicycle lights (red in the rear, white in the front) and some reflective ankle straps.

https://www.mec.ca/en/ideal-for/cycl...sort=price-asc



Although it isn't particularly clear in my photo, I've got reflective ankle straps, a red reflector in the rear, two red lights (I think one is on), and two ankle straps looped through a tab on my Carradice in the back creating that large yellow blob on the left of the photo.

The photo was taken with the flash on, obviously, but it shows what would light up when car headlights hit me. Without all that reflective stuff, I'd be pretty dark out there.
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