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What's your rain gear?

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Old 01-08-18, 01:00 PM
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What's your rain gear?

Even though I commute by bike year round and in all kinds of weather, I don't think my rain gear is up to riding all day in the rain, which it looks like I may have to do this Saturday. I can't see how I can possibly stay dry; I can't ride 200 km without sweating. Putting waterproof layers over my regular clothes isn't going to keep me dry. That's okay, but I mustn't get chilled. What's your advice? What works for you?
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Old 01-08-18, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Even though I commute by bike year round and in all kinds of weather, I don't think my rain gear is up to riding all day in the rain, which it looks like I may have to do this Saturday. I can't see how I can possibly stay dry; I can't ride 200 km without sweating. Putting waterproof layers over my regular clothes isn't going to keep me dry. That's okay, but I mustn't get chilled. What's your advice? What works for you?
Depends entirely on the predicted temperature. Tell me that, and I'll tell you what to wear. You're right - waterproof doesn't work. Rain temperature makes a big difference.
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Old 01-08-18, 02:00 PM
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What's your rain gear?

I usually use a Showers Pass Elite jacket with pit zips opened along with Rain Legs. I have also used a long sleeve Castelli Gabba jersey if downpours are not expected but just light on/off rain. It has zips on the body which help vent some heat. I think they have replaced the Gabba with the Perfetto jersey.

At least this weekend's 200k is one of the flatter ones in terms of climbing. It is always a balance of going hard enough to stay warm versus sweating to death.

You might also want to think about some sort of gasket where you tights/leg warmers meet your cycling shoes. I read about a neat idea I have not tried yet. Get some large/extra large long black rubber gloves. Cut off the last 4 or 5 inches and slide them up and over the tops of where the tights/leg warmers meet so the water does not run down into your shoes.

I am very interested in the Gore Shakedry jacket.

https://cyclingtips.com/2017/10/gore...ycling-jacket/
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Old 01-08-18, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Depends entirely on the predicted temperature. Tell me that, and I'll tell you what to wear. You're right - waterproof doesn't work. Rain temperature makes a big difference.
Current prediction is a low of 27F, high of 49F. Rain tapers off in the afternoon.

It goes without saying I hope the weather to be better than that! I should mention Friday is forecast to be 45-56F, and also rainy. There's a lot of ice out there now, but by Friday it should be pretty washed away. But fresh ice on Saturday morning is a concern.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-08-18, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Current prediction is a low of 27F, high of 49F. Rain tapers off in the afternoon.

It goes without saying I hope the weather to be better than that! I should mention Friday is forecast to be 45-56F, and also rainy. There's a lot of ice out there now, but by Friday it should be pretty washed away. But fresh ice on Saturday morning is a concern.

Thanks in advance!
Oh dear. That's not good. Our RBA cancels in icy conditions. My personal rule is that when it's frozen hard overnight, I don't ride until it's over 40 the next day. But it's your choice.

OK, from the head down, this or similar. Temps going that high make it a little harder. You'll need a bit of storage for clothes you might take off:
Balaclava
Craft Mix and Match LS top
Another base layer top, preferably a zip-T
Voler Jet Thermal Jersey or similar
Voler Jet Wind Jacket or other very wind-blocking but not WP jacket.
Giro 100 Proof gloves - there is no substitute
Craft Siberian glove or a PI Barrier WXB or similar for when it warms up
PI AmFIB tight w/o chamois, shorts under.
Dry suit leg seals (from your dive shop or Amazon) on your bare ankles, bells cover boot tops
Wool socks
MTB boots (need SPD pedals, but then you're a rando so all good): Lakes, Northwave, or similar

This gear is good for a 300k in a cold rain, sustained 40, as long as you keep pedaling hard.
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Old 01-08-18, 07:17 PM
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That's a ride I would seriously consider skipping. Any wind and it will be absolutely miserable.

I have a gore element paclite rainsuit that I wear when it rains. It's good and it packs up small when you're not using it. For the conditions you describe, I'd be worried about my hands and feet the most. I use neoprene diving gloves when it's 30's and raining, but those Giro 100 proof gloves sound awesome. I also like the AmFIB tights and MTB winter boots when it's cold and raining.
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Old 01-08-18, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
That's a ride I would seriously consider skipping. Any wind and it will be absolutely miserable.
+1. Freezing rain (to say nothing of adding wind) is about my least favorite weather to ride in.
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Old 01-08-18, 09:39 PM
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if it's likely to be 27 and raining at the start, I would definitely skip. I was sort of thinking about riding it, but I don't really want to be driving in that kind of weather either
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Old 01-09-18, 06:44 AM
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Well, I was lucky this ride was postponed last week, when it was so cold that the several inches of heavy snow that on Thursday hadn't melted at all. There's still frozen slush on a lot of the streets that were poorly plowed; last Saturday would have been pretty bad. Nonetheless I would have done it, if it hadn't got postponed, and if I hadn't got drafted into driving my kids around NJ!

So, now, I'm definitely considering skipping it, and will continue considering that until the ride starts; at that point I'll start considering bailing. If I get as far as Sourland Mountain, I'll probably stop thinking about quitting.

The thing is, I'm two months short of finishing an R12 series, having missed only February last year (owing to not finding a ride to the ride). So I'm annoyed about that, and annoyance makes me stubborn, and when I'm being stubborn, I make bad decisions. So faced with the prospect of riding a cold and wet 200 km, I want to make sure I chose my gear well.
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Old 01-09-18, 07:22 AM
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I'd probably do it in that case. I have also been known to do stupid things in pursuit of an arbitrary goal. It's just a 200k. How bad could it be. I'd consider riding a bike with upright handlebars so i could use pogies and platform pedals so I could wear warm waterproof boots.
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Old 01-09-18, 08:42 AM
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I have waterproof winter boots, which is the main thing for me. I have three rain jackets. It's too hot for the good one, I would probably ride the one made out of tyvek. I have never been too bothered by wet legs, although I do have waterproof pants
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Old 01-09-18, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Well, I was lucky this ride was postponed last week, when it was so cold that the several inches of heavy snow that on Thursday hadn't melted at all. There's still frozen slush on a lot of the streets that were poorly plowed; last Saturday would have been pretty bad. Nonetheless I would have done it, if it hadn't got postponed, and if I hadn't got drafted into driving my kids around NJ!

So, now, I'm definitely considering skipping it, and will continue considering that until the ride starts; at that point I'll start considering bailing. If I get as far as Sourland Mountain, I'll probably stop thinking about quitting.

The thing is, I'm two months short of finishing an R12 series, having missed only February last year (owing to not finding a ride to the ride). So I'm annoyed about that, and annoyance makes me stubborn, and when I'm being stubborn, I make bad decisions. So faced with the prospect of riding a cold and wet 200 km, I want to make sure I chose my gear well.
Try doing a perm on a different day instead?
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Old 01-09-18, 09:44 AM
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Yup, that is basically what I'm thinking. If the conditions are dangerous, I'm sure the ride will be postponed again. But as the day approaches, the weather forecast edges more optimistic. They now predict rain showers early, followed by overcast skies.

My usual rando bike has bar mitts, and the SPD / platform pedals.
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Old 01-09-18, 11:03 AM
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Legs are my weak spot on long, wet rides. If I were trying something like that, I'd probably try to source some Rainlegs. My hope would be that tights would deal with the chill, and the Rainlegs would block the water and rain hitting the front of my legs. It's too cool for plain tights and water at 30F, and too warm for waterproof pants at 50F.


Ordinary rain jacket for the torso, waterproof gloves for the hands, boots or sock liners for the feet, perhaps a helmet cover?
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Old 01-09-18, 12:57 PM
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My feet are my problem, and I haven't solved it yet. I get too much heat lost through the cleat area, and while I just bought some aerogel insoles, turns out there's not enough volume in my winter shoes to wear them, and all of the new winter shoes I've tried on come too far up my ankle to fit properly -- I don't know what the manufacturers are thinking, but the right size on my foot and the right size on my lower leg aren't the same.

The real answer might be not to clip in below 35 degrees or so. The longest/coldest ride I've done successfully were a couple of 100ks in temperatures right around freezing -- the second was 90 miles including riding to the start/home, and in driving wind and sleet. I was mostly OK, but had some frostnip on my feet right where the cleats are -- it was several days before I got all the feeling back there.

I was wearing, IIRC: long-sleeved jersey, then a wool long-sleeved layer, then a waterproof coat that did not entirely keep me dry but kept heat in and wind out, insulated tights (if I'd had a set of rain-legs for the sleety ride they would have helped; I have some *now*), wool socks, waterproof shoes that did not keep the water from streaming in. Gloves were a non-waterproof, lighter pair for the first half of the ride, switching to the heavy-duty waterproof ones when my feet really started to get cold, in the hopes that my body would redirect some blood -- my hands were soaked but actually doing OK except on descents.

However, I am also kind of fat, and thus have a layer of blubber that does a great job of keeping my thighs and torso warm, as long as I keep moving.
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Old 01-09-18, 12:58 PM
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Take the bus.
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Old 01-09-18, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by antimonysarah View Post
My feet are my problem, and I haven't solved it yet. I get too much heat lost through the cleat area, and while I just bought some aerogel insoles, turns out there's not enough volume in my winter shoes to wear them, and all of the new winter shoes I've tried on come too far up my ankle to fit properly -- I don't know what the manufacturers are thinking, but the right size on my foot and the right size on my lower leg aren't the same.

The real answer might be not to clip in below 35 degrees or so. The longest/coldest ride I've done successfully were a couple of 100ks in temperatures right around freezing -- the second was 90 miles including riding to the start/home, and in driving wind and sleet. I was mostly OK, but had some frostnip on my feet right where the cleats are -- it was several days before I got all the feeling back there.

I was wearing, IIRC: long-sleeved jersey, then a wool long-sleeved layer, then a waterproof coat that did not entirely keep me dry but kept heat in and wind out, insulated tights (if I'd had a set of rain-legs for the sleety ride they would have helped; I have some *now*), wool socks, waterproof shoes that did not keep the water from streaming in. Gloves were a non-waterproof, lighter pair for the first half of the ride, switching to the heavy-duty waterproof ones when my feet really started to get cold, in the hopes that my body would redirect some blood -- my hands were soaked but actually doing OK except on descents.

However, I am also kind of fat, and thus have a layer of blubber that does a great job of keeping my thighs and torso warm, as long as I keep moving.
I noticed last winter that the cleat got really cold. The bike is metal and has a lot of surface area, and attaching your foot to it through the cleat basically turns the cleat into a large heat sink. I may just use platform pedals this week.

I don't have rain legs or anything like that. I have wool pants that I bought for this purpose, but I haven't worn them before. As I recall when I tried them on they seemed a little too tight for cycling. Anyway, cold legs has never been a problem for me. Cold hands, cold feet, cold ears, cold face, yes, these are serious problems. Cold legs, I haven't experienced that yet.
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Old 01-09-18, 04:40 PM
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The cleats on my road bike shoes & boots are some type of plastic (SPD-SL) so no issues with cold transfer.

The cleats on my hybrid bike are metal (SPD) but I've never experienced a cold spot with either my regular cycling shoes nor the Lake MXZ 303 winter boots that I wear.

I've ridden both bikes at temperatures around 17 degrees F.
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Old 01-11-18, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
I don't have rain legs or anything like that. I have wool pants that I bought for this purpose, but I haven't worn them before. As I recall when I tried them on they seemed a little too tight for cycling. Anyway, cold legs has never been a problem for me. Cold hands, cold feet, cold ears, cold face, yes, these are serious problems. Cold legs, I haven't experienced that yet.


Have you done any long, cold, rainy rides (say, 30-35F)? If you have, how have you kept your legs warm?
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Old 01-11-18, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Have you done any long, cold, rainy rides (say, 30-35F)? If you have, how have you kept your legs warm?
Yeah, that's the question I've been asking myself. I've ridden plenty of long cold rides, and plenty of long rainy rides, but I can't think of a long rainy ride right near the freezing point. I think I haven't done that. That's part of the reason I asked this question; I wonder what other people do.
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Old 01-11-18, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Have you done any long, cold, rainy rides (say, 30-35F)? If you have, how have you kept your legs warm?
Around here, if it's below 34, it's snowing and I don't do long rides on my road bike in the snow or at least I sure as heck try not to. The last one, I was scraping the ice off my glasses with my fingernails and my rim brakes didn't work because the pads couldn't even melt the ice off them, much less slow us down much on the tandem. A couple people finished the ride with their bikes as SS because the cassette was a ball of ice, and stopped by dragging their feet. We were close to home, so we turned off with a couple of riding friends, went home and partied all afternoon, watching it snow and thinking about the poor fools who couldn't stop.

Anyway, the coldest 75 mile ride we've done on the tandem was at a steady 36 in a steady downpower. We had Performance insulated tights on, which they don't make anymore, but we still have them. I think PI AmFIB would be about the same. You just keep riding. Your legs feeling cold is no big deal. I used to deliver papers in Fairbanks and wouldn't wear long john under my jeans until it got colder than 11 below (F). Your legs don't matter. You keep your torso, hands, and feet operational and you'll get there. And BTW the fact that you can't feel your feet doesn't matter, either. As long as it's above freezing, you can't frostbite them. Just keep pedaling.

Believe me, I know what cold feels like and if it's so warm that it's above freezing, you're not feeling real cold. Hands are a problem. Your hands have to work or you can't shift. So gloves are both what's critical and most difficult. Hand warmers help a lot, as do good gloves. Good gloves must both stay warm enough when soaking wet, and allow one to take them on and off when soaked. There aren't many gloves like that.

OTOH you don't want to go hypothermic in the rain, but that's just a matter of keeping your torso warm and pedaling hard.
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Old 01-11-18, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Around here, if it's below 34, it's snowing and I don't do long rides on my road bike in the snow or at least I sure as heck try not to. The last one, I was scraping the ice off my glasses with my fingernails and my rim brakes didn't work because the pads couldn't even melt the ice off them, much less slow us down much on the tandem. A couple people finished the ride with their bikes as SS because the cassette was a ball of ice, and stopped by dragging their feet. We were close to home, so we turned off with a couple of riding friends, went home and partied all afternoon, watching it snow and thinking about the poor fools who couldn't stop.

Anyway, the coldest 75 mile ride we've done on the tandem was at a steady 36 in a steady downpower. We had Performance insulated tights on, which they don't make anymore, but we still have them. I think PI AmFIB would be about the same. You just keep riding. Your legs feeling cold is no big deal. I used to deliver papers in Fairbanks and wouldn't wear long john under my jeans until it got colder than 11 below (F). Your legs don't matter. You keep your torso, hands, and feet operational and you'll get there. And BTW the fact that you can't feel your feet doesn't matter, either. As long as it's above freezing, you can't frostbite them. Just keep pedaling.

Believe me, I know what cold feels like and if it's so warm that it's above freezing, you're not feeling real cold. Hands are a problem. Your hands have to work or you can't shift. So gloves are both what's critical and most difficult. Hand warmers help a lot, as do good gloves. Good gloves must both stay warm enough when soaking wet, and allow one to take them on and off when soaked. There aren't many gloves like that.

OTOH you don't want to go hypothermic in the rain, but that's just a matter of keeping your torso warm and pedaling hard.
So, you might agree with me in thinking that cold legs is not the problem I need to worry about?

Incidentally, the current forecast for Saturday is "Rain showers early with some sunshine later in the day. Morning high of 46F with temps falling to near 30. Winds NNW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%." (weather.com). So apparently it will be wet, and it will be cold, but not at the same time.
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Old 01-11-18, 03:10 PM
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just do it !!!

300km brevet in upstate NY many years ago, raining/snowing 100% of the time, temperature was around 35 deg.F. The only reason I did not quit is because the other guys kept riding.
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Old 01-11-18, 03:22 PM
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WHen it gets below freezing, I switch to hiking shoes or trail running shoes instead of SPD cleated shoes. If I hit ice, I want to be able to get my feet off the pedals really fast. I use M324 pedals and A530 pedals, both are platform on one side and SPD on the other.

Many but not all SPD shoes will leak like a sieve if you step in shallow cold water, often there is nothing in the sole to stop water from coming in. Is there a chance of puddles where you might have to stop and put a food down? Do you have waterproof socks?

The photo shows a lot of mud on my shoe cover that stopped being high vis after they got covered with mud. Part of one of my M324 pedals is also in the photo.
https://www.rei.com/product/820997/g...ke-shoe-covers

That shoe cover was not rated for waterproofness, more for cold. But it was adequate to keep the water out of my shoes, considering that I was also sweating so I was going to get damp anyway. I was really glad I had them that day, as otherwise my shoes would have been full of cold muddy water.

Lots of layers so you can easily modify your insulation to match your heat loss to minimize your sweat production and heat loss. You may need several pairs of gloves with varying levels of warmth. When it is near freezing, even for only a 20 to 30 mile ride I might carry three pairs of gloves that range from quite warm to only water resistant. My warmest pair only stays on my hands for the first 5 to 10 miles, but they are nice to have for the start.

My polartec vest to goes immediately under my rain jacket, shedding it when it gets warmer is a good way to adjust my insulation.

A neck gaiter of polartec or wool I consider a must for cold weather riding.

Rain cover for helmet, even if it is not raining I leave that on my helmet all winter to keep the wind out of the vents. Near freezing, I also use a polartec ear band.
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Old 01-11-18, 03:38 PM
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I did a January 200k out of Ephrata that featured hours of slushy rain followed by heavy snow. My hands were the main problem. Bar mitts hopefully will make that a non-problem for you. That was before I started using fenders, so my legs and feet were soaked. Or maybe I had shoe covers, don't remember. I didn't really have any problems with my legs.

I regret going on that ride, I fell twice on a long descent in the dark and snow and hit my head hard both times. And about halfway down that descent my brake shoes wore out. Which led to the second crash. When we got to the bottom of the hill, they had actually cleared the road, so it wasn't that bad. I was really reluctant to build up any speed though. Fortunately, it was only 10 miles from there.
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