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Rainy brevet - wet feet?

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Old 03-06-18, 10:55 AM
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Rainy brevet - wet feet?

I've done century length rides in the rain and my socks and shoes get soaked. It is not comfortable. When I'm done, my toes look like prunes from being soaked in water.

I flaked on a 300km I signed up for last weekend because it was supposed to rain and I didn't have fenders and wasn't prepared for the rain.

Question:

If you ride a rainy brevet, do your sock and feet get wet?

- If not, what do you do to prevent it?

- If yes, any tips on making it more tolerable?
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Old 03-06-18, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Flounce View Post
I've done century length rides in the rain and my socks and shoes get soaked. It is not comfortable. When I'm done, my toes look like prunes from being soaked in water.

I flaked on a 300km I signed up for last weekend because it was supposed to rain and I didn't have fenders and wasn't prepared for the rain.

Question:

If you ride a rainy brevet, do your sock and feet get wet?

- If not, what do you do to prevent it?

- If yes, any tips on making it more tolerable?
I think you answered it. Fenders. I forgot my front clip-on fender on my first and only brevet last year. Even though I had shoe covers and pants etc., my feet got wet. Fenders=first and best line of defense.
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Old 03-06-18, 11:19 AM
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Showers Pass makes waterproof socks. I've used them for snowshoeing as well as trail races that had numerous water crossings. I haven't had a chance to try them out on a bike ride yet, but I bet if can make sure that I've covered the tops of the socks with my water resistant pants that my feet would stay dry.

100% agree about fenders! Just acquired a new bike suitable for brevets that has full length fenders. Kept me dry on a 100K ride last month that had slushy road conditions for the first hour or so. On that ride, I had on my winter cycling boots (Lake 303) which kept my feet warm and dry even though temps never got above 33 (started at 21 degrees).
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Old 03-06-18, 11:41 AM
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I was unaware that Showers Pass make water proof socks.

Some bike shoes, the cleat hardware in the sole will let water in if you step in a puddle for a second. I have some Dexshell water proof socks, have not thoroughly tested them in practice but I have often worn them on winter bike rides in case I stepped in a puddle. When brand new I did test the socks with my hand in the sock in a sink full of water, they worked for that test.

I have not done century rides or longer in the rain, but I have toured in the rain. The day I took the photo, I was pretty damp all over, my feet were damp too but not actually wet. I think if I took my socks off, I probably could not have rung any water out of them.

The shoe covers in the photo were Gore Windstopper shoe covers, although they are the color of mud in the photo, not the original high vis color. I had rain pants (REI Elements) on that went over the tops of the shoe covers. And it was cool enough that I did not sweat like crazy in all my rain gear.
https://www.rei.com/product/820997/g...ke-shoe-covers

If you get shoe covers, a critical concern would be water running down your leg into your socks if you do not have something water proof overlapping on top.
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Old 03-06-18, 12:07 PM
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I've got waterproof shoes, but your socks still get soaked anyway. If it's rainy enough, I'll have to periodically drain the water out of my shoes.
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Old 03-06-18, 01:29 PM
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Once it starts raining hard enough and/or your speed gets high enough wet lower legs and feet are a certainty. I'm sure someone will come along shortly and tell me I'm wrong and it's easy to have toasty dry feet in a torrential downpour.

Anyway, the biggest thing for me is keep my feet warm. They can get as wet as they want as long as they stay warm. I use mylar sheeting under shoe covers (because it's cheap) to keep out the wind as well as insulated insoles to help retain the heat generated by pedaling. Once the zippers on my shoe covers fail I may try some Velotoze as they look like a more complete and thus warmer coverage.

Oh obviously I run fenders, I've used them almost always. Even some like raceblades make a big difference but these days I ride full coverage fenders and they work well for keeping most of the spray down. My feet usually only get wet due to the v-shaped spray that comes off the tire when riding through puddles at speed. Nothing to do to prevent that.
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Old 03-06-18, 06:10 PM
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On my touring bike with full fenders my feet still get wet from the rain falling from the sky.

Iíve started a 600K in heavy downpour on a bike without fenders, but it was relatively warm so my feet never got cold. The rain let up after 7 hours so I eventually dried out.

Last year on a 1200 I rode, there was a few hours of heavy rain at night, I used neoprene shoe covers but didnít have pants on so eventually rain ran down my legs and seeped in. It probably also leaks through the cleat holes. The other rider I was with had fenders and was just as wet as I was, the rain was just so heavy.

Iíve been meaning to try neoprene soaks but it seems like something Iíd only use in colder weather. I have a cross bike set up with fenders so I will try it on some rainy rides if I get the chance this season but I also ordered some crud road racer fenders so I might just keep using my regular road bike for rainy brevets as I havenít had too much trouble with rain so far.

I actually DNFíed my first 400K partially due to rain, but I was riding a fendered bike with overshoes on... so I donít know how much difference they make for everyone.
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Old 03-06-18, 06:26 PM
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I made cycling gators for my winter boots. A modified version would work well for both boots and shoes. They consist of stretchy windblock fabric with two velcro closures in back. The shape is of a rectangle set on top of a trapezoid. The rectangle is 3" high and 10" wide (to fit my ankle with extra for one width of velcro). The trapezoid is 3 1/2" high by 11" at the top by 12" at the bottom to match the taper of my boot top. (For shoes, both top and bottom should be longer. Mine do not overlap the shoe top. Never occurred to me I might want these for shoes when I designed 'em.)

Fenders - yes. For foot comfort, the big front flap the English and PNWers sport does as much as the rest of a set of full sized fenders. They may not keep your feet dry, but they will go a long way toward making your feet a lot more comfortable. If the fenders you want don't come with deep flaps, be prepared to make some. Go to the commuter forum. Lots of people there have done that.

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Old 03-06-18, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
I've got waterproof shoes, but your socks still get soaked anyway. If it's rainy enough, I'll have to periodically drain the water out of my shoes.
For foot comfort, you have to either keep the water out or enable it to leave. Nearly all traditional cycling shoes had holes under the ball or toes to let water drain out. My first real race was 105 miles in pouring rain, so wet we all had the thought as we rode along the Kennebec River of back-country Maine that we could pull a right turn into the river and neither we nor our bikes would get any wetter. (Running joke was what make tires tasted best.)

My feet were soaked like the rest of me. Never gave them any special thought. When we finished we heard the woes of those who's shoes didn't have the holes.

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Old 03-06-18, 06:35 PM
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Well summarized good advice from RUSA #1609 from April-2011. I particularly like item #5.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/.../messages/3563

5) Dry sock heaven. Drives me nuts to ride with wet feet after the rain has stopped. I carry an extra pair of socks inside two newspaper bags, then change socks and put the bags on the outside so the shoes don't get em wet.

[stupid advanced editor refuses to indent the above paragraph]
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Old 03-06-18, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by clasher View Post
...
Iíve been meaning to try neoprene soaks but it seems like something Iíd only use in colder weather. ....
I wear neoprene socks with sandals when sea kayaking, but that is because sometimes I am standing in cold water. I can't imagine a long ride on a bike wearing those socks.
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Old 03-06-18, 07:25 PM
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I'm still mostly fenderless.

Maybe that will be a project for next fall.

I like my Shimano MW series shoes. I just transitioned to MW81.

Water resistant lower, neoprene upper. They seem to work reasonably well. Not perfectly dry, but never feeling drenched or frozen. But, perhaps I have some tolerance too.

I wear them over a thick synthetic sock. Wool would work too, but I've gone to a fake wool style.

I liked the older version (MW-02), but the leather didn't hold up well. However, the one-piece strapless uppers were easier to deal with.

There are likely other winter boots/shoes that would also work, but at least one didn't work well with my bony ankles.
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Old 03-06-18, 08:06 PM
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SPD sandals. They arent for everyone. Various socks and covers under and over depending on your conditions.

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Old 03-06-18, 08:09 PM
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Mudguards

Semi-waterproof boots with gaters

Boot covers

Wool socks

Good quality rain pants

A change of socks in my Carradice for if/when the rain lets up


Even with all of that, my feet can still get wet, but that's OK. I'm designed with withstand water. Of much greater importance is keeping my feet warm, and the suggestions above do that.
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Old 03-06-18, 08:22 PM
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I used to wear toe covers until I realized they were causing me to have hot foot. I think my answer is it doesn't bother me. I actually like riding in the rain if it's 60F or above. I have fenders now, felt like a compromise when i put them on, but I feel like it's worth it.
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Old 03-07-18, 12:47 PM
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I've never found a solution that works, at least for cold rain. (And by cold I mean 32-40 degrees. I have empirically determined that 35-38 and pouring and soaked through I am OK for 100k. 90 miles in sleeting 33 degree weather gave me the start of frostbite, although mild enough to heal in a couple weeks. Summer rain I generally find refreshing.) I do have fenders; the water isn't coming off the wheels, it's coming down from above, and on these rides my torso was warm enough that I was occasionally having to remind myself NOT to unzip my rainjacket because if my torso cooled, my feet/hands would get worse. (Hands were OK until I had surgery on one, now I have to be careful.)

The problem I see with making or buying gaiters is that I don't have any warm cycling tights with enough give around the bottoms to get them on top of the gaiters, and water making it down into my shoes coming off my drenched tights is a problem. I think if I feel the need to ride 200k in these conditions I may try putting on platforms and wearing hiking gear, because I do have hiking gaiters and pants that can go over them, and just give up on aerodynamicness.
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Old 03-08-18, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by antimonysarah View Post
I think if I feel the need to ride 200k in these conditions ...
this is the thing that keeps me from worrying too much about it. I have an aversion to hitting my head on the ground, and so if there is any chance of freezing precipitation, I don't ride. Well, I have bikes with studded tires for those conditions, but I'm not doing long distance on them. For temperatures in the 40F or above, I have waterproof shoes that work really well. Unfortunately, I have to wear them on the fleche.

A few of us went on a 200k on a day that wasn't supposed to feature any precipitation and stay above freezing until later at night. Unfortunately, it rained in the early afternoon. One of the roads on the route is pretty sheltered (why I picked it) and we had just gotten over a cold week where it never got above 20F. So I guess the road was still cold. The result was pretty ugly, and we didn't finish. Never hit the ground so hard before or since.

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Old 03-08-18, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
this is the thing that keeps me from worrying too much about it. I have an aversion to hitting my head on the ground, and so if there is any chance of freezing precipitation, I don't ride. Well, I have bikes with studded tires for those conditions, but I'm not doing long distance on them. For temperatures in the 40F or above, I have waterproof shoes that work really well. Unfortunately, I have to wear them on the fleche.

A few of us went on a 200k on a day that wasn't supposed to feature any precipitation and stay above freezing until later at night. Unfortunately, it rained in the early afternoon. One of the roads on the route is pretty sheltered (why I picked it) and we had just gotten over a cold week where it never got above 20F. So I guess the road was still cold. The result was pretty ugly, and we didn't finish. Never hit the ground so hard before or since.
Well, I was thinking more of 35-40-and-pouring, where the roads aren't any worse than summer rainstorms, but the water is cold. I think I'd honestly only do that if I decided to try for an R-12, and honestly an R-12 would be too much dark cold riding for me if I couldn't plan to do a couple of the months elsewhere; stupid 4pm sunsets. (I don't mind riding into the night on the long rides, but it just seems depressing to have to do several hours of it on a 200k.)
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Old 03-08-18, 07:07 PM
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yeah, riding in the dark is one of the downsides of an R12.

I think the worst part of R12's for me was driving, because I would get halfway home and get hit by snow. March through October is good enough for me now.
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Old 03-08-18, 07:51 PM
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For expected wet conditions I use:
fenders with flaps,
waterproof boot covers,
merino wool socks.
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Old 03-09-18, 11:11 PM
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No, my feet never get cold or wet. That said, my worst adventure was 70 miles in a steady 36į hard rain, but it would work on a 300k if one were silly enough to ride one in a cold rain. The solution is very simple.
1) Buy MTB winter boots. I use Lakes. My wife uses Northwaves. Both are very good. I understand there are equally good alternatives out there and some not so good. This means also use SPD pedals, but so what.
2) On your bare ankles wear dry suit leg seals. Dry Suit Replacement Ankle Seal - One Size | APS Or buy in your local dive shop.

You trim the narrow end to fit snugly on your bare ankle, the bell goes over your boot top.
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