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Lightweight waterproof bike cover for touring

Old 03-27-10, 08:40 AM
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tiggermaxcocoa
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Lightweight waterproof bike cover for touring

I'm trying to cut some weight in my pack list. I consider a waterproof cover for my bike a necessity while camping, but everything I've seen is quite heavy. While I know there are at least a few options out there, such as Arkel's cover and obviously tarps, I was wondering if anyone out there had found a lightweight and clever design outside the mainstream.

I've been contemplating contacting a company called Mountain Laurel Designs to see if they can make a tarp out of either silnylon or cuben fiber, which should be pretty light. It'll also be very expensive...
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Old 03-27-10, 09:16 AM
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What do you do when you have to ride in the rain?

Allen
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Old 03-27-10, 10:00 AM
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plastic bag from the grocery section over the seat is very light weight.
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Old 03-27-10, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Baboo View Post
What do you do when you have to ride in the rain?

Allen
Obviously when I ride in the rain the bike gets wet. But leaving a bike sitting out in the rain overnight seems like it wouldn't be a great thing. Are you suggesting that the rain cover is not necessary? Maybe I am looking at this from the wrong angle...
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Old 03-27-10, 10:20 AM
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I found a light & cheap full cover at Nashbar last year ($9.99) and it folds into a very small envelope.
You can go over to your local $ store or a hardware store and get a cheal plastic drop cloth used for covring stuff while painting
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Old 03-27-10, 10:21 AM
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a 10' x 12' tarp comes in very handy for much more then just a bike cover. Well worth the weigh penalty.
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Old 03-27-10, 12:24 PM
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What part of the bike do you want to keep dry? Are you worried about morning dew, rain, or both?
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Old 03-27-10, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by neilfein View Post
What part of the bike do you want to keep dry? Are you worried about morning dew, rain, or both?
Mostly rain.

I'm starting to think that a couple of plastic grocery bags over the seat, handlebars, and maybe cassette/derailleur would keep the most important parts dry, weigh almost nothing, and take up no space in the pack.
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Old 03-27-10, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by tiggermaxcocoa View Post
Obviously when I ride in the rain the bike gets wet. But leaving a bike sitting out in the rain overnight seems like it wouldn't be a great thing. Are you suggesting that the rain cover is not necessary? Maybe I am looking at this from the wrong angle...
The obviously it is not a "necessity". It s something that you want.

Except perhaps for leather seat the bike will do just fine if it gets a little wet. Just keep things lubricated properly.
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Old 03-27-10, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by tiggermaxcocoa View Post
Mostly rain.

I'm starting to think that a couple of plastic grocery bags over the seat, handlebars, and maybe cassette/derailleur would keep the most important parts dry, weigh almost nothing, and take up no space in the pack.
A much more reasonable approach.
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Old 03-27-10, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Except perhaps for leather seat the bike will do just fine if it gets a little wet. Just keep things lubricated properly.
I concur with this. Unless your bike is made of sugar and spice and dryer lint, it won't hurt it to get wet.

Keep your drivetrain cleaned and lubed and you should be fine, and it's good for the bike whether or not it gets wet.
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Old 03-27-10, 01:07 PM
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The perfect bags for covering your leather saddle are the little dog-poop bags that you can find at city/county parks for cleaning up after dogs. A little more durable than grocery bags, and just about the right size and shape.
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Old 03-27-10, 03:50 PM
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I just tuck a plastic grocery bag under the rails of my Brooks saddle for when I need to cover my saddle when it rains. I do that for my commute as well as touring. After the rain, I just wipe down the bike and oil the chain and other moving parts.

Another great item to have are those disposable shower caps that you can get in hotel rooms. They are great for covering things and the elastic band keeps them in place.
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Old 03-27-10, 03:58 PM
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imi
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Leaving your bike outside on tour isn't the same as just leaving it outside... uh if you get my drift... on tour you'll be regularly lubing, cleaning, taking care of your bike. IMO don't sweat it... Covering with plastic may even trap condensation and have a greater (though probably still negligible) effect...
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Old 03-27-10, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe_Gardner View Post
a 10' x 12' tarp comes in very handy for much more then just a bike cover. Well worth the weigh penalty.
Agreed. We carry a great big blue tarp with us and now consider it an essential item. We use it to cover the bikes at night while camping rather than putting all our panniers in the tent. When we are staying hotels, we don't want to take off all our panniers, so we stash the bikes with the panniers on and then cover the whole mess with the tarp - makes it harder for sticky fingers to take stuff. It also makes a great picnic blanket at lunchtime and we can rig up a shelter against sun or rain during the day.
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Old 03-28-10, 10:33 AM
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For light weight you can get a tent rainfly. I also noticed that the footprint for my REI quarter dome tent is a very thin material that would seem to work well for a bike cover (~$25). I've used a small blue tarp when touring with my wife. We lean the two bikes together and cover with the tarp. We put panniers and other camp gear in the space underneath. We figure it's always handy to have a small tarp available anyway.
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Old 03-28-10, 10:42 AM
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There are plenty of thin polyethylene plastic sheet bicycle covers available - light and cheap but not too durable. I have tandem and solo models. I bought my last one at a pound shop ("Dollar shop") in the UK.
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Old 03-28-10, 10:56 AM
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Seems to me the greatest utility for the tarp when camping is to have a dry place that you can have tea, socialize and pack up. Sure you can cover the bikes but if it rained overnight then stopped you've got a wet tarp to shake out and dry. If it's raining in the morning and you're planning on heading out in the rain having covered bikes won't matter once you take the tarp off them. You might as well just cover the seats and have breakfast and pack under the tarp.
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Old 03-28-10, 01:24 PM
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I use a backpack raincover, similar to this. https://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___60809

Covers my bike from the handlebars to the end of the rear rack, it doesn't of course come all the way to the ground but keeps overhead rain and dew off the seat, bars and mostly off the drive train. I started using this commuting to keep snow off the bike and it worked so well it went into my touring gear.
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Old 03-28-10, 02:04 PM
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I'm surprised I haven't heard it mentioned, but what I bring is a backpacking poncho. I use mine as a ground tarp when sleeping out in arid climates, for wearing while it's raining, and as a rather perfect sized bike cover for when I retreat to the tent.

One of my favorite items, actually. It seems to have quite a few uses.


Originally Posted by Baboo View Post
What do you do when you have to ride in the rain?

Allen
My solution-->https://erictomczak.webs.com/apps/pho...otoid=73959982
Haha, just kidding. I just get soaked. I haven't actually tested that method in a rainstorm yet.
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Old 03-29-10, 07:23 AM
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I don't cover my bike while camping, except for the leather saddle, but I have a sheet of Tyvek that I use for a quick sunshade, or to hide out from a sudden rainstorm, or to sit, kneel or nap on during midday stops. At night, it's the groundsheet for my tent.

I have a nice silnylon tarp with cloth tie-outs all over it, but I've never taken it on a tour.
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Old 03-29-10, 07:40 AM
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+1 on covering only the Brooks with a small plastic bag. It serves the secondary duty of making the Brooks unregocnisable (had one stolen from bike a couple of years ago). The cover I got with the saddle has Brooks logo printed all over it in large, friendly letters, so I don't use it. I wouldn't bother covering the rear cogs either, it would be messy and in my experience redundant.

I agree covering the bike to prevent theft of gear might be a useful idea, but haven't needed to actually do this myself, so far.

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Old 03-29-10, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Jim View Post
I use a backpack raincover, similar to this. https://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___60809

Covers my bike from the handlebars to the end of the rear rack, it doesn't of course come all the way to the ground but keeps overhead rain and dew off the seat, bars and mostly off the drive train. I started using this commuting to keep snow off the bike and it worked so well it went into my touring gear.
I thought about that at the weekend in an army & navy store when I saw a lightweight poncho - US army style. The US army ponchos were seriously about the only item of rainwear that could keep you reasonably dry in a good rain. An old English guy who had fought in Spain told me how good they were after he had managed to aquire one from the Lincoln Brigade. The WWII and Korean ponchos were made of a much heavier and more durable material than the Vietnem ponchos but the weight and bulk issues would make the later style nylon ponchos more suitable for cycling use.
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Old 03-31-10, 10:39 AM
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You could buy a cheap single wall tent (Big 5 and such) for $20.00.The whole thing will be waterproof.Cut out what you want and save the rest for something else.They come with Square BOB Spongepants printed on them too if you like.
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Old 03-31-10, 11:03 AM
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Cheap tarp?

Shower Curtain.
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