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Thread: Rain Gear and rain bike care?

  1. #11
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    Lane "paint" -- which is usually a sort of plastic-ish strip these days, not actually paint -- can also be quite slippery when wet. Also, wood bridges.

    Just don't overcook any turns on the trails, double up on your lights, and ride extra defensively, since drivers sometimes can't see well, underestimate their stopping distances, have bald tires and bad wipers etc.

    Also, although it may sound counter intuitive, make sure to fill your water bottles. Gets thirsty out there in the rain working a little harder than usual, and you may be sweating more if your rain jacket gets too warm underneath. (I don't wear rain jackets any more, but I do put on a Gore-Tex pants shell sometimes -- it's my legs that can get colder in the rain, not my upper body.) And the extra water is useful for cleaning off rain-splattered glasses etc.

  2. #12
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    +1 for evading the dreaded manhole cover! Those things are as bad as black-ice! I learned that earlier this season (luckily, I didn't go down, but it was VERY close)

    If you run a rear rack, I find that i don't really need a rear fender. I just run an SKS fender on the front. REI sells waterproof backpack covers (osprey), and they work great. I prefer waterproof panniers, so that is what I have gone with.

    If your bike frame is steel, then you should really consider:
    1. treating your frame with Boeshield's frame-saver.
    2. doing a wipe-down to get the standing water off immediately after your wet-ride.

    If your bike frame is aluminum, then as long as you are running a wet-lube (something like Finishline's wet), you don't have to worry too much about drying things off. Just do as the others say and make sure to do regular wipe-downs and light cleaning of your drive-train to keep the grit to a minimum. If you don't clean/re-lube, you'll end up replacing your chain, chainrings, cassette within a couple months of wet-riding because your shifting will become inaccurate and your chain may start skipping over the teeth on your chainrings due to excessive wear (shark-fining).

    Good luck, safe riding and God bless!

  3. #13
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    Trickiest bits for me are keeping head, hands, and feet comfortable. Rain jacket takes care of core, and windproof tights work well enough for legs. I have a sealskinz skull cap (helmet light precludes using a helmet cover). Waterproof overgloves, although rain may get in under the cuffs. Gloves never dry out during day so I keep a spare at work. Mixed results with shoe covers and regular (MTB) shoes, or winter shoes (Lake), and waterproof socks (something probikekit was selling and there's a picture of someone standing in a acquarium tank wearing them). The socks work, but if water trickles down my legs, they stay in the socks! Spare set at work as they don't dry quickly, either. Rain covers for bag/pannier and anything that cannot get wet is in it's own plastic bag. Concur on lights - be visible to drivers, and enough to illuminate puddles, other debris & hazards, and ninja walkers!

    You'll feel awesome when coworkers ask "did you REALL ride in TODAY?".

  4. #14
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    Don't laugh but a really cheap, super light, effective rain cover for your helmet is one of those freebie shower caps you get in hotels. They squish up to nothing and are made of clear plastic so hardly visible when on. They have an elastic band so they easily slip on the helmet and stay put. Unfortunately they aren't very durable but they are so light I keep one in my emergency bag at all times wrapped in an elastic band. They would probably work okay as shoe covers in a pinch too.

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  6. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLizotte View Post
    Don't laugh but a really cheap, super light, effective rain cover for your helmet is one of those freebie shower caps you get in hotels. They squish up to nothing and are made of clear plastic so hardly visible when on. They have an elastic band so they easily slip on the helmet and stay put. Unfortunately they aren't very durable but they are so light I keep one in my emergency bag at all times wrapped in an elastic band. They would probably work okay as shoe covers in a pinch too.
    I love this tip! I NEVER wanted to pay $25 for a stupid helmet cover, after all; my head is usually wet from sweat when it isn't raining. In a cold down pore, this is a fun, super cheap solution.

    I've still never found a better waterproof shoe cover than a standard plastic shopping bag (properly fitted and tied so that rain pants go over the top). You can clip in right through the bag. However, if you are unclipping and putting your feet down a lot, you'll probably wear holes in the bottom.

  7. #16
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    agree with all already mentioned and i too have hotel shower caps hidden in rain jackets, saddle bags etc. rain gear is a lot of trial and error and depends on how much you want to spend and don't limit yourself to 'cycling specific'. try to give the bike a wipe down when you get to work and certainly the chain when you get home.

    AND..someone mentioned newspaper...it is the 'quick dry solution'. stuff in your shoes and wrap shoes in them...they'll dry while you are the office or over night!!!

    i'd like someone to invent a waterproof rain/shawl/vest thingy. kind of like a vest that covers the shoulders and makes it down your back and has just 3/4 length arms

  8. #17
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    No one has mentioned rain capes yet. I got a cheapo vinyl one from Monkey King a few years ago and then got the one from J&G a year ago. As long as it's not too windy they are great for protection while commuting. Unfortunately, they're not so great on century rides.

  9. #18
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    It should be a fun commute home in the rain today.

    But it should be warmer - so I'm only going for a t-shirt and my rain jacket with my full-length bib.

  10. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ejwillis62 View Post
    Getting fenders on Saturday, anything else?
    Fenders with mudguards. E.g. Planet Bike Cascadia. I "retrofitted" the Cascadia mudguards to my SKS P35 fenders; that works well. W/o the mudguards my feet were getting drenched from water streaming off the end of the front fender.

    The most comfortable clothing setup I have found for real rain is:
    - Gore rain pants (Goretex). I wear either knickers or lightweight tights underneath. Nothing worse than skin directly against this plastic-feeling fabric. Beware these tend to fit a little short (I am 34 inseam and the size L is just a tad short -- works fine in conjunction with shoe covers, but pulls up too short for my winter cycling boots).
    - REI Novarra eVent cycling waterproof jacket
    - Gore waterproof shoe covers
    - Wool socks. Inevitablly water can still make its way in (e.g. from bottom of shoes), so wool is nice.
    - Helmet cover or waterproof cycling cap
    - Fleece gaiter, if temps warrant it.
    - Waterproof gloves. Or at least water resistant. I have a set of LG Windtex gloves that claim to be waterproof (they're not, but they resist light rain fine) and a set of Gore gloves.

    The Gore pants are still hot, but they breathe much better than others I have tried (e.g. LG, Performance). In general Gore stuff is expensive, but it works and is well constructed. The REI eVent jacket is phenomenal and a great value. Beware rain stuff that doesn't breathe; you will end up soaked from sweat which isn't any better than being soaked from rain.

  11. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by consularrider View Post
    No one has mentioned rain capes yet. I got a cheapo vinyl one from Monkey King a few years ago and then got the one from J&G a year ago. As long as it's not too windy they are great for protection while commuting. Unfortunately, they're not so great on century rides.
    I have one of the Rivendell rain capes. It's fairly heavy vinyl and stays put. I went on a ride in 45 degree pouring rain with a group of folks last year and I was the only one who was really dry at the end. It covers your hands and handlebars so that the only thing that gets wet is your toes or sometimes your shins. It's more like a small tent than a poncho though.

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