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Rain riding

Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Rain riding

Old 06-15-19, 03:22 PM
  #1  
moto367
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Rain riding

So what are your "rules of thumb" for deciding to ride in the rain or not? Silly question I know...
We've had a ton of rain here this year and it's hampering my ride time. When I was younger I'd just go. Being older I find my motivation level dropping with less than ideal conditions. Is it age or pussitus? I'm thinking the latter. Anyway, when do you all decide that the rain is too hard, too wet or whatever to go ride in?
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Old 06-15-19, 03:42 PM
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I ask myself if it looks like I will have fun riding. If the answer is no, I don't ride.
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Old 06-15-19, 05:07 PM
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Biggest thing for me is temperature. Cold rain can make riding miserable.
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Old 06-15-19, 05:15 PM
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Temperature, distance, intensity of rain, ride length, solo or group, all are factors. Probably temp as above biggest driver.
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Old 06-15-19, 05:16 PM
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If the roads are wet, I skip it and my fellow riding buddies are in agreement.

If it looks like it’ll dry out in an hour, then we go and take it easy. If it’s outright raining, No.

I’ve gone down a result of an off camber turn on a wet road, my fault but it’s a turn I take frequently, with a wet surface making it dangerous. Wasn’t hurt but why take a chance ?, I’m not racing and can’t justify the fitness vs. injury.

Plus if it’s a wet ride I have to service the bike.
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Old 06-15-19, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
I ask myself if it looks like I will have fun riding. If the answer is no, I don't ride.
This is accurate to a degree. I know that if I get out there and jsut do it, after the first ten minutes I will be glad I am riding. But more and more I tend not to ride if it is steadily raining---I don't mind getting caught in it, but i can rarely get myself psyched to head out in it.
Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
Biggest thing for me is temperature. Cold rain can make riding miserable.
This is the other thing. I used to commute, so I rode 5-6 days a week, regardless. I don't Have to any more, and it is hard to convince myself that the discomfort isn't that bad. And cold rain is pretty miserable. Hard to dress for it too---either I am hot and drenched is sweat with some soaked and frigid portions, or I am soaked and frozen.
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Old 06-15-19, 07:03 PM
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My rule of thumb: if it's raining, don't ride.
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Old 06-15-19, 07:31 PM
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If there is even a hint of rain, I will not ride.
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Old 06-15-19, 07:51 PM
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Lately Iím having a hard time getting motivated to ride, so less than ideal conditions are an excuse for me to not ride.

Like was said above though, after Iím out for 10 minutes Iím glad I decided to ride. But never in the rain, or winds above 20 mph. I hate the wind.
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Old 06-15-19, 07:54 PM
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Temperature is the primary deciding factor for me. Above 65 Fahrenheit, and away we go. Secondarily, I avoid high likelihood of lightning. Having said all that, because I am fortunate enough to own a dedicated rain bike, Al frame, 42 cm. tires and full fenders, disc brakes, I don’t mind the rain. I would not take any of my fancier racing bikes out in the wet.
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Old 06-15-19, 10:51 PM
  #11  
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It depends. I am getting softer but I have also started a tradition of Black Friday rides. In western Oregon, that date can be very wet. I ride those on my winter bike, 35c tires (or more), fenders, Phil Wood hubs, etc. I wear enough clothing to be warm all day wet. A pannier to stash clothes.

I'm a huge fan of good modern thermals (REI, Patagonia, etc.) that work very well when soaking wet so if I bring enough, I don't have to worry how wet I get, (It is important to slow down the water change though, You used your body heat to warm that water. If it runs off and you have to warm the new water, you are losing heat.). Also the very rideable Showers Pass jackets.

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Old 06-16-19, 12:33 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Plus if it’s a wet ride I have to service the bike.
Outside of chain lube, how?

I hear all kinds of horror stories about the damage of riding in the rain, but most of it seems like nonsense.
One of my bikes is a 1979 Fuji America, originally my grandfather's. He rode it a couple thousand miles back in the day, then left it in a shed for several decades, where it underwent tons of dew and frost cycles. Over the last few years I've ridden it several thousand miles including lots of rain riding on gritty roads, and some freeway driving with it on my car rack in the rain. Not long ago, I took apart the unsealed adjustable bottom bracket - you know, the kind of vintage BB that will supposedly asplode if you don't repack it after every rainy ride- for its first overhaul ever. It took a while to clean up all of the ancient peanut butter grease, but the races are still in excellent condition.

I suppose things could get pretty gross if you're not using well-designed fenders.

Last edited by HTupolev; 06-16-19 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 06-16-19, 12:38 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by moto367 View Post
So what are your "rules of thumb" for deciding to ride in the rain or not?
1 - Is there snow in the mountains? If yes, I'm skiing. (So not in August, but it doesn't rain in August anymore.)

2 - How long has it been since I rode, even is my next chance after today?

3 - Am I bored or cabin feverish?
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Old 06-16-19, 02:11 AM
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love a good rain ride when the temps are mid-seventies or higher. drop the tire pressure a little bit, wear my worse (but visible) kit,
watch out for the thick white road striping paint, metal grates and manhole covers and avoid going full speed (which is, unfortunately,
not as big of a problem as i would like). gives me a nudge to clean/relube the bike properly post-ride since i've likely been putting it off anyway.

but yah, cold temps are generally a no-go, esp for a ride longer than an hour.
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Old 06-16-19, 03:19 AM
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I usually switch to my hybrid with 700x32 or 700x42 all terrain tires, either Conti Speed Rides or Sport Contact II. Good grip on wet roads.

I've been caught in unexpected rain on the road bikes with slick tires, both Schwalbe One V-Guards and Conti Ultra Sport II, but I wouldn't choose to do that. Just popped up midway through a long ride. Grip actually wasn't bad but I was extra careful.
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Old 06-16-19, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
I usually switch to my hybrid with 700x32 or 700x42 all terrain tires, either Conti Speed Rides or Sport Contact II. Good grip on wet roads.

I've been caught in unexpected rain on the road bikes with slick tires, both Schwalbe One V-Guards and Conti Ultra Sport II, but I wouldn't choose to do that. Just popped up midway through a long ride. Grip actually wasn't bad but I was extra careful.
I have a dedicated rain bike also. It has disc brakes and full fenders with mud flaps that almost reach the ground. Not only keeps me dry, it also keeps crud from the front wheel from flying up into the drivetrain.
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Old 06-16-19, 06:42 AM
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November-March - No ride(unless it's a commute)

April-October - No problem
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Old 06-16-19, 07:01 AM
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My rules in southern California...

Is it dark? Then no.

Did I recently wash the bikes? Then no.

Could I benefit from a day off? Then no.

Are the fenders already on the old bike? May as well...
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Old 06-16-19, 08:25 AM
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If it's raining or even drizzling, I won't start a ride.
But if it begins to rain while I'm out riding, I just ignore and keep riding.
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Old 06-16-19, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
Outside of chain lube, how?

I hear all kinds of horror stories about the damage of riding in the rain, but most of it seems like nonsense.
One of my bikes is a 1979 Fuji America, originally my grandfather's. He rode it a couple thousand miles back in the day, then left it in a shed for several decades, where it underwent tons of dew and frost cycles. Over the last few years I've ridden it several thousand miles including lots of rain riding on gritty roads, and some freeway driving with it on my car rack in the rain. Not long ago, I took apart the unsealed adjustable bottom bracket - you know, the kind of vintage BB that will supposedly asplode if you don't repack it after every rainy ride- for its first overhaul ever. It took a while to clean up all of the ancient peanut butter grease, but the races are still in excellent condition.

I suppose things could get pretty gross if you're not using well-designed fenders.
Road grit, dirt, etc on frame. Just means it needs cleaning earlier. Itís not a big deal, Iíve ridden a touring bike for weeks with rain, just no need on ďfunĒ rides in my opinion. Forgot to mention you are more prone to flats on wet days and they ainít fun changing when itís cold and wet out.
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Old 06-16-19, 11:00 AM
  #21  
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Only around here can someone sound tough and bold by saying "I NEVER go out in the RAIN!"
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Old 06-16-19, 12:13 PM
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Iíve been caught out in the pouring rain a few times. ST least it was warm enough and I was on the way home. Just wiped down the bike afterwards and cleaned and lubed the chain. I worry more about my phone getting wet.
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Old 06-16-19, 02:17 PM
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Hybrid city bike = weather doesn't matter at all
MTB = don't start a ride if it's raining, but if it rains mid-ride, no problem
Road bike = do not ride in the rain
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Old 06-16-19, 03:41 PM
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OP, get some fenders if you don't have them. Fenders expanded my riding time (and enthusiasm on wet days) because the bike is kept cleaner so I don't think about it - and they keep the road grime and snail guts off me. I did a group ride this morning - last half hour we got showers, but it was reasonably warm and wound-up about as damp as I would be on a humid day. I carry a couple plastic bags for my phone, etc.

Wider tires with a file tread work pretty well on wet roads - still need to be careful.

Pouring rain or cold rain is a no-go.
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Old 06-16-19, 04:37 PM
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Sometimes its nice to do a rain ride on purpose.

The topic reminds me of this iPhone commercial. I would be hesitant to ride in lightning but thought the advertisement was cool anyway. Whomever made is is clearly a cyclist.



-Tim-
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