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Do you bike commute in the rain?

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Do you bike commute in the rain?

Old 10-16-13, 04:13 PM
  #51  
mstraus
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I am new to Bike Commuting and the rainy season in NorCal hasn't quite started yet, so I haven't tried a commute in the rain yet, though I am debating trying when it does rain.

I am not concerned about me or my cargo getting wet (good gear will mitigate that). My concerns are around safety, specifically:
1. Roads being more slick when its raining, particularly painted bike lanes, which seem to get more slick when wet then unpainted roads
2. Beyond just roads, there are a number of metal plates (for construction or underground access), yellow crossing things on bike paths, etc that I have to cross daily (I can't avoid them all the way many are in the bike lanes/paths). These have been very slippery when wet (have had some very wet, drizzly commutes due to Fog in San Francisco).
3. Large descent - I have a large decent in my commute both directions - making more more concerned about slick roads.
4. Visability, more so for other drivers seeing me

I can reduce #3 by biking to a ferry instead of biking all the way. Maybe #1 and 2 are not as big a deal as I fear, so curious to hear what others things. What about 4? How does it compare to visibility in the dark?/
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Old 10-16-13, 04:35 PM
  #52  
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When I'm touring I ride when it's raining, even raining several days in a row, but I admit that setting up/breaking down camp in the rain isn't much fun. A 20 mile round trip commute in the rain? No biggie. I sweat so much that unless it's cold I don't wear anything extra beyond a jacket.
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Old 10-16-13, 05:04 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by awsimons View Post
I'm just wondering how many people will ride to work no matter the weather. I only started commuting 5 months ago, but haven't yet braved the rain, as rare as it is here.
Alan
I'm probably ignorant about your climate, but wouldn't you only get a handful or less days of rain a month in TX?

Notwithstanding how much rain you get, I'm in a similar boat as you. Been commuting for about 4.5 months, and am committing to keeping it up through the rainy season here in Vancouver. Have invested in some blinky lights, warmer clothes, gaiters and fenders etc though.
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Old 10-16-13, 05:25 PM
  #54  
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Most of my wipeouts have taken place under wet conditions. I now try to avoid the rain.
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Old 10-16-13, 05:28 PM
  #55  
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Hell yeah, riding in the rain is awesome! Why wouldn't you do it! Unless you are a witch... are you a witch?
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Old 10-16-13, 05:50 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by mstraus View Post
I am new to Bike Commuting and the rainy season in NorCal hasn't quite started yet, so I haven't tried a commute in the rain yet, though I am debating trying when it does rain.

I am not concerned about me or my cargo getting wet (good gear will mitigate that). My concerns are around safety, specifically:
1. Roads being more slick when its raining, particularly painted bike lanes, which seem to get more slick when wet then unpainted roads
2. Beyond just roads, there are a number of metal plates (for construction or underground access), yellow crossing things on bike paths, etc that I have to cross daily (I can't avoid them all the way many are in the bike lanes/paths). These have been very slippery when wet (have had some very wet, drizzly commutes due to Fog in San Francisco).
3. Large descent - I have a large decent in my commute both directions - making more more concerned about slick roads.
4. Visability, more so for other drivers seeing me

I can reduce #3 by biking to a ferry instead of biking all the way. Maybe #1 and 2 are not as big a deal as I fear, so curious to hear what others things. What about 4? How does it compare to visibility in the dark?/
1 Yes, caution should be taken when braking and turning. I don't know what the exact type of paint they use in your area;
but if it's the same dull green paint they use here it shouldn't be a problem.

2 Same precaution with white reflective paint, see #1 and video.

3 Brake early, move butt back to give more traction on the rear.

4 Light rain, you really don't have to do anything. In hard rain; it helps to use a baseball cap
or a decent visor on your helmet. Check videos to get an idea for visibility.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hheUc-zlfiM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI
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Old 10-16-13, 06:08 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Mr. Hairy Legs View Post
Life is not a problem as long as you have the right gear.
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Old 10-16-13, 06:13 PM
  #58  
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I ride to work in the snow, so why wouldn't I ride in liquid snow?

I've ridden in downpours that have flooded parts of the street above my BB. Makin' waves! Passin' drowned cars!
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Old 10-16-13, 06:22 PM
  #59  
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LOL, tsl -- I remember doing that, spring of '03 -- a street on my route home at the time was flooded over a foot deep; since I knew there weren't big potholes along there, I just rolled through. Every pedal stroke was "SPLOOSH! SPLOOSH!" The fallout of it was that my Deore RD quit a week later, and the Pearl Izumi socks I wore that day stained my ankles black! I smiled about that for a MONTH!

OP, I've been commuting since 2000, and car-free since '04; I've been through several sets of cheaper rain suits, and I'm curious right now to see how long my well-performing Frogg Toggs will last. I've gotten over the primal, hardcore joy that rain riding used to give me, but it's still fun. No WAY, NO HOW, IN HELL, am I skipping riding to work because of a little rain.
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Old 10-16-13, 07:10 PM
  #60  
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Yes, in fact, I did it last Friday which was the last day of a 5 day non-stop rain parade here in DC. The streams and creeks were all overflowing. That trip convinced me to get some SKS raceblade removeable fenders so I could do it again tomorrow. I installed the fenders tonight - they are awesome!!
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Old 10-16-13, 07:12 PM
  #61  
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Nevah!
I hunker down when it's wet outside; wait it out.
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Old 10-16-13, 07:31 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post


I ride to work in the snow, so why wouldn't I ride in liquid snow?

I've ridden in downpours that have flooded parts of the street above my BB. Makin' waves! Passin' drowned cars!
tsl, has the worst dandruff problem known to men.
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Old 10-16-13, 07:48 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
What about the cogs and the derailleurs? And if it rains 3 days in a row?
On my route my bike gets incredibly dirty in just one ride in the rain.

My solution: Power washer. Mud caked to clean in 30 seconds.

I do run with significant rear lighting always, so when it's raining I am OK already. A MagicShine tail (about equivalent to the AA Dinotte rear light) on steady, a Knog Blinder 4V on slow fade/pulse and a Cygolite Hotshot on rapid pulse is my current rear lighting strategy (plus a reflective vest)
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Old 10-16-13, 07:50 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
Most of my wipeouts have taken place under wet conditions. I now try to avoid the rain.
Apart from two times when I've stupidly held off mounting the studded tires a day too long, the 4 times in my life I've wiped out it's been on loose sand or gravel. I've never wiped out on wet conditions, probably because I'm extra careful when it's wet.
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Old 10-16-13, 07:51 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post


I ride to work in the snow, so why wouldn't I ride in liquid snow?

I've ridden in downpours that have flooded parts of the street above my BB. Makin' waves! Passin' drowned cars!
tsl's are obviously bigger than mine. I ride in the rain, but when it gets windy lotsa crap falls out of the trees and Oregon drivers forget how to, or when it gets snowy I climb into my evil SUV.
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Old 10-16-13, 10:50 PM
  #66  
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I ride year round. My commuter bikes are set up for any type of inclement weather. Fenders are a must and studded tires and disk brakes for winter. The way I look at it is that some days are more enjoyable to ride than others.
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Old 10-16-13, 10:56 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
It takes me ~1 minute to to spray the muck off my bike and then wipe it down with one of my bike towels.
I'm a little surprised you bother. The only time I clean my rain bike is when I need to re-lube the chain, and even then I only clean as much as need to keep the lube from doing more harm than good.
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Old 10-16-13, 11:16 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
My favorite commuting weather is 40-55 F (4-13 C) in moderate rain. It's refreshing and I can power up hills without getting sweaty! I even prefer heavy rain to a warm dry day.

I typically wear a light shell, a jersey, and tights. I really do not understand why people prefer rain-specific clothing. I've always found it to be uncomfortable and smelly.
Exactly. I prefer fast DRYING clothes. Get soaked and then change. I only have a thin jacket that keeps wind and rain out, for those really cold and rainy days. Otherwise I just hang clothes to dry, change into fresh ones, and then change back before going home. Thin, fast drying clothes (microfiber if possible).


Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
On my route my bike gets incredibly dirty in just one ride in the rain.

My solution: Power washer. Mud caked to clean in 30 seconds.

I do run with significant rear lighting always, so when it's raining I am OK already. A MagicShine tail (about equivalent to the AA Dinotte rear light) on steady, a Knog Blinder 4V on slow fade/pulse and a Cygolite Hotshot on rapid pulse is my current rear lighting strategy (plus a reflective vest)
My solution is alu frame, alu wheels, SS spokes and Shimano MTB groupo (Acera for the last 3 years). Works sweet in snow, salt, rain - no problems. Just lube it nice. The only things I ever sort of wipe are the seat, handlebars and the chain.

Twice a year (spring and autumn) I also wipe and re-lube derailleur and brake pivots.

Last edited by Bike Gremlin; 10-17-13 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 10-16-13, 11:29 PM
  #69  
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My biggest issue in the rain is my required eye-glasses, which make it hard to see when wet. How do you all handle that?
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Old 10-17-13, 12:08 AM
  #70  
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I live on the Northwest Oregon Coast, It's Donning rain-gear, to go out the door, even to get a brewski..

the Pub run..

Cyclist's rain cape FTW.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-17-13 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 10-17-13, 07:07 AM
  #71  
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I live in a temperate rain forest, so if I didn't ride in the rain I would never get to ride at all. Also, no car, so I'd have to skip work that day, and I'd prefer to remain gainfully employed.
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Old 10-17-13, 07:10 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by @Jason View Post
My biggest issue in the rain is my required eye-glasses, which make it hard to see when wet. How do you all handle that?
I have prescription Rudy Project Sunglasses, I'm saving up to get clear lenses to wear when it's dark. I use Nikwax Visor Proof on the outside, and it seems to work just fine.
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Old 10-17-13, 07:20 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by @Jason View Post
My biggest issue in the rain is my required eye-glasses, which make it hard to see when wet. How do you all handle that?
http://www.amazon.com/Daron-Wiper-Gl.../dp/B00BQVZMNC
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Old 10-17-13, 07:20 AM
  #74  
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Not on purpose.
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Old 10-17-13, 07:31 AM
  #75  
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I like wearing sandals or sneakers with a thin mesh upper when riding in the rain. This way, my feet get wet but they can dry quickly afterwards. Wool socks are an important part of the mix, because wool stays warm when wet. It also doesn't absorb much water. Same for some synthetics. Cotton socks are the worst.
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