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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, 07:22 AM
  #1  
RFEngineer
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Do you bike commute in the rain?

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
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Old 10-16-13, 07:25 AM
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WonderMonkey
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Here and there. It all depends on how hard it is raining and how cold it is. Also my preferred route is on a paced trail near a river and it doesn't take much to come out of the banks and cover the trail. My other route that is safe adds 7 miles. If I can't spare the time to add the miles or heck I just don't want to then I'll drive.
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Old 10-16-13, 07:35 AM
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I still have to go to work when it's raining, so yes. I'm not car-free but it turns out that humans do not dissolve in water. You couldn't prove that by the attitudes of some people who see me arrive when it's raining. They can't seem to believe that someone would actually intentionally get wet.

It's actually quite enjoyable to ride in the rain. When it's warm, it's pleasant. When it's cold, there is rain gear.

Hail is kind of unpleasant. If it's more than dime sized I'll wait it out.

Freezing rain is interesting. If you have rim brakes, it might not be a great idea to ride in it. An experience with it led me to insist on disc brakes on my new foul weather commuter.
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Old 10-16-13, 07:46 AM
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I ride in the rain just like I ride in the sweltering NC summer heat.

People ask "You're gonna ride in this??" And I remind them I'm not sugar. Then they say "Do you want a ride?" And I tell them I didnt get to looking THIS good by getting rides from people.

The one trick I have to say... get something to protect your phone. Go read my "Phones vs Rain" thread over there. I killed my iPhone to death riding in a light shower with him in my windbreaker pocket. According to the peeps in that thread, throw the thing in a ziplock bag and go nucking futz.



I have to get places in the rain just like I have to get places in the sun. As long as I give Mindy a good cleaning off from the dirt that kicks up.... aint no thang.
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Old 10-16-13, 08:05 AM
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Rain is the worst kind of condition in my opinion, especially in fall and spring when it could be wet and cold. Heavy rain gets in my shoes and they don't dry out well (despite stuffing the shoes with newspaper to absorb the wetness through the day that we've talked about previously). I now have booties but they aren't waterproof so I'll have to put my feet into my shoes into plastic grocery bags into the booties to keep my shoes dry and my feet from getting too cold. Cold rain is hard for me to dress for: I have a waterproof jacket so my top will be fine, dry and reasonably warm, but I don't have waterproof pants so wearing fleece or spandex tights to ward off the cold won't be of any use when they get wet with cold rain. I haven't been tested this fall yet with cold rain but, according to the forecast, I might later this week with 7C (45F) and rain forecast for Friday.

My wife tells me that I'm made of neither sh*t nor sugar so I won't melt in the rain: I guess I have to keep riding then despite the weather.
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Old 10-16-13, 08:14 AM
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One main reason I avoid riding in rain is the aftermath cleanup, especially if I had just thoroughly cleaned my bike. Maybe I'll ride more in rain when I have two bikes.
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Old 10-16-13, 08:17 AM
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does it rain in England?
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Old 10-16-13, 08:17 AM
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I have a short commute, but yes...I go in rain/snow/sleet (but not hail). My main commuter has a ti frame, great tires for bad weather and I feel pretty good taking it anywhere, any time. In real snow/ice I can toss on some studded tires. I was actually made it into the news a few years back for riding in the blizzard...just a background shot of me riding past and the weather person making a joke about it.
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Old 10-16-13, 08:19 AM
  #9  
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Rain is the best condition in my opinion seriously I really like riding in the rain, as long as you dress accordingly to the temperature and weather there's nothing to fear from the rain. It took me a while before I did my first commute in the rain because I was afraid but once you do it you know that it's no big deal.
Fenders is a must but for clothing there's a lot of different opinions. I prefer getting wet from rain rather than getting wet from swet so I wear wool when it rain during colder days.
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Old 10-16-13, 08:25 AM
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not until i have rain gear. even then not sure - rain can be pretty miserable. you always end up getting part of you wet, and then when you have to change at work things just never seem dry.
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Old 10-16-13, 08:27 AM
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I look at the slobs I work with and tell them a little exercise wouldn't hurt them every once in a while. A fellow co-worker is ten years my junior and a CrossFit fanatic and looks at me like I'm from mars when he sees me pull up on my bike in the rain. What the heck happened to Americans that RAIN keeps them indoors? I admit cold windy rain gives me a headache when riding in it unprotected. Also admit it's annoying cleaning dead worms off my bike. But I regularly clean and lube my bike so rain shmain. My BIGGEST concern is how visible I am to motorists in the rain. I will switch routes to stay away from cars that are driving with their wipers on. ( and defroster, radio, cell phone...)
Personally, I find it invigorating.
I will step off my soap box now, good post OP.
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Old 10-16-13, 08:31 AM
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Yes. Rain is not a problem as long as you have the right gear.
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Old 10-16-13, 08:34 AM
  #13  
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awsimmons,
Did SA get as much rain last sat as we did here in austin ? About 10-13 inches, in my area.
And I was in the saddle from sat 11:30am until almost 3am sun morn.
Rode in lots of rain, long time.
Kind of enjoyed it. Something different to feel, as it has almost forgotten how to rain in south central texas.
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Old 10-16-13, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by vol View Post
One main reason I avoid riding in rain is the aftermath cleanup, especially if I had just thoroughly cleaned my bike. Maybe I'll ride more in rain when I have two bikes.
Not that bad, really.
Wipe down rims, pads on bikes w/o discs.
Wipe down drivetrain.
Lube.
Wipe down drivetrain.
Ride.
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Old 10-16-13, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by AusTexMurf View Post
Not that bad, really.
Wipe down rims, pads on bikes w/o discs.
Wipe down drivetrain.
Lube.
Wipe down drivetrain.
Ride.
What about the cogs and the derailleurs? And if it rains 3 days in a row?
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Old 10-16-13, 08:49 AM
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I ride in the rain, but after my incident last Friday (http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...took-14-months), I may take the car in heavy rain.

Important things are fenders to keep the grimy road water off of you, and decent waterproof clothing. I don't do any special post-ride cleanup. If it rains a lot of days in a row, I may relube the chain, but only if it needs it.
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Old 10-16-13, 08:50 AM
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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?
Tah's why you ride fixed gear in the rain .

Seriously, I started commuting about 6 months ago. I've ridden in a couple of rain events (somewhat unexpected) so far this year. I fully intend to continue commuting through the winter (mainly so I don't have to get on the fluid trainer like I did last year). I agree with the people who responded that as long as you have the right gear you'll be OK. I just ordered some rain pants to take away one more excuse to avoid riding in the rain.
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Old 10-16-13, 08:53 AM
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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?
What I would consider part of the drivetrain.
I ride my commuter bike and pedicab in all conditions.
Nice drivetrains on both.
SRAM dual drive/X9 on my pedicab. Dual hydraulic disc brakes rear, magura hydraulic rim up front.
It is a real piece of equipment that really gets used. Sometimes in significant rain/water/runoff.
Water doesn't bother it that much. It is made out of metal in england.
Just wipe down the drive train and keep it lightly lubed.
Same with my all conditions commuter.
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Old 10-16-13, 09:01 AM
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We don't get much rain here, but I did go through our "Monsoon" season (which actually saw more rain than normal this year) with no problems. I didn't have any rain gear - just my regular cycling shorts and jersey. In the summer it was kind of nice, though I imagine if it rained now I might not like it so much. I do have fenders now though. I haven't had an opportunity to test them yet...

One of my rides, the rain was so deep that my pedals were skimming the water at the bottom of the stroke. :-)
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Old 10-16-13, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by AusTexMurf View Post
Water doesn't bother it that much.
It's not the water, but the nasty mud and dirt accumulated in the hard-to-reach areas that are annoying.
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Old 10-16-13, 09:10 AM
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I don't have rain gear and only have done it a couple of time after getting caught in it. Unfortunately, almost all rain here come in the winter via storms from the north, and is usually cold. I keep promising myself some rain gear. Maybe this year.
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Old 10-16-13, 09:10 AM
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Yes, I lived in New England. Showers pass jacket helps. There are no bad bike commutes, only poor clothing choices.
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Old 10-16-13, 09:29 AM
  #23  
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I never choose not to ride because it is raining.
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Old 10-16-13, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by hubcap View Post
I never choose not to ride because it is raining.
Lightening on the other hand makes me a little hesitant and actually increases the pucker factor considerably. I am still likely to ride...no specific rain gear...It's 17 miles each way so I plan on getting wet and count on a shower at work or home to warm up. I've ridden 104 days so far this year...I haven't driven since April 28th. That included some rain days. but for the most part around here the forecasters always hype rain events. I will check the radar pre-ride to see what I am up against...sometimes delaying my departure to avoid the worst as best I can. :-)
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Old 10-16-13, 10:31 AM
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I ride every day. Heat, rain, snow. Just clothe accordingly, pack change of clothes in waterproof bags/panniers and go.

When it is colder than 15 degreee celsious AND raining - it is unpleasant. That's it. Everything else feels nice, pleasant.

Of course, I prefer 20 - 25 degrees, sunny, but that doesn't happen always and rain is really not BAD. Just in your head - if you make peace with getting wet (and changing to dry clothes) it is OK. Bit more work changing clothes, but no big deal.
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