Author Topic: Bicycling in the rain  (Read 2970 times)

mustachemarine

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Bicycling in the rain
« on: March 22, 2018, 08:27:41 PM »
This is a small thing, but it was pouring rain today and instead of driving or taking an Uber, I bicycled in the rain!

Recently I've been bicycling to work with the intent of eventually selling my vehicle. The fact that I was able to bicycle in heavy rain (this is as bad as it gets in Southern California) makes me 100% sure that I can bicycle year-round.

Others benefits include exercise, being outside, and an excellent mood boost when I finish my commute ride. I also promised not to use my parking spot at work, and will receive an extra $150 / month to ride my bicycle!

Haven't sold my car yet... but it's been sitting unused in my garage for 2 weeks now. I'm cautiously looking forward to getting rid of it!

11ducks

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2018, 10:45:13 PM »
Amazing work! Saving they $150 a month is an added bonus. Even if you get sick/hurt and have to uber/cab a few days here or there, you'll come out way ahead!

I went for a walk in the rain the other day- no reason, it was just lovely outside!

Landslave

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2018, 08:33:38 PM »
The problem where I live is tropical rain and lightning. There simply is no walking or riding a bike in it.can rain 2-3 inches in 20-30 minutes. Lightning strikes are horrific. But moderate rain like Calif gets is very doable. Go for it

Rubic

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2018, 06:33:27 AM »
I don't mind riding my bicycle in the rain, but I hate cleaning up
the drive train afterwards, esp. living in an apartment.

Nancy

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2018, 06:35:52 AM »
Well done! I absolutely love riding my bike in the rain. It's such a mood booster. Good on you for opting to sell your car!

FrontRanger

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2018, 05:46:19 AM »
Nice! Just wipe down the chain and drivetrain after a good ride in th rain. I was lazy here in Colorado and it rusted out my gear bad. 10 seconds of maintenance would have saved me the replacement costs.

Just Joe

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2018, 10:34:59 AM »
Anyone had any ebike rain experience? So far my middrive has had no problems. Lunacycle assures me that the motor and display are ready for inclement weather. That doesn't address the battery or the switch gear.

nickybecky1

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2018, 10:48:19 AM »
I've E-biked through a couple rainy PNW winters without a problem. I definitely need to clean/grease the chain, but not every day, and it seems to be doing just fine. Even in fairly heavy rain that is unpleasant for biking in, the motor works fine.

GuitarStv

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2018, 10:52:28 AM »
With fenders on your bike, (and when it's not miserably cold) cycling in the rain can be kinda fun.

Just Joe

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2018, 11:41:23 AM »
I love the sound of tires on wet pavement. Yes, fenders are an all-weather must.

meghan88

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2018, 04:15:55 PM »
I bike rain or shine, but I much prefer the shine.  Today sucked:  rainy and 4 degrees C, feels like 0.

GuitarStv

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2018, 05:56:38 PM »
I bike rain or shine, but I much prefer the shine.  Today sucked:  rainy and 4 degrees C, feels like 0.

Yeah, but it was above zero . . . so my fingers were happy.  :P

alanB

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2018, 11:36:32 AM »
The problem where I live is tropical rain and lightning. There simply is no walking or riding a bike in it.can rain 2-3 inches in 20-30 minutes. Lightning strikes are horrific. But moderate rain like Calif gets is very doable. Go for it

I biked in that kind of rain once. Nothing like the feeling of your feet dipping in and out of the rushing water. At least it was warm! Anyway, I would not recommend it ;P

meatgrinder

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2018, 01:37:20 PM »
I don't mind riding my bicycle in the rain, but I hate cleaning up
the drive train afterwards, esp. living in an apartment.

What do you do to clean up the drive train?

Rubic

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2018, 06:02:21 PM »
I don't mind riding my bicycle in the rain, but I hate cleaning up
the drive train afterwards, esp. living in an apartment.

What do you do to clean up the drive train?

Here's a useful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEPoDaRe2NI

GuitarStv

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2018, 06:21:11 PM »
I have to admit to being pretty lazy if it's just water.  I'll pat the chain dry and re-lube.  If the rims look really dirty I'll run a rag over them to clear off any grit and black stuff.

All winter long though, I pretty much do this 5 minute bike wash every time I come back from commuting to clear all the salt off:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvzVRxlIUL0 . . . followed by some regreasing (I don't use WD-40 as a lube in the winter though - that's crazy advice).

Malkynn

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2018, 04:30:29 AM »
DH bikes in all weather and weíre in a Canadian city with insanely extreme weather. For him, itís all about the proper gear. For rain, I bought him rain proof pants specifically for cycling as well as shoe covers. Even then, his shoes still get wet if thereís extremely heavy rain or heavy slushy snow, so this year Iím getting him a second pair of clip shoes so that he doesnít have to put wet shoes on at the end of the work day.
The gear is costly, but itís so much less than having a car and good gear lasts a very long time.

Syonyk

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2018, 09:12:59 PM »
Anyone had any ebike rain experience? So far my middrive has had no problems. Lunacycle assures me that the motor and display are ready for inclement weather. That doesn't address the battery or the switch gear.

I ebiked year round in Seattle when I lived in that corner of Hell and had no trouble at all with rain.

It should be totally fine.

PC2K

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2018, 07:55:17 AM »
Dutchie here; i cycle regardless of weather. In rain; just bring rainpants (those with shoe covers are fantastic!) and have a waterproof jacket.

meghan88

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2018, 04:38:17 PM »
Belated post:  On a particularly horrible day this last week when I was locking up my bike after biking into work during freezing temps and nasty precipitation, someone said to me:  "you're brave to be biking today!"  To which I replied, "No, YOU'RE the brave one - you're spending your retirement funds to drive here!"

Actually, I said something even better than that at the time, but can't recall my exact words  :-/

Rubic

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2018, 04:58:45 PM »
Dutchie here; i cycle regardless of weather. In rain; just bring rainpants (those with shoe covers are fantastic!) and have a waterproof jacket.

I found rainpants too hot, even when the temperatures were
barely above freezing.  Maybe (I'm assuming) your route was
flat and didn't require much strenuous effort?


 

HenryDavid

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2018, 08:03:25 AM »
Getting paid to bike is the best.
But then, all bike commuting is ďpaidĒ via avoided costs. Like parking.
Fenders make a huge difference.
Plastic bags inside wet shoes + dry Sox can be almost as good as dry shoes. The bag trick helps a lot with wind, which is what makes you cold.

meghan88

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2018, 06:11:24 PM »
Biked to work in the rain today.  At least it was 8 C instead of 0 C.

When I got in, an annoying SUV-driving colleague smirked at me and said "How was the ride?"

To which I smiled and replied:  "Free!!"

Wallet

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2018, 08:36:57 AM »
I bike from April to December in my Canadian city.

In the spring and late fall it rains. A lot.

If it's warm, I just get wet and don't sweat it.

If it's cold, like it was yesterday and today, I bundle up with cycling pants (not waterproof), a jacket over my cycling jersey and arm warmers, put on shoe covers, and air out my gear in my cube at work with the fan going. I haven't hit a downpour that a fan and 8 hours can't dry!

And best of all, every time it rains, traffic STOPS. I get to work faster and in a better mood than if I drove.

meghan88

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #24 on: May 04, 2018, 04:30:36 PM »
No rain on my commute home today, but we had gale-force winds of 122 km/hour.

Had to walk the bike.  It was unbelievable.  I was expecting all kinds of nasty things to happen (e.g., flying metal road signs turning into Blades of Death) but managed to make it home in one piece.

Plina

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2018, 12:25:50 AM »
DH bikes in all weather and weíre in a Canadian city with insanely extreme weather. For him, itís all about the proper gear. For rain, I bought him rain proof pants specifically for cycling as well as shoe covers. Even then, his shoes still get wet if thereís extremely heavy rain or heavy slushy snow, so this year Iím getting him a second pair of clip shoes so that he doesnít have to put wet shoes on at the end of the work day.
The gear is costly, but itís so much less than having a car and good gear lasts a very long time.

I am putting plastic bags on my feets and then putting my foot in the shoe. Keps my feets dry and it is cheap. If they have newspapers at work they are pretty good at sucking the water out of shoes. 

ca-rn

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2018, 11:25:45 AM »
This is a small thing, but it was pouring rain today and instead of driving or taking an Uber, I bicycled in the rain!

Recently I've been bicycling to work with the intent of eventually selling my vehicle. The fact that I was able to bicycle in heavy rain (this is as bad as it gets in Southern California) makes me 100% sure that I can bicycle year-round.

Others benefits include exercise, being outside, and an excellent mood boost when I finish my commute ride. I also promised not to use my parking spot at work, and will receive an extra $150 / month to ride my bicycle!

Haven't sold my car yet... but it's been sitting unused in my garage for 2 weeks now. I'm cautiously looking forward to getting rid of it!

hi fellow socal bicyclist!  i ride in the rain too and its awesome!!!!  yes, you come to work a little wet but refreshed and energized.  coworkers seriously freak out and cannot wrap their heads around it even though i hope they shower (get wet) daily.

my main concern was will my brakes work in the rain???  did change bike to one with proper fenders, covered chainstay and brakes that work in the rain.

yay to biking in the rain!

Rubic

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2018, 05:30:47 AM »
my main concern was will my brakes work in the rain???  did change bike to one with proper fenders, covered chainstay and brakes that work in the rain.

Most of the time the only thing you need to worry about with
braking in the rain is to allow for enough time (one rotation
of the wheel) for your brakes to squeegee the water off the
rim.  Afterward, assuming normal brake pads and aluminum
rims, your brakes will work fine.

A couple of rare exceptions:
  • Once I was riding down a long descent on a tandem where the water was coming down so hard that it kept washing over my rims -- scary.
  • I once owned a bike with stainless steel rims, and the braking performance was very poor in the rain.

GuitarStv

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #28 on: May 07, 2018, 08:08:05 AM »
my main concern was will my brakes work in the rain???

Will your brakes work in the rain?

Rim brakes:
- Do you have very old (probably from the 80s or so) stainelss steel / chrome rims?  These rims suck in wet weather.  You would probably do better dragging your feet than grabbing a handful of brakes.  Nearly all modern rims are made of aluminum alloy though which stop reasonably well in the wet.  (My understanding is that carbon wheels also typically suck for stopping in wet, but I'm not rich enough to know.)
- Put on Kool-Stop Salmon brake pads.  They're just awesome.  They work very well in the rain, they're softer and don't seem to cause as much damage to your rims as other brake pads I've tried, and they're pretty readily available.
- When your rims are really wet, your brakes need to kinda squeegee them off before you'll be able to stop.  This means that your braking distance increases a little, so start braking a bit earlier and you'll be fine.

Disc brakes:
- Yes.

JLE1990

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #29 on: May 07, 2018, 10:05:24 AM »
my main concern was will my brakes work in the rain???

Will your brakes work in the rain?

Rim brakes:
- Do you have very old (probably from the 80s or so) stainelss steel / chrome rims?  These rims suck in wet weather.  You would probably do better dragging your feet than grabbing a handful of brakes.  Nearly all modern rims are made of aluminum alloy though which stop reasonably well in the wet.  (My understanding is that carbon wheels also typically suck for stopping in wet, but I'm not rich enough to know.)
- Put on Kool-Stop Salmon brake pads.  They're just awesome.  They work very well in the rain, they're softer and don't seem to cause as much damage to your rims as other brake pads I've tried, and they're pretty readily available.
- When your rims are really wet, your brakes need to kinda squeegee them off before you'll be able to stop.  This means that your braking distance increases a little, so start braking a bit earlier and you'll be fine.

Disc brakes:
- Yes.

Hey GuitarStv do you have any ideas on finding a cheaper rim? Mine's just a 26" but the rims seem expensive($50-70 just for the rim). Is it worth it to upgrade to a disc brake from my current rim(salvaged off an old bike)?

GuitarStv

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2018, 10:37:45 AM »
If your frame wasn't built for disc brakes, you're probably out of luck on that count.  Rim brakes work fine in wet weather when set up properly (my winter bike uses rim brakes).

The easiest thing to do is just replace your steel rims with a cheap pre-built alloy wheelset (something like this maybe - http://www.velomine.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=122_363&products_id=4236, or http://www.jensonusa.com/Quality-Wheels-Alex-Y2000-26-MTB-Wheels?).  Any alloy wheelset will brake better and be lighter than heavy older steel rims, you don't need anything fancy.


sanderh

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Re: Bicycling in the rain
« Reply #31 on: July 13, 2018, 11:40:54 PM »
I don't mind riding my bicycle in the rain, but I hate cleaning up
the drive train afterwards, esp. living in an apartment.
Good mudguards keep my drivetrain clean in the rain. The tires get muddy and some splashes on the rear seatstays. I put a rear mudguard on the front, so it reaches to 5cm from the ground. The front mudguards these days are ridiculously short, just for show.