Author Topic: Biking to work in the rain  (Read 3714 times)

NeilB4Zod

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Biking to work in the rain
« on: June 14, 2013, 04:09:12 AM »
My only concern about biking to work occurs while it's raining.  What's the best way to protect oneself from the elements? How about a rain jacket and rain pants?

gooki

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Re: Biking to work in the rain
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2013, 06:04:25 AM »
I use a decent jacket, snowboarding pants, and a mud guard on the rear tire.

GuitarStv

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Re: Biking to work in the rain
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2013, 06:30:22 AM »
I've given up trying to stay completely dry in the rain.

If the stuff you're wearing is waterproof enough to stop the water, it's going to be too hot and you'll end up sweating like crazy.  In the summer, just wear stuff that wicks moisture (it'll dry quicker) and bring a change of clothes (especially shoes) for when you get to your destination.

Fenders make a big difference though.  The front fender keeps stuff from flying into your face and lower body, the rear fender keeps stuff from flying up your back.  My feet always seem to get soaked in the rain from puddles no matter what I do.

Aloysius_Poutine

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Re: Biking to work in the rain
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2013, 07:28:12 AM »
+1 for fenders.
If it's raining I resign myself to getting wet and just wear whatever scrubby clothes for the ride in. I pack my work clothes in my pack and shower & change when I get there.

NumberCruncher

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Re: Biking to work in the rain
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2013, 07:31:29 AM »
Fenders make a big difference though.  The front fender keeps stuff from flying into your face and lower body, the rear fender keeps stuff from flying up your back.  My feet always seem to get soaked in the rain from puddles no matter what I do.

Would water shoes make sense, then?

stevesteve

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Re: Biking to work in the rain
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2013, 07:57:55 AM »
So, to protect myself from the elements I usually put on shorts and a raincoat.  Then I fold my work clothes in a waterproof bag and change in the restroom.  This doesn't work at all places but I preferred it to biking in my work clothes most of the time.

Hamster

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Re: Biking to work in the rain
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2013, 08:52:13 AM »
I second Guitarstv's statement that you will get wet, either by sweat, or by rain (with the one exception of staying dry with waterproof outerwear for a very short commute where you won't sweat). Full coverage fenders are the one universal recommendation. I really like Planet Bike brand for the balance of cost/quality and replaceable parts.

Specific recommendations for clothes depend on what temperature it is during your wet commute, what the distance is, and what facilities you have at work for cleaning up, leaving clothes, showering, etc. Otherwise, figure out what will allow you to be warm enough when it's cold, and cool enough when it's hot, and embrace the fact that you will be wet.

As for tires, road slicks work just as well on wet pavement as treaded tires (not on dirt/mud) since there is more contact with the road. Sheldon Brown (RIP) discusses this.
Quote from: Sheldon Brown
"But don't slick tires get slippery on wet roads, or worse yet, wet metal features such as expansion joints, paint stripes, or railroad tracks?" The answer is, yes, they do. So do tires with tread. All tires are slippery in these conditions. Tread features make no improvement in this.
He has more details and addresses hydroplaning at http://sheldonbrown.com/tires.html

George_PA

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Re: Biking to work in the rain
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2013, 09:05:07 AM »
I agree with GuitarStv as well;

You may want to just wear something that can get wet, and put your nice work clothes in a backpack (including work shoes) and then wear the backpack while you ride; One you get to your job, you can either change in the bathroom at your employers place; if you are worried about looking like crap when you walk in the door at your employer and having them say something about it (this depends on your profession) you could possible find a place near your work, but not actually in your work, where you could change on rainy days beforehand so that you look completely professional when you first walk into the door at your job.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 09:06:38 AM by George_PA »

bearman

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Re: Biking to work in the rain
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2013, 10:28:15 AM »
Every day when I cycle to work, I just plan that I'll eventually be rained on (which, in the NW, is a safe bet). Then, there's no surprise. I think it's important to realize that rain isn't bad, and being rained on isn't bad. It's no different than being "sunned" on really. Whether sweat or rain, you'll be getting wet one way or another. Unless it's cold, I wouldn't even worry about a rain jacket. Just wear cycling shorts and a breathable / water-wicking shirt (like a hiking / running shirt). When you get to work, shower down or towel off. You'll feel refreshed. FYI, fenders are worth it. It'll reduce direct spray on your neck, face and back. If it's really cold rain (less than 40 degrees F), then you may want to consider more protection (rain jacket, rain pants, etc).