"I'm Riding in the Rain, Just Riding in the Rain..."

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Does anyone like riding in the rain? Honestly, I might accept a short ride for fun in the warm Summer but now, during the Autumn? It's pouring outside! Those of us who chose the whole-year cycling certainly need to prepare!

My Vado is the bike I prefer for rain-riding because of the perfect fenders provided with that e-bike and integrated lighting. Regarding clothing, all starts with water-resistant shoes (Adidas FiveTen are good enough). Then, water-proof trousers come, ones with shoe covers. A thick, fluorescent windbreaker/rain jacket on the torso. The Abus Pedelec+ helmet because it sports an integrated rain cover (otherwise wearing a hood would be necessary); or, perhaps my snowboarding helmet and goggles as the temperature went down to 10 C (50 F)? Gloves. That's the pain: I own no waterproof ones, so I need to carry a spare pair in case my first set becomes soaked. Everything completed with truly waterproof Ortlieb pannier.

Using the lights during the day goes without saying.

I cannot say I like rain-riding. Do you commute in the rain? What do you wear? Any useful tips?
 

JayVee

Well-Known Member
In 3 and a half years I have only got soaked once. The Swiss weather app provided by the local weather institute is absolutely top notch. It tells you how many mms of rain will come down at a given place in real time via an animation. You can use the animation to ride around the bad weather. The accuracy is greater than 95% if you check an hour before. Today it's going to rain a lot, but a small crack will open up between 3 and 4 PM. It's only a couple of kilometres wide, just enough to do some groceries. I will, of course, check at 2PM to see what it looks like, but it's clear that there will be a 1 hour "window of dry" sometime between 3 and 6 PM.

As you guessed, I hate riding in the rain. But I only skip riding about 20 days a year due to it. As I'm surrounded by 2 mountain ranges, the weather tends to be something of a lottery. The nearby Jura mountain range produces spiralling winds and differences in atmospheric pressure that often protect the surrounding valleys from bad weather. Currently the weather front hitting us is too strong for that, but as it starts to weaken this afternoon the protective nature of the mountain range will start to kick back in.

BTW I also have an ABUS ACE helmet. I love and hate it. The engineering of some parts is great whereas others are just pure junk. Maybe I'll write a review later. Like that we can discuss without polluting your thread. :)
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
It looks JayVee there will be at least a week of constant raining here. Given the temperature drop, I consider wearing my snowboarding helmet, balaclava and goggles, too...
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
I LOVE wet weather riding but feel guilty about trail and bike damage. There's something special about flicking the rear wheel into a puddle and spraying mud all over the kids, or sliding down a rock face whilst trying to remember what traction felt like....the bush smells fresh, and here comes another puddle

Perhaps it's the novelty - we're lucky to get 450 mm of rain in a year
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Perhaps it's the novelty - we're lucky to get 450 mm of rain in a year
We're getting 600 mm on average in Poland. This year was weird. Drought from the Autumn 2019 to the late Spring 2020, then a lot of rainfall (to the flooding level), then a dry period, raining again. Very cold year on average.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
@PDoz: Raining is OK when it's warm weather. Have you noticed how much of rainwater is sprayed by e-MTB wheels when you are above 30 km/h? :)
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
With the front wheel of Trance E+, the rainwater and mud are normally (that is at low speed) bounced from the bottom tube of the frame. Yet, at high speed, rainwater's just splashing onto my face.
 

antboy

Well-Known Member
I ended up getting an oversized, lightweight waterproof windbreaker. That way I can layer it in colder rain, or use it over a t-shirt in the warmer weather. The hood is designed to accommodate a helmet, complete with a drawstring. I don't think MEC makes it anymore, though.

To be fair, once we hit the mid 20s C, I probably wouldn't even bother with it unless it was going to be a big ride. Rain is fun. :)

Although Toronto averages under 800mm a year, I live close to the lake, and the lake effect is real. The prevailing weather USUALLY keeps the majority of the precipitation a few kilometres north of the waterfront, or south of Lake Ontario. Buffalo gets about 50% more than us. :)



That map shows the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail, which stretch over 3600km... in total I've only done about a tenth of it in different chunks... planning more next spring. :)
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
I look at biking the same way I looked at running. If it's raining I'm not going out. That was okay when I was running, because we have a dread tread mill. I could just hop on the treadmill for an hour and get my workout for the day.

I live on the wet west coast of Vancouver Island and it rains, during the winter months, a lot.
 

Cyklefanatic

Well-Known Member
Does anyone like riding in the rain? Honestly, I might accept a short ride for fun in the warm Summer but now, during the Autumn? It's pouring outside! Those of us who chose the whole-year cycling certainly need to prepare!

My Vado is the bike I prefer for rain-riding because of the perfect fenders provided with that e-bike and integrated lighting. Regarding clothing, all starts with water-resistant shoes (Adidas FiveTen are good enough). Then, water-proof trousers come, ones with shoe covers. A thick, fluorescent windbreaker/rain jacket on the torso. The Abus Pedelec+ helmet because it sports an integrated rain cover (otherwise wearing a hood would be necessary); or, perhaps my snowboarding helmet and goggles as the temperature went down to 10 C (50 F)? Gloves. That's the pain: I own no waterproof ones, so I need to carry a spare pair in case my first set becomes soaked. Everything completed with truly waterproof Ortlieb pannier.

Using the lights during the day goes without saying.

I cannot say I like rain-riding. Do you commute in the rain? What do you wear? Any useful tips?
Although I try to avoid rain it won’t stop me to ride through a light rain. I will try to time a ride exactly after the rain. I love the smell after a rain when the flowers seem to have released all of their aroma. I look at the radar maps on the weather channel to perfectly time my rides around or behind the rain. Radar is very accurate within a 1/2k showing which way the rain is moving. As you pointed out the Vado has great fenders for rain. If I do get caught in it I actually remove my gloves because I find they get slimy when wet. In the fall/winter I add handlebar gloves which are both warm and dry. Too bulky to carry around in the summer.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
If you ride in the rain you will get wet.

If it is just plain hosing outside I will usually wait a while for it to mellow out. If I am on journey and have places to go I just put on a snorkel and hope for the best.
You should expect to get wet, astonishingly filthy, and have surprising parts of your body chafe.

All in all great fun.
 

Mr. Max

Active Member
This year there's been a serious drought where I live in New Hampshire, but in ordinary summers it rains a lot. It often is 80 degrees and raining. But and this is an important, but, it tends to rain in outbursts. It might be 10-20 minutes of serious hard rain and then either stop or lighten up. I carry an umbrella in my bike bag. When it starts to rain hard, I pull over and hang out under a tree. My bike and I rarely get very wet using this technique. It definitely doesn't work if you're in a hurry though!
 

RabH

Well-Known Member
When I was working I had no choice but to ride in the rain or I would never get out on the bike, I actually enjoy riding in the rain as long as it isn't cold, it can be very refreshing! In 2012 when I cycled 154 miles in a day, the last 10 miles were in torrential rain and it really helped me complete my ride, it was in August so it was pretty warm that day! Cold and rain is just no fun, its just miserable! Now I can pick and choose when to go out while I have no job to go to....
 

Mr. Max

Active Member
I should also confess, that last year was the first year that I rode year-round. I bought a RadCity in the fall and was so excited I couldn't stop myself. I learned that if it was 25 degrees or above, I could do my 15 mile rt commute. What I learned about bike commuting in the cold and snow is that it wasn't me I was worried about, it was drivers over-correcting and driving into on-coming traffic and almost hitting other cars. I stopped riding on days that it snowing. I learned that with drivers snow on the ground is different from snow in the air.

In spring I bought a Vado 4. I was going to sell the RadCity, but I've kept the Rad as my foul weather bike. I'm happy with that bike combination.
 

phoenixtoohot

Active Member
I like riding in the rain, but only with good rain gear. I got started when I used to ride motorcycles on multi day trips. There was something adventurous and bold about it. On the bicycles, I have a poncho specific to bicycles (similar to the one below) and a 2 piece suit by Frogg Toggs, which I prefer for faster rides or heavier rain. The Frogg Toggs included hood goes right over my helmet and has drawstrings to pull it tight. Try it sometime. 🙂

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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
This is how I rode today (the photo quality is terrible...) It was raining, and the temperature was 10 C (50F). I was protected against the elements very well except both pairs of gloves got soaked. I could not find my clear goggles so rode in the tinted ones :)
RAIN.jpg

I ordered warm, insulated and waterproof motorcycle gloves immediately after the ride.

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It was ten, not eleven centigrades!
 
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PDoz

Well-Known Member
I once had the pleasure of a motorbike trip up cape york in November - the top of Australia at the start of the wet season. Now that was an adventure!

We camped out on the coast and it rained over 300 mm in a night! Standing around in shorts in tropical heat but totally saturated. The tracks turned to rapids - where there was no white water it was too deep to ride. That was the day we learnt to aquaplane across rivers - hit them fast enough, lock the front wheel and keep the power on to skim over the surface, because once you stop aquaplaning the front ploughs under water, feet get blasted off the pegs and it's all over.

So this wandering around on a mountain bike with a bit of mud on my bum is tame by comparison.

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Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
The Frogg Toggs included hood goes right over my helmet and has drawstrings to pull it tight. Try it sometime.
Nothing protects your head, ears etc better than a snowboarding helmet... :)

The tracks turned to rapids - where there was no white water it was too deep to ride.
Nothing to compare with your adventure but today a huge puddle formed in one of villages I was riding through. I was wondering how deep that was. I rode through the puddle slowly standing on the pedals and using the bike's momentum. Water covered the motor's ventilation holes but didn't reach the cranks, so my feet stayed dry :)