Sunday, June 9, 2019

Biking tips for the rain

I'm moving to the Northeast for a job and I'll be bike commuting most days since parking and traffic are going to be a BEAST. I'm excited about the build-in daily exercise, but not so much getting wet on the bike because, well, seasons.*

So this post will serve for clothing ideas for rainy days...

Wool keeps you dry even when it’s wet. Look for merino wool base layers, hoodies, glove liners, socks and everything else for cold-weather commutes.
Depending on your speed – and perhaps the number of hills on your commute – consider dressing for 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the forecast temperature. Always wear layers that you can add or subtract along the way.
Temperature cutoffs for rain gear:
If it's warm rain, I just get wet. Get a good bag and it will keep your laptop dry too. If it's a cold rain (sub 45 F) I wear rain gear, showers pass transit jacket and pants. I change every day at work since I have a 13m one way commute.
From a Dutch dude:
Anything waterproof is great at keeping water out and also in, so while it's ideal for walking casually through the rain, it's basically the same as getting rained on if you're exerting yourself due to sweating. 
Quick drying fabrics are ideal in this scenario, or wool which keeps you warm while it's wet.

Breathable nylon makes the ideal pants/shorts because it's abrasion resistant (legs rubbing as they go round and round), wool base layers work for cool and hot weather and don't hold on to body odors, and you could either get overshoes, goretex footwear, or waterproof socks.

If you want cycling specific shoes you're limited to socks and overshoes. Some people say the socks are great, others say they don't work all.

I just get wet personally and have wool socks so I don't care much.
If he's going to be cycling in the rain it's probably best to just accept his feet are going to get wet. After that it's just a matter of figuring out how to keep them warm.
i sometimes bring crocs when i go backpacking to wear after hiking in. crazy comfortable.
they were convenient around camp, letting my feet breath from my primary set of shoes, and great for the frequent beach stops/breaks with sand/water.


Get some ski goggles, layered winter clothes, a warm hat that covers your ears, and you're good. If you can drop $120 on it, studded tires are a good investment for ice. Front tire studded if you only get one. I just ride carefully, myself. 
Winter cycling, you'll be warmer than a car. It gets hot, fast. Just make sure you can open or strip layers and you're good. You don't want sweat to build up. 
I ride year round, Shaker to Brecksville for work. You just need some full fenders and studded tires for winter roads, get some bar mitts and nice Merino base layers, some ski / paintball goggless to keep yourself warm, and you should be fine! 
I've found winter is much more enjoyable here the more I embrace it and ride in it.
Its fine, take your corners and stops a little slower, but straight line is fine. I have 700 x 35mm schwalbe marathon winter plus and havent had any issues yet. Getting snow off the bike when i arrive at work is a bit of extra time, but I store it inside and dont want to get street slush all over the office.


* I've lived in the Deep South for the past 5 years. We don't have winter, or seasons for that matter. It also doesn't really rain, or at least it's pretty easy to avoid the rain. So this'll be a change.