foul weather cycling

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dwillen
Participant
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I thought about being a wimp and checking out the new 58 route this morning, but threw on all my rain crap instead and biked to work. Glad I did. I love biking in the rain.

It was the first day since spring I felt I needed gloves in the morning, but couldn’t find the box of winter stuff in the basement. Instead, I grabbed the neoprene kayaking gloves I’ve been using all summer. They were perfect for biking. Warm, grippy, pretty inexpensive, and almost no loss of dexterity. I could use keys, zippers, adjust the buckles on my helmet. They are now my new cold/rainy biking gloves. Not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner.

Looking into the cold, not-so-distant future, there is a free clinic/class at REI on cold weather cycling: http://www.rei.com/event/12380/session/15222

Unfortunately, there are only 8 spots left right now, so sign up quick!


alnilam
Participant
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I’m a big fan of dipping my head a bit so the sun visor on my helmet sort of shields my upper-face from the rain while I ride. Anyone else do this?

Now alls I need is some breakaway waterproof-ish pants. Any recommendations?


Morningsider
Participant
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I used to test concrete for a living. That involved putting my hands in a bucket of water all winter long to clean my tools. I happened upon neoprene gloves during that time. An $8 pair would typically last the entire winter before I finally got a hole in them that rendered them useless. Enjoy!


Mick
Participant
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Various folks recommend ponchos for rideing in the rain. I purchased one recently (although not made specifically for bikers) and I don’t like it.

I’m guessing that a poncho for bikers would be better, but it still seems there would be problems with it acting as a sail.

I still need rain pants with it.

Comments?

I’m leaning towards rain jacket and pants. Looking for something cheap and good.

What would you recommend for rainy riding?


Mick
Participant
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Editted to remove double post.


Lolly
Participant
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yeah i need some good waterproof stuff too and also need recommendations.


Ohiojeff
Participant
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Showers Pass makes awesome stuff, but cheap it is not.

One thing I find incredibly helpful in the rain is a cycling cap under my helmet. The little brim makes a huge difference in keeping my eyes and my glasses clear.


Erica
Participant
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“I’m guessing that a poncho for bikers would be better, but it still seems there would be problems with it acting as a sail.”


Pseudacris
Participant
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I signed up for that cold weather class yesterday, while looking for info on the REI GARAGE SALE which happens to be THIS SAT At 10AM. I’ve never been, but was told that it generates an early line up. Anyone been?

@dwillen good tip about the gloves

@lolly, I just got a pair of the Novaro Stratos bike rain pants for women @ REI. Not very fashionable, but so far I really like them (disclaimer: I am probably not as experienced a cyclist as you…)

Anyone have tips on seeing well in the rain? I usually wear clear or sunglasses. Swim goggles?


dbacklover
Participant
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A little off topic, I love yehuda moon http://www.yehudamoon.com has anyone else noticed that comic getting a little dark as of late?


Lolly
Participant
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Thanks Pseudacris! You must be more experienced than me in preparation because I’ve never owned more than a crappy rain jacket which I lost in my move. I am never prepared for non wonderful weather.


dwillen
Participant
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A while back I moved to a city where it rained all winter long.. that constant drizzly rain like this morning. The first winter I lived there, my Christmas list consisted of “1) Rain jacket, 2) Rain pants”. My lovely parents got me a set REI-brand goretex rain gear “designed” for cycling. I used the jacket for about 7 years in wet and dry conditions, anytime it was cold enough for long sleeves. It was just starting to lose its waterproofness when the ER people cut it off me last Fall.

The rain pants only get used when it is actually raining, so they are still working great. They have velcro at the bottom cuff, and a zipper that goes about a foot up the leg. I can take them on and off without removing my shoes, if I have to. They dry in about 5 minutes after you shake them off.

To replace my chopped up jacket, I got a mid-range showers-pass jacket, as the REI ones don’t have the best reviews anymore. I opted for the hood attachment, which velcros to the jacket. It fits under your helmet, and has the sides cut away for peripheral vision, and an extended top, which works like a visor. It keeps the rain off my glasses for the most part, unless there is a lot of wind or I’m flying down a hill.

The only thing that really gets wet is my shoes and socks. My cycling shoes dry by the time I need to go home, and I keep a dry pair of socks in my desk.

The rain gear was kind of expensive, but I figured if it lasts close to 7 years of very frequent use, it is totally worth it.


Erica
Participant
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as far as rain, I mostly just bring extra socks and make sure I have somewhere to hang my hoodie to dry once I get to work (such as in front of the oven), or at school, we have dryers, and I’ll bring a change of clothes with me. I rarely go anywhere else, because I’m boring.


brian j
Participant
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+1 for a proper cycling rain cape. For the most part, it allows me just wear regular clothes and not really get wet. Rain still hits my feet, but it’s still not as bad as with other rain gear.


edmonds59
Participant
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I have never been happy using rain pants, if you ride any length of time, your nethers are going to get hot, damp, and uncomfortable, just as bad as if they were just out in the rain. If your riding a bike with drop bars, most of your nethers are protected already, assuming you have fenders. My happiest rides in the rain have been using synthetic liner shorts (no cotton!), baggy overshorts, and legs out in the rain. If it gets cold, same, but with lycra tights under the shorts.

If you’re riding an upright bike, and need to wear work clothes, things are different. You probably need some over-pants, but they should still be more breathable than waterproof.

There’s some new-ish stuff called Frogg Toggs that’s softer than coated nylon, and cheap, I think I need to test out some of that.

Motorcycle riders use rain chaps, with a long jacket that covers the nether regions, I haven’t ever tried that.

I don’t think there is any real good solution out there, needs work.


edmonds59
Participant
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Oh, re; goggles, I got a cheap ($8) pair of yellow tinted safety glasses from Home Depot, treat the outside with Rain-X (an automotive product), fantastic. It’s like riding in a little bubble of sunshine. You could do the same thing with clear ones if you don’t like yellow.

@dwillen – you can get neoprene socks, too. If you like them on your hands, you’ll love them on your toes.


Pseudacris
Participant
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@edmonds59 > thx for the Rain-X tip! I do use the cheap safety goggles.


Marko82
Participant
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it’s electric. From here


Pseudacris
Participant
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^ love it! Can I order the base in yellow and get a digital bike bell that makes the ::woka ::woka ::woka Pac Man sound?


Boazo
Participant
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re poncho : using a belt or just tying a cord around the waist works nicely to keep it contained, you get alot of air circulation since there are no sleeves so you don’t get sweaty and clammy, plus I always feel like Clint Eastwood or somebody when I put it on


dwillen
Participant
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I should note that in the summer time I just rock some nylon shorts and could care less about the rain. My rain pants are reserved for cooler days when I’m wearing work clothing or jeans. It is awesome to walk in the building dripping wet, remove your hood/jacket/rain pants and be dry as you were when you left the house.


bikeygirl
Participant
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I’m kind-of in-love with riding in the rain, and cold weather riding…. :D

SURE! It is cold, and wet, and since I still despise fenders, I get all the grime of the road on my face….. BUT it feels SO COOL!!!!!

And on the winter time, I’m just never cold! And even sweat like a pig inside my winter gear, but oh so comfy….. :)

RAIN: an awesome, breathable, wind/water proof and ultra-light jacket & rain pants.

WINTER: Same jacket as above, plus I have some ultra-light and super-warm layers I bought from Patagonia that are the bee’s knees! For women, if you are petite, YOU want them!!

I should get some shoe covers and better gloves though, but they are always SO BIG…. :/

I’m usually very cold, but last winter, even on snowmagedon, I rode by bike everyday and was never cold!!! Heck, I was the happiest girl outside :)

So looking forward to this winter! I’m already making googly eyes to my winter gear just waiting… SOON!!! :D

(sorrry, can you tell I like riding in the rain AND snow?)

:)


rsprake
Participant
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I need a new jacket. Mine was soaked through within 2 miles this morning. Considering something from Showers Pass, but I am not a fan of buying expensive clothing online.

As for the bottom, this morning I wore my Novara rain pants with no pants underneath and I was dry and didn’t overheat.


Nick D
Participant
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For light rain, I have some of my clothes coated with 303 High Tech Fabric Guard. It works pretty well to bead water to prevent it from absorbing, but it’s effectiveness is limited. I like it because it doesn’t contain silicone or leave materials feeling oily and slick, and it leaves fabrics breathable. (It’s fluoropolymer based instead of silicone based.)

Long term, I don’t know if there is any health issues with exposure, but the way I see it, brominated soybean oil is going to kill me first.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-cZfDSqhFM&feature=player_embedded#at=14


Mary
Participant
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This will be my first winter as a bike commuter. Time to warm up the knitting needles and make some of these:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bike-helmet-ear-warmers


ejwme
Participant
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any reason a standard poncho we have lying around the house wouldn’t do to bike in? It’s bright yellow, and we already own it.

I normally don’t care about getting wet – If I’m 5 minutes from my house in any direction I’m already sweating up a hill anyway. I can stand 5 minutes of cold. besides, it’s nice to arrive and stand there steaming for a bit (full disclosure, I’m spoiled with showers or apathy everywhere I go on a bike)


John
Participant
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I don’t really like rain pants, but one thing I’ll do when it’s cold and wet is to wear gaiters with boots. (Regular waterproof hiking boots with platform pedals work great. I also have the Shimano winter SPD boots.) The gaiters keep the worst of the road spray off my pants, keep the tops of my socks dry so the water doesn’t wick down my feet, and they keep my pants out of the drivetrain.

BTW, mad props to whoever I saw crossing Rt. 8 at Saxonburg today around 10a.


Erica
Participant
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haha, last winter, I just layered the shit out of myself. It made me and everyone around me laugh, and was fun – made for an interesting winter (people would come into work and find all my layers drying off in front of the oven.

every day, I’d put on three or four pairs of thinner PJ or sweatpants with jeans on top, then my work tshirt, a long-sleeve, two sweaters, and a knitted wool coat that I got from lucy’s in the strip. I wore two pairs of cheap family dollar gloved and sometimes a pair of socks over my hands. I sort of looked like the little brother from A Christmas Story:

The wind was blowing right into my eyes when this was taken.


edmonds59
Participant
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Something mildly jarring about reading the words “Novara rain pants with no pants underneath”. Maybe it’s just me.


dwillen
Participant
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I need a new jacket. Mine was soaked through within 2 miles this morning. Considering something from Showers Pass, but I am not a fan of buying expensive clothing online.

I got mine at REI. They had a couple different styles when I went in. I’d wait until they have one of those member-discount % off a full price item coupons though, as the showers pass stuff never goes on sale anywhere I’ve seen, and seems to be just about the same price everywhere.


edmonds59
Participant
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This is probably worth something, especially for something like $$$ raingear:

“The REI Guarantee

Our 100% satisfaction guarantee ensures that every item you purchase at REI meets your high standards—or you can return it for a replacement or refund…

If you’re ever dissatisfied with an item, you may return or exchange your REI.com or REI-OUTLET.com purchases at any REI store”


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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@pseudacris – If it has that, it also has to make the oodly oodly oodly oodly oodly oot wak wak sound when you brake and come to a stop.


emilyWools
Participant
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This will be my first winter as a bike commuter. Time to warm up the knitting needles and make some of these:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bike-helmet-ear-warmers

THANKS SO MUCH FOR POSTING THAT. amazing!


rsprake
Participant
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@dwillen, They had it at the PGH store?


cburch
Participant
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for me it has always been, rear fender wool knickers and knee high wool socks (i have awesome ones with some weird built in liner my mom got me last year, they are for xc skiing) with a pair of baggy shorts, a water resistant shell (water proof doesn’t breath as much as i’d like unless i spend more than i am willing to) over my tshirt, my skate lid, safety glasses and gloves. with my jeans for work in my bag (or i use the emergency pair i stash at the office)

once it gets colder i add a fleece buff (turlefur ftw), heavier gloves, bike socks under the wool ones and a wool jersey. if its really nasty i add underarmor coldgear under the tshirt and maybe wear pants instead of shorts and a headwarmer under the helmet.


dwillen
Participant
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@rsprake, they did in early spring. I haven’t been in there looking recently.


Greasefoot
Participant
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I had a bas @ss North Face jacket but got drunk and lost it at a Steelers game last year. I finally realized why my mom made me tie my mittens to my coat as a child…but I digress. Got lucky and found a bright yellow Columbia waterproof interchangeable jacket on clearance at Macy’s this summer for $50. I haven’t used the liner yet and I have no complaints with the waterproof shell so far.


Swalfoort
Participant
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@mary – thanks for that ravelry link. From tke looks of it, that pattern is well within my (very limited) knitting skills.

As for the comment re the REI Garage Sale/Yard Sale – I’ve had mixed luck. I almost never leave without buying SOMETHING (and liking it), but I don’t know that I’d go in expecting to find EXACTLY the one thing you were looking for. And, if you want big ticket items, like bikes or boats, yes, get there well in advance of opening. They go very quickly. I usually just go for the mid afternoon dregs these days…


rsprake
Participant
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I have been to a few REI garage sales and have always bought something.


RoadKillen
Participant
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A little off topic, but for those of us without fenders; when there’s water on the ground I lean the bike to the right and my body to the left and the spray from the front wheel goes over my right shoulder instead of in my face.

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