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APONI_KB's Photo APONI_KB Posts: 383
11/2/13 8:27 A

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I'm fairly new at road biking, those itty bitty tires scared me at first. I'm getting braver but still if the pavement so much as looks damp I lug out the trusty hybrid from college.

and something I don't mind having that strip of road muck on it

To be doubted that's the key. When I think I cant go anymore, I think about those who doubted me.
Cam Newton

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KA_JUN's Photo KA_JUN SparkPoints: (76,152)
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11/2/13 12:19 A

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Just picked up one of these, Showers Pass™ Club Pro Jacket (can get a compatible hood, too).

to replace/augment an old Canari cycling jacket that is starting to lose it's water repellent qualities (time to invest is some NikWax wash in, I think).

I use rain pants, too.

Full fenders rule.

Pain is weakness leaving the body.

How do you eat an elephant?

I will not fail.

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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,612)
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10/28/13 2:05 P

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I ride in sunny Southern California where it never rains emoticon
Or maybe I should say it rains so little I can choose to not ride in the rain. But when I rode the Northern Tier, I had no choice but to ride in the rain - sometimes it would rain ALL day.

My rain gear for that trip:
Marmot rain jacket with hood. The hood fit under my helmet so the water rolled down my back and the jacket was plenty long. link below
Cheap rain pants
quart size plastic bags to keep my feet dry - I put the bags over my socks and slipped my feet into my shoes then tucked in the ends of the plastic bags into the elastic bottoms of my rain pants.
Water proof gloves

The best part about that jacket was it was great for keeping me warm on cold days. I just unzipped the armpits to keep me from overheating.

Edited by: KJEANNE at: 10/28/2013 (14:06)
Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 25,880
10/27/13 10:01 P

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I eventually relented before going on my Cape Cod tour and got this O2 cheapo:

It did the trick and I was pleased to have it as a hedge against the chill of the mornings. But it is VERY fragile and easily torn. Somehow I managed one little tear which I taped up and called it


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Tell Me What Is It You Plan To Do With Your One Wild & Precious Life? ---Mary Oliver

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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GHK1962's Photo GHK1962 Posts: 4,077
10/27/13 5:47 P

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Ahhh ... thanks for those 2 websites Don. I went in to the bike shop a few weeks back to get rain gear.

I came away with nothing! Ack!

The things I initially picked were based on price. (By 'based on price' I mean ... low cost.) But asking questions to the bike dude on staff left me feeling like I would be wasting my $$ getting those items. The bike dude tried to make me see that cost IS an issue. It's better to ride some with rain gear that is not quite as good, than not to ride at all. He was good at giving me pros and cons. In the end though ... I REALLY wanted that $200 jacket ... but could not get myself to shell that out just now. (Hmmm....those websites jackets...are just at that price too....damn.)

Still, the pro and cons for those sites give a good idea of what to look for besides the wicking/breathing stuffs.


You may say I'm a dreamer...but I'm not the only one...
~ John Lennon ~

Life's like a movie, write your own ending...
~ Kermit the Frog ~

10/24/13 11:53 A

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Thanks Don! I have been getting these for some time now, but you just reminded me to go back and look at some past issues that I missed.

The other Don! :-)

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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 25,880
10/24/13 11:22 A

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I am NOT a rainy weather cyclist, but I know many of you are and thought I would pass along these tips recently mentioned in Road Bike Rider. Perhaps if others have ideas you can share them and make this an even more useful message thread as a reference for folks...?

"First, here are a couple of rain jackets we've reviewed in the recent past. If you don't already have one, they come in handy on rides where you just can't avoid the wet stuff for a sustained period of time. You don't have to buy these particular jackets, but rather see what the reviewer thinks are important features to look for in a jacket -- and for how he uses the jacket (which types of rides, etc.):

Some cyclists follow the rule: I don't mind riding in the rain if I get caught out in it, but I prefer not to start a ride when it's raining. Sometimes, though, it's unavoidable. I've done a mountain century in the rain twice. It's something I train hard for, have to drive a ways to get to, and a ride I’m going to do come hell or – well, high water!

Those who do regularly ride in the rain also often use temporary, snap-on fenders to keep spray at bay. It helps keep your bike, and you, a bit cleaner. We've got reviews of a few fenders on the site as well. As a Premium member, you have access to all our reviews.

Then Keep These Riding Tips in Mind
Now, a few tips for when you're on your bike and it's raining:

The pavement is often most slick for the first couple of minutes of rain, as the rain tends to "free" the oils on the road, etc. So be especially careful then.
The same holds true when rolling over anything painted on the road, as it tends to be slicker than the road surface
In general, slow down a bit, as your brakes won't work as well, meaning it will take you longer to scrub speed, and to stop; and slow down on corners of any sharpness.
Give yourself extra distance if following another rider, for the same reasons.
If you can do so, ride a bit to the side of the rider you're following, to avoid the "rooster tail" or spray off their bike tire (once you're soaked to the bone, though, even that doesn't matter too much. I had my wettest ride ever a couple weeks ago on a fast group ride I do every week. We rode in a peloton and pacelines the entire ride because "you can't any wetter.")
Re: braking, I like to "modulate" my braking by squeezing and letting go, squeezing and letting go. This helps "squeegee" water off the braking surface and allows better contact with the pad on the rim -- especially important on downhills!
If it's warm enough (for me, that's about 65F), I would almost rather not mess with a rain jacket, as they are saunas inside. No jacket has yet been made that is really and truly "breathable." But that's personal preference. (On that mountain century I mentioned, I would take the jacket off for the climbs, put it back on for the descents.)
Those are a few tips to get you started. I'll let Coach Fred take over from here!

Coach Fred: Also Consider a Rain Bike
I think John just about covered it. With the amount of rain Atlanta has received this summer, he's now an expert!

I live in arid western Colorado, so most of the time the pavement is dry except in thunderstorms that dump a lot of water in a short time. But I also ride quite a bit in the Seattle area so am accustomed to wet rides.

So I'd add two things:

First, if you ride often where it's wet, a dedicated "rain" bike with full fenders, as opposed to snap-on models, is a good idea. Fenders keep you much drier and also keep spray from coming off the rear wheel into the face of anyone who's drafting on you. In Seattle, riders without a good full-coverage rear fender aren't welcome on group rides.

For my rain bike I have a relatively inexpensive Specialized Tri Cross with an aluminum frame. Equipped with cheap plastic fenders and low gearing for the steep hills near Seattle, it has performed yeoman duty for several years with minimum maintenance.

Second, there's no substitute for experience when it comes to wet pavement. I find that after dozens of wet rides, I have a much better feel for the amount of traction I can depend on in wet conditions and don't have to think about every corner quite as much.

And, Finally, a Postscript
After reading Coach Fred’s response, it struck me that the use of fenders and dedicated rain bikes is very much a geographical issue. Just as Fred doesn’t have much need for them in arid Western Colorado, neither do we Sun Belters – in normal years, at least! You’d be hard-pressed to find a lot of roadies around these parts who use fenders very often. The weather is typically nice enough that you just don’t need them. (Which is why, as group, roadies in the Southeast U.S. were particularly whiny this summer! Yes, count me among them.)

Also, Fred is absolutely right about learning from doing. If you never ride in the rain, you’ll never learn to ride in the rain. Same goes for every aspect of cycling – pacelines, climbing, group rides, etc., etc. Get out there and mix it up, in other words."

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Tell Me What Is It You Plan To Do With Your One Wild & Precious Life? ---Mary Oliver

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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