How To Ride In Rain And Wet Weather
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How To Ride In Rain And Wet Weather

October 22, 2019


Riding in heavy rain is something that almost
all of us have got to do at some point. But there are a few quick tips you can use to
make the whole experience a lot less unpleasant. Most of this starts before you even get on
your bike. Preparation is the key – for your clothing, your bike and also where you ride.
Now I think it’s almost impossible to stay completely dry when riding in the rain, but
there a are a few key pieces that I use every time I go out in the wet, whether it’s warm
rain or cold rain. First of all, a jacket. You have to weigh up the pros and cons of
whether the sweat buildup inside a jacket is actually worth it from staying dry from
the outside. In a lot of situations, a soft-shell might be better. This is less water-resistant,
but a lot more breathable. For me personally, I think that it is, and I think that one look
at the pro peloton on wet days also suggests that this is the case as well. Secondly, waterproof overshoes. You can get
really thin ones, so you don’t always have to use chunky neoprene ones all the time. But
my pro tip is to get thin waterproof overshoes and then also thin neoprene ones as well so
you can layer these almost as if you would on any other part of your body. Thirdly: the roadie cap. In this age of helmets,
it only really comes into its own on wet days where it serves a dual role. Firstly keeping
some of the water out of your eyes and then also providing a little extra insulation for
your head, keeping you warm. Finally, with wet weather often comes poor
visibility. So although black cycling kit is pretty trendy, so too is fluoro kit nowadays,
so it’s worth really thinking about this so that you really stand out when you’re riding
your bike. Your clothing’s sorted, what about your bike?
The first thing to contend with with wet weather is the reduced grip on the roads. To combat
this you can reduce your tyre pressures by 10-20psi, which increases the contact patch
of the tyre and should give you more grip. You also need to think about the lubricant
that you’re going to put on your chain. A thick, wet weather lubricant is much more
resistant to moisture and is going to last longer. There’s nothing worse than a dry chain after a heavy
downpour, it’s potentially one of the most soul-sapping experiences on a bike. If you’re going to be riding in wet weather
a lot, it’s actually worth considering buying some mudguards. Our favourites are the Crud
Roadracer Mk2s. They can fit on just about any bike, so you don’t need a specific frame
with extra bosses. They actually don’t look that bad either, but most of all they give
you amazing protection from wet weather. If you’ve never tried a set of mudguards before,
I suggest you do. You can actually help yourself a great deal
by thinking more about where you ride. As one of the biggest problems with wet weather
is getting cold, I tend to avoid big climbs because big climbs also mean big descents. At this
point, where you’re not really producing much effort, but the windchill is higher, you can
really freeze. Some of my darkest moments on road bikes have come in precisely these
situations. If time on the bike is important to you, for
example if you’re training for something specific and you need to do a certain amount of hours,
I’ve often found that doing loops closer to home really helps me to stay out on
the bike longer in foul conditions. I don’t know quite why this is, but knowing that I can
get home quickly if the weather turns bad often makes me stay out and hold out for longer. The final bit of preparation is chamois cream.
Most of us probably don’t need to use this much, if at all, but on wet days when you’re
going to be spending a long time in the saddle, it’s worth considering. This is because your
skin gets much more susceptible to chafing when it’s wet, so spending a long time on
the bike could lead to some pretty painful experiences. The best thing to do is put it
on before you set off before any kind of chafing sets in. Finally, now we’re out on our bikes, bear
in mind that wet bikes and wet roads make braking and cornering more hazardous. This
is partly due to less grip and partly due to the inefficiencies of wet rim brakes. We’ve
covered both of these topics at length in their own videos, so you can click on these
to see all our pro tips.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I'm working and living with she-who-must-be-obeyed in Warsaw in Poland at the moment, which means hot summers but f-f-f-f-f-freezing winters. I stay on the bike for as long as I can (till it goes under five degrees, basically) so some advice on cold weather riding and what to do with myself during the long winter would come in very handy indeed.

    Oh, and can I have one of your GCN jackets, please? 🙂

  2. One of my best times on the bike ever was riding through driving rain on the windy Dutch coast once…over the sand dunes … and then as I was approaching Harlem and then Amsterdam the rain stopped, clouds broke and the sun poked through in a shaft of light, on my triumphant return home! Rain can be fun.

  3. I know pros don't like wearing gloves when not racing, but it is crazy for us pedal pushers not to wear them. Fall off and who are gonna graze your hands, and that means no riding bike for a few days because of some tiny injury. Always wear mitts, unlike the geezers in the video.

  4. So do you guys use the rain cap as a replacement for eye glasses in the rain ? Its hard to see when the rain drops collect on the lenses? Are there glasses that repell water drops or something?

  5. Just my opinion, but if you're falling on your hands you're doing it wrong. You don't want one of the most fragile important parts of your body hitting the tarmac first. Putting your hands out also leads to broken collar bones. You should be aiming to land on your side or back and rolling with it if possible.

  6. No gloves? you give all this advice but have no gloves on which could cause an accident through losing grip on the handlebars and brakes

  7. Why you guys (GCN) never wear gloves? It protects your hand from wind, rain also gives you better grip and in case of falling protects your hands

  8. One other thing: getting some cycling glasses with clear lenses can also keep the rain out of your eyes. Endura Stingrays are good and relatively cheap.

  9. I asked Daniel about this earlier. Most pros only wear gloves in races it seems, and some don't even bother then.

  10. have you tryed the norsk styrkeprøven (542km) from Trondheim to oslo…it is always raining and there is no Product in this world that can keep you dry/warm last year i.e. this summer there was even snow if you know of a Product i will (+135 of my friends(we have a bike Club)) will buy it…but first do some reserch on styrkeprøven or dssp for short

  11. Another great video – so how about one on what to have in your home medical kit just for bike related injury's, but please don't deliberately go out crash and then sort the rash out live on screen.

  12. It's a personal preference. If you want to get really technical, then you omit everything that is not aero or adds weight. I wear them because my hands get sweaty and gloves help me have a grip on the handle bars, otherwise there is no point

  13. great video again GCN big fan. on the glove debate I wear gloves in the wet so i have some feeling in them as in the times i don't my hands ache from being cold and then becomes dangerous when breaking so for me it's a safety and comfort issue

  14. Where I live, this means not riding 1/3rd of the year for fear of rain.

    I'll stick to riding in the rain. Sometimes it can be really fun if you make the most out of it.

  15. It will be dry all day then as soon as I decide to go for a ride it starts to rain it's uncanny and really freaking annoying.

  16. I've heard opposite regarding pressure, too much contacts allows hydroplaning (this is why car tires slip all the time in the rain but bikes really don't

  17. Whenever I my bike on wet roads, my front wheels throws water at my face. Am I doing something wrong? Should i buy those frames?

  18. But I don't think you had many crashes then DW. On the higher speed ones you just crash so quick you don't have time to react. With the slower speed ones, – the majority – you automatically put your arm out to break your fall …. it is a reaction … and that's when you scuff up your hands. Wear your mitts! 🙂

  19. Thanks interesting video ,like others I do wear gloves because cold hands kill a ride for me so the longer I can keep them toastie the better. In the end its down to personal preference . On a slightly different vein could we get a video on how to treat road rash so we get home after a crash

  20. This is the best video you've ever done imo…! (due to the fact it rains ALOT in the UK, ok its been a banging summer, but, yer get me drift lol)

  21. please make a video for riding in winter, it's always wet, cold and windy in the uk, what sort of clothing will u guys recommend?

  22. Thanks for the suggestion. There were a few days in the summer where we could have filmed winter/autumn riding how to's!

  23. Hi Muhammad! We're not selling our jerseys just yet. We'll let everyone know when they're ready for sale!

  24. great tip about staying closer to home when riding in bad to terrible weather. Riding in crappy weather is 90% in the mind so to have the comfort of being able to bail out if it gets really bad seems to spur you on and you end up staying out longer imo 🙂 🙂 layering is your BEST friend:-) 🙂

  25. Hey friends from GCN´s channel! Please, I'm a fan from Brazil and I ask how to get clothes from GCN like yours? There's some page for shopping? thanks for your help!

  26. I'm a super experienced rider and this is crazy spot on. Specifically doing loops close to home. It's a deep seeded mental thing that helps so much.

  27. aslong as its not cold and wet I rock short/short everyday anyday. Who cares about being soaking wet? But cold and wet sucks, especially if its just above 0…worse than snow ; (

  28. Good vids on wet wx. I know this is generally laughable that I need these videos & live in Southern California, but being new to cycling, everything is helpful. Winter is rainy here in Dec or Jan. Most people stay in. More info = less anxiety. Thnx GCN.

  29. I alway notice his incredibly long pauses (deep breath in through the mouth) between words. Very good for annunciation and good for the viewer to hear and understand good job as usual Global Cycling Network.

  30. Now that the weather is starting to go bad (not really,this is Greece 😛 ) I'm on the hunt for some packable shoe covers.Do you guys happen to know any?
    Does such a thing even exist?I'm talking about something made out of the same material rain capes and helmet covers are made etc.

  31. A very useful video. But as for recreational cycling or commuting, I would like to inform you that already exists safe and effective umbrella for the bike. I would recommend my video: "bike umbrella presentation". Regards.

  32. Hi there, I have been watching GCN videos for a while, its great what you did guys I loved the way you present all the issues and riding in the rain one of my biggest issues, I searched many websites for proper winter cycling and am not sure what to choose could you advise me a website i can buy from ? and what exactly it made of? I men the materials. cheers 

  33. Yesterday I drove in the rain and it was precisely this situation that I was extremely cold … it was really painful on the feet and hands … because nothing has worked … that was when I was in a very long descent…

  34. is rain bad for the bike? because i rode my bike today in the rain and I have fear that the frame and components will rust or get damaged.

  35. Any recommendations for comfortable wet weather tights ? I want to keep riding when it's cold and wet. I've been riding my motorbike on cold wet days and riding a motorbike in heavy traffic in those conditions is not fun anyway, so I figure I'll keep cycling instead.

  36. Great advice… Especially regarding the fenders (mudguards)… Just one thing though… The knees are the most vulnerable parts of the body to injury from the cold… You may not realize until 5 years later the damage you may be doing to them now in the cold… Layer the legs and keep them warm before you add anything to the upper body… Often your "leg warmth" keeps the whole body warm, and you can keep the jacket stowed until it gets colder or you slow down… Legs first… Then neck… Then head… Then feet and hands… Torso in last place… That's what I do anyway… Thanks…!

  37. Great video +Global Cycling Network! Quick question though: Which is better in wet weather? Internal or external cable routing? Is it bad for the frame where water can get in through the internal routing ports? Likewise, is it bad for the cables to be exposed to the wet/elements when externally routed? Cheers!

  38. How about tips on bike cleaning after rain riding? (I like to ride my (mountain)bike with strong rain, and I'm not sure about cleaning procedures for the drivetrain.

  39. I notice that you are using rim brakes do you not think disc brakes would be better suited #torqueback

  40. I live in the American South where rain can be like going swimming. When that happens, I put lights on the bike. Keep visibility up in the muck AND give cars more time to brake.

  41. or stop being a pussy and ride with you regular cycling clothes! all you need is helmet, lights,shades,coffee,water!. in that order

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