One of those days when all the car drivers were sitting smugly in their dry metal boxes, peering out at me sitting at the traffic lights while the rain sheeted in. My shoes already soaked through and rapidly filling with water, water running down my face and blood slowly withdrawing from my finger tips. A day at work spent squelching around in wet socks and my office looking like a laundry with rain jacket, pack cover and cycling clothes hanging out to dry. Just a few months ago I was looking for every bit of shade I could on the commute to work! Its time to unpack the shoe covers, waterproof pants and maybe invest in one of those high-vis vests.
I agree re: the importance of having the right gear. I use:
- a lightweight merino wool (IceBreaker) thermal top (short sleeve or long sleeve depending on the temperature)
- my lightweight cycling jacket
- a Burley rain jacket (discontinued I think), which is high vis yellow, has large zippers under the arms, and can be opened right up a the chest/neck, so ventilation is good
- gloves if it's cold enough
- some fairly lightweight long knicks which don't absorb too much water
It depends.....I wouldnt ride in the rain with a mudguardless bike, unless I absolutely had too. I get wet enough as it is with mudguards on the bike, and getting to work with the dirty wet stripe up your back is not a lot of fun.
But as someone else pointed out, if you have the right gear (mudguards, waterproofs and overshoes) then riding in the rain can be quite enjoyable. No waterproofs will keep rain out forever and you do swaet alot inside waterproofs too, so either way you get wet to some extent. It always helps if you know you are heading to somewhere warm and dry.
If you happen to be riding on road that hasnt been washed clean or has grit thrown into the bike lane by cars and you get that grit and water you can ruin components in 3 months. The water in the gutter lane is like liquid sandpaper and the lighter your groupset the worse this stuff cuts through alloys and titanium.
-=Think of valve grinding paste.=-
Water shooting up off the back wheel can make its way down the seatpost to the bottom bracket and out through the cranks shaft at best only ruining the BB bearings
some time when you have ridden distance in the rain turn you bike over and watch what comes out ... then rub some of that water between your fingers.. this is why I dont commute on my road bike and I have steel MTB with barely a deore quality groupo for days like today when i just got wet enough to make sand stick.
I have a really good Castelli winter jersey which is still going strong after a few years, and since it has a permanent streak of road grime up the back, I don't have to worry about keeping it too clean!
But when its time has come, I'll certainly look at Cell again - thanks for the info.
I picked up some super roubaix overpants from that shop on rundle st along with a long sleeve fleecy lined jeryey for a shade over $200. The jersey required nothing underneath on the cold thursday just gone, and the overpants were comfy and warm (even though they are a little too long for me).
For getting dry at work a `disabled' toilet (so you can be alone) with a hot air hand dryer does wonders. For the ride I am still wearing an old gortex suit (top and pants) bought in the 80s. I tried a netti rain proof top recently but not being goretex I got wetter from sweat with it on than rain with it off.
I'm a big advocate of icebreaker gear. Similar to the ground effects, it's an NZ product.
It's pricy, but i think i get great value out of it.
I use a couple of layers for the commute to work, and 1 layer for the ride home.
If i need something waterproof i use a rain jacket over the top.
Some things are worth spending the money on