Tips for Riding in the Rain

The folks at Velo Vogue put up a very useful video this past week with tips for riding in the rain. The film will be part of the larger Mind the Gap documentary. The film follows three different cyclists as they get ready for a rainy ride, and it’s useful to see that there are many options for what to wear, how to carry your stuff, and how to outfit your bike when it’s raining. I personally wear rain pants and a rain jacket over my regular clothing. They aren’t terribly “fashionable” per say, but they sure work well! What do you wear for your bike commute when it’s raining?

MIND THE GAP – URBAN BIKING: Tips for Biking in the Rain from Laura J. Lukitsch on Vimeo.

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12 thoughts on “Tips for Riding in the Rain”

  1. Chris says:

    My problem is that I am a heat engine. This past winter I finally discovered that unless it IS raining I will ALWAYS sweat if I wear a shell.

    If I do wear a rainjacket I end up as wet as if I didn’t. And I live in a very arid environment. No amount of Gore-Tex helps. NOTHING is breathable enough for me.

    So what I’ve discovered is that for me its best to have the best wicking layers I can manage and accept that I’m going to be wet, but hopefully warm. I still carry my shell for rainy days, but I’ve accepted the fact that if it rains I am just going to be wet.

    I’ve even tried wearing only shorts and a t-shirt under rain clothes, but I still sweat like a hog or I end up utterly frigid because I don’t have any insulation.

    1. Chris, I think the issue you bring up is a big one for riding in the rain. Oftentimes, unless it is a very cold rain, the clouds and humidity can actually make it easy to overheat if you are wearing waterproof layers. I know that wool does a really good job of wicking sweat away from your body, as do some other more synthetic materials. For me, cotton is absolutely the worse when it comes to wicking sweat away, so I try to stay away from that. Another option is to find a jacket or pants that have armpit zippers and mesh features that help to circulate air.
      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Anybody noticing the lack of fenders on these bikes? That is a HUGE part of being able to ride in the rain and stay dry. Except for may heavy downpours, more water comes off your tires than from the sky. They mention fenders briefly, but the bikes in the video don’t have them.

    Also, chain guards (especially the total covered guards on Dutch style bikes) should be standard issue on city bikes. There is no reason you should have to get straps or shove your pants in your socks just to ride in regular cloths.

  3. LN says:

    From the East coast, (NYC) tips
    1. merino wool base layers
    2. a bag of uncooked rice in a zip lock to immediately put all electronics that might have gotten wet – it really does work
    3. rubbers/overshoes over your regular shoes
    4. watch for metal plates and manhole covers, these are very slippery when wet.

  4. […] using drivers; nearly 20% of drivers admit to surfing the internet while they drive. How to ride in the rain. Ten articles for beginning cyclists, including one from our friend the Springfield Cyclist. Bike […]

  5. J Johnson says:

    Young lady with the folding bike needs to pump up the rear tire.

  6. I think the best option(though it’s not apparel) is a Veltop. On a regular diamond frame bike it gives pretty good coverage except for the lower extremities, but on a recumbent you’re fully covered from the rain. Pros: full coverage, stows/deploys in seconds, no need for waterproof attire so NO overheating. Cons: expensive

  7. Hello and thank you for posting the video and linking back to my blog. I chose to ride my folding bike that day because it has fenders. Not my normal city bike because it’s a single speed. So it wasn’t until we hit the streets that we realized my rear tire was flat! Doh!

    Because we only had a short window for shooting we couldn’t take it to the shop down the hill to fill ‘er up. Situation has been corrected!

    1. Kristin,
      I’m sure that’s the first thing you noticed when you hit the road on the bike! But you did a great job of ensuring the show went on, flat tire or not. Great video!!!

  8. M. Gordon says:

    I ride a great bike for riding in the rain – made by Amsterdam’s Workcycles. Full fenders, completely enclosed chain, coat guard. I really don’t understand how North America came to accept the sports-inspired bikes that dominate normal cycling over there. All I wear in the rain is a long raincoat, gloves, and a regular hat. I know what people are saying heating up with rainwear. I don’t heat up because I don’t race – a nice and steady 10-20kph – unless I’m going downhill. I have to say I object to the constant bike helmet propaganda. I don’t wear one, though i used to. I could go on, but I suppose people are familiar with the objections.

  9. […] out Utility Cycling’s tips for riding in the rain, or reasons to bike commute with your kids, or about how a Portland, OR, bicycle delivery service […]

  10. kees bas says:

    Still more people use rainmates rainclothing for riding in the rain,

    userfriendly ,. innovative, and…,quick !

    Best regards,

    Kees Bas

    //Rainmates Company


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