Weather Forecasts & Trying To Decide What To Wear

Secteur Posts: 1,971
edited May 2011 in Road beginners
On my last few "big" rides, I used accuweather the night before and erred on the side of caution, going in "full wet" gear if the forecast suggested rain - on every occasion it stayed dry and I suffered as a result, whilst all the other cyclists were out in dry gear.

I dont want to take a bag, so I can't take spare wet clothes - I need to try and get it right.

Tomorrow, accuweather says "sunny with showers" for one hour during my planned 3.5 hour ride.

So, do I chance it and go dry (bib shorts, jersey, no mudguards) & look good, or do I go wet (mud guards, yellow high vis waterproof, bib tights) and look... wet?!!!

The forecast looks like it might just be light showers, if any, but accuweather aint so accu-rate!!


  • nickel
    nickel Posts: 476
    Get a small lightweight wateproof that folds up really tiny and stick it in your jersey pocket, if its going to be a long ride and im going to be exposed if the weather turns bad I stick my arms warmers and kneewarmers in my pocket as well. That way I can go all the way from ss Jersey and Bibshorts to waterproof, long sleeves and effectively threequarter length tights.
  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971
    Good idea - I should probably do that... but won't help me tomorrow...

    I suppose getting wet isnt the end of the world- I just dont want to look foolish in LS jersey & shorts if it starts pouring down!!
  • gaddster
    gaddster Posts: 401
    chance it and look good! Light showers only and you're going to dry pretty quick anyway, When I've been out in dry gear and got rained on it's dried up pretty quick so I wouldn't worry about it.
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  • nickel
    nickel Posts: 476
    I find as long as I'm warm being wet doesnt matter too much. So If its only just a chance of a shower I wouldnt bother with the waterproof jacket, the weather is quite mild atm so if you get a bit damp it wont be a problem. And if you wear the jacket you might end up soaking wet from your own sweat, always happens to me! Kind of removes the point of the damn thing.
  • fizz
    fizz Posts: 483
    This is what I wear when I'm not sure of the weather at this tmie of year

    Bib Shorts, Base layer either long sleeve or short sleeve, then my cycling jersey over the top.

    I'll the long sleeve base layer if I think its going to be cold or I might get rained on. That way it keeps me a bit warmer, I've found even if I do get wet in a shower, that you soon dry out again once the rain stops.

    In your situation I'd go with your dry weather setup. OK if it rains you'll get wet but I reckon thats almost as bad as having to much kit on and it not raining.
  • Alibran
    Alibran Posts: 370
    As long as it's not going to be windy, I'd just wear the dry weather gear. It isn't getting wet that makes you cold at this time of year, it's the wind, and as others have said, you'll soon dry out.
  • snickwell
    snickwell Posts: 72
    Surely this is another case of over-thinking?

    At the moment, I just wear bibs, short sleeve jersey, arm-warmers and carry a small waterproof in my pocket. If I get wet, I get wet.... Not the end of the world.
  • oldwelshman
    oldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    At this time of year I worry more of temperature.
    If forecast is rain I just stuff a rain cape in back pocket.
    If temp is less than 17 degree forecast I start off with leg warmers and arm warmers which can be removed if it gets warm.
    Severl rides recently my mates turned up in shorts and short sleeve top due to forecast and found it too cold.
    I put oil and cream on my legs for warmth and this also makes rain run off legs.
  • Lillywhite
    Lillywhite Posts: 742
    A gillet and arm warmers is a good option in the current windy and changeable weather conditions. As others have pointed it's the cold that gets to most cyclists.
  • gary.hounsome
    gary.hounsome Posts: 296
    I use the met office app on my iphone, rarley accurate the night before but gives you an idea of temp. I then look at it again first thing in the morning as well as out of the window, should give you a general idea. If warm and still then short-sleeves if warm and windy then add a gilet if warm and wet perhaps stick with the gilet maybey a light waterproof, if the temp gets colder then add arm/leg warmers/rain jackets into the mix.

    I never trust a weather forecast even the night before...or the same day actually!
  • RowCycle
    RowCycle Posts: 367
    So how did the weather go?

    I'm guessing whatever type of kit you take it will have been the opposite weather :o)
  • sparkins1972
    sparkins1972 Posts: 252
    I will be honest, I never set off if it is tipping it already down with rain, but if I get caught out by rain when I am already out on my route it doesn't bother me. For this reason I only ever wear dry weather gear - a bit of rain doesn't hurt too much and in all the other sports I have played competitively over the years I have grown used to being soaking wet.
  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971
    Well I decided to go with the dry gear advice despite the iffy forecast.

    Got up at 0530, and it was grey with poor visibility but not actually raining, and pretty cool.

    So, last minute I switched to wet gear & went with that.

    Not a bad decision - it didnt rain but it was cool and damp the whole way, and I didnt feel over-heated. Very windy towards the 45-50 mile mark, and I was glad of the jacket then.

    I have given up trying to predict the weather, but from now on will generally err towards dry gear.
  • Bobbinogs
    Bobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    I have a decent wet weather jacket but I only ever wear it if I am sure that it is going to be tipping down for the majority of the ride, as in yesterday (hammering it down when I left home, still raining when I got back two hours later). At this time of year I always wear shorts because they (and my legs) dry much quicker than leggings/tights.

    As others have said, most of the time it is normal kit for me to go with a small Altura packamac in my backpocket to keep any forecasted showers at bay (it is also very handy to keep out windchill if I get cold). I have also worn my pacamac at the start of some long cycles where I know that the rain will clear, which is great (I hate being lumbered with wet weather gear when the sun comes out).

    How did your ride go on Sunday? I am still drying out my shoes as vanity stopped me from mixing winter overshoes with shorts, doh!
  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971
    Was a nice 50m run to Blackpool, the "scenic" route via Lytham - there was a cross/head-wind all along the flat open Lytham road which somewhat ruined the experience as it's mega hilly where I normally ride, so I was looking forwards to the long flat coastal roads, but the wind made it feel like I was towing an achor :-(

    A nice little run all the same.

    Currently saddle soreness and hills++ where I ride (& boredom after 3 hours) limits my rides to 50m - hoping to push it up above that soon.
  • bendertherobot
    bendertherobot Posts: 11,684


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