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Advice required about cycling in the rain.

ben@31[email protected] Posts: 2,324
edited January 2013 in Commuting general
Hello,

I've always been a fair weather cyclist. One of those who cycle in a big circle on a summer night for fun and fitness.

However, last night I decided to leave the car at home and commute on the bike. There was a downpour and the temp was no more than 2 deg C.

The two major problems I had were.... My hands. Even with gloves on OMG I've never experienced such excruciating pain. At one point it was that bad I had to clench my fists into a ball inside the palm of the gloves, until I realised I wouldn't be able to use the brake levers!

The second problem was my bike now looks like it has cycled over the Somme battlefield. I can handle a dirty frame but the chain-set doesn't look too healthy. The chain is now coated in a black sludge and there's grit in every moving part.

Do you have any recommendations for how to keep your hands from getting cold and wet? And what do you do to stop the rain and crud from damaging your beloved bike?

Thanks.
"The Prince of Wales is now the King of France" - Calton Kirby

Posts

  • Better gloves + Full mudguards = end of drama.

    I use specialized sub zero gloves which are actually two pairs of gloves - a liner for fairer weather, good down to about 3 degrees, and an outer water proof glove that goes over the liners to take you down to astounding cold temps, I use the outers by themselves between about -2 and 3 degrees or if its say less than 10 degrees and raining a lot. I have never, except on a motorcycle, had to use them both together!

    SKS mudguards are fantastic, and will keep almost all the dirt and grit off your bike.
  • JackPozziJackPozzi Posts: 1,191
    For the hands thin latex gloves inside normal gloves can help and obviously all winter gloves aren't equal... For protecting the bike, mudguards are the only things that help protect the important parts but it still doesn't won't like good after a few hours in a downpour, best option is to have a winter bike that you don't mind getting crudded up
  • Father JackFather Jack Posts: 3,508
    second sub zero and full length mudguards.

    As for clothing, depending on how heavy it is, and cold. If it's cold, and hard downpour then full waterproofs (jacket, trousers, gloves, overshoes) with baseball cap to keep water out of my eyes.

    As for bike getting dirty that's to be expected. Probably need to clean and relube every week, I'd check every morning, if the chain has light signs of rust but isn't grimy, just give it another lube with cheap chain oil.

    Guess a bike with full chainguard will be further protected.
    Say... That's a nice bike..
    Trax T700 with Lew Racing Pro VT-1 ;-)
  • tonyf34tonyf34 Posts: 193
    Thoroughly wipe or even blow dry your chain when you've been out in the rain or the steel bits will go rusty, re-apply a liberal dose of light oil or whatever lube you care to use. If the bike is of any value and you want the drivetrain to last longer then take off the chainset and cassette at the weekend and clean.
    Many serious commuters have a spare cassette & chain so they can just pop them on whilst cleaning the others.
    As mentioned upthread, full length mudguards WITH FLAPS are your friend and will keep most of the censored off.
    Gloves wise, there is a plethora out there, if it is really bitter and raining, a set of wooly gloves inside a waterproof glove such as Altura Night, Seal skinz etc
    Here's a road CC summary/review of gloves http://road.cc/content/buyers-guide/475 ... es-cycling
  • Hello,

    I've always been a fair weather cyclist. One of those who cycle in a big circle on a summer night for fun and fitness.

    However, last night I decided to leave the car at home and commute on the bike. There was a downpour and the temp was no more than 2 deg C.

    The two major problems I had were.... My hands. Even with gloves on OMG I've never experienced such excruciating pain. At one point it was that bad I had to clench my fists into a ball inside the palm of the gloves, until I realised I wouldn't be able to use the brake levers!

    The second problem was my bike now looks like it has cycled over the Somme battlefield. I can handle a dirty frame but the chain-set doesn't look too healthy. The chain is now coated in a black sludge and there's grit in every moving part.

    Do you have any recommendations for how to keep your hands from getting cold and wet? And what do you do to stop the rain and crud from damaging your beloved bike?

    Thanks.

    I've had the exact same experience. I was using some huge rubber insulated gloves, to use when it rains and also to keep my hands warm. Well, it keeps water out, but also keeps sweat IN and on your hands. More importantly it did nothing about stopping WIND which kept the sweat on my hands ice cold. It was like having your hands stuck in ice cold water.

    My trip one way to work is about an hour. It's just before 3am, when it's the coldest. Lucky me. Well, with those gloves, it was like riding an hour with vices on my hands. Crushing them. So I totally relate..

    A month later I finally got enough money to afford better gloves. I read some very good reviews about Pearl iZumi Pro Softshell Lobster Gloves, and got them (off Amazon.com). They were great around 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 Celcius), but anything more, or during stronger wind (chill), I had to use an inner glove. I like the lobster design sort of like something between a glove and mittens, as keeping my fingers together provides better warmth than a glove, particularly when faced with the wind chill of cycling. The weak point of these gloves is the top/outside of the thumb, which serves as a brow/sweat wipe, and is not made of wind resistant material. My thumbs get cold while the rest of my hand stays warm. But wearing inner gloves keeps my thumbs from getting painfully cold.

    Another thing I did was buy ski goggles, which are slightly tinted blue/green for supposedly greater night visibility and helps reduce sunlight at sunrise when I bike back home. People often make comments about the goggles, apparently people think it's extreme. I wear a thick balaclava under them, and my face is toasty no matter how cold or windy it is. I also bought them for their anti fog ability, which any sunglasses lack, and of course to keep precipitation from getting in my eyes. They do partially fog up if I'm biking so slow that it's at walking speed, or if I'm standing still.
  • Decent winter gloves (I have a set of Sealskinz) should keep them dry & warm. Get some mudguards fitted and you will find that the bike stays cleaner. However there is no simple answer other than give it a good clean, buy some bike polish if you want as this will make any further cleaning easier. As for the chain, get a chain cleaning device like a park tool or get a quick link fitted which will allow you to remove the chain for cleaning.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • AzharAzhar Posts: 247
    Hello Ben, I have sealskin gloves that I bought from wiggle, they were about £30ish if I remember correctly and they are really good in cold weathers as well as in the rain. I would definitely recommend them. Of once you buy these gloves you won't have to buy another full finger gloves for a vey longe time. I just give my bike a good squirt with my water bidon when I get home and let it drip dry before I use that gt85 thing you can buy for bikes.

    It was really windy here yesterday did you manage to cycle ok in the wind, as well as in the rain and 2degree weather?? I'm thinking of cycle tomorrow to work but the high winds is putting me slightly off.
  • R0MR0M Posts: 16
    I'll second sealskinz gloves. I have the luminous yellow ones, totally water proof. Never get cold hands with them on. Also have some sealskinz socks which are good. Brought for paintball, but work wonders on bike too.

    I run a rear crud catcher, nothing on front. Only a full mud guard will help, the crud type on downtube do little more than the downtube itself.
    I wear prescription cycle glasses, with a large smooth single lenses so easy to wipe. Baseball cap to stop the worst of the rain.

    For warmth I wear tights and skin tight top, like the ones athletes wear etc. Then just regular shorts and t shirt over the top. If torrential I'll wear waterproof coat and trousers.
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