Does anyone prepare for unexpected rain every single ride they go on? Here are my ideas

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sumant28
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Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2021 4:12 am

by sumant28

I’m guessing that anyone that lives in the Pacific Northwest, British Isles, New Zealand has dealt with unexpected rain that has cut short or ruined a ride that you thought would be dry the whole way. I vowed to be prepared after one particularly bad ride and because my rides are now more often longer where the chances of this happening increases. This is different from cycling when it’s raining already where you know what you’re getting in advance which I don’t actually do anyway. What makes dressing for unexpected wet weather challenging is that typically wet weather gear is cold weather gear and that wet weather protection inherently adds bulk which makes it tricky to dress down when the weather clears again.


Helmet: I don’t own either of these but either Kask Wasabi or Lazer Bullet 2.0 seem to be really nice for unexpected rain. The adjustable venting is marketed for being aero but I don’t care about any of that just weather protection. Having the helmet be structurally water proof removes the need for a wet weather cycling cap which I currently own in ShakeDry


Neck: most wet weather jackets I know of leave the neck open. This is a problem because water can enter through the top which undermines the effectiveness of the jacket resisting rain. In summer riding I use a Halo Solar Skull Cap which I need anyway for the sun protection. In winter I can replace with a Castelli Head Thingy


Gloves: always full finger gloves designed for the warmest possible temperatures that it is rated for and that the weather forecast predicts. The Castelli Tutto Nano goes up to 20 Celsius. I imagine when I get this I can add temperature as a field on my Garmin Edge and take them off when the morning transitions to afternoon in the summer.


Shoe covers: use of shoe covers marketed as aero because they tend not to be as insulating. I’ve always found it a pain to wear shoe covers on any of my rides but I hope this changes when I get my Mavic Comete shoe which has a smooth upper that shoe covers can presumable slide over more easily than ratchet straps and boa dials etc.


Sleeves: because I like Castelli for all my kit here I would use the UPF arm and leg sleeves for every single warmer ride. The arm sleeves tucked over gloves to provide a bit of extra hand protection from rain and the leg sleeves tucked over shoe covers for a bit of extra feet protection from rain.


Jacket: making use of jersey pocket space to fit a light ShakeDry jacket on every single ride


Other: always wearing black because rain would ruin for example white shoe covers and white gloves.

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Mr.Gib
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by Mr.Gib

Short answer - no. Why carry rain gear if it is not going to rain? I am in the Pacific Northwest, but even in the winter there are many days when there is simply no chance of rain.

If there is a chance of rain then Shakedry in the pocket. If rain is a certainty, then saddle bag or handlebar bag with full rain gear - Shakedry, helmet cover, velotoze, waterproof gloves, cap with waterproof bill, and in cold weather Gore-tex mtb shorts. And always, always, the fender bike if the roads are even slightly damp. Nothing classy about getting plastered with road grime for 4 hours.
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AJS914
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by AJS914

I find the hour by hour weather report on the app I use (Yahoo weather) to be pretty accurate. If it said 75% chance of rain, I probably wouldn't ride outside to begin with. I've got caught in a full on rain storm like twice in many decades or riding.

kervelo
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by kervelo

I follow the weather forecasts closely every day, even when not planning a long ride. The problem with the forecasts is that they are only the best guesses of the coming weather and also that the quality of the forecasts varies a lot even between the respected weather sites or apps. Some sites/apps also don't update their data frequently enough.

IMO the only good weather forecast is the live weather radar that shows the actual weather in the area and usually the weather progress during the next few hours too.

jlok
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by jlok

If you are preparing for unexpected rain, it's actually expected. Just dress like it's gonna rain depends on the temperature.
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jesper2913
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by jesper2913

I live in Northern Europe. Unexpected rain is part of being a cyclist in these areas during the six months of winter time. I have a rain jacket in my back pocket, that's it. Sometimes I put it on, sometimes I just don't care.

More importantly I choose routes close to home. If rain comes, and if I don't feel like carrying on my training, I'm usually only 30 min from home.

That said I don't mind the rain. I mind the cleaning of the bike afterwards.

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ultimobici
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by ultimobici

jesper2913 wrote:I live in Northern Europe. Unexpected rain is part of being a cyclist in these areas during the six months of winter time. I have a rain jacket in my back pocket, that's it. Sometimes I put it on, sometimes I just don't care.

More importantly I choose routes close to home. If rain comes, and if I don't feel like carrying on my training, I'm usually only 30 min from home.

That said I don't mind the rain. I mind the cleaning of the bike afterwards.
Pretty much the same here. A rain shell is always in my back pocket from October to April just in case. My commuting bike is fully equipped with guards so overshoes aren’t essential unless it’s pouring when I start out.

Clothing is easy to wash, bikes without guards are a little more tedious to clean!


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kode54
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by kode54

kervelo wrote:I follow the weather forecasts closely every day, even when not planning a long ride. The problem with the forecasts is that they are only the best guesses of the coming weather and also that the quality of the forecasts varies a lot even between the respected weather sites or apps. Some sites/apps also don't update their data frequently enough.

IMO the only good weather forecast is the live weather radar that shows the actual weather in the area and usually the weather progress during the next few hours too.
There’s an app that shows weather on your route. Forgot the name of it.
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kode54
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by kode54

There’s several apps. I tried Epic Ride Weather.
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poulhansen
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by poulhansen

I use the "rainspotter" app with sat images but if it can't be avoided a lightweight poncho covers everything but there is still enough air under it, for ventilation. For unexpected I carry a Shake dry jacket, it works the best I have tried when sweating under a waterproof.
Last edited by poulhansen on Tue Dec 19, 2023 1:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Flasher
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by Flasher

Always carry a rain cape in an Elite Byasi in the 2nd bottle cage, in the winter you never know!

Greeners
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by Greeners

I'm not ashamed to call myself a fair-weather cyclist. I'll still carry a Sportful Hotpak in my jersey pocket. I'm not made of sugar but I detest the damage riding in poor weather can do to a bike.

Half an hour in the rain is nearly 2 hours of cleaning (I may have exagerated)

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TheBelgian
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by TheBelgian

It's better to ride 2h in the rain than 10 minutes, since the amount of cleaning required is the same :mrgreen:

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