Your bike is like a second skin to you, and you can’t live without it. Unfortunately, when poor weather disrupts your day, you’re faced with the same dilemma: “Can I ride my bike or take public transportation?” What about my car? Which umbrella isn’t already shattered? “Which shoe is water resistant?”
Don’t ask yourself these questions any longer, just just proceed to enjoy your bike in the same way you do when the weather is good, how? Through using special tools, you can stay dry from head to foot!
1. The poncho for a bicycle
Rain ponchos (or raincoats) are larger than jackets and therefore protect more ground. They can preferably be breathable as well, for the same purposes that jackets are. You have elastic bands within your poncho that help you to hold it on the handlebars to cover your knees and hands when driving. Any rain ponchos have a waist band to keep the breeze at bay when you’re out and about. Our bicycle ponchos often have a closed high neck, a hood, a front pocket that converts into a bag for fast travel, and several other features…
2. The rainproof cycling jacket
If you are a regular commuter, you can have a rain jacket in your closet. Why do you go for a bicycle rain jacket rather than a standard rain jacket? For a variety of reasons:
Choose a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable.
The most important feature of jackets is their breathability. Jackets, whether for men or women, must be breathable as well as waterproof. When a result, as you pedal and the body heats up, the heat can automatically escape to the outside through a breathable jacket. No more coughing sensations when riding. In general, the higher the price of the sweater, the more breathable it is.
AGU’s Commuter line, for example, is incredibly light and breathable.
Waterproofing is an important factor to remember as well. Indeed, if your jacket absorbs water after 5 minutes of showering, the remainder of your journey would be uncomfortable. It is important to note that high-quality rain jackets are often waterproof.
The adaptability of rain jackets to cycling
A decent rain jacket would usually be wider in the back to cover your lower back while resting on your handlebars. The slot in long trench-style bicycle jackets is also specifically built to enable you to cycle very easily, as opposed to a long jacket with a zip, which can quickly become a limit. Finally, some versions fold up quickly for easy storage, meaning you can have them with you at all times and only need them while it’s raining. This last feature is often applicable to ponchos and trousers.
A jacket with reflective elements
A (good) cycling jacket would have reflective elements that will improve your visibility and thereby your protection.
AGU, a Dutch company, provides rainwear for urban cycling that is specifically designed for daily biking.
Finally, if you do not yet wish to invest in such a jacket, most people want a jacket that is a few degrees colder than the air temperature, so that the heat produced by the effort compensates for the disparity and returns you to a comfortable temperature.
3. The bicycle rain pants
Rain trousers, like upper body wear, must be very breathable, supportive, durable, and waterproof. Rain pants are larger than standard pants and can be worn over city suits. Your legs and feet are both safe from the elements. Some models have little extras that make a difference, such as zipped pockets with direct access to the pockets of your city trousers, mesh padding, reflective bands for added protection, a pocket that turns into a purse to take with you anywhere, and so on…
Since our extremities are the most vulnerable areas of our bodies, you should use overshoes as rain cover. This equipment will help you to keep your feet dry during the day. They are simple to uninstall and provide side and back adjustments. Various ranges, some reaching the knees (as in hiking gaiters)…
Gaiter-style high-top overshoes, for example, would look great with a poncho, which wraps up to the elbows. Overshoes are usually non-slip, but they would not slip on the pedals. So you should keep wearing those leather dress shoes, which are usually incapable of withstanding rainfall, even in a torrential downpour!
5. The sleeves (or gloves)
Attach them to your bike’s handlebars to keep the cold, wind, and rain out of your way. They are the key to combating tough environments since they are fashionable and waterproof on the outside and warm and insulating on the ground. Since they are universal in scale, you can use them on a variety of bikes and they are simple to mount and dismantle. Furthermore, these sleeves are offered in a variety of colors and fabrics. If you want to keep it easy, a nice pair of gloves can keep you dry and warm in the rain and cold.
6. The umbrella stand
We no longer put a stop to creativity, especially with the bicycle umbrella stand. It sticks to your bike’s handlebars which allows you to mount an umbrella. The Popins company, for example, offers umbrella stands and umbrellas that are beautiful, functional, and clever, allowing you to ride always in the shade and safe!
Another useful idea, which is implicitly related to rain but which we seldom consider: when it rains, the light is lower, so it is preferable to switch on your cycling lights to increase your protection.
To summarize, you no longer need to put the cycle in the driveway while it rains; instead, you just need to have the proper equipment to continue commuting to work, joining your mates, or just going for rides. Even on a bike, you can “sing in the shower”
7. Check the bike’s brake system
Check the state of your brakes before leaving your bike in the mud. They must be attentive as well as strong. Why is this so? Since braking on a bicycle is not the same when the path is soaked as it is when it is dry: in the case of rain, braking distances are substantially longer. As a result, reactive brakes can shorten braking distances. The increased distances are clarified by the brake pads’ decreased traction, which results in less effective braking.
To dry the rims, gently apply the brakes many times in a row, which will improve your braking. Often, stop abrupt braking. We recommend that you use aluminum rims, which would be more effective in the rain than carbon rims. Often, stop braking too abruptly.
8. Maintain the adhesion
Another thing to think of while riding in the storm is the state of the tyres. Indeed, the pressure and state of your tyres can have a significant effect on how your bike handles. So, when it rains, we recommend marginally deflating your tires: with 1 bar less, your bike tires will have more surface area in contact with the ground and will be much more adherent to the track, particularly when cornering.
One of the most common methods for improving tire grip is to add vinegar to your tires with a rag. This will degrease the tire and improve its traction on the road. This advice should be followed any time you step outside in the storm.
In addition, as it rains, there are many field dangers that will further erode your hold. To accomplish this, avoid excessive braking and tilting of your bike, particularly on white road signs, cobblestones, manhole covers, dead leaves, and other debris.
Finally, be extremely cautious when rains and drizzle begin. Indeed, tiny rains are the most risky because they allow the pavement to become very slick: hydrocarbons soak by the first layer of tarmac grow to the surface of the bitumen and form a slippery film. Be particularly cautious in the season, after a heavy rain and when the temperature outside is high: the path would be much slicker!
9. Anticipate the danger
As a cyclist, anticipation is essential for safe cycling, particularly while riding in the rain. Indeed, anticipating hazards would help you to stop them and, if possible, brake properly. You must stop getting caught off guard and, as a result, responding with emergency braking. Emergency braking will allow the wheels to lock up too easily (with too little grip), possibly resulting in a crash.
10. Be visible and have good lighting
Finally, another critical factor to consider is the exposure. When cycling in the storm, having good lighting is important. Not only will this improve your vision, but it will also enable you to be heard by motorists and other road users.
Also, as you’re outfitting yourself (rain gear, helmet, saddlebags, etc.), make sure it’s well-equipped with reflective elements. This will improve your visibility and, as a result, your wellbeing.