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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm doing my darndest to use the bike to commute to work - that means riding when the weather isn't great. I know most of you out there pay little heed to bad weather but for us suit wearing folks, that definitely limits the wardrobe options on a bike commute.

Enter the rain cape.

In today's torrential downpour, I was surprisingly comfortable in my rain cape on my commute home. Riding along the Esplanade, it was like being cocooned in a tent (or a spinnaker, depending on
how the wind was blowing). Good stuff.

I made some modest concessions to utility such as changing into jeans for the ride home (shirt and tie tucked behind a vest). Neither shirt nor tie were in the slightest bit wet. I did use the rain spats which gave great coverage up to the knee. In stiff crosswinds (or gales - did you see the whitecaps out there this evening?) the cape does achieve some level of lift off...maybe finding some way to fasten the front of it to the horizontal part of my upright bar would be a good thing...grommets and some kind of clamp perhaps? Without some way of getting better attachment up front it flops down and gives the thighs a bit of the cold-and-wet treatment. Maybe waterproof pants?....Burley perhaps?

The Duxback bag in back lived up to its waterproof reputation...cellphone and Blackberry emerged unscathed.

For the poncho/rain cape to be truly successful in such weather the trick (as far as I know) is:e

* full fenders
* a more upright riding style
* not having to look down to see if you are in the right gear or not (that's where the fixed gear comes in).

It remains to be seen if foul weather in the morning has me running scared for my subway token...or sucking it up and braving the elements. It's easier commuting home smelling like wet wool and wingtips than doing the same thing on the way into the office.

As always - my hat is off to those of you who do this day in/day out, in good weather and in bad.

If any of you have good suggestions on foul/not so good weather gear, please chime in....I'm a convert to the rain cape but think that there are other options out there that would do a lovely job as well. It's good to be well informed.

Regards,
 

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I prefer a jacket

Personally I don't like th cape because as you say it can catch the wind like a sail. I have a decent jacket ( used to be "decenter" - until a foolish motorist flattened me a couple of months ago while I was wearing it and it now has two small holes..) I like the jacket ( a Gill ) because it does a good job of ventilatiing while keeping me dry. I wear light, tight rain trousers if its really bad and change into my work clothes after a shower in work.
Having said all the above we do get plenty of rain here but very rarely anything I'd describe as a gale and my commute is a mere 5 miles if I go direct route.
I remember a veteran cyclist I know passing the rest of the group out as he held his cape
out at the sides to maximise a tailwind - that was one of those funny cycling moments.
 

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I purchased a low-cost two-piece rainsuit from a motorcycle dealer - love it - cheap, works, visible (yellow) - folds up to a small package.

Keep the suit & work clothes at work - change when you get to work then again when you leave. Unless it's cold, I usually don't wear my rain suit - rain doesn't stop the pro riders, therefore, it shouldn't stop me.
 

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I used to have a rain cape that friend bought in china. people ride bikes a lot there...

it covered the entire handlebar area and had little gutters on the bottom so the water all flowed out the back corners. what was awesome was that since it was so open inside i didnt get too sweaty. it had little thumb loops inside too keep it on the bars.

lots of wind resistance though.

maybe look for one fo those?
 

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Is there just no way to keep clothes at work? I know several people who wear suits that keep them in their office and take them to a local cleaner when necessary. What about a nice set of panniers to carry your clothes. One solution might be to keep your suit jackets, ties, sport coats, belts, shoes at the office and only carry slacks, underwear, socks, and a shirt in a set of panniers or messenger bag. Even if you have to do a baby wipe shower, it would still be better than wearing your work clothes on the bike.
 

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mass_biker said:
Maybe waterproof pants?....Burley perhaps?
As far as the burley pants go (or any burley gear), they are great. Fit well, and really do keep you dry. I've ridden in torrential PNW rain storms, and if it weren't for the messenger bag getting my back wet with sweat, i've been increadibly dry. Burley jacket, Pants, and Sugino shoe covers (dry feet are awesome!).

I'll keep a cape in mind next time i need to a top :)

-Damon
 

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Cape Fear?

I've been using one for a couple of years now. In fact, I tend to have it strapped to the top of my saddlebag under almost all conditions. I do use a rain jacket/rain pants set when it's at all chilly, but for warmer weather, nothing beats the cape.

Of course, if you don't have fenders...Cape Fear!
 
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