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Which one would make the best rain bike

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· Hucken The Fard Up !
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last two years we had awful weather.

looks like the climate change hit us with more rainy days per year in average.

as a result, in the last 3 years I am not getting enough dry days to ride and then I am losing fitness and putting on weight .

I never rode on the rain because I consider it more dangerous, the car drivers seem more stressed and also the dirt on the roads get wet and it is a less pleasant experience.

However, I have to make my mind up to it and start riding on the rain or on wet roads after the rainfalls.

I don't want to trash my bike on the rain so I have 3 options, those are 3 bikes I do have so I don't need to invest on a bike for the rain, but more, to chose wich one will get trashed.

1. Cyclocross carbon fiber frame
+ wider tires, room for big fenders, relaxed geo, Ultegra SL compact
- Canti-Levers, Grey/Silver colorscheme which would be less visible on rain

2. Road Aluminum/Carbon seatstays and fork
+ Yellow/Red colorscheme which would be more visible on rain, Ultegra 53/39
- less compliant ride

3. Steel oldie bike.
+ Cheap, comfy ride
- 6 speed, down tube shifters, tubular wheels/tires, would rust, black/gold colorscheme


I could setup the bike #3 with a groupset of DA 7400 or another of DA 7700 I have as spares with STIs and 8/9 speed and clincher wheels.


What would you do and why ?

Please Halp!
 

· Hucken The Fard Up !
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
and what criteria in your opinion make a good rain bike ?
 

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The only bike that I wouldn't ride in the crappy conditions would be a 20yr old pristine museum piece. Anything else is fair game, after all they're tools to be used.

But if you're going to worry about riding a bike in the rain please remove zanks quote.
 

· Hucken The Fard Up !
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm not "buying" a rain bike.

I am chosing which one of the ones I have would be better to put it for service on rainy days.

They are just bikes sure, but my main bike has full Dura Ace and carbon tubulars, repair a tubular flat and/or walk to the next train station under the rain wouldn't be so nice and I would prefer to trash an Ultegra bike than a Dura Ace bike.

my touring/commuter bike, gets riden in all conditions, dry/wet/pouring rain/snow/dirt etc, but it is a rather heavy bike with racks, fenders, chainguards, wide touring rims and a triple 105 set.

This "rain bike" would be more for sportive rides than for all contitions commuting.
 

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Riding in the rain doesn't necessarily trash a bike/components, it just gets things all wet and dirty.
I just don't get the "My new bike is just to fancy to use" mentality. You bought it to ride, and to really appreciate it zank says you gotta ride it in the inclement conditions.

Nicks and scratches are like scars, they add character and give you memories. Shux, I just got done cleaning up my De Rosa after a 40 mile ride in a downpour, and nothing bad happened and it was really a lot of fun.
 

· Descender
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You can make up for a non visible frame color scheme by wearing more visible clothing ie yellows and reds.
All 3 options would be candidiates except - you have reservations about the ride quality of #2 and the possible rust for #3. Thererfore you should go with #1 - that's what I ride for rain, except my cross bike is frame savered steel..

Actually you are in a good situation becasue any of the 3 would fill the bill

Good Luck
 

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I don't think it matters that much. Pick the one that is easiest to clean and that you don't mind being dirty. I also would say "not steel" because of the rust issue, but my rain bike is an old steel frame with 9 speed Ultegra, mostly because it is the most disposable.
 

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Biking in the PacNorWest, I've seen all of them you mentioned. I use a steel Lemond Poprad Disk as my dedicated winter/rain bike. Some considerations if you plan to ride it long term in the wet:

1. Make sure the bike can handle FULL fenders not just the half ones that you can get for road bikes with minimal tire clearance. You want to protect yourself and the bike. If you are riding with others, a buddy flap added on to the bottom of the rear fender is always appreciated by the rider behind you.

2. If you don't enjoy changing flats in the rain/cold plan on investing in some larger puncture resistant tires. Wet roads hide glass and crap sticks to a wet tire longer, giving it a better chance to cause a flat. The best I've seen around here are Spec Armadillos, Bontrager Hardcase or Schwalbes. Not necessarily the nicest riding tires, but I find if use a 25 or 28 instead of my normal 23 I can lower the pressure a bit and the ride is fine. I've also found the 28s have lasted several thousand miles.
The worst choice are the worn out tires youv'e been riding all summer. On the first rainy group ride in the fall, we find out who those folks are.

3. JP Wiegle Frame Saver is a good thing for steel bikes. Also high quality steel is pretty rust resistant as long as it has a chance to dry out between rides. I've had 2 steel winter bikes (Poprad and Bianchi Axis) and when I take them apart in the spring to service them I've never found rust in the frame.

4. I wouldn't get too hung up on which bike frame is more visible. No bike frame is very visible from the front or rear. Most around here have bright rain jackets and bright blinky such as a Superflash on the bike to help with visibility to drivers. A good forward flasher isn't a bad idea either.
 

· Hucken The Fard Up !
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
velodog said:
Riding in the rain doesn't necessarily trash a bike/components, it just gets things all wet and dirty.
I just don't get the "My new bike is just to fancy to use" mentality. You bought it to ride, and to really appreciate it zank says you gotta ride it in the inclement conditions.

Nicks and scratches are like scars, they add character and give you memories. Shux, I just got done cleaning up my De Rosa after a 40 mile ride in a downpour, and nothing bad happened and it was really a lot of fun.
you insist on your same point.

I do ride all year long in all conditions. from 32°C in summer to -15°C in winter, rain, snowfall, autum leaves mixed with mud etc etc.

I wasn't doing sports/training/long rides when raining or wet, I will do so from now on, because otherwise the dry days are less and less nowadays.

As I have many bikes I am I asking some opinions to select which one I will set up for rain and fugehtaboutit
 

· Hucken The Fard Up !
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
pdh777 said:
You can make up for a non visible frame color scheme by wearing more visible clothing ie yellows and reds.
All 3 options would be candidiates except - you have reservations about the ride quality of #2 and the possible rust for #3. Thererfore you should go with #1 - that's what I ride for rain, except my cross bike is frame savered steel..

Actually you are in a good situation becasue any of the 3 would fill the bill

Good Luck
Yes, this is a good opinion, thanks.

if I do ride the steel bike on the rain it will rust faster isn't it ? How do you guys who have steel rain bikes, do ? they just get rusted fast ? or you have to cleanup and mantain them after the ride ?

About the carbon bike, I reckon there will be no damage on the carbon, but probably the Bottom Bracket threads could get rusted ? the headset is semi-integrated with sealed bearings, so I reckon some water would get into but not produce much damage... or should I seal it with something ? special grease ?
 

· Hucken The Fard Up !
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
enio said:
i vote 1.puddles and reduced visibility can hide potholes and cracks so bigger tyres would be a little safer to drive in the rain.
good point, however I can fit up to 700x30c on the Steel bike, I have tried Conti 4 Seasons 700x28c and they fit with a lot of clearance, I could even set Vittorias Cross EVO XN 700x32c but then the fit is just so-so.
 

· Hucken The Fard Up !
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
TiCruiser said:
Biking in the PacNorWest, I've seen all of them you mentioned. I use a steel Lemond Poprad Disk as my dedicated winter/rain bike. Some considerations if you plan to ride it long term in the wet:

1. Make sure the bike can handle FULL fenders not just the half ones that you can get for road bikes with minimal tire clearance. You want to protect yourself and the bike. If you are riding with others, a buddy flap added on to the bottom of the rear fender is always appreciated by the rider behind you.

2. If you don't enjoy changing flats in the rain/cold plan on investing in some larger puncture resistant tires. Wet roads hide glass and crap sticks to a wet tire longer, giving it a better chance to cause a flat. The best I've seen around here are Spec Armadillos, Bontrager Hardcase or Schwalbes. Not necessarily the nicest riding tires, but I find if use a 25 or 28 instead of my normal 23 I can lower the pressure a bit and the ride is fine. I've also found the 28s have lasted several thousand miles.
The worst choice are the worn out tires youv'e been riding all summer. On the first rainy group ride in the fall, we find out who those folks are.

3. JP Wiegle Frame Saver is a good thing for steel bikes. Also high quality steel is pretty rust resistant as long as it has a chance to dry out between rides. I've had 2 steel winter bikes (Poprad and Bianchi Axis) and when I take them apart in the spring to service them I've never found rust in the frame.

4. I wouldn't get too hung up on which bike frame is more visible. No bike frame is very visible from the front or rear. Most around here have bright rain jackets and bright blinky such as a Superflash on the bike to help with visibility to drivers. A good forward flasher isn't a bad idea either.
Thank you great advice....

I usually ride all year long on my commuter on Schwalbe Marathons and I put on Schwalbe Snow Spikes for the worse of the winter.

The only flat I did have on tubulars was on the wet ( lucky me they were the cheap ones on the steel bike) . exactly for what you said, less visibility so you don't see the debris on the road and "bang", it was not funny to push my bike under pouring rain to the next train station.... but lucky me I was on a city.

Most of my sports riding is on hilly country roads, and those roads have usually a fair amount of cow and horse sh!t, and when it rains they become a mud/sh!t mix that would be not pleasant so yes, full fenders would be the best.

I do have a set of this but maybe it won't be the best option

 

· Hucken The Fard Up !
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I decided and setup the Alu/Carbon bike for rain.

yellow plastic handlebar tape, Conti 4 seasons 700x28c, cheap computer and a Selle Italia SLK saddle

We went for our first rainy ride today (50Km), even though it was a good ride, we couldn't really ride close the one to the other, it was pouring and we didn't have fenders... I will setup the SKS I have and go with them tomorrow evening ( where acording to the forecast will still rain )

The ride was pleasant, very wet but not cold, I wore rain shoe covers but my shoes and socks got all wet anyway, I don't know it it is worth to wear them again.

But the rain cap and visor on the Bell helmet were really a blessing, my friend had plenty of water on the face and I was wet but ok.

The rain jacket did its work very well but our backs ended like a skunk though, again we need fenders.

here is a picture of the bike post ride and after I washed away the road dirt.

The Alu harshness was mitigated by the 700x28c tires but still my ass felt it, but well not too much, however I think I will swap the SLK saddle for a full plastic one, I have a Selle Italia XO around...

 

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Good choice.

I don't think there is anything wrong at all with having a rain or winter bike. I ride throughout the year and I also ride everywhere (no car). I don't like locking up my two really nice, rather expensive road bikes.

I like having a bike I don't mind getting dirty, I don't mind putting fenders on, I don't mind locking up (paint issues), and that I don't worry too much about getting stolen (worth a few hundred as opposed to a few thousand).

I'm thinking about swapping out my ill-fitting rain bike for a properly fit one. Leaning towards a road bike but considering a cross bike. Then again, I might just wait and get a nicer cross bike in a year or two, when I have the money and when I have the space for a new bike (planning on moving).
 
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