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I want to start riding in the rain on those warm spring days. What pieces of gear do I need?
 

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Warm rain

notwist said:
I want to start riding in the rain on those warm spring days. What pieces of gear do I need?
If you're talking about riding in a warm rain, then rain gear doesn't do you much good. You'll sweat on the inside and be just as wet, though maybe the source of the moisture will be less pleasant. For a cold rain, it depends a lot on how far you plan on going, but the rain gear (jacket & pants) will still only keep you warm, not dry for the reasons stated above. You can ride in really cheap stuff all the way to really expensive stuff, but it's more about cut and fit and how many pockets and openings you have. The really best thing to do if you plan on riding in the rain is to get some good fenders, as that will keep the water and road grit from contaminating every orefice on your bike, and on you.
 

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A warm spring rain really isn't that bad to ride in, especially if it's just kind of a misty drizzle. I've ridden through that in a jersey and shorts (i.e., normal gear) many times.

If it starts to rain hard, you'll want a cycling cap under your helmet or a helmet with a visor to keep the rain out of your eyes.

If it starts to rain hard or it's a chilly rain, then it's time to break out the rain jacket. I use a fairly cheap one from Pearl Izumi, but your local shop (or the online stores) have an endless selection. You'll want something that's breathable, or you'll be getting soaked from the inside in your own sweat.

Your bike's brakes will have rather poor stopping power in the rain, although you can get brake pads made for wet-weather riding. Painted lines on the road can be seriously slick. So you need some riding skills... your first long twisty downhill in the rain is a good way to start believing in God. :thumbsup:
 

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yeeeah...now as a slightly more positive outlook to riding in rain, the longer its raining on the roads the better it is for handling on the roads, try to avoid going outsoon after it starts raining, as you want to wait untill the rain 'washes' the roads of oil film left by cars. And gear wise it all depends on YOUR pace, some guys will be comfortable in shorts and jersey, and making more of an effort, and others will be going at less intensity and want something to help stay 'warmer' - try it and see what works for you, and if it was uncomfortable for your riding effort then take it from there.
 

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I had to ride about 10 miles today in a torrential downpour on my road bike (no fenders). Good fun. I'll be picking road grit out of my hair for a week.

As others have said, if it's warm just wear your normal cycling gear (lycra I assume) because you don't really need insulation and it will dry out quickly once it stops raining.

In a cold winter rain... If it's raining hard I recommend not riding. If you get chilled you can go downhill pretty quickly if you're out for a long ride. On a short ride (like riding to class), I wear a polyester-based cycling jacket over my shirt and roll up my pants. If it's in the 50s I'll opt for shorts because my skin dries faster than heavy pants fabric. I'm usually working hard to reduce the time I'm out getting soaked, so insulation is not needed. The jacket will stave off my shirt getting wet for about 10 minutes in moderate rain.

If you're going to be riding in the rain a lot... I recommend disk brakes and full fenders. Your bike's handling will go to sh*t when the roads get wet - be very careful when turning or stopping.

The central quandary is that anything that is completely waterproof is going to trap your body's moisture inside. After a while you'll be just as damp as you would be if you weren't wearing rain gear to begin with. Most breathable wet weather gear will merely delay the inevitable.

EDIT:

For a warm spring ride I would recommend:
Normal bibs or shorts and jersey.
Cap
cycling glasses
front and rear blinkies
clip-on fenders if you know it's going to rain.

Remember cars will be expecting to see a bike even less when it's raining out.
 
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