If you’ve ever gotten stuck in the rain on a bike, then you know. It is a particular type of misery. Not only do you get absolutely soaked with no choice but to keep pedaling, but – to add insult to injury – your bottom half gets peppered with mud and muck flicked up from your tires. It’s not pretty.
When you’re traveling and working with a limited set of clothes and shoes, it can make a dire situation even worse. Is your destination bike ride doomed? Not a chance!
The upside is that it only takes one of these sopping wet episodes to inspire all-weather preparation. We’ve taken that stormy ride so you don’t have to. On the other side of that experience, you’ll discover that there are lightweight jackets and pants to shield you from the elements. Heck, there are even fenders that keep your tires from turning against you in muddy mutiny. Hooray!
Prepare for your next outing with these basics so you can ride happy in all kinds of weather.
1. Bring Waterproof Outerwear
A waterproof jacket and rain pants are lightweight and can pack down easily into a backpack or bike bag.
You’ll love this jacket because it has all of the thoughtful features you need to keep you dry. When shopping for a waterproof jacket look for:
- waterproof material
- sealed seams
The Fox Racing Attack Water Jacket takes it a step further with a waterproof fabric treatment for good measure.
Admittedly, rain pants are not the most stylish apparel in the world. With that said, when your legs stay toasty and you don’t have to wait for your jeans to air dry you’ll be thanking your lucky stars for these waterproof wonders. Just slip these on over your pants when the rain starts and ride on.
2. Cover Your Seat
It’s a real bummer when you’ve managed to duck out of the rain, only to come back to a water-logged bike seat. A simple plastic bag over your seat solves this problem.
Take a plastic bag (preferably a thicker one with no holes) and put it over your bike seat. Use the handles to tie it securely to the seat post.
3. Use Fenders
When you’re biking on wet road or trail, the wheels can flick up mud and water from the ground. Fenders keep that in check by intercepting the sludge. Thank you, fenders.
These clip on fenders are great for travel because you can simply attach them to whatever bike you happen to find yourself on.
If you’re traveling
4. Tote Waterproof Bags and Packs
Don’t forget about waterproofing your stuff! Your phone, camera, wallet, souvenirs, and whatever else you’re carrying around can get waterlogged if they’re not in a weather-proof container. Fortunately, there are several solutions
This pannier bag features a waterproof exterior and seams, and a roll-top to keep water from sneaking into zippers and openings. A pannier bag attaches to the bike’s rear rack. Don’t have a rear rack? No problem.
This is a super handy solution because it can clip onto any set of handlebars. It’s large enough to hold your basics. With the bag on your handlebars, your stuff will always be at easy reach.
Do you prefer to ride with a backpack? The Vaude Clubride Waterproof Urban Pack will keep the water out, keep your stuff in, and reflect light to make you more visible. This is a great backpack for all weather conditions, but with the roll-top and waterproof fabric, it’s a great pick for rainy days.
…and what not to do.
It’s worth mentioning a few things NOT to do when biking in the rain.
1. Don’t hold an umbrella.
When the road or trail is wet it’s slick. You need both hands on the handlebars. Please don’t try to bike and hold an umbrella. It’s unsafe.
2. Don’t ride through standing water.
Standing water is like black ice, you never really know what you’re getting into. Besides getting wet, standing water can make your bike lose traction. It can also disguise cracks, bumps and potholes that can injure you and your bike.
3. Don’t be invisible.
If it’s raining, do everything you can not to ride at dusk or dark. At any time of the day. wear any reflective gear you have. Turn on your front and rear bike lights when riding in
It can be hard to see cyclists in any conditions. It’s even harder through a sheet of rain and fog. Use common sense to decide if it’s safe to ride at all. If it is, Make yourself as visible as you can on your bike. If it’s no, a walk or a taxi may be a smarter choice depending on the conditions.