10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Cycled In The Rain
1. Reduce Your Tyre Pressure
Riding in the rain you will notice your brakes won’t function as well and your tyres have less grip so to avoid those hairy moments, a great way of increasing grip is to reduce your tyre pressure. Reducing the PSI by around 10-20 PSI will improve your grip and ability to corner.
Your hoods, drop bars and brakes will become slippery in the rain so wearing gloves will increase your grip and stop your hands from slipping off the hoods and brakes.
Keep Your Hands Where They Should Belong With These Grippers
3. Cycling Cap
An absolute lifesaver if you’ve ever ridden in heavy rain or even light rain at speed. Rain can really reduce your vision and get in your eyes causing you to come to a crawl or even worse a stop! Grab yourself a cycling cap and put the peak down and you will find the rain is now deflected away leaving your vision unhindered allowing you to ride like the pro you always imagined yourself to be.
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4. Waterproof Jacket
There are a variety of jackets on the market from the cheaper types that generally just keep you dry but don’t provide any cooling or the more expensive ones that breathe and keep you dry. In heavy rain, it is practically impossible to keep totally dry but if it’s cold they go some way in keeping you warm that bit longer and in lighter rain, you will stay dry with a good or even not so good jacket. As with all things bike the choice is yours the budget is your limiter.
No, we're not asking you to pop to the bank and get some dosh out! This means less leaning the bike into the corners. Slower cornering and less banking will prevent you from sliding and wiping out. So, keep your steed at less of an angle and you will achieve your goal of not getting intimate the tarmac!
6. Manholes, Drains & Paint
If they are wet can be extremely treacherous. You will normally be fine in a straight line but try turning or laying down some watts on these bad boys and you’re almost guaranteed to be hitting the deck.
You don't need thick overshoes unless its cold of course. You can get really thin waterproof shoes for warmer weather that do just as good a job. Keep your feet dry and your ride will be so much more pleasant.
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8. Avoid Standing Water
If you see any puddles try to avoid if possible as you have no idea what lurks below. This could be a pothole and narrow trench or debris all of which can take you down so best to avoid where possible.
9. Use lights
Drivers visibility is reduced during wet weather so the more visible you are the safer. A good way to stay visible is flashing lights front and rear.
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10. Avoid it altogether
Yes, that’s right the best way to keep safe during wet weather is to cycle when it's dry or take shelter. Your cycling buddies may call you names the likes of which I couldn’t possibly mention here but at least you’re safe and dry and you don’t have to clean your best friend when it gets covered in muck. Happy Days!
These tips should come in useful to you but if you aren’t used to it then give it a try. Nothing to be afraid of and if you have the right kit on you won't mind it at all, as long as you take extra care.
If you’re looking for great accessories to get you through the rainy rides check out lovecyclingtech.co.uk for all your wet weather needs.