If you’re living in the Northwest and planning on cycling year round, I highly recommend getting a bike specifically set up for riding in the rain.
Rain does a number on components and rims. All of that dirt, oil, and water sands down rims and contaminates hubs, pedals, and headsets. If you’ve invested in an expensive road bike, it’s a crime to spend months riding it through the soggy winter months. My first rain bike set me back $250. I bought a used Bianchi — already decked out with fenders and rode it throughout the Portland winters for many years.
Wanna Ride with Friends? Get Fenders!
Get some fenders and put a courtesy flap on the rear. It’s a total bummer to ride behind someone who doesn’t have real fenders and a flap. I’m not talking about the back scratcher type of fenders which work great for keeping the spray off of your back side but still send a filthy stream of road grim into my face every time you end up in front of me.
I Can’t See You!
I feel silly saying this but wear bright colors! I can’t believe how many cyclist are decked out in black in the dead of winter after dark. Are you crazy? Do you have a death wish? I know the neon colors are garish but it makes a huge difference in drivers being able to spot you through the rain, fog, and dark of night. I really like jackets made out of Windstopper fabric but there are an incredible number of choices these days in all kinds of bright colors. You should be able to find something bright that doesn’t crimp sense of fashion too much.
Winter Bike Essentials
- Fenders w/ courtesy flaps
- Rear blinky light
- Heavy duty bike tires
- Reflective tape on fenders and frame
- Bright front light
- Clear plastic jacket