Get Yourself a Rain Bike

Posted · 5 Comments
Cycling in the Rain

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

5 Responses to "Get Yourself a Rain Bike"
  1. spare_wheel says:

    “Heavy duty bike tires”
    All things being equal a slick surface has more traction in the rain than the treaded tires you linked to.

    “All of that dirt, oil, and water sands down rims”
    Disc brakes virtually eliminate rim wear. In my opinion, they should be de rigeur for riding in the rain.

    “contaminates hubs, pedals, and headsets”
    I’ve never had a problem with my two “commuters”. Sealed bearings have made this issue a thing of the past…IMO.

    • Leann says:

      Excellent point on the slicks vs treaded regarding traction. I was focused on the fact I haven’t had a flat in four years with the heavy duty tires. I haven’t had this experience with slicks. But avoiding a crash and burn may very well out weigh a flat tire:-)

      I’m still in the dark ages using dual-pivot brakes. And you’re right about sealed bearings being a vast improvement. I guess my point was aimed more towards the belief that beautiful, expensive components and frames should be revered and spared the ugliness of road grime.

      Thanks for your feedback. Great points to consider for sure!

  2. Leann says:

    Excellent point on the slicks vs treaded regarding traction. I was focused on the fact I haven’t had a flat in four years with the heavy duty tires. I haven’t had this experience with slicks. But avoiding a crash and burn may very well out weigh a flat tire:-)

    I’m still in the dark ages using dual-pivot brakes. And you’re right about sealed bearings being a vast improvement. I guess my point was aimed more towards the belief that beautiful, expensive components and frames should be revered and spared the ugliness of road grime.

    Thanks for your feedback. Great points to consider for sure!

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