The downside of living in the UK is that you can face cycling in the rain throughout the year, but you don’t want to shelve your bike every time it rains – especially if you rely on your bike for your daily commute.
That’s why, here at Cycleplan, we’ve listed our top 5 tips for staying as dry and safe as possible when you’re cycling in the rain
1. Waterproof clothing
For heavy or persistent rain, a waterproof jacket, overshoes, and gloves with as much water resistance as possible will help you battle against the elements. The problem with some waterproof clothing for cyclists is not just keeping you dry, but also giving you the necessary breathability for your body heat to escape. Cycling Weekly recommend Gore-Tex as the best material for those cycling in the rain as it’s both waterproof and breathable.
Vented helmets are great when the weather’s warm and dry, but when cycling in the rain it can mean your head gets wet through. A cycling cap worn under your helmet is a good barrier for your head and hair, and also provides extra protection for your eyes with the cap’s peak against the pouring rain.
We admit, they might not be the most fashionable cycling accessory, but for cycling in the rain they are vital. Mudguards will help to keep you, your kit, and the cyclists behind you clean.
Unfortunately, without mudguards, you are at risk of permanently staining jerseys and jackets with oil, mud, and other substances. Even if you manage to miss the rain before your ride, the roads will remain wet - so make sure you invest in one!
3. Avoid standing water
Riding through standing water not only gets you wet, it can be extremely dangerous as you never know what’s hiding underneath. It might seem like just a puddle, but it could be hiding a bike damaging pothole.
Most standing water will gather near the kerb, so check over your shoulder for vehicles before moving away from the kerb to avoid the area. When cycling in the rain, only ride through standing water if you can clearly see what’s beneath it.
Make sure to try and avoid any rainbow-edged patches on the street too - they can be a strong indication of an oil patch. Also, keep an eye out for other surfaces that are slippery when wet, such as manhole covers and damp leaves.
When you’re cycling in the rain, tyre grip becomes even more important. After each ride, make sure to look over your tyres for any flints, glass, or other debris. The wet weather makes it easier for these materials to damage your tyres.
It’s also a good idea to ride the heavier tyre in the winter with a thick tread, as this will give you more grip for both a wet road and icy road. A 25 – 28c tyre with a slightly lower pressure should give you the grip you need, even in the worst of conditions.
Following all these tips will make you keep as safe and dry as possible, but when cycling in the rain, things can still go wrong even for the most experienced cyclist.
It’s just not worth getting on the saddle uninsured – whatever the circumstances. Insuring yourself, your bike and your accessories frees you from worry every time you ride, whatever rainy, oily, or muddy situation you might find yourself in.