View Full Version : How to see in the rain?
09-19-2006, 11:15 AM
I'm working hard on being an almost-all-the-time bike commuter, and yesterday was my first morning biking in real rain.
How do you see when it's really raining out???!!!
I was crossing the Burnside Bridge frantically smearing water out of my eyes hoping that I wasn't about to be hit by cars or buses...
Obviously, this is Portland and lots of you have dealt with this. I couldn't find any recent discussion, though.
the visor on my helmet helps me out.
09-19-2006, 01:33 PM
I've got sunglasses with different lenses for different light conditions (and they darken, too!), so this morning when I rode to work I had the orange lenses in.
It was sprinkling/drizzling and while the orange lenses let me see better, they did get all sprinkled on. And it was a bit difficult to see, once I got to the stop light and stopped.
It seemed like the wind of my passage helped to clear the lenses.... and wiping them off once I got to the stop light only smeared the water around, and then I had to wait for the water to drip off so I could see to go.
It was my first commute in the rain with these glasses, and it seemed to work pretty good.
i normally commute with protective lenses on.
but when it rains, i go without.
maybe i just haven't bought a good kind yet, but i seem to see better without the rain buildup.
has anyone ever tried putting rain-x on them? would that make a difference at all?
09-19-2006, 02:32 PM
1) visor on my helmet
2) amber lens glasses - if you can't afford nice cycling glasses with interchangeable lenses, you can pick up an amber pair of glasses that wrap around to protect your eyes at Sandersen Safety Supply for $3 and some change.
09-20-2006, 12:37 PM
If it's pouring, you're just hosed. It takes getting used to, for sure. But wearing glasses is not a great idea because, well, duh, you can't see at all. At least without glasses, you can kinda squint and get away with it.
Last year I did a race at PIR in an absolute downpour, and between that and the roostertails from other riders, I was blinded. So I solo'd away. Still, I wished I'd worn my swim goggles.
(I think swedish goggles (http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=swedish+goggles&ndsp=20&hl=en&lr=&safe=active&sa=X&oi=froogle&ct=title)would look AWESOME under a helmet.)
09-20-2006, 01:27 PM
I just use my helmet visor and clear protective lenses. When I am moving, there isn't any problems.
would something like rainx work on plastic protective lenses?
09-21-2006, 09:08 PM
As someone who is near blind without my glasses AND commutes almost year-round, this is something close to my heart. I have found that there are anti-fog preps out there (my favorite is Cat Crap), which are basically waxes that you rub on, then rinse off, leaving a transparent layer that causes the water to bead. I would be careful of using RainEx on anything other than windshields as it might harm the lenses. Visors certainly help, as do cycling caps with the bill down (cool racer vibe also). Going with traffic instead of against it cuts down on the spray (I come over the Columbia River on my commute, so I get a daily spritzing).
09-21-2006, 10:48 PM
Good glasses like Smith with clear lenses and better wind channeling really help. They're expensive but I've gone through so many cheap pairs over the years, they added up to much more so I figured it might be worth it
I also glued a 2" piece of winshield wiper blade on the back of my glove. It helps and gets a laugh out of anybody who notices.
01-13-2007, 04:20 PM
I have found that there are anti-fog preps out there (my favorite is Cat Crap), which are basically waxes that you rub on, then rinse off, leaving a transparent layer that causes the water to bead.
Where would one buy Cat Crap locally?
01-13-2007, 05:53 PM
...wearing glasses is not a great idea because, well, duh, you can't see at all. At least without glasses, you can kinda squint and get away with it.
actually I think wearing glasses is a good idea, cause it protects your eyes from getting foreign objects in them.
I wear a cheap pair of safety glasses that have vents on the sides to keep them from fogging up. They are cheap so i don't have to worry about getting them scratched or lost. I think wearing eye protection when commuting by bike is a necessity. You never know when a rock is going to get spit out from a car tire, or bugs getting in your eyes. There is nothing worse then not being able to see on the bike, especially in traffic. As far as the rain, you get used to it.
01-27-2007, 09:42 PM
I assume you have fenders on your bike so you're not being hit with water from below. Beyond that, I wear one of those bike hats with visor under my helmet. I can pull the visor pretty low.
01-28-2007, 05:01 PM
I have a pair of prescrip Rudy Project glasses with flip-up interchangeable lenses. I have the yellow lenses for rain wear and they work really well. Much better than going without eyeware and just using contacts, which surprised me. The color gives great contrast for spotting potholes and such and the design of the lenses (hydrophobic?) sheds water nicely once I'm moving.
Not cheap, however.
Picked mine up at Hawthorne Vision.
01-28-2007, 06:41 PM
cycling cap under my helmet. the bill sits low...
01-28-2007, 07:22 PM
Same here with the cycling cap under the helmet. It works.
01-30-2007, 09:02 AM
If you don't like glasses that get hard to see through when covered with raindrops a cycling cap or one of the cool Sheila Moon caps (nice thin thermal fabric and fun colors - very cozy) with a visor under the helmet work really well too. The brim deflects most drops headed for your eyes and the cap keeps your head dryer and warmer. In fact the Sheila Moon cap is currently my favorite piece of bike gear. I also wear it xc skiing when it's snowing.
01-31-2007, 10:37 AM
also, cycling caps work really well.
02-05-2007, 10:27 PM
I commute three or four days a week through out the year, rain cold snow.
I wear glasses and especially at night, rain has been a problem. I have specialized sunglasses for road riding and they have clear replacement lenses, but that would mean carrying an extra set of glasses. My solution is the LG Windshield.
It allows me to use my regular glasses and if I clean the glasses & windshield before the ride, stays relatively fog free. It has the added benifit of protecting a larger part of my face from wind, snow and cold.
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