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  #1  
Old 12-04-2007, 08:10 AM
ryanknapper ryanknapper is offline
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Default Cold and Wet Weather Commuting

I'm hoping to start commuting by bike soon, however yesterday's weather made me think about my gear. While the rain was warm it was still wet, which doesn't go well with work.
What has survived the test for you? How exactly do you get to work and remain presentable throughout the day?
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  #2  
Old 12-04-2007, 11:05 AM
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artizin artizin is offline
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some good tips. Have good water proof gloves and booties to keep your hands and feet dry. A good water resistant or waterproof light rain jacket. And of course either rain pants or your regular or cold weather cycling tights. They tend to dry quickly if hung up somewhere... And because we work in the glorious pacific northwest fenders are a must.


To remain presentable at work.... the goal for me is not to bring everything with me everyday, which would be a heavy load. I keep my work shoes at work with 2 pairs of wool socks... I keep a pair of pants and a belt at work... I only really carry a new shirt everyday and then I leave it at work... maybe to wear again later in the week?

I also keep some toiletries at work... like deordarant, a comb, some hair gel, it also helps if your work has a shower to use... but if you have alot of bike commuters you might have a long wait.

And if you have an office you can change it... that helps to.

Good luck, see you out there.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2007, 08:35 AM
Oldguyonabike Oldguyonabike is offline
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I was thinking about this while riding home in the monsoon Monday.
I think that if your goal is to stay dry you will forever be frustrated, learn to hate the ride and give up. If your goal is to stay warm while wet and one with the weather you'll find yourself happily pedalling in any condition. I have actually arrived at a perverse preference for the winter extremes than the "ideal" hot August days.
That being said: think layers. Avoid cotton. I start with a thin long sleeve poly undershirt and layer on more poly sweatshirts as weather indicates. Burley jacket over it all. Rain pants are a waste of time. Remember, the goal is not to stay dry. I bought a pair of winter running tights at GI Joes and wear those over my bike shorts. My legs are wet and warm on days below freezing. Liner socks under wool socks. I like Sugoi booties. There's another forum going on about booties for other opinions. Same for gloves. I don't think there's one glove that works for all conditions. So, buy an over sized glove or lobster mit and layer your hands as well according to the condition. Finally, you lose 30% of your heat through your head. A wool cap or poly skull cap "tops" it off.
Be safe. Hope to see you smiling on the next rainy day.
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Old 12-05-2007, 01:05 PM
true true is offline
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Oldguy said it - you're going to go crazy if you try to stay perfectly dry, and if you cover yourself in 100% water proof gear you're going to sweat like the devil in there. Wool is your friend for top layer and socks. Cycling specific stuff is crazy expensive. I suggest a decent jacket like the shower's pass brand, and maybe some shoe covers. Get a wool sweater at the thrift store. I have a beautiful 80's wool sweater that blazes in teal and coral. I couldn't care less if it gets trashed, and I have a clean sweater to change into in my bag. I let my legs get wet, because they dry. I wear dark colored cotton/poly work pants that can brush off dirt and dry reasonably quickly. But so what? Everybody has a different system, so try a couple of things out. Check the thrift stores.

Remember - most days it doesn't rain like that, and when it's cold, you should be plenty warm because your body is working. Most days it's just damp and not very cold.

Now get out there and be safe.
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2007, 01:47 PM
bp071117 bp071117 is offline
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I take the bus to work once a week with a weeks worth of clothes and food. I leave a pair of shoes and toiletries in my desk. If no shower at work, just towel off, shave, etc in the bathroom.

I agree with the others about staying warm rather than dry. You'll get wet from either the rain or your sweat and the rain smells better.
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2007, 01:59 PM
ryanknapper ryanknapper is offline
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Excellent tips. Thank you, my moist compatriots.
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  #7  
Old 12-06-2007, 10:24 AM
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Yeah I agree and should have stated this, staying dry is impossible... it's being comfortable that matters... and i just wear my knickers, for my commuting. No rain pants for me... I'll just sweat like hell in them. and get wet from the inside, no fun there.

But I might get some warmer tights as winter progresses here. I hear we're going to have one of the coldest winters this winter.

Forget dry, stay warm.
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  #8  
Old 12-06-2007, 12:40 PM
mike_khad1 mike_khad1 is offline
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Default My two cents

To repeat - don't worry about staying dry. You'll either be rain-wet or sweaty-wet depending on what you do.

What I do:
I wear bicycle shorts and shirt. Over that on colder days, I have tights and a fleece light sweater. I wear either a Burley Rain Jacket or a lighter windbreaker depending on the temperature. Last few weeks, its been the Rain Jacket most all the time.

For my head, under my helmet, I have either a cycling cap with bill or a balakava or both depending on weather.

I wear cycling shoes/socks and cover my feet if needed with booties (open on the bottom, zelcro in the back).

For my hands, I have cycling gloves and last week I bought an oversize pair of seal-skin gloves for when it's cold.

I'm a cubicle rat. I leave my work shoes at work. I carry panniers on my bike that has a work shirt and work pants and whatever bicycle items above that I'm not wearing (and my lunch). When I get to work, I strip down to the cycling shorts and the bicycle shirt and add my work shirt and pants over it. Then change my shoes and I'm ready to go.
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  #9  
Old 12-06-2007, 01:37 PM
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scdurs scdurs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_khad1 View Post
When I get to work, I strip down to the cycling shorts and the bicycle shirt and add my work shirt and pants over it. Then change my shoes and I'm ready to go.
Yikes - get out of the shorts and dress in your regular street clothes. Let the cycling gear dry somewhere. If you have a long enough commute that you sweat at all, the pad in the shorts will become a nasty breeding ground for bacteria causing a rash or sores just where you don't want them.

I've had jobs where we didn't have a shower, so I would carry a wash cloth in a zip-lock bag and clean the pits in the restroom. Baby wipes work in a pinch,too. Carry your work clothes with you, or like others mentioned keep a supply of clothes at your desk or locker. If you work in an office environment and you ride in your work clothes be considerate of how you smell by the end of the day. I have had to work with someone who rode in their work clothes, and it wasn't pleasant. Take care of your skin by keeping it reasonably clean and dry (when off the bike) and it will take care of you.

You don't have to buy expensive bicycle clothing, but do use the essentials such as lycra padded shorts and gloves. Cheap alternative to a helmet cover are those freebie shower caps you get at motels. They're large enough to fit over most helmets and keep your head warm & dry. Keep one on your bike in case you get caught in a downpour.
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  #10  
Old 12-06-2007, 07:14 PM
Psyfalcon Psyfalcon is offline
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I've got a short commute on the bike, 1mi to MAX and then 1mi to school. If its short like that you can wear normal clothes under nonbreathabler rainware and not sweat to death. You have to go slow, but not everyone is commuting 5mi+.

In case of a sudden rain or fall into a puddle, i do keep an extra set of clothes in my desk.
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