Whether you’re an avid cyclist or you’ve only ever silently cheered on the person beside your car in the bike lane, there’s no denying that biking is hands down one of the most efficient and sustainable ways to commute around the city.
Bikes require no fuel, they emit no greenhouse gases, take a lot less energy to make than cars, and completely skip the toxic batteries and engine oil. Not to mention it’s an amazing way to move your body and avoid the white-knuckling of rush hour traffic. While summer commutes are a dream, let’s be honest, biking in the rain can be a bit more of a challenge.
With a rainy winter around the corner, we’re determined to not let a little rain cramp our style. Keeping the health of our planet and our bodies in mind, we’re committed to choosing our bike over the car whenever we can… or at least try to more than we did last year. In the hopes that you’ll join us, we did a little research and found some handy tips to keep in mind next time you head out for a cycle on a rainy day.
1. Invest In a Good Jacket
This is the first and most obvious item you’ll need to perfect your cycle in the rain. When choosing your jacket, you’ll want to invest in one that’s not only waterproof but also breathable. Breathability is key in preventing sweat from building up inside your clothes and heating you from the inside out.
Our Nimbus Rain Jackets for men and women are the perfect fit to keep you dry on these stormy drives. Plus, you’ll be doubling down on your sustainability efforts by riding your bike and wearing these Earth-first jackets made from 99% recycled materials.
Not only are these jackets environmentally sound they’re also functional. Taped at every seam to ensure that no water can sneak in a ruin your mood, these breathable jackets have a waterproof rating of 10,000mm to keep you dry as you’re whizzing through the city.
2. Waterproof Everything
After you’ve invested in a jacket that’s breathable, waterproof, and hopefully sustainable, you’re going to want to make sure the rest of your ensemble is waterproof as well. A lightweight pair of waterproof cycle pants are a game-changer. And if you’re going to be cycling regularly, we highly suggest pairing those with a pair of waterproof shoes. But if you aren’t ready for the investment yet, choose an old pair of shoes you don’t mind getting dirty that you can use exclusively for biking in the rain.
Some other gear we’d recommend; waterproof gloves to keep your fingers toasty, a cycling cap to help keep the water out of your eyes, and a waterproof backpack or pannier to keep everything else you’re carrying dry. We’d also recommend a back-up pair of clothes in that waterproof bag, just in case something goes amiss.
3. Add Mudguards or Fenders
Talk to any experienced cyclist, and they’ll tell you this is a must for biking in the rain. Mudguards or fenders can easily be installed and help keep water from splashing up and soaking your back and legs while you’re cruising.
4. Decrease Your Tire Pressure
This may sound counter-intuitive, but decreasing your tire pressure can help increase your grip on slick days. Lower pressure means more tire is touching the road, giving you a better grip as you’re riding.
Try reducing your tire pressure by 5 to 10 psi and considering investing in a wider tire if you’re going to be cycling consistently in the rain.
5. Avoid Riding Through Puddles
It may be tempting to make a splash riding through a big puddle with all that waterproof gear you’ve wisely invested in, but we would advise against it. While a puddle may only look like a couple of inches of water, it could be a hazardous pothole with the potential to ruin your tire. As a rule of thumb, don’t cycle through unless you can see the bottom.
6. Clean Your Bike After You’ve Ridden
We know after a ride in the rain, all you want to do is go inside and get warm, but giving your bike a quick rinse will keep it in good condition for future rides. Spraying your bike down with a hose or a sport top water bottle will rinse away all the dirt, oil, salt, chemicals, and automotive fluids that will have splashed up while you were riding. Regular cleaning ensures your chain and gears are clean and prevents premature wear and tear.
7. Give Yourself Extra Time
Our final piece of advice is to give yourself extra time to get where you’re going. You’re likely not going to be going as fast on rainy days, so make sure you give yourself extra time to get where you’re going. Slow the pace so you can navigate safely and be extra cautious heading around slippery corners.
Whether you’re biking in the rain, walking the dog, or just grabbing a coffee, we’ve got you covered this winter. Check out our new and sustainable line of outwear that’s made for you’re outside, whatever that looks like.