Riding your bike in the rain: tips and tricks
Tips regarding equipment and important dos and don’ts: At Simplon, we know what to keep in mind when riding bikes in the rain. Read more in our online magazine!
Riding your bike in the rain: tips and tricks
It only takes a brief look out the window for you to know: Your long-desired and long-planned bike tour won’t happen. However: Rainy weather might not be ideal but it’s definitely not an obstacle either. We immersed ourselves in the topic of riding bikes in the rain and now we’re ready to share our best tips and tricks for staying safe and dry on wet, rainy days – besides having one of our Simplon bikes, of course.
Ready for our top five? Five equipment tips and five dos and don’ts for rainy days are waiting to be read by you. Because one thing’s for sure: Even on bad-weather days, riding your bike can be fun …
The right equipment for rainy-day rides
There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. A saying that everyone has probably heard at some point in their life before. That’s why we’ll start by having a look at the right clothes: a functional rain outfit for cyclists.
Tip 1: Rain jacket
A high-quality rain jacket is a must-have for your bike tour on rainy days. This amazing piece of clothing is water repellent, breathable and temperature-regulating. It ensures you always stay dry and comfortably warm.
Tip: Thin and extra-light versions can be easily folded and put in even the smallest of bags or backpacks.
Tip 2: Rain trousers
Special rain trousers are the perfect addition to rain jackets. Wide versions with handy pockets and snap buttons can be worn over your everyday or sports trousers. Some manufacturers even offer sports ones that can be worn on their own. Another alternative are so called “rain legs” – leg protectors – that you wrap around your thighs.
Tip 3: Gloves and overshoes
Pulling the brake levers with wet or clammy fingers? Almost impossible! The solution: Gloves made of water-repellent material, which still give you full range of motion.
Special overshoes protect your pedalling feet from getting wet.
Tip 4: Anti-glare visor and rain protection for your bike helmet
Wearing a bike helmet with anti-glare visor isn’t just recommended on sunny days. Because: When it rains, the visor keeps at least some of the water from getting in and on your eyes. Additionally, special rain covers prevent moisture and cold air from entering the vents. If your head tends to get cold easily, a warm beanie or skull cap to wear underneath your helmet might be a good idea.
Tip 5: Mudguards
When roads are wet from the rain, mudguards really live up to their name. Besides protecting the tyres, they also protect your clothes when you take your bike for a spin. Muddy water and kicked up dirt have little chance of getting on you. This doesn’t spare you from having to clean your Simplon bike after the tour but at least your rain outfit won’t get overly dirty …
Dos and don’ts for riding in the rain
Foresight is better than hindsight – there’s a lot of truth to this saying too. Curtain call for five important rules that contribute to your safety while riding your bike in the rain.
Rule number 1: Make sure you’re an eye catcher!
Rainy, cloudy, grey on grey – visibility is substantially reduced on bad-weather days. That’s why there’s one thing you should keep in mind no matter the time of day: Lights on! That’s how you’re able to see – and how other road users are able to see you in time. Functional clothing in bright colours makes you stand out no matter the weather, which additionally helps to keep you safe.
Rule number 2: Be careful when hitting the brakes!
One thing is true both when you’re driving a car or riding a bike: The braking distance increases in the rain. Some reasons for that: Less tyre traction on wet roads and a delayed braking effect when the bike’s rims are wet. That’s why anticipatory behaviour is essential on rainy days to ensure your own safety and the safety of other road users.
Rule number 3: Stay away from pooling water!
Where there’s rain, there are usually also puddles – both on the road and on the side of the road. The stronger the rain, the higher the likelihood of encountering pooling water on your bike tour. In case of puddles, we recommend: Stay away from them, if you can’t see their bottom! Potholes can be deep, and loose pieces of rock or other damages to the road can become impossible to see.
Rule number 4: Avoid slippery surfaces!
White road markings, manhole covers, cobblestones and fallen leaves can turn into slippery business in the rain. You can’t avoid these potential safety hazards? Then you should at least make sure you approach them at a 90-degree angle or straight on and slowly.
Good to know: There are special rain tyres or, alternatively, all-weather tyres that have better grip on wet ground.
Rule number 5: Reduce the tyre pressure!
Do it like the pros – and reduce your tyre pressure by 5 to 10 bar ahead of every ride in the rain. Because: Less air equals more surface area and better traction on the road and thus also more riding comfort and safety.
After one tour means ahead of the next: That’s why you should always give your Simplon bike a good clean after every ride in the rain. Make sure you check the tyres and the chain while you’re at it!