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  1. #1
    inner peace to make peace
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    New question here. rain riding gear?

    What gears do you use for riding trail in the rain?

    We're getting rain now in NorCal, so it's time to flow in the mud and rain.

    I wear:
    one of the water-proof rain jackets (Goretex and DryQ/Mt.Hardware)
    Goretex gloves
    gators (over shoes)

    I have water-proof long pants/shell that gets warm, so I'm looking to get bike specific 3/4 water-proof pants from Endura...

    I use:
    set of knobby "winter" tires by WTB 2.5" and Specialized 2.4"

    I pick trails with more rocks and less mud so I don't get bogged down

    Share with us your swag or tips.
    The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards & its fighting by fools.

  2. #2
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    Depends, usually just a rain jacket, bring spare gloves, put a fender on my fork. If I am riding bike park, I wear plastic rain pants from a boating store lol

  3. #3
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    Well it rains a fair bit here so I don't really dress any differently than I would if it was just cloudy. Shorts + long sleeve shirt + regular full fingered gloves + regular biking shoes + normal helmet.

  4. #4
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    I find I get soaked* in hard-shell (waterproof) gear, so I've got lightweight soft-shell pants and jacket that have water-repellent finish to them. Good coverage glasses to keep the mud and spray out of my eyes. Garden hose to clean it all up at the end, followed by a trip to the shower for me and the washing machine for the clothes.

    * EDIT - realized this wasn't clear. Hard-shell gear I tend to get soaked from the inside, my sweat evaporating and then condensing on the inside of my jacket. Soft-shell lets things breathe a little more.

  5. #5
    Professional Crastinator
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    Depends largely on temperature.

    I've been out at 60F in normal riding shorts and a long-sleeved wicking shirt and been OK. Soaked to the skin, but OK. If it's windy, I need more protection.

    If it's cold, I have the Endura pants and jacket. I can layer those for even lower temps, down below freezing. That outfit is good for covering nicer clothes if you are going somewhere and can't change clothes.

    But yeah, sometimes you get as wet from sweat as you would have been from rain when you wear the hard shell, taped seams, etc.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  6. #6
    ready to ride
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    Doesn't really matter, going to get wet regardless. I really just rely on layers or Merino wool. A base layer and a sweater, along with a normal quick dry nylon or polyester shirt/jersey. It gets wet but keeps you warm. Of course in warmer weather I'm not doing the layers. That said if I am on a longer back ride where I might be 5+ miles from the car I always carry a gortex rain jacket. Its good to have if I have I have to stop pedaling for some reason. It also will go on as a wind barrier on downhills or even in the summer if a cold rain sets in. Never keeps me dry but as long as I am warm it doesn't matter.

    Pants, I have some Nike quick dry pants but really need something better for real rain but once again they keep me warm even in colder weather when the rain turns to snow.
    Sent via my heady vibes from the heart of Pisgahstan

  7. #7
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    Agree with the wet-regardless stance.

    On day rides I carry a super light wind-blocking pullover, expecting I'll get wet if it rains, and a spare base layer for when the "climbing layer" gets soaked. A thin balaclava is always on board. On colder days I'll put my knee pads on early, wear tall socks and throw board shorts over the cycling shorts.

    For bikepacking: Side zips on rain pants mandatory. A well-vented, generously-sized lightweight shell jacket wearing it outside your pack mitigates overheating. A helmet cover is nice if you don't run something with a hood. Maybe chemical hand warmers in the gloves for prolonged/colder riding. I opt for shoe covers over gaiters. Opens up more options for footwear, work better with rain pants, keep water out better. Waterproof socks also in the worst conditions.

    Preheat a small thermos and bring hot tea or miso soup. Nothing like it after you've sat still working on a mechanical or are waiting out a squall under a tree.

  8. #8
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    i just use a goretex jacket and some cheapass over shoes

    and some kickass continental 2,4 inch tires

  9. #9
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    Endura MT500 3/4 shorts, On One merino long sleeve base, Berghaus Windproof top, Altura windproof gloves, Northwave Celcius GTX boots. If it turns into biblical flood rain I have a Montane waterproof smock that scrunches up into an apple sized ball in my pack. I hate that boil in the bag feel you get with waterproofs plus the rustle rustle scrunch noise drives me potty.

  10. #10
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    Some good advice already, but I'll emphasize a few things that to me are essentials for long rides (3 hrs +) in cold/wet conditions:

    1. Dress to be warm when wet. Plan your layers wisely so that you will be warm enough WHEN you get wet. Extended rides in the rain mean you'll be wet from the inside or from the outside if not both. If you think you can remain dry on a 6+ hour rain ride you are fooling yourself.

    2. A windproof outer layer is often more effective than a waterproof layer unless you are riding in very heavy/cold (<40 degree) rain. I haven't found any waterproof material that truly breaths well enough that I don't end up soaked in sweat on extended climbs even with just a light baselayer beneath. My waterproof shell normally stays strapped to the pack until it really downpours, or I come to an extended downhill when I am already soaked through. Then it just goes on over the windproof layer for added warmth. For me, the two places you do want waterproof layers is for hands and feet where you don't generate as much heat, and gloves/shoes can get very saturated and cold.

    3. Fenders - If you think fenders look stupid or uncool, you probably don't ride in the rain often or for very long. Most riders that move to the Pacific NW don't last more than a handful of winter rides before they give in and buy front and rear fenders.

    4. Layers for lower body - Lots of strategies here, but my rule of thumb has always been to cover the knees in cold/wet conditions. That may mean windproof thermal tights or a good payer of leg warmers and doubling up on bib shorts for XC type rides. For more aggressive rides, it may be a pair of baggies and knee pads. Calves exposed below the knee pads is usually Ok, or if really cold can add leg warmers under the knee pads. I prefer the feel of bib shorts, so I often run bibs with a chamois under my baggy shorts and knee pads. I have never found a full length pair of pants that were comfortable when pedaling. For me, anything full length has to be flexible, so rain pants are out. Too hot anyway.

    5. In really heavy downpours or for conditions with a lot of spray coming off your front wheel, you need to think about water running down your shins and filling up your shoes.
    I have skinny ankles, so waterproof shoe covers usually let the water run right down into my shoes. I generally tuck my tights or leg warmers over the top of the shoe covers to prevent water running in. I have also used some home-made ankle cuffs out of a stretchy waterproof (rubberized fleece) material that fits tight against my calf and down over the top of the shoe cover. The tights or leg warmer then goes over the ankle cuff. That creates a watertight labyrinth seal on my ankles. Without those I've had ice cold water fill up both shoes completely in a matter of minutes on a single downhill. With them, I've had rides where me feet are 100% dry for 3+ hours before the slightest bit of moisture works its way in.

    6. I'll second the extra pair of gloves. Nothing feels better on a long cold/wet ride than to put on a fresh/dry pair of gloves after your first set have become saturated and cold. For me that has often been the difference between cutting a ride short and extending it, or at least having to deal with some serious discomfort.

    7. Keep your head warm. I usually run a very thin skull cap under my helmet and a set or cross country ski earmuffs tucked under the helmet straps to keep them in place.

    Overall, you have to experiment and find what works for you, and your riding conditions.
    And that can change a lot from ride to ride, so don't look for a one size fits all solution.

  11. #11
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    I agree... warm and wet is far better than cold and wet, especially in the backcountry.

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