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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Rain gear and riding

    Just moved to Hillsboro, Or.
    Being from Denver, CO Iím not used to all the rain yet.
    Whatís a good setup for rain gear, jackets, pants, shoes etc?

    Also, what trails are within an hour of Hillsboro? Iíve been checking out MTB app too.


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    Cannondale Super V700
    '14 Charge Cooker Maxi lefty and stuff

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: tbmaddux's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    For rainy riding, check out this thread in the WA forum. There's also some great riding in southern WA, by the way, so it'll probably be a good forum for you to check regularly.

    Near Hillsboro... first trail system that leaps to my mind is Stub Stewart.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: twd953's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    First order of business is to get yourself a decent set of fenders.

    I'd recommend the mudhugger fenders as they provide very good coverage and are nearly indestructible, and they don't rattle or shift. The minimalist marsh guard/mucky nutz type fenders do OK at keeping a little bit of mud out of your eyes, but don't provide enough coverage for prolonged rides in really wet conditions. I have used numerous seat post mounted fenders over the last 20+ Oregon winters, and will never go back. They tend to break or slip to the side.

    Second thing is to dispel any notion that you will stay dry on a ride. I only break out the rain jacket if it is really down pouring. Most of our rain is light drizzle. Full on rain jackets and pants are just going to make you sweat on the climbs.

    The idea is to stay warm when wet through layering (synthetic or wool, no cotton). You can vary the degree that you get wet from the inside vs wet from the outside, but the result is pretty much the same on longer rides. We don't have many flat trails to ride where you can regulate body temperature more evenly. Mostly you'll be doing extended climbs generating too much heat followed by long descents where the windchill cools you off. So, it is far more important to have windproof layers that keep the wind from cutting through you. You can unzip or shed layers on the climb to even out your temp. Don't hang out too long at the top of a climb and get cold before descending. If you need to stop to rest or chat, or put layers back on, do it in an area sheltered from the wind a few hundred yards below the summit so you can build some heat back up before pointing downward.

    Some for of skull cap under the helmet is nice, as are ear warmers in colder temps. Neoprene shoe covers are also a good investment to keep your feet warm and somewhat dry. I like the Endura brand shoe covers when riding clipless, but my Five-Tens keep the feet plenty warm when riding flats.
    No dig no whine

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Second vote for fenders. Don't be afraid to look silly.

    Upper body - good rain jacket for sure with venting. A lightweight down vest is superb as well for keeping your core warm.

    Lower body - Showers Pass waterproof socks or winter shoes. I actually prefer a light wool sock under the waterproof socks with standard shoes. The winter shoes (I have a pair of the Shimanos) are great until they fill with water.

    Pack - put extra layers in Ziploc bags or similar to keep them dry for when you need them.

    Hands - bring multiple gloves. Good extra is nitrile gloves (under other gloves) or dishwashing gloves. Neither are breathable, but to get you back to the trailhead with functioning figures at a cheap cost, both are excellent.

    Riding areas - you're super close to Stub and the trails out in the Tillamook (Gales Creek, Storey Burn, Browns Camp, Wilson River). Check those out. I'm typically out there twice/month in the winter spring, riding and working on trails. The Tillamook is on of my favorite places to ride in the PNW, particularly within one hour of PDX.

    I also like riding a singlespeed as a primary bike in the winter. Less stuff to clean and replace, and keeps you warm. Good upper body workout as well.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    twd was spot on with a lot of what he said. I've kinda given up trying to stay dry too. If it's a leisurely 4 hour training ride, I'll do what I can, but around here you are putting in a big effort on the climbs and you'll just sauna yourself to death.

    In general, what I've found works the best is to have a clothing system that keeps your extremities warm and dry but lets your core breath as needed.

    I've given up on waterproof shoes they just end up being massive puddles. We've gone to waterproof socks from Showers Pass with std. shoes.

    Showers Pass also makes great water gloves than several folks use myself included, I love them:

    Waterproof shorts are really nice over the top of some std. bib shorts. I don't like pants, they get in the way, sag and are hot. The shorts are super easy to shed and are much easier to wash than bibs.

    Typically a short sleeve wool base layer and a long sleeve wool jersey under a lightweight packable waterproof jacket. I always start the ride a bit cold knowing I'm going to be dying within 15 minutes after climbing. If it's really cold and raining I'll keep jacket on and unzip it and the jersey.

    I use a full coverage helmet that doesn't have a lot of venting, I like it better than a beanie.

    Realistically though, at least on the MTB, if it's less than 40 degrees and raining I don't ride. Colder than that you run serious risk of snow at higher elevations and potential issues if you get hurt on the trail.

    If I'm going out for more than 3 hrs I'll bring a neck gator and an extra pair of gloves.

    Showers Pass has some great stuff and they are local to Oregon. I'd start there!

    As far as riding, do you like climbing? If so, you have Wilson River Trail as one of the best around. Rideable year around, it drains really well. The full trail is like 20+ miles, but is STEEP and a butt kicker, 30 min drive. It's kind (2) different trails the West side and East side but they connect....we do various loops and whatnot to keep it interesting.

    Closer in you have Browns Camp which is a fun loop, 20 min drive.

    Gales / Reehers is a awesome trail, lots of fun loops you can play with there and make it interesting.

    Stub stewart is even closer, 15 min drive, it's a bit difficult to navigate but impossible to get lost. Several trail "features", jumps, drops, berms, etc.

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