RTRT's picture

Riding in Rain

Any tips for riding in rain? Seems like the season is upon us.



Crivak's picture


Helmet visor. Many helmets will come with one. They can help prevent water from getting in your face or behind your glasses.

Push your glasses further up to your face. It can help prevent water from getting in behind. Maybe swap out for a clearer, less dark, lens.

Waterproof your shoes. Cheapest route: wear sandwich bags over socks. Best route probably just waterproof shoes/covers. 

Polyester, spandex, lycra, etc. If you don't have riding specific clothes, avoid cotton. Maybe wear a windbreaker or rain jacket at least. Learned this the hard way with a pair of jeans last spring. 

A hat. I use a merino tubular twisted into a toque to cover my ears. Warm, dry ears are happy ears. 

Waterproof your bag. Don't forget about your stuff :) 

Lights. It's dark out when its wet. Treat it like dusk. Good contrast for visibility lights. Don't be like me and be caught without any lights this spring... (mine broke after winter, didn't seek replacements since I'm never out 'at dark' now...)

Exercise more caution on your cornering. Don't trust puddles unless you know it's not a pothole. 

edit; oh, and brakes! Rim brakes don't tend to like being wet. Consider slowing down if need be. Hydraulic/disc brakes work good in rain though. 


I really like the rain.  Looking forward to some great spring supercells. 

tlyyc's picture

Some rain tips I collected forum users here


Put items in dry cleaning bags when in your pack or panier;

Cheap hotel shower cap over your helmet;

Kayaking/paddling gloves (got mine on clearance at MEC);

When it's really warm and raining, sometimes it's better to just wear comfortable synthetic shorts/shirt (as pointed out by Crivak above) and get wet.  Some raingear doesn’t breath too well, and ya just get all sweaty anyway.

gyrospanner's picture

Weathernetwork Radar

I like that one better!  It actaually forecasts out a few hours.  So far it is predicting no rain* for Calgary at about 3 pm, which is when I intend to leave the office today (Actual Results May Vary).


*Of course it's not gonna' rain, I wasted 15 minutes searching for my stupid fender in the garage this morning and then put it on....

goforstars's picture

other self-motivation tips for riding /coping in rain

Tell yourself this:

  • Just be grateful if there's little/no wind or at least tailwind while it rains.
  • It's not as bad as Vancouver. Really. 
  • Don't be ashamed to use LRT during off hours with bike on board.
  • Try a bus bike rack if you know bus has one.  I noticed one on the no. 32 bus, which runs north into the industrial areas by airport.  Get used to it....show others how /when to use one...by using them.  No one has asked you to tough it out nor do they care. 
radlerin's picture

Little things....

If you're going to park your bike outside bring a plastic bag/shower cap/seat cover so that when you come back you don't have to sit on a wet seat and get your pants/underwear soaked (unless you bother to bring around waterproof pants, I guess!)

Cword's picture

Shoe Drying

Pull out the insoles.

Stuff 'em with news print or another absorbant paper, Change that a time or two and the wicking action will dry them faster. You can finish the job by placing the empty shoes over an air vent in your home so that they are warm and dry to start the next ride.



Charlie's picture

I kind of like the rain

As long as I'm prepared. some things I've found to help:

  • Fenders! (and mudflap on the front fender is a nice addition)
  • Waterproof panniers
  • Shoe covers
  • Waterproof pants
  • If it's really pouring I'll use my goretex ski glove shells over my regular gloves (and tucked under my jacket sleeves so water doesnt drain into them)
  • Turn on the lights
  • Take care if there are "worm slicks" on the pathways
  • Edit - I pulled out the insoles on my cycling shoes and put some duct tape over the cleat to minimize water entry from the bottom.


gyrospanner's picture

Yes to Fenders!

Especially the rear one.  I forgot to put mine on yesterday and a had a SuperWetButtCrack before I even got 5 blocks away from the office.


Most Annoying!

kmp2's picture

Different strategy based on pace

I have two strategies, one is my faster paced, time pressed, exercising commute. And the other is when I am dressed in regular clothes, with no intent of sweating and am likely going less than 3 miles. fenders are on all my town riding bikes!

For my commute I use some excellent winter wind blocker running tights, that have a neoprene type material at key locations, warm when wet! I wear wool socks and just let my feet get wet, the wool keeps me warm enough (and many years of soccer tournaments have lessened my aversion to putting on wet stinky socks for the ride home...). Visor keeps my glasses dry enough, I wear winter cycling gloves. And I have a softshell breathable jacket with pit zips that keeps me warm and no wetter than normal sweaty ride in. I then lay everything out, or hang it up in the big drawers in my cubicle, and most of the stuff dries pretty well.

For my more urban rides, I wear rain boots to keep my feet dry, and I have a rain cape that works well for slower speeds, and rain pullover pants that don't breathe for those really wet days - they do leave me a bit sweaty no matter how slow I go.

CPat's picture

More weather links

Here's a looped gif of the latest weather radar: http://www.wmiradar.com/alberta/latest_loop.gif


Have Q/A's?  Want to see a snapshot of trends?  wx.ca is a good place to start: http://www.wx.ca/?service=page/Links

Good site and includes a Winner's tab to settle discussions about wettest/coldest/driest/hottest/etc city rankings: https://calgary.weatherstats.ca/

Neighbourhood or quadrant level weather.  Great site for aggregating non-official weather stations: https://www.wunderground.com/weather/ca/calgary  Here's their map; https://www.wunderground.com/wundermap?lat=51.11999893&lon=-114.01999664...


Neighbourhood level air quality (PM2.5) measurement: http://calgary-air.sensorup.com/


CPat's picture

Cycling weather tools radar,

Cycling weather tools radar, cloud cover & "satelite real time"

Hi All:

here the tools you need you will have to spent time to investigate. I Do find Aviation tools are the best, from Nav Canada & NOAA

 Cloud cover http://weather.gc.ca/astro/index_e.html

 Aviation tools for wind from Calgary YYC & Springbank Airports



Aviation radar is best lots of exact details


4 Glenmore Reservior http://www.glenmoreweather.ca/

5 Historical Weather Calgary: http://climate.weather.gc.ca/climateData/dailydata_e.html?StationID=5043...

6 Google earth Pro is now free it has excellent weather info layers, "real time weather"  too.https://www.google.ca/work/mapsearth/products/earthpro.html

7 real time satelite info: cloud, radar, great, tool, you will have to use configure tools for layers. Box in top right corner is for full screen.


8 Web cams from Spring Bank airport are great too. http://www.metcam.navcanada.ca/hb/index.jsp?lang=e

9 webcams Canadian & US Airports http://www.metcam.navcanada.ca/hb/index.jsp?lang=e

10  Alberta  road conditions  "Alberta 511'with webcams http://511.alberta.ca/map.html#l=36&x=-12627247&y=6802017&z=1

11 BC road conditions & wether "Drive BC" http://www.drivebc.ca

click on the map it takes time to load.