Cycling Dopers: Opinions on weather gear

VunderWife is giving me a lot of static about having to rescue me when I cycle to work and it rains. She understands when there’s lightning, but I catch it with both barrels when it’s a garden variety rainstorm.

I tell her that I’ll melt. She reminds me that sh*t floats.

What are your recommendations for weather gear? Rain of course, but cold weather, too, because SE Virginia’s climate means I can ride 9-10 months of the year.

Spandex and fenders, a towel, and a complete (right down to the skivvies) change of clothes for after you arrive.

At least, that’s what I’ve always done. No matter how thoroughly I try to dress, I still get wet.

Do you have fenders on your bike? They are essential.

If it’s warm and you have a shower at the destination, the “just get wet” method works fine. A face shield really helps with visibility and comfort, but the one I used to use isn’t made anymore - if anyone knows of a good one I’d appreciate some info.

If you want your clothes (and your body) to stay dry, Rainshield O2 is a very impressive raingear at a very good price. It’s a “breathable” fabric, and seems pretty effective in that respect. It’s also very light and does not impede movement. Unfortunately it’s very fragile and rips easily if you snag it on something sharp.

A couple of people I know swear by Burley rain gear. They aren’t made of breathable fabric, but they have vent holes which I understand are more effective. Burley also makes nice helmet covers, to keep water and cold air off the helmet vent holes.

Yeah you just have to learn to love the slop! If you start putting on rain gear you’re just going to sweat a lot more and get wet from the inside. That doesn’t stop me if it’s cold and rainy, though. If it’s just cold I’ll wear a t-shirt over a jersey (or two t-shirts if I’m out of jerseys which is more often the case) and wear a long-sleeve t-shirt or henley shirt over that, then maybe a fleece over all that and tights & booties if it’s really really cold.

Back in the day, when I cycle commuted, I had a Goretex rain suit, I think I ordered it from Performance. The jacket has zippers under the arms for ventilation, and a flap to cover your rear against splash from the wheels. German spring and fall is wet and cold, so that was my top layer, with underneath layers as needed. I also had a neoprene face mask and ear band for very cold weather and some Cannondale full finger cold weather cycling gloves. I never could order neoprene booties small enough to fit, so I just had cold toes.

I have had that Goretex suit in my closet for ten years, but in the last two winters in New York I used it as my top layer in cross country skiing and it still worked great. Added a layer of high-tech thermals, glove liners, and a watch cap and I was good down to 10 below.

The biggest problem I had with riding in the rain was trying to see with my glasses all spotted over with water or fogged up. I never developed any easy answers for that.

Fenders, fenders, fenders, fenders. There’s nothing worse than that wet stripe up your back from spray off the back wheel.

On top of the fenders, I wear my regular breathable waterproof jacket from Mountain Equipment Co-op. It has pit zips, and I can always decide whether I need to zip up, or use the velcro and snaps to keep the air flow.

On my legs I have a pair of spandex pants with a gore-tex front. If it’s really heavy rain, I have full gore-tex pants that zip all the way from the hip to the ankle (in both directions), so I can adjust for air flow accordingly. Both pants have articulated knees…

The only problem I have is my feet, but I haven’t bothered to buy booties yet.

I have a GoreTex parka from LL Bean and a change of pants. Course I live in Texas, so I take a change of clothes when it’s not raining too so that I don’t smell like sweat all day.

Pearl Izumi Wasabi jacket. Around $100. Not GoreTex, maybe doesn’t breathe like GT, but water resistant and lined with fleecy stuff. For a really light rain in cool weather, a Sugoi jacket made from their windhibitor fabric does the trick. Both together with a longsleeved jersey underneath is ideal for a cold weather ride.