Whether you are riding in a club ride, a sportive, or just out and about, you should not let the rain stop you from riding your bike!
We have prepared some helpful tips for road cycling in the rain to make sure you are kept safe, comfortable, and in control.
#01. Wear Glasses
A pair of glasses with clear or yellow lenses help protect your eyes from flying (or dripping) water, road grit, mud, and other bits of debris that can be thrown up by bicycle wheels. Orange or yellow lenses increase contrast if the light levels are low – this will help you make out bumps in the road more easily.
#02. Pop on Some Mudguards.
Wearing mudguards is not just for your benefit, though they will stop water from flying up your front and back, soaking you from the get-go, and splashing your face. Mudguards, especially on the rear, will also mean you will not give the person riding behind you a face full of water!
#03. Drop your tire pressure.
Dropping the pressure in your tires a little (about 15-20 psi from normal levels) helps you get a lot more grip on slippery roads. The downside? You will get much slower, but it is not too bad of a compromise if the weather conditions are bad.
#04. Avoid Puddles and Potholes
What don’t cyclists like? Take a guess! Potholes. These nasty things can cause you to go off course, or in a worse case scenario, damage your wheels or cause a crash! In the rain, they become trickier and not just because of the reduced grip but also because you will not be able to see if it is a shallow puddle or something worse than that.
#05. Beware of Slippery Patches
Rain can make any road treacherous, especially if it has been dry for some time. Avoid painted lines, puddles, and the tell-tale rainbow of oil slicks. If you cannot avoid them, just do not apply the brakes or do not turn when you are on them.
#06. Control Your Speed
Wet weather also means you will have to be more considerate in how you ride as well as how you control your speed. Sudden hard braking should be avoided as you are more likely to lose your grip on both the road and the skid. Brakes should be applied smoothly and slowly, deceleration should be done gradually.
#07. Ride Consistently
This is something you can do for the riders you share the road with. It is essential, especially if you are riding in a big group, to ride consistently and predictably. This means not suddenly slowing down, cutting across riders, turning, etc. These actions do not just affect you, they might also cause other riders around you to brake suddenly – which increases the likelihood of someone crashing or skidding.
Riding in the rain is refreshing – you should try it! Just remember: safety first!