Help with a wet weather strategy

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:16 pm

Sigh, time to turn things orange...

Children, children! Settle down please.
I know it's all wet outside and you can't go and play on your tricycles but that's no reason to pull other peoples hair or to spit in their shoes.
I'm being very patient with you all because I know how boring it is without tricycle time but I will start putting people into corners for some time out if you force me.

Shaun
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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by BNA » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:27 pm

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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby nayfen » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:27 pm

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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby TheShadow » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:08 pm

I could really have used a disk brake today. I didn't scare myself, but I was not entirely in charge of my own destiny, if you know what I mean. Rim brakes do work in the wet, but if you're riding in the middle of traffic you potentially need to stop as fast as a car, which a rim brake cannot do in the wet, at least for a few seconds. Given the low kms I do, some sticky racing tyres would probably also be worth their weight in bandages for wet commutes.

Still can't believe I rode through all that traffic with both panniers on. As I got a little squeezed once or twice, I calculated that since my axle is higher than the gutter, and my pannier bottom is level with the axle > therefore I can safely ride in the gutter with the left pannier having enough clearance over the top of the kerbing if I have to. :o
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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby il padrone » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:45 pm

TheShadow wrote:Still can't believe I rode through all that traffic with both panniers on. As I got a little squeezed once or twice, I calculated that since my axle is higher than the gutter, and my pannier bottom is level with the axle > therefore I can safely ride in the gutter with the left pannier having enough clearance over the top of the kerbing if I have to. :o

Whereabouts are you and what sort of traffic conditions?

I'd strongly recommend that you don't get yourself into the 'gutter riding' situation. If the traffic is really heavy, claim the lane, or overtake on the right side if there are long stationery queues. There is always more room on the right and you're far less likely to get doored or have someone do a 'left hook' on you. If it is faster traffic overtaking you, the gutter is the worst place to put yourself. Stand out wider for some lane space.

Just my opinion.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby TheShadow » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:48 am

il padrone wrote:
TheShadow wrote:Still can't believe I rode through all that traffic with both panniers on. As I got a little squeezed once or twice, I calculated that since my axle is higher than the gutter, and my pannier bottom is level with the axle > therefore I can safely ride in the gutter with the left pannier having enough clearance over the top of the kerbing if I have to. :o

Whereabouts are you and what sort of traffic conditions?

I'd strongly recommend that you don't get yourself into the 'gutter riding' situation. If the traffic is really heavy, claim the lane, or overtake on the right side if there are long stationery queues. There is always more room on the right and you're far less likely to get doored or have someone do a 'left hook' on you. If it is faster traffic overtaking you, the gutter is the worst place to put yourself. Stand out wider for some lane space.

Just my opinion.


You are right. I believe my most dangerous moments yesterday were in the gutter. I generally am not game to claim the entire lane in a really obvious way when on my own anywhere, including along Coronation Drive in Brisbane, although I purposefully don't ride in the gutter much either, so cars will generally need to move out of the lane to pass me anyway. I don't like that situation much in general. The joins between the gutter and road surface are particularly nasty there also. I am just a reluctant lane claimer if I'm significantly slower than traffic and by myself.

Yesterday I started to pursue this strategy, but traffic was moving so slow, that I did in fact move out into the middle to pass them on the right - filtering? This I like doing when I can match traffic speeds. :twisted: That's what I usually do in those circumstances, and you're right, it's safer than the gutter despite what some people think. But whether you're in the gutter, or filtering near a centre white line, the gap can close up for whatever reason, or a car may brake AND change lanes in front of you, requiring you to stop as fast as a modern car with fancy tyres and ABS. I've done a swerving stoppie once like that, but not in the rain and not with panniers.

I was reasonably cautious yesterday and had numerous lane-changing and generally wandering cars requiring me to make adjustments, but no real close calls. It was a slightly surreal situation in general. But I felt more confident of getting somewhere on my bike than all those car drivers.
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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby Fletcher » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:59 am

Best dedicated commuter, my Ribble Winter/Audax bike. Basic, affordable, well equipped. Unfortunately I left mine in my car on a hot day, causing the front mudguard to warp. I've ordered some new ones from Ribble but they wont arrive for another week. Riding in the rain without mudguards takes quite a bit of the fun out of it. All of the gritty crap which usually gets washed back onto the road has been thrown all over my bike. It's everywhwere. All over the frame, mechs, brakes. I"m accustomed to the extra comfort and protection mudguards provide, and anybody who likes to ride in the wet should have some, if their bike accomodates them..
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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby Oxford » Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:07 am

I decided to fit full length mudguards to my commuter as a result of the constant mud and muck flicking up. As a result it hasn't rained since Wednesday in Brisbane where I live. Though admittedly the muck I ride through on my commute was kept well away from me the last couple of days.
I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong.
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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby Comedian » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:02 am

Oxford wrote:I decided to fit full length mudguards to my commuter as a result of the constant mud and muck flicking up. As a result it hasn't rained since Wednesday in Brisbane where I live. Though admittedly the muck I ride through on my commute was kept well away from me the last couple of days.


Once you have guards you don't go back! :) :mrgreen:
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby Oxford » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:30 pm

Comedian wrote:
Oxford wrote:I decided to fit full length mudguards to my commuter as a result of the constant mud and muck flicking up. As a result it hasn't rained since Wednesday in Brisbane where I live. Though admittedly the muck I ride through on my commute was kept well away from me the last couple of days.


Once you have guards you don't go back! :) :mrgreen:
as dorky as they look I have to say it is very pleasant riding through a puddle and not even getting a drop on you.
I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong.
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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby ghettro » Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:04 pm

+1. Very true, I think a lot of people don't realise that mudguards don't only prevent your bum from getting wet, they also stop a lot of crap being flicked onto your drivetrain, cables, frame, seatpost, headset etc etc. Cuts down a lot on maintenance. I don't think they look that dorky, having a big brown wet patch all over your butt and a brown strip up your back is much worse.

I think the ultimate wet weather commuter would also have a full chaincase too.
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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby Oxford » Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:16 pm

mine do look dorky, only because it is an MTB not designed around having mudguards, so a retro fit involves cable ties here and there and all over the place. but I am getting used to them now.
I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong.
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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby Rhubarb » Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:15 pm

Thanks for all the input. After a number of weeks of contemplation my wet weather strategy is as follows:

If it might rain, I'm taking the road bike. I will just wipe down and lube more often.
If it's already raining or very likely to, I'll take the clunker. I have done a few test runs in flat pedals wearing crocs which are brilliant in the wet. Not sure how warm this will be in winter but Brisbane rain falls mostly in summer so hopefully this won't come in to play too often.
On days when I can't ride for whatever reason I'll take the bus.

When the old clunker dies I'll get a decent MTB 2nd hand and put some mud guards on it.

The biggest benefit out of all this is I am going to sell my car and go back to being a 1 car family. Keeping car for driving 3 mins to the bus stop on rainy days is just silly and it feels fantastic to be selling it.

I might even be able to redirect some of the money saved into the bike budget :)

So that's it - I'm committed, rain hale or shine !!!!
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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby Comedian » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:03 pm

Rhubarb wrote:Thanks for all the input. After a number of weeks of contemplation my wet weather strategy is as follows:

If it might rain, I'm taking the road bike. I will just wipe down and lube more often.
If it's already raining or very likely to, I'll take the clunker. I have done a few test runs in flat pedals wearing crocs which are brilliant in the wet. Not sure how warm this will be in winter but Brisbane rain falls mostly in summer so hopefully this won't come in to play too often.
On days when I can't ride for whatever reason I'll take the bus.

When the old clunker dies I'll get a decent MTB 2nd hand and put some mud guards on it.

The biggest benefit out of all this is I am going to sell my car and go back to being a 1 car family. Keeping car for driving 3 mins to the bus stop on rainy days is just silly and it feels fantastic to be selling it.

I might even be able to redirect some of the money saved into the bike budget :)

So that's it - I'm committed, rain hale or shine !!!!

Good on you mate! Good stuff.

For the record, if it's raining - and it's set in and looks like it's going to rain for the whole day I'll catch the bus. If it's forecast rain but is fine in the morning I'll ride. If it's raining lightly but is forecast to clear I'll usually ride. :)
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby Aushiker » Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:25 pm

Rhubarb wrote:If it might rain, I'm taking the road bike. I will just wipe down and lube more often.


Hi

During rainy season (winter/spring for me) I just do my maintenance every 500 km instead of every 1,000 km. Has worked out okay so far.


If it's already raining or very likely to, I'll take the clunker. I have done a few test runs in flat pedals wearing crocs which are brilliant in the wet. Not sure how warm this will be in winter but Brisbane rain falls mostly in summer so hopefully this won't come in to play too often.


I have got to the point where I am now building my second dedicated commuter/Audax ride. It is a road bike but will have mudguards and a rear rack. My "roadie" is reserved for Audax rides/weekend rides and the like.

So that's it - I'm committed, rain hale or shine !!!!


Good on you ... the biggest issue for me is getting over putting wet clothes on to ride home ... oh and lightening :)

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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby Rhubarb » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:33 am

Aushiker wrote:... the biggest issue for me is getting over putting wet clothes on to ride home ... oh and lightening :)

Andrew


This is where the crocs (rubber sandals) come in to play. I rode in the wet this morning and felt the water running down my leg and into (and out of) my crocs. Then I washed em off in the shower at work. They will be a pleasure to put on this arvo. Not that great for speed though. My normal 34 min ride took 42 but that's ok for the clunker bike in the wet. SPD sandals would be the ultimate but the crocs are sufficient for now.

Can't help you with the lightning.....
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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby Oxford » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:45 am

Rhubarb wrote:
Aushiker wrote:.... SPD sandals would be the ultimate but the crocs are sufficient for now......

Saw a guy with crocs once, aside from the loss of attachment to the bike (its amazing how you get so used to being clipped in), they looked like a good solution in this type of weather. I do have the SPD sandals and they rock in weather like this, no soggy socks if you do wear socks, no soggy shoes, maybe some damp parts depending on your drying method over the day/night, but nothing off putting.
I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong.
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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby Aushiker » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:59 am

Rhubarb wrote:
Aushiker wrote:... the biggest issue for me is getting over putting wet clothes on to ride home ... oh and lightening :)

Andrew


This is where the crocs (rubber sandals) come in to play.


Hi

Wouldn't work for me I am afraid ... my commutes are up to 45 km + long and often into headwinds so I prefer to be properly attached to the bike for more efficient riding plus my pedals are not platforms. The issue is not so much the shoes (BBB Waterflex helps out there) it is the wet bibs and jersey or rather damp bibs and jersey that I don't like.

Regards
Andrew
Last edited by Aushiker on Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Help with a wet weather strategy

Postby Kalgrm » Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:53 pm

My wet weather strategy:

1- Make it rain.
2- Ride.
3- Rinse
4- Repeat.

Step 1 seems to be the hard one ....

Cheers,
Graeme
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