Riding in the rain is fun! You will get wet some, but there are ways to reduce discomfort and increase the fun. Freezing temperatures combined with rain is the worst, but I think we are done with that for the season.
Fenders, or as our British friends call them, mudguards are essential. The longer the fender the more water they repel. Mud flaps extend the useful length of the fender, but are flexible so they are not vulnerable to breaking. Better quality fenders usually have stainless steel mountings to reduce rust or corrosion. Lighter plastic fenders are popular. Fenders made of metal are more durable. Some fenders are designed to be quickly and easily removed and installed. Some seasoned rain riders will wax the inside of their fenders to reduce the build up of crud. I think anyone that owns more than two bikes should have at least one with fenders.
Rainwear for your body is available through many sources. Bicycle specific rain clothing will feature a longer tail on the jacket to accommodate the riding position and a way to secure ankle cuffs in order to keep them away from the chain. One of the premier brands of cycling rainwear is Rainshield, located right here in the Twin Cities. We stock their products, of course.
We stock helmet covers year around. These are useful to keep your head warm in the winter and dry in the rain. Lightweight toe covers are also useful year around. On a rainy ride they can keep your feet dry, and on a cool ride they cut the wind. Remember layering? Two light shoe or toe covers are more versatile than one pair of heavy covers.
Wool is a great material for next to skin clothing on rain rides. Consider wool for socks, hats, and base layers. It will be warm even if it gets wet. It will wick rain and perspiration away from your skin. As an added bonus it does not get that funky smell that synthetics do after a ride.
When riding in the rain, please remember that your stopping distance increases and visibility is decreased, so lights are a good idea. Plan ahead and be careful.
When it rains……we ride!