Don’t let the rain stop you riding

Ah, the British summer: long sunny days, dusty trails, the simplicity of just getting out and riding. Oh, hang on a second.

So much for the summer, it’s been raining so heavily and frequently these past few days that we’re quite right to wonder just what is going on. It doesn’t motivate one to get out and ride the bike, but there’s no reason why it should deter you from riding altogether.

You need to be prepared. Let us show you how, with a couple of investments and changes to your bike, you can be ready to battle the rain and muddy trails.

Rain jacket

Every cyclist should invest in a good waterproof jacket. It’s safe to say you’ll get use from one throughout the year, so it’s not just confined to the winter months. There are options from Endura’s excellent £40 Pakajak right up to Gore’s all-singing Fusion GT AS at £220.

Waterproof socks and/or boots

If there’s one thing we really detest about riding in the rain, it’s the feeling of water squelching between our toes. It’s enough to put anyone off riding in this weather, no matter how determined they are.

Waterproof socks and boots may seem an expensive luxury, but one or the other (or both for the ultimate setup) will transform your ride. It’s quite staggering what a difference to your happiness levels waterproof socks make.

Another alternative to winter boots is to tape up all the vents and mesh panels in your shoes, you’ll be amazed what a difference this small trick can make.

Waterproof gloves

For the same reason that we’ll always reach for the waterproof socks if we know there’s a high chance of getting a good soaking, so we also reach for the waterproof gloves. When you’re hands and fingers get wet their temperature will cool rapidly, leaving you very quickly with frozen hands. That’s not much fun, so get yourself some waterproof gloves.

Mudguards

In June? Well, the fitting of mudguards shouldn’t be dictated by the month of the year, instead by the trail conditions. Unless you’re riding well surfaced trail centres most of the time, it’s likely you’ll encounter a fair amount of sloppy stuff. At the very least a homemade strip of inner tube zip tied between the fork crown to stop mud being flicked up and into your eyes.

Tyres

There’s not much point in fitting those lightweight summer low-profile tyres at the moment, nor is it really necessary to put the mud tyres on. What’s needed is a tyre that is well suited to the constantly changing trail conditions, which can change even during a single ride

The exact tyre will depend on the geology of your local area, so there is no right answer, or top tip, as to which is the magic tyre for you, but looking at what local riders choose is always an excellent place to start.

Got any of your own top tips to share?

  1. Matt

    Re. waterproof socks, I bought a pair of Seal Skinz back in the year dot at considerable expense and they were about as waterproof as a dishcloth! Have things improved in this regard, anyone?

  2. Mike

    Are you really suggesting the Endura Pakajak for this horrid weather? It’s not even waterproof, the seams are not taped even Endura themselves only bill it as “showerproof”. Plenty of better suited options out there such as Montane or Polaris

  3. paulhaysom

    I can actually vouch for the pakajak – I was up at fort william over the weekend and I only had mine to hand, did the job perfectly well in the scottish downpours. I also thought it was only showerproof, but worked extremely well.

  4. lizardlover

    my advice this time of year is full summer lycra. its not as if its cold!. once your wet your wet. get as muddy as you can and hose yourself and the bike when you get home….. simple!

  5. Masklin GT

    You should wear lycra all year and stop being a bunch of weirdo’s!

    Lycra is great in any weather when wet!

  6. Will

    I agree with the Lycra but without the Lycra. Go starkers or with a waterproof sock upon the c&b and jobs a goodn’!

    1. lizardlover

      awesome idea. lets organise a naked mud fest. after 3 minutes everyone will have dicks like walnuts anyway! we could put horse chestnut leaves on our nipples!

  7. Chris W

    I’ve found its too warm even when chucking it down to warrant waterproof gloves and socks this time of year. A waterproof jacket no matter how good will always reduce cooling and at least with wet hands and feet your can loose a bit of the excess heat. The biggest issue for most is probably motivation

  8. David French

    The biggest annoyance for me with the wet weather is coming home covered in mud and having to get into the house. I put a bin liner just inside the door, come in, strip off and go shower. Then I come back out and hose off my bike and clothes (obviously I lock my bike up while I’m having a shower).

X

Also in Buyers Guides

£800-£1100 29er hardtails - six of the best

Read More