The elements are more dangerous during the rainy and cold seasons. All it takes in wet conditions are enough speed and not enough reaction time to have a full on wipe out that not only can result in injuring yourself but others as well. For example, gloves should be worn to protect your hands from the cold to prevent numbness and give you proper control over the shifter and brakes. Glasses, face masks and full face helmets will give you better visibility in the rain or snow with added warmth so you ears don’t get numb which can affect your hearing and balance. A raincoat with waterproof pants will wick away moisture and prevent you from getting soaked, which feels like adding a few extra pounds on your hamstrings.
As simple as it seems, many people do not prepare themselves and end up in a nasty accident that never should have happened. Comfort and safety are paramount in these times of year and should be looked at with a critical and open mind to the variables of mother nature. Today we will go through the types of gear for the seasons and highlight the advantages to them accordingly.
Rainy & Cold Seasons – Spring and Fall
As warm weather approaches the trees and flowers will bloom. But these plants require water
to spring up to life! Spring brings light rain and wet road conditions that are not as intense as fall and winter, but can still be a dangerous commute when in bumper to bumper traffic or during rush hour. For all wet or snowy seasons, your Tires are your first priority. On the road or the trail your tires should have the correct tread to expel water and debris from underneath the wheel to hug the road, safety perform turns and make stops or braking.
It’s usually not too cold during Spring, so for eye protection a good pair of Anti-fog glasses or a Face mask will prove to be more than useful. Seeing what is in front of you is most important and protecting your face will help you squint less when the rain or hail is pelting you in the eyes and face. Some of these are heated & ventilated which will be a higher price tag, but the quality and comfort from these added safety features will have you smiling the whole way back home safely.
Now that we’ve got your eyes and face protected, a Windbreaker or lightweight Waterproof Rain Coat with Pants and Rain Guards will give you relief of getting wet on the way to meet your friends or go to work. These garments are made with lightweight polyester or goretex materials to give you the best in dryness and comfort with a tight waterproof lining made from wax or synthetic materials. Rain Guards protect your feet and lower legs by wrapping around the sole of the shoe with strong elastics or even chains that attach to each side and around the leg.
I highly recommend these products for the luxury of not having to bring a whole different set of dry clothes that will occupy unnecessary space in my backpack or bike bag. Another type of rain guard goes onto the front and rear wheels to prevent water and debris from flying up into your coat and pants. People who don’t use these tend to find themselves buying new shoes more often than others, which brings up the next product that can highly improve your riding experience – Waterproof shoes!
These will add even more comfort and enhance your ride. They tend to be very lightweight which makes them ideal for road biking. Since these shoes are designed for cycling, the tread design is made for gripping the pedals firmly for delivering the most power per cycle. These can be used year round and give riding in the rain and wet a warm breeze. Since Fall isn’t too much colder, this gear will give you comfort and safety without adding extra weight and reduced mobility from insulation. The following warmer gear should be considered for winter riding
Winter – Be safe on the Ice and Snow!
The same gear can be used for winter touring, but will be fairly light in comparison to a true winter coat with pants. It is wise to be prepared and to not be in a rush to your destination during winter. Your bike tires contact to the road are like pin needles compared to a four wheeled car, and even these cars with more traction still spin out and lose control if the driver is not weary of the road conditions. Make sure you have the RIGHT TIRES.
Here are the best items to purchase for a fun ride in the snow:
- Balaclava / Cycling Cap
- Base Layers (Torso and Lower body)
- Neck Gator
- Shoe Covers
- Waterproof gloves
- Windstopper / Thermal Coat
- Winter tires
- Thermal Mug for warm drinks or water