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Bicycle in the rain? Is it ok?

kathoskathos Registered User
edited February 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Is it ok to ride your bike in the rain? Does it in any way damage it or something like that?

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Posts

  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2009
    Not really. You might want to dry it off afterwards, but as long as the mechanics are properly lubricated it's fine.

    Be careful on the roads though, especially if you live in a typically dry place. Roads get coated in oil and fine particles of soot and metal and when rain falls, it pushes this crap to the surface which can make it very slippery. In wetter countries it's not as big a problem as regular rain washes it away, but in typically hot countries/states a long dry spell followed by rain fall can make tarmac roads unpredictably treacherous.

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  • kathoskathos Registered User
    edited February 2009
    Nah I'm in Toronto so it's a regular thing, I just don't have a metro pass so I can't take the bus ATM so bike is my only recourse.

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  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    1. seems that you get flats more frequently in the rain. Not sure if it's because something sharp will stick to your tire, eventually orienting itself in a way that it pops, or if it's just bad luck.

    2. roads can be more slick, especially around any sharp corner. Like Szech said, but this does occur even in typically wet areas. Be a little more careful around turns.

    3. Use a fender to avoid a line on your back. Also your front and legs will get wet first, and wearing rain gear will make the ride much more comfy. Also, take a plastic bag along and use it to cover your seat (put the bag over it, use the handles to tie it around the seat post). To store the bag, ball it up and stuff it under the seat in the metal loops there.

    4. Exposed metal and potentially shifters can rust if left wet, or out in the rain. Arguably, replacement of rusty parts falls under normal maintenance, though, so that won't affect your ride on a given day, just over the long term.

    5. Assuming you don't have a hub brake or disc brakes, your brakes will be less effective. Make sure you compensate by breaking earlier.

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  • truck-a-saurastruck-a-sauras Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    EggyToast wrote: »
    3. Use a fender to avoid a line on your back. Also your front and legs will get wet first, and wearing rain gear will make the ride much more comfy. Also, take a plastic bag along and use it to cover your seat (put the bag over it, use the handles to tie it around the seat post). To store the bag, ball it up and stuff it under the seat in the metal loops there.

    In addition to perfect response from Eggy, I would say for the creature comfort really follow this. For someone who used to bike every day regardless of weather. It is miserable enough to start with biking in the bad weather, these precautions will go a long way into you not getting burned out biking or having a miserable day because your legs are wet for hours.

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  • FandyienFandyien But Otto, what about us? Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Yeah. Also speaking as someone who has had to bike in retarded rain many, many times, I can tell you that you just have to be prepared to be totally soaked.

    Particularly in places you wouldn't expect, like the small of your back and pretty much the whole of your pants-legs.

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  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I wouldn't worry about rust. Most of the bike is aluminum.

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  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2009
    I wouldn't worry about rust. Most of the bike is aluminum.

    Eh?

    The frame might be, although even that isn't a given, but most of the other components probably aren't.

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • VeritasVRVeritasVR Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I wouldn't worry about rust. Most of the bike is aluminum.

    Negative, sir. A lot of bikes rust pretty fast because of improper prevention.

    The shifter chain and gear chains are both very prone to rusting in a short amount of time. Like EggyToast said in #4, keep your parts lubricated with the proper oil. Do not use a stripping medium like WD-40 for this.

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  • FandyienFandyien But Otto, what about us? Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    The spokes on your wheels might rust, too.

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  • DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I've biked in the rain lots, its no big deal.

    If you ride your bike more you will want to look after it a little more in terms of oiling the gears and stuff.

    Try to leave you bike somewhere dry at least when your at home, I do the plastic bag over seat thing also.

    Always assume there is a car coming and that it will hit you. There are asshole/incompetent cyclists, and there are asshole/incompetent car drivers, but regardless of whose at fault the cyclist tends to loose badly when accidents happen. Take safety into your own hands.

    Dman on
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    yep. keep the components well lubed and do your best to get it dry. fenders are nice but not that big a deal, if you are buying just get a back rack, that will block just as well as is more useful

    bags are alright but i only use em when i leave the bike. shower caps work well too
    usually you only have to worry about oils in the first couple of rains. be aware that painted lines will be slicker

    mts on
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  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    You won't have any problems, it just means you have to be a little more conscientious about maintenance.

    japan on
  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    protip: Wear a rain resistant coat of some kind. Or a rain poncho. Otherwise you will be sorry when the back of your clothes or any backpack you are wearing get muddy.

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  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I wouldn't worry about rust. Most of the bike is aluminum.

    Eh?

    The frame might be, although even that isn't a given, but most of the other components probably aren't.

    ?

    The only bikes I have seen in a long time where anything but the chain and perhaps a brake disc will rust are very cheap Chinese ones. Almost anything on bikes today are aluminum or high grade steel which does not rust easily and that includes spokes, gears, brakes, cables... unless we talk a more expensive bike then you might find titanium, special plastics and of course carbon fiber.


    The main issue with rain with regards to the bike is that the water on the road will carry dirt, sand and stuff with it so you bike gets covered in that so it will need cleaning or at least lubrication after a drive.

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  • CycophantCycophant Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I wouldn't worry about rust. Most of the bike is aluminum.

    Eh?

    The frame might be, although even that isn't a given, but most of the other components probably aren't.

    ?

    The only bikes I have seen in a long time where anything but the chain and perhaps a brake disc will rust are very cheap Chinese ones. Almost anything on bikes today are aluminum or high grade steel which does not rust easily and that includes spokes, gears, brakes, cables... unless we talk a more expensive bike then you might find titanium, special plastics and of course carbon fiber.


    The main issue with rain with regards to the bike is that the water on the road will carry dirt, sand and stuff with it so you bike gets covered in that so it will need cleaning or at least lubrication after a drive.

    That's what I'd be worried about more than anything. Especially this time of year, in Toronto, a majority of that splash water from the roads and such is going to be heavily laden with salt that they spread on the roads. That'll rust anything given enough time.

    If all you did was quickly rinse the bike with a hose or something every once and a while, and occasionally lubricate (don't overdo it, and make sure you do it -after- washing/rinsing), you'd be doing your bike a huge service. Then again if all you're riding is a $150 department-store special, I'd probably say just don't worry about it...

    Cycophant on
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  • fuelishfuelish Registered User
    edited February 2009
    EggyToast wrote: »
    1. seems that you get flats more frequently in the rain. Not sure if it's because something sharp will stick to your tire, eventually orienting itself in a way that it pops, or if it's just bad luck.

    You have it right. The wet tire will hold on to the sharp(That would otherwise stay on the ground or be flung off) and the water also acts as a lubricant to make piercing the carcass easier.

    fuelish on
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  • illigillig Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    i'd be more worried about cars than about your bike

    visibility is reduced, people don't expect bikes to be out, and in general, people drive like complete retards in the rain

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  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    When I used to ride my bike to Uni in the rain, these things were awesome, since I hate wet feet.

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  • Forbe!Forbe! Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Aluminum still corrodes from exposure to moisture, and if you bought some shitty $40 bike from Wal-Mart, even if it is 'stainless steel' the welds will begin to chip and rust because they used the wrong filler material, or improperly heat-treated the steel before manufacture.

    I ride my bike in the rain all the time. Be sure to lube your chain/other components frequently if it is a regular thing. Be careful if you have thinner road tires; the slickness of the road can spell disaster for braking and quick turns.

    The same rules for driving, I think, apply. The road will usually be slickest when rain first starts, due to the water sitting on the surface of the oil and dirt on the road surface.

    Also, getting a storage device, like these, helps out a ton if you carry a lot of important stuff.

    Be careful, and godspeed.

    Forbe! on
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  • Mike DangerMike Danger "Diane..." a place both wonderful and strangeRegistered User regular
    edited February 2009
    mts wrote: »
    be aware that painted lines will be slicker

    This. I have had my mind stray many times while out biking during/after rain, slipped on a painted line, and had a brief moment of panic (roads are hilly in NE, not much room for error sometimes).

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  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Cycophant wrote: »
    I wouldn't worry about rust. Most of the bike is aluminum.

    Eh?

    The frame might be, although even that isn't a given, but most of the other components probably aren't.

    ?

    The only bikes I have seen in a long time where anything but the chain and perhaps a brake disc will rust are very cheap Chinese ones. Almost anything on bikes today are aluminum or high grade steel which does not rust easily and that includes spokes, gears, brakes, cables... unless we talk a more expensive bike then you might find titanium, special plastics and of course carbon fiber.


    The main issue with rain with regards to the bike is that the water on the road will carry dirt, sand and stuff with it so you bike gets covered in that so it will need cleaning or at least lubrication after a drive.

    That's what I'd be worried about more than anything. Especially this time of year, in Toronto, a majority of that splash water from the roads and such is going to be heavily laden with salt that they spread on the roads. That'll rust anything given enough time.

    I don't live in an area where it snows, but the data sheet for the corrosion inhibitor I use on my motorcycle (LPS 3) said that there was no corrosion on the aluminum panels in the salt-spray cabinet test after 1500 hours.

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  • pinenut_canarypinenut_canary Registered User
    edited February 2009
    I have a lot of friends who ride bikes up here in rainy northern Washington, and they do their monthly or so tuneups and lubrication because of the rain and just to keep their bike well maintained. They also keep around a plastic bag or trash bag around, so when they leave their bikes chained outside during class, they put the plastic bag around it to keep their seat from getting wet.

    Also, wearing a helmet is a good idea. This one girl my professor knew graduated the college with a BA in English, and she was about go do her Master's at Brown, but as she turned a corner on her bike, she slipped and hit her head on the road, leaving her in vegetative state.

    pinenut_canary on
  • CycophantCycophant Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Barrakketh wrote: »
    Cycophant wrote: »
    I wouldn't worry about rust. Most of the bike is aluminum.

    Eh?

    The frame might be, although even that isn't a given, but most of the other components probably aren't.

    ?

    The only bikes I have seen in a long time where anything but the chain and perhaps a brake disc will rust are very cheap Chinese ones. Almost anything on bikes today are aluminum or high grade steel which does not rust easily and that includes spokes, gears, brakes, cables... unless we talk a more expensive bike then you might find titanium, special plastics and of course carbon fiber.


    The main issue with rain with regards to the bike is that the water on the road will carry dirt, sand and stuff with it so you bike gets covered in that so it will need cleaning or at least lubrication after a drive.

    That's what I'd be worried about more than anything. Especially this time of year, in Toronto, a majority of that splash water from the roads and such is going to be heavily laden with salt that they spread on the roads. That'll rust anything given enough time.

    I don't live in an area where it snows, but the data sheet for the corrosion inhibitor I use on my motorcycle (LPS 3) said that there was no corrosion on the aluminum panels in the salt-spray cabinet test after 1500 hours.

    That'd probably be under ideal conditions, not where a layer of salt sits on the metal for days/weeks/months because it wasn't washed off. Plus aluminum oxidation isn't nearly as much of an issue as steel or iron oxidation.

    Plus, coming from someone who uses LPS 3 on aircraft, the stuff only seems to work well on static parts. The film only seems to last on parts that don't move much - things like chains, spokes, etc. probably aren't going to benefit from a barrier film like that. Though it certainly wouldn't hurt to use it.

    Cycophant on
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  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Seattle?Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    I have a lot of friends who ride bikes up here in rainy northern Washington, and they do their monthly or so tuneups and lubrication because of the rain and just to keep their bike well maintained. They also keep around a plastic bag or trash bag around, so when they leave their bikes chained outside during class, they put the plastic bag around it to keep their seat from getting wet.
    Hell, I don't even tune mine up monthly and it runs fine, rainy Washington weather and all. I second the plastic bag, too--wet-ass pants are no fun to ride with.

    You do not need to do anything different while riding in the rain, other than exercise caution (and a pair of fenders helps a lot, too). Most of the people in this thread are full of shit.

    Seattle Thread on
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  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    JebusUD wrote: »
    protip: Wear a rain resistant coat of some kind. Or a rain poncho. Otherwise you will be sorry when the back of your clothes or any backpack you are wearing get muddy.

    One thing to note about wearing waterproofs riding a bike is unless they're made of something expensively breathable like Gore-Tex or eVent you'll probably get just as wet from your own sweat.

    Also if you're riding in bad weather you need lights. Preferably multiple lights, and it helps if they flash. Even if it isn't dark.

    japan on
  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2009
    mts wrote: »
    be aware that painted lines will be slicker

    This. I have had my mind stray many times while out biking during/after rain, slipped on a painted line, and had a brief moment of panic (roads are hilly in NE, not much room for error sometimes).

    I went sideways down a very steep hill here in Omaha once, when I was young. Of course there was a car at the bottom. I eventually had to intentionally make the bike fall over to stop.

    I'd also suggest some light waterproof gloves, if it gets really cold while raining. Unless you like frozen hands.

    FyreWulff on
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited February 2009
    Makershot wrote: »
    Hell, I don't even tune mine up monthly and it runs fine, rainy Washington weather and all. I second the plastic bag, too--wet-ass pants are no fun to ride with.

    You do not need to do anything different while riding in the rain, other than exercise caution (and a pair of fenders helps a lot, too). Most of the people in this thread are full of shit.
    i agree with this. you are over thinking things. i personally never do anything to my steel frame commuter other than let it dry in my garage over night.

    its no worse for wear than the day i got it.

    mts on
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