Sustainability made simple

Cycling in the Rain: 9 Tips for Safety & Comfort

cycling in the rain
Foto: CC0 Public Domain / pexels - Genaro Servín

You don’t usually intend to end up cycling in the rain, but weather can be fickle. Learn how to bike in the rain safely — and maybe even have fun.

Riding a bike, particularly in the rain, can be hazardous. So, it makes sense to exercise caution and be prepared. Rainy conditions mean you want to stay dry and warm while protecting your bicycle. Below, we’ll discuss 9 practical tips for cycling in the rain.

1. Dress For the Occasion

Choose high visibility pieces when cycling in the rain.
Choose high visibility pieces when cycling in the rain. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Dorin Seremet )

This might be the most obvious tip, but it’s also the most important: when cycling in the rain, wear windproof and waterproof clothes. As the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.

Layer up to stay dry, and ensure your weatherproof clothing will not impair your movement. You might even want to consider wearing shoe covers to avoid wet feet.

2. Stay Alert and Visible

This point is arguably more important than having waterproof clothing when cycling in the rain. Brake early, be cautious and ride slower than you would in dry conditions. Much like driving in the rain, you need to factor in the time and distance it takes to stop in an emergency.

Visibility is greatly reduced during rainfall. This makes it all the more important for cyclists and pedestrians to be visible on the road. Aside from wearing bright clothing, always turn on your bike lights when it’s raining to make sure everyone can see you from a distance.

3. Avoid Heavy Traffic When Cycling in the Rain

Sticking to side streets is always a good idea in order to stay safe.
Sticking to side streets is always a good idea in order to stay safe. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Nick Night )

If possible, staying away from busy roads will keep you that much safer when cycling in the rain. On busier streets, there is a higher risk of getting splashed by passing traffic, not to mention being hit by pebbles and other debris.

4. Attach Fenders

Fenders are one of the most basic and essential pieces of gear to add to your bike to make cycling in the rain comfortable. Whether riding to work, or for recreation, you want to arrive at your destination dry — not covered in mud or dirty water. Fenders prevent road spray from soaking your legs, back and even face if the rain is really heavy.

5. Wear Eye Protection

Proper eye protection is important when cycling in the rain as it keeps water out of your eyes.
Proper eye protection is important when cycling in the rain as it keeps water out of your eyes. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Munbaik Cycling Clothing)

Good eyewear is essential for cycling in the rain. It stops rain and water spray from your bike or passing vehicles from impeding your vision. Cyclists commonly wear wraparound shades to keep water and road debris at bay. You might even want to opt for riding goggles, which cover your eyes completely.

Sunglasses may not be the most obvious thing to wear in the rain, but any eyewear is better than nothing. Wraparound shades keep stinging rain out of the eyes; many come with changeable lenses for different conditions. Clear lenses are nice for winter, but photochromic sunglasses are also a great choice. They reduce eye strain and damage by blocking up to 100% UVA/UVB light. Meanwhile, photochromic shades are excellent for snowy conditions.

6. Keep Your Hands Warm When Cycling in the Rain

A solid pair of gloves is a must-have for any wet-weather cycling. You need gloves that offer a good degree of flexibility while keeping your hands warm and dry. Gloves with bonded seams are typically the best choice as they are completely waterproof.

For longer rides, you might want some palm cushions integrated into the gloves to protect your hands from getting sore and fatigued. Reflective detailing also adds visibility when hand signaling.

7. Avoid Puddles

Puddles can hide other hazards and can be very dangerous.
Puddles can hide other hazards and can be very dangerous. (Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / Chandler Cruttenden)

As tempting as it is to bike through a puddle on a wet day, try to avoid it. Puddles can conceal hazards like potholes, broken asphalt, heavy debris, exposed drain openings and slippery metal manhole covers. There is no way of knowing what is lurking beneath a puddle’s surface. You can puncture your tires, damage your wheel rims or even be thrown from your bike and injured.

8. Oil Your Bike Chain When It Rains

Among bike parts, your chain is one of the most vulnerable to wet conditions. Cycling in the rain can quickly wash off the chain lubricant, leaving it vulnerable to rust and potentially seizing up.

The choice of lube is a matter of preference, but for a rainy ride, it is best to use a lubricant specifically designed for wet conditions. That ensures your bicycle performs well and your ride is as smooth as possible. Wet-weather lubes can attract more dust and dirt, so clean your chain after every ride.

Keep the rest of your bike parts happy by using an old towel to pat down and dry off excess water that collects in joints. This can prevent potential corrosion.

9. Maintain Good Traction When Cycling in the Rain

Don't let the rain stop you from cycling.
Don’t let the rain stop you from cycling. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Maryam62)

Road surfaces can get slick and treacherous in a downpour. It’s a good idea to let some air out of your tires so that the rubber tread can gain more grip and traction. Harder tires are more likely to slip when cycling in the rain, whereas softer tires ensure more rubber makes contact with the road surface, offering more stability and control.

Read more:

** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.

Do you like this post?

Thank you very much for voting!