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Top tips for cycling in the rain

by Emma Millward

With the next week looking grim, don’t let the rain stop you riding your bike. Our top tips for cycling in the rain will help you get on the saddle, whether you are on a club ride, riding in a sportive or just out and about.


Dress to impress

Not to state obvious but dig out your waterproofs, the wetter you get the colder you will be. And you need to keep your core warm. A good waterproof jacket will make all the difference, not to mention; overshoes, tights, and gloves. But don’t forget to make sure all your garments are breathable or you will be wet from the inside!


Protect your eyes

A pair of glasses with clear or yellow lenses is critical when riding in the rain. Not only do they protect your eyes from mud, water, and those pesky bugs, normal sunglasses cut out too much light and make road obstacles hard to see. Our VELOCHAMPION sunglasses have interchangeable lenses for the days when the weather just can’t make up its mind.


Save that behind

Mudguards are a lifesaver when you’re out in the rain, not just for you, although they will stop mud, water and whatever else the wheels throw up from flying up your back. They will also protect the rider behind you from getting a face full.

Removable rear mudguards are very handy to have, they are simple to attach (tool free) and protect you and your bike from getting dirty.


Shine bright

Don’t be ashamed to be lit up like a Christmas tree, heavy rain and glare from car headlights reduces motorists’ vision. So, it’s important to have bright lights at the front and rear of your bike.


Let it out

Before you head out it might be worth letting some air out of your tyres, not a lot just around 15-20psi from your normal levels. This will increase surface area contact thus improving your traction. However, be aware this could slow you down, but let’s face it this could be a good thing if the weather is bad.


Watch out for those rainbows

Rain can make roads hazardous, particularly if it’s been dry for a few days before. Try to avoid puddles, painted lines, and the dreaded rainbow of oil, and you should be fine. However, if you can’t avoid them, try and avoid applying the brakes or turning when you are on them.


Control your speed 

In the rain, it’s better to be the tortoise and not the hare, wet weather means you need to be more careful with how you ride and how you control your speed. Sudden harsh braking should be avoided, as you are more likely to lose your grip on the road and skid. Make sure you are always looking up and ahead so you can anticipate where you might need to stop or slow down. Apply your brakes smoothly and slowly, decelerating gradually.

Take care when cornering

Corners are another obstacle you need to overcome when you are out in the rain, we don’t mean to sound like a broken record but look up and anticipate the corner. Reduce your speed before the corner, and avoid hitting them while you’re mid turn. 

If possible try and take the corner as wide as you can, the widest line around the corner is best as it’s the straightest. While going around the corner, drop your outside foot to the lowest point and shift your weight over this a little more, as this will increase your grip on the road.

Enjoy

Ok, so it’s not a lovely sunny day, but let’s face it your skin is waterproof and once you’re on the saddle the conditions won’t be as bad as you think. If you are feeling a bit miserable, give yourself a treat or snack, and stay positive – it will result in a far more enjoyable ride.

You should return home full of beans (or coffee and cake) and will feel much better knowing you have been out.

Emma Millward
Emma Millward


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