Thursday, March 26, 2009

Raindrops keep falling on my head

I have been searching the internet and am coming up with nothing. How is this possible?!

I am looking into rain gear for riding. I have found tons of info about fenders and rain safety, but not much on rain clothing. What on earth do you wear to ride in the rain? I am thinking of selling my car and need some good rain gear. I have a rain jacket, but what on earth do you do for pants? Every pair I have seen have had an inseam of only 30-32...I wear have a 34 inch inseam (I know!!). Are there any cute rain knickers? or not even cute...just some that work?

And for shoes...I don't have the slightest clue. Headwear?

help a sister out!

bike love


  1. Hm, I usually just wear my windproof jacket for light rain, nothing else.

    For stronger rain and if I cycle for a longer time: rain jacket, rain pants and waterproof shoes (I also have overshoes, but never use them). Headwear? Nothing special, either the helmet or a cap (or both).

    But I recommend to buy a poncho. This way you have to carry much less stuff around with you. Maybe it doesn't look that stylish, but it surely works :-). And there are probably nice ones around too.

    I think rainlegs are also practical if you don't want to carry around extra rain pants. See what I mean here.

  2. Check out Filson Hunting gear, I live in Mass. and wear their double tin pant all winter, light and dry.

  3. My wife and I both have 34" inseams (despite the fact that I'm 6'2" and she's 5'9"). For rainy rides, we both wear Foxwear Rain Pants ( They may not be super fashionable, but they provide great rain protection. They're also very comfortable -- in fact, they've become my everyday cold-weather pants, regardless of rain. Contact Lou (the owner of Foxwear) and he'll make rain pants in almost any size you need.

  4. You could spend a lot of money on bike specific gear or you do like I did for winter gear. Just gradually build a collection of clothing that you can use in various weather circumstances. If it works use it. If it doesn't, find something else. Or you could just hope to get luckly like I did the other night and ride during lulls in the rain.
    Did you put those fenders on yet? That'll go a long way towards making you weather resistant.

  5. Check out these guys:

    They make rain gear for people who live in it.

  6. I have found that even some pretty expensive rain pants still won't really keep you that dry. These days I don't bother trying to stay dry - I've got a couple Chrome waterproof backpacks that I just keep a change of clothes in (these are great waterproof backpacks, btw - a must-have for anyone considering going carless... It's lame to have to change clothes and towel off whenever you get where you're going, but it's also quite liberating to go riding in a rainstorm and not worry about staying dry or keeping street clothes dry under rain clothes - "celebrating wetness" - that's what I call it. I've got a set of rain gear I bought at REI. It doesn't really keep me dry, but it keeps me plenty warm, so it works out. Same strategy for shoes - I have a $10 pair of cheap plasticy shoes I bought at Payless Shoes. They get wet, but since they're entirely plastic, it doesn't matter - they're dry in 10 minutes..

  7. Anna-thanks. I am wondering how to keep the water from leaking into the tops of my shoes.
    Luke-definitely going to check them out. thanks!
    Spider-I think that is what I will probably end up doing.
    Keith-I like that these are made by Lou! :)
    Evan-these are the best I have seen. $$$ though, so may have to wait...
    Rueben-I think I may have to check out the Chrome bag. I think a waterproof bag is a must.

  8. Bike capes:

    Jackets and pants:
    If you do a search for 'rain jacket' at you'll get a bunch of reviews.

    For the shoes:
    For cold weeather something like this:
    Or SealSkinz socks with a pair of synthetic sandals.

  9. If it's not freezing rain, I wear a long Patagonia raincoat and just change my pants when I get to work. -Dottie

  10. I'll be totally honest, I commute nearly year-round (in a skirt) and I gave up on most rain gear. I wear a high-vis jacket so I can be seen and it's water repellant, and I wear shoe covers and wool socks so I won't get cold, but trying to keep my legs dry was a futile struggle. Rain pants make me overheat, and then I get wet from sweat...I'd much rather just bring dry clothes with me and change. But then, I have that option, since I'm only just going to work.

  11. I have a good Gortex rain jacket with a hood. I put the hood up and my helmet over that when it's raining. I have Gortex rain pants also. For my feet, I bought some calf-high rain boots (like Wellingtons) that slip underneath my rain pants, so rain can't get into the shoes. :)

  12. Most of the cyclist specific products I buy are by a Canadian company called Mountain Equipment Co-op, which isn't very helpful for you. To be honest, I mostly just wear my streets, although I live in a cold climate, so my winter coat is rainproof in addition to keeping me from freezing to death. A knee-length coat is good because it keeps your thighs dry. That over a skirt with a hood and boots is a pretty good combination. My more utilitarian one is a rain jacket with water-proof over-pants.

  13. If you're thinking about packability have you considered checking out some of the ultra-light backpacking sites? Just a thought.

  14. Re; Urban Cyclist's comments. Mountain Equipment Co-op ships to the states. I ordered an awesome collapsible basket from them a few weeks ago.

    For pants I wear O2 rain pants. Their inseam is long enough, just make sure to tie or use an elastic so it doesn't get caught in the drivetrain. and they're cheap and breathable too!
    headwear... my goretex coat ($30 bucks, thank you eBay!) has a hood, and I'll just put a plastic bag over my helmet if necessary.
    Shoes, I just wear a pair of sandals. If really cold and wet, like 35F degrees, then I wear tights, socks, and two plastic bags. With sandals. keeps out wind and water for cheap, and my shoes don't need days to dry out.

  15. I live in the deep south where torrential rains are the norm, espcecially in the summer months. I wear a Rain Cape for the most part. (if the link dies go to and search "rain cape") I have worn boots, sandals, tennis shoes, etc. They are going to get wet. In the warmer months I wear a closed toe mesh shoe and change into better shoes and socks when I get to work. Fenders, mudflaps and spray guards all will help keep you clean and relatively dry.


  16. I love WWR knickers from Swrve:

    They're remotely expensive, but they are so, so, so worth it, AND they're cute as hell. I get honked at in a good way when I wear them. When it's cold I usually just throw them on over Smartwool leggings so I get full leg coverage.

    I also obsessively check and buy things from

    I live in Seattle and commute to work. Often without a fender. I get soaked a lot. I usually just make sure I have wool or wool blend socks on (Smartwool makes great short wool socks) so even though I end up with soaked feet they don't get cold, and even if I have to put wet shoes on again later it doesn't matter much. I keep a camping towel in my bag (check REI- you can usually find them for cheap on sale) and a change of clothes and shoes if I'm going to work or somewhere that being wet won't fly. You really can't avoid it- but you can deal with it.

  17. I ride in the rain, love it!
    Here's what I generally wear:

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