17 Jun 2013

Tips For Riding In Rain

With the monsoons having arrived in full spate, keeping in mind some rain riding tips will help in making the most of the weather and enjoying the ride.

Bike Essentials

  • Fenders are a good idea if you commute to work as the rainwater on the roads is oily and dirty. Long, full coverage fenders are the best bet or even short fenders with mud flaps.
  • Lighting improves visibility when it's raining, so keep your lights flashing even in the daylight.
  • LED lights are inexpensive and do a good job in the rains.
  • A flashing red LED rear lamp is a good investment for stormy riding.
  • Saddles can be kept dry by covering with a plastic bag. Shower caps work very well as saddle covers.

Riding Strategy 

  • Reduce your speed to compensate for slick roads and reduced visibility.
  • Brake early, accelerate slowly and take the corners carefully.
  • While taking corners, put as much of your weight on the outside pedal and lean your body more than the bike.
  • Avoid riding through large puddles since there's no way to know their depth or if there's a pothole hiding underneath.
  • Watch out for rainbow edged patches on the road as they are an indicator of oil build up.
  • Keep an eye out for manhole covers, wet leaves and steel grids as they become very slick, especially just after the rain has started.


  • Waterproof Jacket or Rain Cape provides adequate coverage. The Rain cape has the added advantage of being easy to take on or off, although it can act like a sail in crosswinds.
  • Go for bright colours to increase visibility.
  • Wicking or dry feel fabrics should be worn for increased comfort and breathability.
  • Avoid wearing cotton clothes as they soak up water.
  • Footwear can be kept dry with shoe covers. Wear lightweight walking/hiking shoes.
  • Baseball cap worn under the helmet is great for protecting your face from the pelting rain and keeping your head dry.
  • Clear lens sunglasses should be worn so that the obstacles can be seen easily.

Storing stuff

  • Ziplock bags are good for storing your cell phones and other delicate items before putting them into your bike bag.

Bike Maintenance 

  • Chain should kept well lubed so it does not rust or squeak.
  • Make sure that the chain is dry before you use a lube and use a heavier lube.
  • Wipe the bike with an old towel after a rain ride to prevent corrosion.
  • For even better protection, give a quick rinse with fresh water, follow it with towel drying and lubing.