Kit Tips – Wet Weather Cycling Clothing and Accessories

Wet Weather Cycling
"There is no such thing as bad weather", or so the saying goes... In reality though, riding a bike in wet and cold conditions is a challenge. It can be made easier, safer, and more comfortable though, by using the best cycling kit and accessories available.

In this post, I have picked out 7 Tips to help you stay comfortable and safe in inclement weather conditions. Hopefully they make your next venture out in cold and damp weather that bit more bearable.

1 – Mudguards

My first suggestion is that if you do not have them already... "Get Some 'Guards".

Mudguards are a vital element in staying comfortable in wet conditions. Even the best waterproof jacket will struggle after hours of being bombarded by rear wheel spray; while your face and feet will be grateful for protection from a front wheel showering.

You can now get lightweight mudguards that will fit almost any bike: from traditional full-length road mudguards, to the minimalist Ass Saver. I use the Bar Fly RainFly Mudguard a lot and believe it to be the best rear mudguard for gravel and cyclocross bikes.

Bar Fly RainFly Mudguard

2 – Brake Pads and Braking

My second tip is a fundamental safety warning: Check Your Brakes.

Braking accuracy and control suffers with a loss of dexterity in cold hands; this makes it even more important that your brakes are engaging properly in wet conditions, and that your brake pads have significant life left in them.

Also consider how you brake in wet weather. It is even more important to brake before, rather than during corners. Equally, you need to remember that stopping distances are significantly increased on wet surfaces. Be cautious with your braking in poor conditions, and it could avoid an accident or collision.

Cycling Disc Brakes

3 – Daytime Running Lights

Following on the safety theme... I am a strong advocate of using Daytime Running Lights throughout the year when you are cycling. That becomes even more relevant in wet conditions.

Just as fog, shadows, and dusk conditions can reduce your visibility to other road uses, rain will have a similar negative effect on your road presence.

> Read my latest bike light reviews here <

Daytime Running Lights on Bikes

4 – Waterproof Overshoes and Cycling Gloves

Do not be fooled by the fact that many professional racers do not use waterproof overshoes and gloves when they are racing... they are working incredibly hard to keep warm, and they have a team car behind them packed full of warm kit; plus a soigneur waiting at the finish with a warm set of kit.

Waterproof overshoes will protect your feet, shins, and shoes from being bombarded by front wheel spray and precipitation.

These are my top recommendations for waterproof cycling overshoes:

Road Cycling
Mountain Biking / Gravel / Bikepacking

Protecting your hands from the cold and wet conditions will also aid comfort and control. 

These are my top recommendations for waterproof cycling gloves:
GripGrab RaceAqua Overshoes and Neoprene Cycling Gloves

5 – Waterproof Cycling Jackets

The technology found in modern waterproof cycling jackets is outstanding. Breathability and waterproofing have made a marked improvement in the last decade, and you can now ride all day in the rain without sweating buckets or getting drenched.

The Sportful Stelvio Waterproof Jacket is the jacket that I took on my #7Countries7Passes tour, and it kept me functioning over many wet alpine passes, including the Stelvio. 

For packability, the Gore Wear C5 Gore-Tex SHAKEDRY 1985 Jacket is unbeatable, and offers incredible protection at a ludicrously light weight.

Sportful Stelvio Jacket

6 – Merino Wool Base Layers and Socks

Regular readers of the blog will know that I am a fan of merino wool. 

The super-soft natural material absorbs moisture; drawing it away from your skin and leaving you comfortable, even when the fabric itself may be soaked. This property makes it ideal for wet weather cycling, as the material stays insulating even when wet.

My favourite merino wool base layers and socks for cycling:

Tim Wiggins Cycling Base Layer

7 – Water-Repellent Cycling Clothing

My final tip is to invest in water-repellent arm and leg warmers.

Products from the Sportful NoRain and GripGrab AquaRepel ranges use fabrics that shed water rather than absorbing it. This means they can shrug off light rain showers and help shield you from windchill. These two particular ranges also have the advantage that the fabrics are fleece-lined, offering added insulation and warmth.

My top recommendations for water-resistant arm, leg, and knee warmers:

I hope these 7 Tips help you to ride in greater comfort and safety in wet conditions.

Perfect Preparation Prevents Poor Performance


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