Rain commuting

karan733

New Member
So, with most of the country currently suffering the wrath of God's bladder - any tips for cycling in the rain on road tyres? I read on Sheldon's website that narrower tyres are less likely to aquaplane due to pressure, but what about cornering/braking/gradients?

I cycled to the shops at lunch today and found the hills easier (presumably due to less rolling resistance?) but did have a nervous twitch or two when cornering and definitely noticed the downhill braking zone was a lot more hazardous than in the dry.

Any tips for staying safe would be very welcome :tongue:
 

gavintc

Guru
Location
Southsea
Steady and a more cautious on descents and cornering, but flats and uphills - no change.
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
Avoid drain covers and painted (white/yellow/red) lines and you should be ok. Of course you have to be extra vigilant with braking as to no skid and take it a little easier cornering. Bike tyres will not aquaplane as there is not enough road contact to make that happen. I also advise to check your tyres after your ride in the wet as crap and debris sticks to wet tyres and can work it's way in the rubber causing punctures.
 
OP
karan733

karan733

New Member
When you say be more steady/careful when cornering, what do you mean in real terms - less lean, less speed, both?

Thanks for the tips on the painted lines and post ride checks. Might give puddles a miss too in case they are hiding pot holes
 

martint235

Dog on a bike
Location
Welling
Just take things very easy. All the obvious stuff like leave greater stopping distances, less lean into corners and definitely avoid drain covers and anything metal. Even those little metal squares at some crossings give my bike the twitches!!

I find it takes 2-3 minutes longer on an 11 mile journey in the wet. I then add another 2 mins if it's dark as well.
 
OP
karan733

karan733

New Member
If youre going down an extended descent do you grab the brakes all the way down to keep the speed in check? And if you do brake, what is the balance between front/rear approx? I ask because of nearly running a red last week and not knowing what causes the rear to squirm under heavy braking, etc.
 

HaloJ

Rabid cycle nut
Location
Watford
martint235 said:
Even those little metal squares at some crossings give my bike the twitches!!
Cripes yeah! Had my back wheel step out whilst cornering near Kings Cross due to hitting one of those, it snapped me upright in a shot. Luckily the crossing was on a point where the road goes from one lane to two so had plenty of room to manouver after the incident.
 

Zippy

New Member
... and watch those red bricked zones the councils put in to designate cycle friendly areas in cities - cos in rainy weather they are not friendly.

Experience: having side flipped on a turn into a red brick zone in the wet, straight onto my knee and elbow, pouring with blood, limping for three months after the event.
 

Norm

Guest
ianrauk said:
Avoid drain covers and painted (white/yellow/red) lines and you should be ok.
And, for the same reason, use the black bits of zebra crossings. The white bits are about the biggest painted area you'll come across on a daily ride.

ianrauk said:
I also advise to check your tyres after your ride in the wet as crap and debris sticks to wet tyres and can work it's way in the rubber causing punctures.
Not only does the debris stick to the tyre, but rain also lubricates the debris, easing its path through the tyre.

Also, take plenty of care in puddles, as you can't easily see what the road surface is like.
 

martint235

Dog on a bike
Location
Welling
karan733 said:
If youre going down an extended descent do you grab the brakes all the way down to keep the speed in check? And if you do brake, what is the balance between front/rear approx? I ask because of nearly running a red last week and not knowing what causes the rear to squirm under heavy braking, etc.
Depends on traffic. I know that it's going to take me a lot longer to stop. I'll use the front brake a lot more in the wet cos the rear brake doesn't really add anything until you start getting the speed down (or not on my bike anyway :angry:

I do go down a steep hill every day (40mph in medium traffic in the dry) and will stick to under 30 in the wet. On the flat I'm just much more alert and don't push me or the bike as much so I don't need to brake too often.:tongue:
 

potsy

Rambler
Location
My Armchair
Main difference for me is visibility(or lack of) so I tend to wear my Hi-viz in the rain,plus use your lights even in the daytime,handling wise just be sensible and take everything a little slower.
 

slowmotion

Quite dreadful
Location
lost somewhere
There is quite a lot of slippery vegetable mush that has come down from the plane trees here in London. Things can be a bit twitchy even on the flat when going straight.
 

Norm

Guest
Another good point from SM there. Be extra cautious in the first rain after a dry spell. There's plenty of gunk on and in the tarmac which gets brought out in the wet.
 
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