The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa

Rain Gear

Anyone have recommendations on rain gear? I have a windbreaker vest but would like a good jacket that I can pack. Seems tricky to find a good balance of breathable and water resistant, I’d rather not cook in a sauna or get soaked.

I’ll probably pick up a helmet cover – does anyone do those shoe covers or anything for your legs? Anything else I’m missing?

I typically just don’t go riding when it rains at home so I don’t have rain gear, but if we get rain it will be unavoidable.

9 Replies

francoisvanzyl, June 26, 2019 at 9:44 am

When it rains I get wet. I am just more careful of the road surface being slippery. That works for me.

#1306441

David, June 26, 2019 at 10:47 am

I have had a couple of rain jackets. My current recommendation is a Paradox rain jacket. It works well when cycling. It isn’t the best rain jacket for walking unless you are facing the wind. The back is a sort of breathable fabric that is waterproof with a bit of air that gets through. If you are just standing still in the rain for a while it starts to soak through. However, awesome on the bike. It also fits well without being overly body fitting.

If you are concerned about aerodynamics in the rain… I also have a Giordana Body Clone jacket. You will get wet after a while but stay a lot warmer than nothing. It bundles up into the size of a tennis ball and hardly weighs anything. But it is more a race thing than a ragbrai item. If you partake in much ragbrai food it is hard to fit into 😀

#1306448

Nico ZZZ, June 26, 2019 at 10:58 am

Besides the jacket, a couple of other items to consider. Lessons learned from the 2014 Tripoli Rain Day.
Full-fingered riding gloves. That early morning Iowa rain can be COLD.
Clear-lens riding glasses, to keep that rain from pelting the eyeballs.
Visor or cycling cap to also shield the eyes from the pelting rain.
I have knee sleeves that helped keep my old joints a bit warmer as well.
You are going to get wet, but you can minimize the other issues – cold and vision – with the items above.
The positives of a Rain Day: line at Beekman’s was short, so I got to that root beer float quickly!
Ride On!

#1306451

andytetmeyer, June 26, 2019 at 12:01 pm

Rain makes the line at Mr Porkchop pretty short too.
Don’t forget to wash out your helmet pads. Otherwise if it rains hard you’ll be dripping salt down your forehead and into your eyes until it dries out. Ask me how I know.

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R-Daryl Daryl, June 26, 2019 at 7:19 pm

Yes, rain gear is critical.
Note that it is best to visit a small town business/establishment for an hour as the rain/clouds pass.
Once the clouds pass, usually the sun comes out and dries the road surface.
Alternatively, you can choose to ride in the rain all day long – at the same speed of the rain “storm”.

#1306507

SFC JKL 2, June 27, 2019 at 10:09 am

I like a straight rain coat opposed to the water resistant jacket. You still get wet, but not as fast and it dries quicker. I only carry it on days with 100% chance of rain. I throw a couple trash bags in the bag (1 to use, 1 to give away). They weigh nothing and come in handy when you don’t expect it. You can also tuck them under your seat or tape around your seatpost very easily.
Proper way to use a trash bag as a rain coat: 1. Don’t cut big holes in it. 2. cut a small hole for your head then small arm holes at the top of the sides. The idea is to force your head and arms thru the bag so that it stay tight to your skin.

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skb-mpls, June 27, 2019 at 11:10 am

I don’t use rain gear unless it is quite cool. In the summer months- it seems that you either get wet from wearing a rain jacket (perspiration) or you get wet from the rain. Either way – with modern biking clothing you dry out quickly. During a heavy downpour – it is a great time to make friends under awning, visiting a farm couple on their porch etc….

#1306557

RoyBoy, July 1, 2019 at 9:47 am

When it is a cold or windy rain you will need a rain jacket and helmet cover for warmth. When it is a warm rain you will overheat with a jacket and helmet cover and be totally drenched in sweat, so go without.

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Karen Parrott, July 7, 2019 at 8:59 pm

I like the O2 brand coat, which is bright yellow and looks like a paper towel. It totally keeps you dry though, and is quite breathable. You can find it online or at the Expo when you arrive, costs about $30ish. There are pants too but i’m not sure they would hold up to the friction of the seat. The material isn’t extremely durable, it lasts 2 or 3 years and then you need to replace it.

#1307718

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