Commuting on a Road Bike in the Rain Advice

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Bryce Klein, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. Bryce Klein

    Bryce Klein New Member

    Apr 27, 2011
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    My first forum post:

    I live at my parents lake place over the summer in northern Minnesota, which is a little less than 15 miles from where I work. I am in the market for a new road bike and am trying to figure out which tires to put on it. The tires need to be effective in all typical weather conditions for summer (including rain) ideally long lasting and durable (I will be commuting 30-50 miles/day depending if I go to the gym or not and going on training rides in addition to that), as well as comfortable for absorbing the occasional pothole of patch of gravel. They must be clincher or tubeless as I will be putting them on Fulcrum Racing Zero 2-ways. Price is not too much of a concern.

    If you would recommend just not riding a road bike in the rain, that is an acceptable response as well. I've got my heart set on the new Pinarello FPQuattro Athena and with those Zeros, it's not a cheap bike. Meaning, if the rain is going to wreck it, I don't want to do that. I have the option of riding a Fischer mountain bike, which is not nearly as fast, but I'm not concerned about damaging it.

    Thank you for you suggestions in advance.

  2. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2010
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    I have no problem riding in the rain. Maxxis Refuse tires have performed well for me in the New England winters. I have dealt with salt, sand and rain without any problems.

    The down side to rain riding is cleaning your bike afterwards. If you ride to work in the rain you are going to need a way to wipe down all the components that can rust. You will also have to do a detailed cleaning and lube upon getting home. Very time consuming.

    Most folks keep a winter beater bike to use in poor weather conditions. Your mountain bike may serve you well for that purpose.
    Bryce Klein likes this.
  3. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2003
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    The main differences I notice about tires are:
    - ease of mounting
    - allowed pressure
    - weight

    Somewhere below that is maybe resistance to punctures, and further on down is durability. Main thing about rain is that lane marking stripes, gratings and similar becomes wickedly slippery. Apart from that one (slick) tire is pretty much like any other tire IMO. (type of) Treads do make a difference when the road surface is contaminated one way or another. Sand/gravel, autumn leaves etc can be scary on slicks, and I'm not too impressed by inverted treads either. But enough to have a serious favourite ahead of others - no.

    But for commuting purposes in a place where rain is a fairly regular feature I wouldn't consider anything else than a bike with full fenders, preferably with a long, low flap on the front fender. That flap will prevent the front wheel from kicking up a rooster tail of road grime aimed straight at your chain and chainrings, as well as buying yourself a grace period before your shoes are soaked through.
    Bryce Klein likes this.
  4. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

    Jul 25, 2009
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    I'd ride that mountain bike if you think it's going to rain.

    Your rims will get covered , and everything else on the bike, with grit when you ride in the rain. And every time you use your brakes you'll be grinding that grit into the wheels just like sandpaper.

    A couple of rides in the rain and your rims will have all the anodizing worn off where the brakes contact.

    As others mentioned, you can clean your bike up when you get home....but you're going to get some extra wear from riding in the rain.
    Bryce Klein likes this.