How to Ride A Bike Safely in the Rain

Written by : Mr Mamil
Last updated :

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Not everyone loves cycling in the rain, but sometimes you just have to. Depending on your location, the weather might not go easy on you. Rain shouldn’t stop you, and if you are well prepared, you will never think twice before going on the road when it’s raining.

There’s much more than just keeping yourself as dry as possible on a bike. You should pay attention to your safety, but also your health at the same time.

I’ll share 12 tips on how to cycle in the rain safely below.

Wear proper clothing

Proper clothing is crucial for riding in the rain, and its purpose isn’t only to keep you dry, yet also to make sure your body temperature is optimal, you don’t get mud all over you, and in the end, stay as healthy as possible on a bike when riding in the rain.

  • Head. Wear a cap underneath the helmet is a proper way to keep your head dry. Go for a waterproof cycling cap that will keep your head dry no matter how heavy the rain is.
  • Upper body. Wear a waterproof jacket. With the latest technology, waterproof cycling jackets are both breathable and very water repellent. Advanced technical materials such as Gore-Tex Shakedry make sure you’re dry from both inside and out.
  • Lower body. Wearing the usual bib shorts won’t do any good in the rain. Bib shorts with DWR (Durable Water Repellent) layers will help keep the water away, and they’re most likely a bit more expensive than standard bib shorts.
  • Hands. A good pair of waterproof gloves will make sure you never cut a ride short because of a cold numbness in your hands.
  • Feet. My preference is to use high ankle overshoes made from silicone or neoprene, which are waterproof and can keep your feet warm and dry for longer. Combine overshoes with thicker socks, and chances are your feet will stay dry and warm.

Protect your eyes

It’s most likely that you own a pair of cycling glasses already, and if you’ve never used your clear lenses, the rain is the right time for them.

Depending on the rain, water will be spraying everywhere. A pair of cycling glasses with clear lenses will allow you to see where you’re going without having to wipe the raindrops from your face.

Besides, getting mud and dirt in your eyes is dangerous in the rain. With cycling glasses, you won’t have to worry about this.

Use durable tires

Switch your racing tires for more durable tires that come with a thicker puncture belt to lessen the risk of a puncture. There are higher chances you’ll puncture your tire during the rain because of all debris and dirt that gets washed onto the road. 

Some cyclists opt for a tubeless setup as the sealant can seal almost all punctures except larger cuts. 

You can reduce the tire pressure, which will give you more grip in the wet.

Use mudguards

Even if you have a waterproof jacket and suitable clothing, nothing can save you from your rear tire splashing your back constantly with water mixed with debris.

Mudguards are a simple and inexpensive option that can easily be attached to any bike yet make a huge difference when riding in the rain. It won’t only protect you from splashing water, but it will prevent mud and debris from ending all over you.

Lube the chain

In the rain, the chain can get washed up quickly, leaving you with a squeaky noise as you pedal. You don’t need to lube it before and after every ride in the rain, and all you have to do is get a proper chain lube for rain conditions.

Rain showers will wash a lube off your chain if you’re using a dry lube. Switching to wet lube will make a big difference in rain conditions. Wet lube will get off harder, resulting in no squeaking during rain rides.

Waxing the chain is another great alternative to keep the chain clean and lubed.

Be seen

The rain isn’t the best weather condition since it can take the light away and even bring dark earlier than it’s supposed to.

Always have both front and rear lights, rain or dry.

Make sure your front light is white while the rear white is flashing red.

Keep the bike clean

If you enjoy riding in the rain, it might be fun while you’re on a bike, but when you get off the bike, there’s that cringy feeling of seeing your bike covered in dirt, mud, and debris.

Thinking the rain will give your bike a nice wash and make it shiny is just a myth.

The best way to keep your bike clean after a rainy ride is to wash it immediately after the ride. This will prevent dirt and debris from drying, which would make it harder to clean your bike later.

Ride predictably

No matter how skilled you are, you should always ride predictably and preferably defensively.

I don’t mean you should go slow, but you should take it easy, and observe your surroundings a bit better. Make sure you don’t make any unpredictable moves if you’re riding in a group.

It’d be ideal if you could avoid any sudden speed changes and sudden movements. You should also go easy on the brakes too.

Brake early

Rainy conditions can be dangerous, but what’s even more dangerous is the first rain.

The first rain is the minutes after the rain has started and the road starts getting wet. What makes it different from just a wet road is that it gets super slippery in no time because of debris, dirt, and oil on the road that combines with rain.

Braking performance decreases in wet conditions. Pay attention to the road and other cyclists and vehicles around you. Make sure to give yourself enough time to stop safely.

Watch out for potholes

Potholes are the cyclists’ worst nightmare, even when there’s no rain. During the rain, and even after the rain, potholes are hard to spot since they quickly get filled with water.

Stay away from white lines

Potholes are the cyclists’ worst nightmare, even when there’s no rain. During the rain, and

Unless you have to, never ride on white lines, and be careful how you cross white lines. White lines are a part of the road paint that tends to get very slippery when wet.

Be careful not to brake when you’re riding or crossing the white line. If you have to brake, go super easy on the brakes.

Keep the electronics secured

Most bike computers are waterproof and won’t get damaged by rain, but if you have a phone holder and mount your phone on a bike, you should keep the electronics secured.

There are many inexpensive waterproof bags for smartphones or any other electronics you’re using on your bike that will keep them safe during rain.

There’s no reason to let the rain make you sacrifice your favorite gadget.