5 “must have” clothes when cycling in wet conditions
1 Water resistant jacket - if you want to go cycling in the rain and be kept warm and dry at the same time then you need a good water resistant jacket. It is good to have a jacket with a decent hood and some reflective features on the back of the jacket as well. Nowadays you can find a wide variety of waterproof cycling jackets that will keep you dry, at different price ranges. Bear in mind that wearing a hood when cycling can reduce your peripheral vision and make it difficult to see behind you, but it is good to have a hood when you're off bike.
2 Waterproof over trousers - If you are caught in a heavy rain, a pair of good waterproof trousers is really welcome. The problem with these trousers is that it is hard to find ones that will look good, but despite the "beauty issue", you really need at least one pair if you want to go cycling in rain or in winter.
3 Waterproof overshoes - These might look quite silly as well, but despite the looks, it is wise to use them if you want your shoes to stay dry. A pair of spare socks might also come handy in case your feet get wet.
4 Gloves – Get yourself a pair of waterproof gloves, or even better, two pairs so that you can change them if necessary. Gloves are a great protection for your hands, keeping them dry and warm.
5 Glasses – A pair of glasses can protect your eyes from the rain or any other kind of debris. Transparent lenses with no color or yellow lenses are a good choice when the light is low as they increase contrast and you can see the road more clearly with these on.
4 essential accessories for winter/rain cycling
1 Super bright bike lights to see and be seen - When riding in wet conditions, at night, or in a cloudy weather during the day, always have a a pair of good bike lights mounted on your bike and turned on. Fox Sportive Bike Lights can be a great solution for you in these situations. Beside the bike lights, we suggest you wear reflective and bright colors as well, so that others can see you faster and easier.
2 Waterproof bag cover - Definitely a must have, if you want your bag to stay dry.
3 A Cover for your Seat - To keep your but and your seat dry. Some plastic bags can be a budget alternative for covering your seat.
4 Mudguards - Mudguards are very important, as you don’t want to arrive at your destination with your back and behind sprayed with mud and water. And, more important, you don’t want to spray or splash others cycling behind you - as this is so rude. Using mudguards, you will avoid water flying up your front and back and soaking you totally, and you will spare others from a muddy shower as well.
Keeping yourself warm on your ride
Wear a kind of clothes that can regulate body temperature and help your sweat evaporate. Wearing multiple thin layers is the best way to stay warm.
Avoid puddles and standing water
Going through a puddle is a bad choice. You don’t know what’s in them (maybe they are full of debris which can puncture your tires) or how deep they are. Try to cycle around these little pools of water to avoid any potential puncture, damage to your wheels or getting soaked.
Lower tire pressure to get more grip on the road
If you are afraid to slip in wet conditions, you might want to lower your bike's tire pressure a little bit to increase your grip on the road. Using wider tires is also an option.
Use your head when riding to avoid crashes or slipping
Last but not least important, don’t let the rain stop you and enjoy riding your bike!
LED bike lights are an important accessory for any biker who wants to ride after dark. They increase your safety and visibility on the road, especially at night or in a bad weather, when it is of vital importance to be seen in traffic.
But not only at night, bike lights can be used also in the daytime, in situations when visibility is reduced (fog, rain etc.). Every cyclist riding after dark, should have a white light mounted on the front of a bike and a red light mounted at the rear as well as reflectors on the pedals, no matter where they ride - to work and back, on busy or lonely roads or even off roads.
Halogen and LED lights are both commonly used, they are both efficient and quite affordable. Halogen lights have been popular for many years, but now many cyclists have switched to LED lights. Both types of lights are small, durable, and lightweight and can be taken off the bike.
Very useful and handy
Rechargeable batteries can easily be recharged with a simple battery charger, through a wall outlet, a computer USB port or even a car port. You can have fully charged batteries always at hand.
Great and constant performance
Rechargeable batteries use a constant amount of energy the entire time while used, in comparison with disposable batteries which progressively diminish until they are empty.
Therefore, with rechargeable batteries you get the same performance even when the “low battery” signal is turned on.
They are more sustainable, Eco friendly
Rechargeable batteries produce less waste, by being recharged and reused hundreds of times.Furthermore, charging and recharging is more energy efficient than making new batteries.
Save your time and money
No need to run to the store each time you run out of batteries as rechargeable batteries with a battery charger save your time which you can use for doing something else.
The initial cost of rechargeable batteries may at first seem a little high, but as you can reuse them so many times, and they can provide you with hundreds of hours of use, in the long run, the batteries that you can recharge are way more cost effective.
When it comes to bike commuting there are so many pros for this type of activity and so many benefits that you definitely have to try it. Riding a bike to work is eco-friendly as reduces air pollution, traffic jam, and CO2 emissions. Furthermore, it improves your fitness condition and helps you losing a few pounds. Costs of bike commuting are low and riding a bike to work can also save you the cost of parking, fuel and vehicle maintenance. Besides, the daily exercise is good for your physical and mental health as well.
However, here are some very useful tips you should read when starting bike commuting because they present the basics for any bike commuter.
A - Plan your route ahead
Before starting to bike commute, figure out your best route on which you will feel safe and you will enjoy your bike ride as well.
B - Get comfortable with your bike
This is especially important if you haven’t used your bike for years and would like to start bike riding again.
C - Check your bike before the ride to avoid mechanical problems
Make sure that your bike is in good shape – that the tires are inflated and the brakes work as they should. Clean the chain on your bike, lubricate it if necessary and remove any dirt from it. If you don’t know how to do the basic bike mechanics, you can take it to a local bike shop or a bike mechanic shop for a tune-up and they will take care of these things for you.
D - Be predictable, use hand signals and obey the rules
One of most important things for bike commuters is safety. To maximize your safety when on your bike you have to be predictable. When you are riding your bike you are part of the traffic and you present a vehicle. So, always obey traffic lights - stop at the red lights and go forward only when the lights turn green. If you take any turns on your route, use hand signals to indicate them. If you are predictable and do all that, there is far less chance that you get hit by another vehicle, because in this way other vehicles can anticipate where you are going. When you are riding your bike also scan your surroundings constantly, be aware of the other drivers and try to predict their next moves and directions. And very important, always assume that other participants in traffic can’t see you.
E - Make sure to be seen - make yourself visible
Again, safety comes first. In order to be safer it is so important that you are visible in traffic, especially during the winter times, when the days are short, early in the morning or in the evening and also during the daytime. In order to be seen you have to equip your bike with proper bicycle lights. Mount a white bike headlight on the front of your bike and a red Fox Sportive bike tail light at the back of your bike. In this way you will be much safer on the road.
F - Choose appropriate clothes that are comfortable to wear and stay clean and fresh
Another important thing is comfort. Therefore, choose the clothes that you feel comfortable in. You can wear the street cycling clothes or any other clothes you feel good in. When you arrive to work, if possible, take a shower there, if this is not possible, then use some kind of wipes (such as baby wipes) to refresh yourself after the bike ride. You might also want to change clothes at work, so take some extra with you or have some extra at work.
If you don't want to get all sweaty to work, then don't rush when going to work, take it nice and easy, pedal slowly and you will arrive fine there. If you
G - Be aware of the other participants in traffic
Be aware that there are other cyclists and vehicles around you when you ride your bike, as well as the pedestrians. Pay attention to the pedestrians when they cross roads at crosswalks. When doing turns don’t just use hand signals but do a shoulder check as well. Pay attention to the cars in front of you, in which directions they are going. Avoid coming into the blind spots of other vehicles.
H - Bells are cool - use your bell when needed
When you are passing on another cyclist or a pedestrian, use a bell to indicate your move. If you don’t have a bell on your bike, just use your voice to inform them that you are coming.
I - Lock your bike when arriving at the final destination
Make sure that you secure your bike by locking it carefully. Where bike parking racks aren’t available, try to arrange with your office to have your bike stored somewhere safe or if it is possible to have some bike parking racks installed somewhere near.
J - And not the least important – have fun and enjoy riding your bike
Observe the surroundings, the nature, enjoy the exercise and have some mental rest while doing this. Bike riding is good for your body and good for your soul as well. Enjoy it.