If you've been cycling long enough, then you've surely been caught in the rain. While we don't encourage deliberately riding in wet conditions, sometimes you can't escape the weather (unless you're riding your trainers indoors). Here are some tips that will keep you safe when it gets slippery out there.
1. Ride slowly
Rain means wet roads, and wet roads are slippery roads. Stay in control of your bike and avoid a crash during the rainy season by riding slower. It might not be as thrilling, but it will get you home safe.
2. Lessen tire pressure
A “flatter” tire will allow it to have more traction with the road by widening the tire’s area of contact. The proper tire pressure for wet conditions will still depend on your weight. It’s suggested to reduce 10 psi from your racing or normal tire pressure.
One very useful upgrade you can also do is use tubeless compatible wheels with tubeless tires. That way, you can lessen your tire pressure without running the risk of punctured inner tubes.
3. Check your brakes
Rim or cantilever brakes might not work as well on your tires in wet conditions. This is because your rims will be be slippery. Ride slowly to avoid abrupt stops. And allow yourself to brake twice as long as you normally would to ease your stop. Also be conscious of your front and rear braking: applying a stronger rear brake than your front brake can cause your rear tire to skid.
Disc brakes provide better stopping power compared to rim breaks. They are also affected less by wet weather. This is why this type of braking system is much more useful and safer if you'll find yourself riding your bike in wet weather often.
4. Bring a rain jacket
Stay dry and avoid a cold by bringing a lightweight rain jacket. These jackets can be small enough to fit your jersey’s rear pockets.
5. Light it up!
Rain hampers visibility on the road for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. You can help keep yourself and others safe by using bike lights and wearing reflective apparel. LED bike lights are cheap and commonly available at bike shops.
Be sure to get two: a white light for the front, and a red light for the rear. Many available lights have a blinking feature which allows for greater visibility.
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