8 Tips and Tricks for Wet Weather Riding

Nov 2, 2017 at 16:27
by Mike Kazimer  





The shortest days of the year have arrived in the Northern Hemisphere, which also means that the rainy season is in full swing in many areas. For some, it's hibernation time, a time to increase the caloric intake, binge on Netflix, and let the bike sit, untouched, in a corner until the sun decides to show its face again. Others become Zwifters, the denizens of the online cycling world, battling away against their virtual competitors from the comfort of their basements. And then there are the riders who aren't going to let a little (or a lot) of rain dampen their spirits, riders who have cracked the code and figured out how to have a good time outside, even when building an ark seems like it would be a smarter activity.

Interested in joining those hearty souls? Here are eight tips and tricks that will help to make those journeys out into the deluge as enjoyable as possible.




1. Front Fender

It's no fun being forced to spend an evening trying to coax chunks of mud and pine needles out of your eyeballs, which is why a simple front fender is a must-have accessory. There are a variety of options out there, but the basic concept is the same – a flexible piece of plastic is zip-tied or Velcroed to your fork's legs and brake arch, preventing the stream of mucky water that comes off the front wheel from hitting you in the face.
Wet weather gear
Fenders provide inexpensive protection against flying mud and water.




2. Metallic Brake Pads

Many brake sets come with organic pads as the stock configuration, a fact that I still find baffling. Yes, they are a little quieter in dry conditions, but they also wear out faster, aren't as consistent during sustained braking, and most of all, perform extremely poorly when they're wet. Swap out those pads for a set of metallic ones and you'll be rewarded with improved braking performance, increased pad life, and the ability to actually stop when you want to while riding in wet weather.
Wet weather gear
Swap to metallic pads and you enjoy increased stopping power no matter the weather.




3. Goggles / Glasses

Even with a fender installed it's still a good idea to have some sort of eye protection in place to keep the flying mud and pouring rain at bay. Clear lenses are a must – when there's no sun, the only thing a tinted lens does is make it harder to see the tree that's rushing at your face.

If you decide to go the goggle route, it's worth taking a look at how much replacement lenses cost, since that mud will inevitably lead to scratches, no matter how careful you are. The same thing goes for sunglasses – shelling out hundreds of dollars for a set of glasses with clear lenses isn't going to be worth it when there are more economical options available at your local hardware store, although the cheaper options do tend to be more prone to fogging up.



Wet weather gear
Goggles or glasses with clear lenses help save you from wasting time picking dirt chunks from your eyes.

I typically ditch the glasses or goggles when I'm climbing, and don them for the descents, which helps keep them fog-free for as long as possible. What about running tear-offs or roll-off lenses? Well, unless you're the kind of person that tosses your empty soda cans out the car window, skip the tear-offs altogether – they inevitably end up as trailside litter, and that's never a good thing. Roll-offs can be useful, but if you're not racing, it's just as easy to stop every once in a while to clean the mud off your lenses – a quick spritz of water and a wipe with a cloth or the inside of a goggle bag usually does the trick.



4. Proper Tires

The arrival of fall and winter rains means that it's time to take off that fast-rolling semi-slick that you installed at the beginning of summer and replaced it with something meatier for more gripping and less slipping. Proper tire choice will depend on your location – what works for the loamy mud of the Pacific Northwest may not be the best choice for the the slippery, greasy soil found somewhere like Champery.

Full-on mud spikes can be an option, at least as a front tire, but that'll depend on how often you'll be encountering rocks or roots. A softer compound rubber can also help provide increased traction in slippery conditions, as can running slightly lower tire pressures than you would on dry, hardpacked trails.


Wet weather gear
Look for taller, square lugs and a more open tread pattern when picking a tire for wet weather.

Spikes are best when they can dig into the soil – put them on a solid surface and that confidence-inspiring traction slips away. In the Pacific Northwest, the classic Maxxis Minion DHF or DHR II will work year round, but when the heavens really open up, I'm a fan of running a tire that resembles a cut-down mud spike up front, whether that's a Specialized Hillbilly, Continental Der Baron, Maxxis Shorty, or something similar.




5. Appropriate Apparel

A waterproof, breathable shell is a worthwhile investment, but you don't need to go too crazy – remember, you only need something that will keep you relatively dry while you cruise a few hours; it's unlikely you'll end up trying to tackle Everest while wearing the same jacket. Look for a jacket with pit or chest zippers – no matter how breathable a jacket may be, you'll likely find yourself looking for even more ventilation on long climbs.

In the summertime it's easy to get away with wearing a cotton t-shirt instead of a synthetic jersey, but when it's cold and wet out it's best to stick with synthetic or wool layers. They'll help wick your sweat away, which will keep you drier and warmer. Even if your shoes aren't waterproof a pair of wool socks will go a long way towards helping you maintain feeling in your toes.




Adrian Dailly unstoppable through the raindrops.

On really wet days I'll bring two pairs of gloves, one for the climb and one for the descent, or sometimes I'll stash my gloves in my pocket or pack and go gloveless until it's time to descend. Yes, there are waterproof, windproof, and insulated options out there, but I still haven't come across any that match my preference for having as little material between my hands and the bar as possible, and as long as it's above freezing I'll stick with the same thin gloves I wear in the summer.

Everyone's different, though, so some experimentation will be necessary to figure out the exact layering system that works for you. There's also the temperature and terrain to consider – in the Pacific Northwest there tends to be a thick tree cover, which keeps some of the wind and rain at bay. That's in contrast to some of the more open terrain in Scotland or other similar areas, where there's minimal shelter, and entire rides are spent fully exposed to the elements.





6. Flat Pedals

I regularly switch back and forth between clipless pedals and flats, but when things are really sloppy I usually bust out the Five Tens and flat pedals. It's a good way to brush up on some skills, it's much easier to take a foot off, and there's nothing to get clogged with mud.

Of course, flat pedals aren't a requirement by any means, but at the very least you may want to look for a clipless pedal with some sort of platform around the mechanism. That way there's a place to rest your foot if you can't clip in right away.
Wet weather gear
Flats aren't a necessity, but they're worth a try when the trails are messy.





7. Adjusted Expectations

Remember those long summer rides, the ones where you blissfully pedaled for hours and hours without worrying about the sun setting, or succumbing to hypothermia all by yourself deep in the woods? Those happy memories can give you something to look forward to, but keep in mind that it's not going to be all sunshine and rainbows when you go out for a mucky late-season ride. The sun has a tendency to slip away before you know it, if it shows up at all, which means it's not a bad idea to pack a light in your pack, even if a night ride isn't in your plans.

Jacob Gibbons was thrilled about the weather this morning.

It's also best to approach riding in inclement weather with an open mind, and be prepared to adapt accordingly. Rather than trying to set a speed record, maybe it's time to fine-tune those technical climbing skills – after all, if you can clean a section when it's shining with slug-snot, just think how easy it will be when the sun returns. Or what about heading out for a trail maintenance / exploratory mission? Toss a small folding saw in your pack and take care of the smaller fallen trees and branches that you come across, and unclog any blockages that are keeping trails from draining properly. You'll still get a ride in, plus you'll get bonus points for doing a bit of maintenance.





8. A Post-Ride Cleaning Routine

Ok, you survived your journey out into the storm, but now you're back home, cold, wet, and covered with mud. Developing an effective post-ride cleaning routine is key to making the transition from the outside to the inside world as easy as possible. Everyone's different, but after really sloppy rides I'll typically rinse off my bike while I'm still wearing my muddy gear.

Next, I'll turn the hose on myself, spraying the mud off my shorts, jacket, shoes, etc... Having a towel and a laundry bag for those soggy clothes nearby is handy – wrap up in the towel, toss the wet clothes into the bag and make your way inside. This is where a boot drier is especially handy – put those soggy kicks and your gloves on the drier now, and your feet and hands will thank you the next time you head out for a ride.




Wet weather gear
Nobody likes starting a ride with soggy feet - boot dryers are worth every penny.






Disclaimer: When it comes to wet weather riding, there's a short phrase that pretty much covers all the bases: "Don't be an idiot." If you live in a location where the soil turns into a gloppy, sticky mess after only a little bit of precipitation, it's best to give the trails time to dry out rather than risk damaging them. Ask your local bike shop or trail organization for suggestions about where to ride when it's wet and sloppy.

The rainy season is also usually the prime time for trail building and maintenance – don't be afraid to trade out those bike shoes for some work boots and give back to the trails.



176 Comments

  • 208 2
 Stop braking. You roll slower in mud and you can get away with a lot less braking, it’s a good time to learn to stay off the brakes and you’ll have a lot more fun. The bike doesn’t get so clogged with shit and you keep a lot more traction with the wheels rolling. Disclaimer: I learnt this like yesterday. Just trying to share my findings not sound like a wanna be bike coach Razz
  • 237 0
 User's region flag seems relevant
  • 36 1
 Don't brake, use dry tires, take inside lines. Tried this the other day at Brandnertal, didn't work for me at all like it did for AG in MSA.
  • 4 1
 Easier said than done haha
  • 6 0
 That's better advice than the article. I re-learn this every year (the lesson doesn't take long).
  • 5 1
 Nicely put. Just as important is to pick where to brake as often the steeper trails still roll well when it's wet. Do all your braking where you are likely to get most grip or before corners, roots, etc. which will give you the confidence to get off the brakes for areas you are likely to need clear tyres or where grip is low. And everyone says it but there is no better advice out there - keep your head up and look down the trail.
  • 4 0
 dont bail on the ride, squint, dont brake more than usual, clean up. repeat... couple of my most memorable rides have been on familiar trails, but really muddy and under soaking rain... bottom brackets are replaceable anyways .. ride on..
  • 2 0
 @asboites: Yep we know wet Frown
  • 2 2
 gives advise for riding in the wet. pussys out of ard moors 2017!
  • 7 0
 "Yea we try not to ride when its wet" said no one of British origin, ever
  • 1 0
 @rifrafi: funny you should mention - it was at ard moors where I learned this lesson very quickly and have since put to use on my home trails. I also learned that for me ‘riding’ and carrying my bike in 12” deep mud is about as much fun as having my finger nails pulled out! Nevertheless it did improve my mud riding skills. Apparently it was much better riding on the Sunday so I was a bit gutted I didn’t ride but I’m quite happy to admit that’s not my kind of fun. If it were I’d have signed up to a tough mudder. The trails at home were actually rideable ;-)
  • 153 3
 when you are done, you can sit on your boot dryer and dry your bumholio
  • 87 2
 That sounds like a recipe for athlete's ass. I'd recommend taking a hot shower instead.
  • 47 0
 Instructions not clear, pocket rocket stuck in ceiling fan.
  • 10 1
 @mikekazimer: Athlete's ass - dude, that's going to haunt my nightmares. How about a trigger warning next time? Some mental images cannot be unseen...
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer: Athlete's ass? Maybe foot can be a verb... oh no...
  • 2 0
 Sorry meant to prop but commented instead
  • 2 0
 nothing better than a nice dry gooch
  • 1 0
 Boot dryer! How have I never heard of this invention before? Looks ingenious! Can they be bought, or is this a home made special?
  • 1 0
 @jaame:Cant be that hard to find, every hotel in the Alps have them for drying ski and snowboard boots. They come as big multi boot racks or individual items as per the pic in the article.
  • 2 0
 @jaame: The one in the picture is available on Amazon. I'm looking at getting one now I'm doing wet night rides cos my 5:10s take a days to dry naturally after a wash.
  • 2 0
 With a suggestion like that, you might want to scuttle the MTB and check out the It Bike from South Park. A to B will be much faster
  • 1 0
 Taint that the truth.
  • 1 0
 I do like the sound of that, no-one likes a wet doke
  • 65 0
 Great post. A few tips from my experience:

Bring a towel in your vehicle. You WILL be covered in mud. You can shake most of it off, and then sit on the towel to keep your interior nice.

Bring an extra pair of socks and shoes in your vehicle. Driving home with wet feet sucks. Drinking a beer in your favorite bar or brewery with wet feet sucks.

I go for the cheap $5 safety glasses you can get at Walmart. Available in clear or amber. Great for dark trails and if you break them or lose them, you aren't heartbroken.

Load your bike into your truck or rack and THEN take your gloves off...

Expectations. Be prepared to bail on your ride. Too windy? Maybe too cold for your attire? Too hard of rain? Skip it and use the time to enjoy a frosty beverage instead. In the PNW where I am, we get good winds (30-50) fairly regularly (like last night), that knock branches off of trees regularly. Or they just get knocked over. Better to play it safe and ride another day.
  • 13 0
 Great point about loading bike first before you change or take gloves off!
  • 6 0
 @Sapling: Its a good idea even when its dry. Never know when there might be a turd nugget hanging from the bike. Whether it be from a horse, dog or raccoon; I don't want that spoiling post ride beer(s).
  • 10 0
 Small emergency bike light in case you get stuck out during the shorter days. Nothing is worst than riding through the dark via cell phone.
  • 8 0
 Good point about being sensible and bailing when there's gusting wind. Out enjoying a ride one stormy afternoon, kept hearing creaks and booms. Then a tree fell across trail about 100 feet ahead of me. Turned tail and went back to momma. Is a kind of danger I am not interested in courting.
  • 5 0
 Your reply much more useful than the article itself
  • 9 0
 I can't remember the last time I washed my bike. I brush the wet mud off and leave it to dry and then brush / wipe again. IMO washing can only be a bad thing and push water into bearings. I do clean and lube the drivetrain after every ride. I usually ride every 2 to 3 days so this works fairly well.
  • 1 0
 Also you need a garage or shed for this to work.
  • 2 0
 @fartymarty: at least I'm not the only one then! I let the mud dry out in the shed then just brush and wipe the dry mud off.
  • 1 0
 Yeah like it ever rains in Poulsbo.
  • 1 0
 Shoes, gloves, helmet, buff, top into the footwell of the passenger side of the car. Or, if you've got them, put the heated seats on and put the gloves between the seat and your butt.
  • 1 0
 @Poulsbojohnny all of this! plus get a plastic bin from home depot or something to put your muddy stuff to contain the mess.

Edited to add: And moto moccs are the best damn thing... I carried this over from moto but get some moccasins for after-wards feels great you're feet get toasty warm in them after the ride.
  • 1 0
 +1000. Great tips.
  • 48 1
 This is just typical uk riding prep all year round!
  • 25 1
 MERINO WOOL BASE LAYER(S)!
  • 10 0
 Merino is the poor mans cashmere. All i buy these days. Base layers, socks, mid layers. Get yourself some merino boxers. Once you go merino you wont go back
  • 13 6
 i disagree. i love merino but i wouldn't use it where there is high intensity exercise, like trail riding. it just soaks so much sweat up and holds it in place. technical baselayers all the way when on the bike.
  • 4 1
 @r-macattack: if you’re having that much of a problem then you’re wearing too thick of a merino layer. There’s a fine line there. The mons royale stuff is my go to for riding this time of year, even under a rain jacket and sweating. Oh, and a merino layer is a technical baselayer haha I think you just mean polyester based layers.
  • 1 0
 @pargolf8: Last winter I used to wear a short sleeve jersey, a cashmere sweater and a waterproof jacket. What I like most about cashmere is that it's not much thicker than a longsleeve jersey so it doesn't restrict my ability to move.
  • 2 0
 @r-macattack: even soaked in sweat they keep me warm and feel like a second skin much better than most synthetics. microweight base layers with a jersey on top is great for hot/cool 3 season riding too (ie: hot exposed chapparal to cold north facing forest canyon and back)

Just gotta get the layering formula right
  • 11 0
 I treat wet weather riding the exact same as any other ride. Cold wet weather riding, though, is a whole other animal. Two keys things that I find very useful are investing in some good thick wool socks and putting an extra pair of gloves in your bag. Sometimes there is no better feeling than being mid-ride and switching to dry gloves. I also switch to drinking stouts in cold weather, but that is purely optional.
  • 5 0
 a second pair of gloves is a very good idea!
  • 4 0
 Waterproof shorts. Vernon Felton wrote a review of the Bontrager shorts and I second that they are awesome in the cold wet
  • 9 0
 +1 Stouts. And not those whimpy Creme stouts or watery jobs, either! Imperials! Milk Stouts! Calories!
  • 4 0
 @Sshredder: Not just for wet conditions. Did a couple of enduros over the summer on hot days and swapped to dry gloves after the 3rd of 5 stages...at that point the first pair were saturated with sweat. It was nice to have and weigh nothing.
  • 3 0
 @Poulsbojohnny: And drink them warm like a Brit, lots more flavor and you buds won't want to poach your stock.
  • 1 0
 @lake-st: What do you mean by warm, when it comes to beer? 12-15 Celsius degrees or 37+?

Personally I prefer mulled cider for winter riding, as it tastes good even when it's actually warm, like tea or coffee.
  • 1 0
 @Extremmist: What a great idea hot cider, no more frozen drinking tubes, maybe even in a fanny pack could be half euro.
Cheers
  • 1 0
 @lake-st: I prefer room temp for my stouts, thank you very much! Cold is for ales and IPAs (of which I am also a fan!)
  • 1 0
 @Poulsbojohnny: mmm, milk stout
  • 1 0
 @Poulsbojohnny: stouts are a cyclist's wet dream, mixing two of our favourite flavours - beer and coffee.
  • 1 0
 @lake-st: Someone once told me that the reason Brits drink warm beer is that their refrigerators are made by the same companies that did the wiring in their cars and motorcycles back in the day.
  • 1 0
 @RunsWithScissors: Priceless, I owned British bikes and to me Joseph Lucas, was the inventor of darkness.
  • 13 2
 I should post this on my local IMBA chapters facebook page. That will go over swimmingly.
  • 7 0
 Made me laugh that people would need to be told this stuff. Then I remembered that not everyone lives in the UK and has to put up with these conditions 11 months of the year. Guess the jokes on me....
  • 6 0
 Sorry guys I use only dry chainlube the whole year. No offense but I wait the rainy day goes by. Come visit Athens in winter for riding. There are a lot o museums to attract your family 's attention.
  • 5 0
 Glasses/goggles - hard to beat a decent pair of safety glasses from your local hardware store. Go for the deluxe versions (at something like $10-15), and you get nice, distortion free, UV-protective, shatter proof, anti-fog-coated specs that almost look like clear sports shades, but are still cheap enough that you don't mind replacing them every season or so. Unlike, say, $80-150 specialty riding glasses...

Flats - yep, for sure. Even better - if you're riding flats all year, put longer pins on for the winter. And make sure you buy shoes before the wet season, rather than before summer. You want your sticky soles at their stickiest when things get slimey, especially when it gets cold (and the rubber is less pliant because of that).

Bike cleaning - it's amazing how five minutes of rinsing after riding and five minutes of lubing before riding can keep a drive train in good shape...

Trails - around here, most trails are built with enough armor and drainage to be all-year affairs (they take more damage in the dusty late summer months than they do in the sloppy winter). But man, it pisses me off when people bomb through soft sections. It pisses me off even more when after trail days that involve lots of fresh dirt people don't respect the trail closures and rip shit up before it has a chance to compact down.

The expectations thing is huge - I used to hate riding in sloppy slippery conditions. And then I sort of adjusted my mindset. Not just about how big a ride I'd get in, but about the ride itself. If you slow down a bit and get really deliberate about placing your front wheel, keeping the rear nice and loose, and get extra clean on form, then all those wet roots and slimy puddles can be a total giggle fest instead of annoying or scary. Nope, you're not getting that g-force vestibular hit we all love, but you can still find flow.
  • 5 0
 2 things. Waterproof socks and windproof cycle cap. I bought one pair Sealskinz think socks. I wear the over regular socks (type and thickness depending on temperature) as a outside protective layer. Best part is that these Sealskins socks are also windproof, so I can ride using my "summer" shoes with thick wool socks under them (my feet are very cold sensitive) during autumn. In winter I have to switch to thicker ankle winter shoes though.
  • 7 1
 Hardtail. If you're like me and don't have an insulated garage, spending long amounts of time cleaning linkages and pivots out in the cold is not an attractive idea. HT's make your cleanup pretty much spray 'n' lay.
  • 5 0
 Surely we all maintain our bikes in our living rooms, not garages...??
  • 6 1
 CA riders should give the trails a break when they are wet and try picking up a rake, shovel or saw to help build/maintain some of the fun runs they enjoy riding so much.....***breaking news***.... trail building forest gnomes and fairy's don't really exist....... just sayin
  • 8 0
 Socks, Tesco bag, socks. Dry feet!
  • 4 0
 Glasses not goggles if you're pedalling up. Goggles will just be hood ornaments. They'll fog up, get smeary and be feckin useless. Glasses on the other hand, they can work. Trust me did the last 2W Enduro in Rotorua, and took goggles...
  • 1 0
 I wear riding glasses every ride when it's dry, but they are useless when it's actually raining though as you can't see through the droplets. A full front mudguard like a mudhugger or Dfender (with a homemade extension, as they're still too short) lets you ride in the rain and mud, foot out, flat out, with no glasses and your eyes open.

Also Sealskinz socks, 5 Ten Elements, Endura MT500 Spray shorts and a ride in the rain is a pleasure.
  • 6 0
 @mikekazimer

I don´t get the metallic brake pad thing

my tipp for wet days - sealskinz socks with hydrostop
  • 3 0
 Bookmarked for if I ever move out of AZ.

In Arizona it's a big no-no in the mtb community to go riding while it's raining or still very wet after a rain storm. Do other areas not have issues with trails getting detroyed by riding in the wet?
  • 2 0
 In Utah it's the same thing.
  • 2 0
 It depends on the environment you're in, the weather or climate, and most importantly how the trails are built and maintained. Drainage and all that.

I live in Vancouver now and can ride almost all year round (if I want to miss out on the snow)!
  • 2 0
 Vancouver is wet for half the year and riding continues. Most (not all) trails are built with excellent attention to drainage and all season design and also water simply doesn't stick on the steeper north shore routes. The higher elevation trails get snow but its easily possible to ride excellent trails in the morning and go skiing in the afternoon.
  • 1 0
 All depends on your regions dirt and then trail design...for example in Whistler some trails get really damaged if ridden wet, while others are a hooting fun with little impact when wet...the local trail organization does its best to remind folks to stay off the sensitive ones by closing them.....but sadly here we have the opposite thought train , where lots of people think bike tires are made by magic fairies that leave no trace ?!....thankfully with constant reminders the mindset is slowly changing...
  • 1 0
 If we did that in the UK we'd only ride 5 days of the year!! Build and maintain trails right (I do it for a living) and it's no problem at all!
  • 3 1
 Eyy MIke ever herd of NeverWet...? every mtbr should have this stuff, its amazing. Put it on you bike ur shoes your cloths everything, i even put it on tires... and just wow. They also have this NeverWet for Glass.. that stuffs like some super magic mud barrier on goggles and GoPro lenses. Pretty supersized pinkbike hasnt done a review on any thing like it.... Check it out www.neverwet.com
  • 1 0
 Use neverwet on my shoes. Awesome stuffs.
  • 2 0
 If you do want to ride in clips, of all the normal shoes I recommend the Shimano AM9s. Covered laces and no holes in the toe box, and it's black. Note that the latest model does have holes and is a lighter colour, so go find some discounted old models.
  • 1 0
 My new ME7s are wank in the wet, as you say, holes in toe box.
  • 5 0
 Especially liked the brake pad tip. Also don't forget a small waterproof bag or zip lock bag for your phones!
  • 2 0
 Lots of good here. Personally I think 90% of the problem is attire: finger gloves, goggles, a good jacket, lots of wool underlayers. All good. Fender, brake pads... meh...

but theres two other items that make a big deal to my comfort:
1) Waterproof socks. I got showers pass socks for a 60 mile mud race. Have >30 hours on them, they are amazing because they look like socks, thin enough to fit in my shoes but really are waterproof and breathe. Sounds crazy impossible but its true. These makes a huge difference to my foot temperature and comfort when its freezing and wet.
2) Lightweight running gaiters. $20, stop rain and mud from going into the tops of my shoes, helps prevent shoes from filling with water and dirt.
  • 6 1
 Oh here's another tip if the trails in your zone don't drain well:

Road bike with full fenders.
  • 10 4
 BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO ROAD BIKES!!!!!!!!!
  • 5 0
 Slap some latex surgical gloves on under your riding gloves. Vella, dry, warm hands all day
  • 2 0
 My toes don't fit in the finger holes too well though.
  • 2 0
 @lake-st: you wear gloves on your feet....
  • 2 0
 Black clothes are the best thing you can do for winter riding. Don't fight the mud, it will get on you. And every color shows mud, even after you wash it, except black, black never shows mud. So don't fight it and wear all black.
  • 2 0
 Flat shoes actually assist greatly in keeping your feet warm. Just like your brake lever can suck the heat from your fingers, the entire pedal/crank assembly can do the same. This is even more prominant with a clip pedal as you're a lot more exposed with the open bottom that comes with cleat mounts; having a shank then a cleat attached to the pedal, all right under your foot.
Also, the FiveTen FreeriderEPS high tops are a great flat pedal winter shoe. I used them all last winter as a riding shoe, and also a shoe to throw on after snowboarding all day for trekking around in the snow. Then pair them with a good sock.
  • 1 0
 Agreed! Found that using composite flat pedals in winter helped keep my feet warmer! Also taping the levers with some non-slip tape helped immensely with the cold and grip as well.
  • 2 0
 I can't give tld cold weather gloves enough props. Still super thin, like any regular rising glove, on the palm but insulated and weather resistant on the top. Best cold weather investment I've made. Some day I'll get some proper winter riding shoes too. It's pretty tough trying to make the same shies work in the worst of Washington's winter and then expect them to still be comfortable in thailand when I escape.
  • 4 1
 A Mudhugger on the rear transformed my winter riding here on Vancouver Island. Lots of puddles even if it's not raining, and my ass is clean and dry. I have waterproof shorts and they are garbage in comparison.
  • 2 0
 Mudhugger FTW
  • 1 0
 Zefal mudguards (www.zefal.com/en/16-mudguards) can be found for accessible prices here. Deflector FM20 for fork - works nicely on MZ 350 NCR with 2,35 Vittoria tyres. For the other end - DEFLECTOR RM29. The attaching system is bit PITA to fit for first times, but still less annoying that riding with wet ass.

Coulnd't fit any mudgurad on Manitou Mattoc, not enough clearance. Frown
  • 2 0
 This is obviously going to be buried, but I use my car's floor mats to sit on for the ride home. They are meant to have wet and muddy shoes on them, so why not my wet and muddy ass? Gotta keep my mid 90's subaru interior shiny and clean...
  • 3 2
 Tenn outdoor waterproof shorts, aldi's own waterproof socks, cheep wind proof jacket , no point buying an expensive breathable jacket, to hot and it will get trashed ( lots of crashes ) and no wool anything ( ok in very cold and dry though)
I find kevlar pads good .I would rather have fast pad ware than disk ware with metal pads
love it
  • 2 2
 This! Cheap waterproofs that u hang up and never wash and just throw away when ruined. Old shoes dedicated to being soaked through And once the wheels stop rolling and forks clogged with mud- strip the bike, replace old bits and pick up the shovel!!
  • 4 3
 @jamesdippy: "Cheap waterproofs that u hang up and never wash and just throw away when ruined."

That's really environmentally responsible... have you people never wondered what happens with all this cheap clothes, glasses and other crap you throw away?
  • 2 0
 @Extremmist: oi I'll have you know I recycle and think of the water / energy saving from no washing!
  • 1 0
 @jamesdippy: I'm pretty sure you won't use more water on washing your clothes than the manufacturer used to make them. Water footprint of an average cotton t-shirt is about 2,500 litres, while one washing machine cycle requires about 50. So even if you washed your t-shirt 50 times, you'd still be saving water compared to buying a new one. And that's if you didn't put anything else in the washing machine, only that one t-shirt (while realistically you can wash 20 of them at the same time).
  • 2 1
 Best tip I’ve ever got for riding in the wet is wearing you goggles without a lense, because if it’s truly wet you won’t be able to see after 50ft and your googles will probably fog up any ways.

Sounds stupid but it works quite well... goggles with no lense is the way to go
  • 1 0
 Wear a coat. Wear more layers. i.e. double up on socks. Goggle wiper. Leave a thermos of your favourite hot beverage in the car to look forward to when you get back. Towels to sit on in car/wipe yourself down with. Bags for muddy clothes.
  • 3 0
 towels yes, and take off all the muddy outer layers before getting into the car. Means you might be spotted in lycra but to avoid this, head straight home and don't grab a latte on the way there.
  • 2 0
 I love riding frozen ground with no (or little) snow. Great traction and zero trail damage, but the early bird gets the worm. Also a hat for under the helmet and hood for over the helmet gives great thermal flexibility.
  • 1 0
 Found switching out to composite flat pedals really helped with keeping my feet warmer as opposed to metal pedals.

Also packing an extra pair of nitrile/latex gloves in the bag, usually breaking them out for the downs and layering them under my regular gloves, they really do wonders as they act as a vp barrier, helping keep the hands a tad warmer, and especially when it is wet. (It feels weird when the hands are wet, but if they’re warm, it doesn’t matter!)

This has saved my hands plenty in wet / cold conditions, even with wet gloves!
  • 1 0
 We battle with the cold rather than the wet, I use a ski helmet and if its less than -10 or so goggles as well Electric socks have been awesome and always a spare set of gloves along with Barmitts Carbon bars are definitely warmer, flats seem to let the foot flex a little more and keep the blood flowing. I always carry an extra shell for the down and wool base layers are a must
  • 1 0
 I carry a squirt bottle of water to go with the towel and use it to hose my shins, face, forearms, glasses lenses before jumping in the truck to go home/eat/grocery shop/head to work.

Keeps from scaring the locals and if it's a pre-work ride, chunks of mud don't fall off my shins on the office carpet as they harden under my pants.
  • 1 0
 Another tip is to spray your bike and goggles with a generic silicone spray. Stops your goggles from fogging up and makes the bike easier to clean. Just avoid contact points, and unless you want to go reeaaally fast, avoid your brake rotors!
  • 1 0
 Couple other tips... get a pump up garden sprayer & mod the end (you can cut it down to about 4") and use it to spray off your bike and your gear before you stow it for the drive home.


They also make a great mobile shower for dry camping. I'm a VW Westfalia guy and we use these for all kinds of things.

antibacterial baby wipes / flushable wipes for de-funking as you change out of your gear into the drive to home stuff

Here in the Pacific Northwest things turn to slop pretty quickly and there's not much worse than a nasty drive home after an awesome day of riding.
  • 5 1
 best tip for wet riding : go to a dry place and shred in the sun.
  • 2 0
 Points 1 through 8 have been effective since I began riding MTB back in 2006. Honestly; I don't buy hardpack/fast rolling tyres because I would literally never use them.
  • 1 0
 Cold weather tip - don't count on your dropper working. Rode in 30' conditions yesterday and I'd lowered it before reaching the summit of my climb, and the post wouldn't operate after this point - neither up nor down.
  • 4 1
 Tell me something I don’t know
  • 18 1
 the earths flat
  • 14 1
 @greglikesspecialized: lol no way!
The earth is round.
Like a pancake.
  • 4 0
 The human head actually weights 10 pounds.
  • 3 0
 My wet weather seems to have frozen, any tips?
  • 10 0
 Same here. I think that means it's time to go skiing.
  • 12 0
 Stay inside Get fat Get depressed Regret it Repeat every year
  • 1 0
 @ihatetomatoes: hahahaha!!! Legend!
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: you lucky git! I'd love to be able to ski weekends at home, how cool is that! I know I can ride and prefer bikes, but skiing is fun too!
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: SnowPocolypse! again...
  • 1 0
 What is this wet/frozen that you speak of? We like to say that West Australia has 2 seasons, Summer and Hot Summer...
  • 2 0
 you guys missed a big tip, suck it up and get one with it, so you can go the pub afterwards.
  • 3 0
 Good thing it never rains in the PNW!
  • 4 0
 Wet? What?
  • 2 0
 Thin plastic gloves (like catering ones) under riding gloves, and there you go dry hands all sesh
  • 1 0
 Northeast bike hack. Use a thin coat of cooking spray on your frame/areas that clog/clipless pedal mechanisms. The mud literally just falls off and things run smoother.
  • 1 0
 Eat a fried breakfast before you go riding in the cold. Loads of protein won't give you an energy spike, but it will keep you going through the cold and wet
  • 3 1
 Lolz at the disclaimer, we live for the slop in Scotland ????
  • 2 0
 Appropriate apparel = Dirtlej Dirtsuit
  • 1 0
 I went on a nightride in the middle of the UK last night and had dust on my bike. In November.
  • 2 0
 Tip #1 - Stay inside where it is warm and dry.
  • 2 1
 Wet weather riding is what separates the men from the boy Wink
  • 6 7
 I know I'll get blown up for this, but I think it's a bit hypocritical that this site is so down on e-bikes for supposedly destroying trails and shutting down access, but we can talk happily about riding trails in the wet
  • 7 0
 not all wet trails are the same, and not all ebikes are the same, but people love knee jerk reactions and generalizations. great statement.
  • 7 0
 There are trails around here that are way better to ride in the wet. When they're dry, the dirt just blows away or turns into sand.
  • 1 0
 Can anyone recommend a waterproof breathable jacket that doesn't cost a fortune ?
  • 1 0
 I got a craghoppers coat in the sales at £40 a DoE reccomended one, it does what it says and it's not a super skinny fit so I can move in it. Will get warm if I work too hard (but that happens anyway) and the only place water gets in is if I have the zip down a bit, first issue is the stiching under the arm after 3 years but mother in law came to the rescue with the needle. I'd buy their stuff again, the rrp isn't massive so they come down to a proper price in the sales. Only thing is bulk if you want to pack it. I have been checking out the new alpkit argonaut at £79, which looks to be packable, 10k/10k and cut for biking with longer cuffs and back, couldn't comment on the quality though, but that might be my next jacket.
  • 1 0
 @Braindrain: Thanks for the info mate I will definitely look into the craghoppers jacket I also believe that Go Outdoors have some cycling jackets that are meant to be waterproof and reasonably breathable for about £60 , but have not had a proper look at them yet , The Alpkit sounds ideal as I probably looking for something I could layer up underneath and chuck it in my camelback when needed , I was foolish and bought a £200 Berghaus and have not been that impressed with the performance and then tore the sleeve open on a barb wire fence just to finish it off
  • 2 0
 frogg toggs dryducks
  • 1 0
 Make sure you get a rain coat with a decent hood. The hood is the most important (and usually overlooked) part. Get one with a hood that fits over a helmet (like the one in the picture actually).
Don't stress about the coat being breathable - you're gonna sweat in all of them, no matter how much money you throw at it
  • 1 0
 In response to illest, a big hood is useful, but I disagree with the not breathable bit, the waterproofs like plastic bags that don't breath are not worth using, as soon as I put any effort in I'm roasting and wetter on the inside, I feel then like I want to take the thing off and just get wet. Any breathable material will be compromised when it's totally wet as the water creates a barrier, but for those inbetween times, mizzle or showery days being able to keep the jacket on and feel comfortable is a definate plus for me, otherwise you are stopping and taking it on/off all the time.
  • 1 0
 @Braindrain: Wells, I'll just say that hasn't been my experience. I've tried expensive breathable coats and the real breathable difference to a £50 jobber is negligible.
Most of the coats breathable-ness is lost when the coat is covered in mud and rain.
Vents make a far bigger difference
  • 2 0
 Flask of Fireball or sipper of your choice
  • 3 3
 read the comments on the last wet weather article, copy and paste, post article 8 Tips and Tricks.....
  • 7 7
 Only thing I disagree is flat pedals. Always go clipless for DH or Enduro.
  • 2 0
 Incoming Sam Hill reference...
  • 15 0
 Remember when it was super muddy at the Cairns World Cup and Gee Atherton borrowed a spectator's flat pedal shoes to take the win? That's a great story.

www.pinkbike.com/news/interview-gee-atherton-on-flat-pedals-and-his-win-at-the-cairns-world-cup-dh-2014.html
  • 5 0
 @nvranka:
“I asked a spectator what size feet he had, as I'd seen he had a good pair of flats on. He agreed to swap shoes with me trackside! By the time I'd finished anti doping after the race, the guy had left, so I still have his shoes. I need to find out who he was. His name was Sam.”
Indeed it was.
  • 2 1
 Metal cleats conduct heat and will result in cold feet when it's freezing or colder.
  • 1 0
 @Segu: no hill?
  • 1 0
 @DownhillBikes I agree. Clips in the mud can actually be the best time to use them. Cos when your bike is sliding all over the place, knowing that your feet are held in place can be really helpful. Requires more commitment, but can be a lot more satisfying (and faster)
  • 1 4
 I haven't tried it but I'm not too sure about those fenders. One of the main issues in the mud is when the mud clogs up your knobs. Provided your profile is open enough (and depending on the consistency of the type of mud) most will fly out again but it seems like this type of fender would compact it into your thread.
  • 3 0
 I've been using the mucky nutz version for years and the only issue I've had is once in a while a pine cone or big leaf has gotten stuck in there and made some noise. No big deal to stop and pull it out. We have plenty of mud in BC but it's never been an issue. The other plus to these fenders is they keep some of the crud off your stanchions / wipers which is good for the fork.
  • 1 0
 note to myself: remember to turn those old ski pants into riding shorts
  • 1 0
 Hell yeah. Boot dryer. Never seen that before. Now I need it. Great idea.
  • 1 0
 A dry Jersey for the dh keeps ya warm. Syncline shredder recipe
  • 1 0
 For all tha California transplants into the PNW ha
  • 1 0
 The only valuable advice is switch beer to whiskey artery ride
  • 1 0
 9. Spend the winter in Phoenix
  • 1 0
 Good winter clipless shoes/boots ftw!
  • 1 0
 Waterproof socks are a game changer.
  • 1 0
 9. Live the bike in garage. Lay down a bitch... Wink
  • 1 0
 Stay home and eat like a fat fuck !
  • 1 0
 Go to Arkansas!
  • 2 4
 What might be useful is a review of all the new wet weather riding gear and lubes a etc rather than this waste of a read!!
  • 1 2
 Blah blah blah blah, go ride your bike
  • 1 1
 Boot Dryer for the Win!
  • 1 2
 Lock up the brakes and lean in the direction you want, like skiing
  • 2 4
 How did this make the front page?
  • 7 0
 Because its Fall....
  • 1 2
 ...
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