Do you avoid riding your road bike (even if it has fenders) when you know its going to rain?
And does rain effect your road bike any differently than a hybrid or mountain bike?
I prefer my road bike anyday over my hybrid, but I can't ride the road bike in ice and snow so until recently, it wasn't going outside.
My road bike has fenders and a rack so its set up for commuting and errands as well as longer rides.
To be honest, I'm not 100% comfortable riding in the rain. I'm not too concerned about getting wet or having a dirty butt, but I do have a fear that my brakes will seize up without warning. That's a mostly unfounded fear, as the times I have been caught in a rain storm weren't that bad (and, in fact, were quite liberating), but it's enough to err on the side of caution more often than not.
Also, potholes can be scary enough in dry conditions, but with a layer of water over them, they can hide all kinds of nasty surprises.
My setup is a Mercier Kilo WT singlespeed, with the same geometry of a Surly Steamroller. It has rim brakes. People who do ride in the rain, does your set up have rim or disc brakes?
I don't have much choice, having only one bike and living in a Divvyless neighborhood.
With fenders and a little caution, I find it perfectly doable.
Rim brakes are suboptimal, but if you adjust your response time (i.e., begin braking before you would in dry conditions) you're usually fine. Having good, well-adjusted pads helps, of course. Also, and I'm not sure if this is scientifically accurate, I find that if I pump the brakes a little every now and then it clears the gunk off my rims and the pads engage better.
As far as geometry goes, I don't find the more aggressive position to be a problem. If anything, it keeps my weight more forward, aiding with traction.
I don't think the bike cares whether it's raining or not, as long as the drive train is adequately lubricated.
Rim brakes won't seize up because of rain. Just the opposite: they will lose some effectiveness when they're wet, so give yourself more room to stop. (I don't have any experience with disc or hydraulics.) I suppose you get a tad more traction on wet surfaces with a hybrid or mountain bikes's fatter tires.*
That having been said, I leave the Madone in the garage when it rains because I don't want my sexy "crabon" road bike getting schmutz all over it. So yeah, I use my old reliable hybrid when it rains.
* Tip from a motorcyclist: roads are the most slippery for the first 10 minutes after the rain starts, especially if it's been dry for a while. Stay off the road until the oil and mud film washes away.
I rider both my bikes in the rain but prefer the one with full coverage fenders. As long as you take it easy and modulate your brakes, you should have no issues.
I've got salmon pads and haven't noticed any significant decrease in modulation.
Also, very good full fenders go a long way in keeping you and your bike fairly dry in all but the wettest of downpours. I don't even worry about my drivetrain staying clean anymore; the fenders do exactly as they should.
AM 9.5 said:
Swapping the brake pads for salmon pads (such from Kool Stop or Yokozuna, but there are other brands as well) makes a big difference in wet weather. The downside is that they tend to wear out a bit faster and do not modulate as well, although I don't think the modulation bit is much of an issue.
I ride my road bike in the rain. Now, I don't ride it in a torrential downpour, but "regular" rain, yes.
Yes I ride my road bike in the rain to commute and when on rides (casual or invitational - I remember a nasty Bike the Drive a few years back). No fenders but I have a small detachable plastic "fender" for rain commutes. Wipe down after wet rides and keep chain lubed - similar care for any bike used in rain.
Amen to "I prefer my road bike anyday over my hybrid". Riding my hybrid is transportation. Riding my road bike is pleasure.
I depends how much time I spent cleaning it since the previous ride. :-) Thats what the commuter bike is for.
I love riding in the rain so long as I'm on the way home and it's not too cold. The early evening showers on some of the really hot days last summer were wonderful!
I ride in all weather. The only part of a rainy day that gives me the willies is lightning.
Yea, I ride my road bike in the rain. Fixed gear helps a bit with traction, I suppose. If it's predicted to rain all day I'll usually avoid riding, but don't mind it so much if it's just on the way home. I also agree that sometimes the rain can be real refreshing on the hot days.
If it's raining in the morning, I usually avoid riding and just drive in. I have shower facilities at work, but my clothes don't dry. It's pretty icky. If it rains on the ride home, though, I have towels.
Riding in the rain is almost no different, though, than riding on dry pavement. The first fifteen minutes after the rain starts and stops are the only really sketchy times, as road oils are being washed away or re-deposited on the road. Take care turning on wet leaves, manhole covers, and paint. Leave a little extra room for braking, and you should be all set.