The Chainlink

Hey Everyone. So I'm riding my first fall / winter around town and have gotten caught in the rain enough to warrant buying some gear... But I'm on a student budget and want to get the most for my money. I'm thinking rain coat and pants for starters. I have a mud flap. Any brand, store, or website recommendations?

Thanks!

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Look for nylon pants, polyester wears too quickly. Try these:  http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___77701

Froggtogs are light and not expensive, but tear easily.

I found great a Columbia raincoat at Burlington Coat factory in the loop.(I had one for over twenty years till the seams finally separated). 

Try the landsend outlet also, they have some great raincoats, I have not been able to find rainpants there.

Try cabela also. 

O2 rain pants/jackets can be had for under $20 apiece - have saved me in the spring/fall before, keep them rolled up at the bottom of a pannier. Not stylish, but better dry and bright yellow than soaking wet...

You can also keep an eye on chainlove.com or steepandcheap.com for occasionally very good deals-of-the-minute on bike/winter wear. And geartrade.com seems to be where backcountry.com sells all of their returns for pretty big discounts on new prices.

Search "Sportsman's Guide" and "Sierrra Trading Post" as they often have great deals on outdoors clothing, including different weights of technical fabric base layers (used to be called "long johns", back in the day.)  Be prepared for many emails with deals and sales.  "Longscycle" has shoe and boot covers for cycling, but some of their prices may add up on you.  I just bought a pair of waterproof (Gortex) mid boots for riding in the rain and winter from Zappos via Adidas...so good I might get a second pair.

Remember the old adage..."No bad weather, just bad clothes."  and the corollary, "Good clothes cost big bucks."  Cheap prices can be a false economy, but limited funds change the choises available.

As for Froggtoggs, I've used them and used them up.  Bike shorts get eaten by friction on the seat and thighs, so anything is eventually going to die.

I carry my "foulies" on my bike most of the time as I hate getting soaked and cold.  Warm and snug is the way to be.

 

BIkeBoy5


Just keep in mind that the O2 jackets tear really easily.  Granted they only cost $20 and are really breathable but still.  


Alex said:

O2 rain pants/jackets can be had for under $20 apiece - have saved me in the spring/fall before, keep them rolled up at the bottom of a pannier. Not stylish, but better dry and bright yellow than soaking wet...

You can also keep an eye on chainlove.com or steepandcheap.com for occasionally very good deals-of-the-minute on bike/winter wear. And geartrade.com seems to be where backcountry.com sells all of their returns for pretty big discounts on new prices.

I was just going to suggest Sierra Trading Post. I bought my rain jacket that folds up into a pouch from them for $15. Totally worth it. 

Jeff K said:

Sierra Trading Post has great deals. I really like my Canari Razor Eclipse Jacket from them. It's water "resistant" though, I have not tested it in a real rain storm.

Sign up for their emails and you will constantly get 30% and 35% offers (seemingly 10 times a day, but worthwhile when you are ready to buy).

Another tip is wearing wool layers. It's a lot more comfortable when wet than cotton. And the thrift stores abound with good sweaters.

It'll be snowing soon; no rain gear needed!  Fenders on the other hand...

If cheap is the primary need then I second the poncho idea.

Keep in mind though, if you can pay a little more for a decent lightweight rain shell and rain pants, you will also be able to wear them as windbreaks in colder winter riding. You don't need to pay the higher cost for gortex; there is other raingear out there that costs less and will still work.

And YES to fenders. Keeps wet from splashing up on to your feet and keeps that wet stripe off your butt and back.

If you are used to waiting outside for CTA, you probably already own all the right clothes (practical knee length coat, knee high boots that are warm and waterproof).  However most people don't own waterproof gloves.  When it's 60F and up, wet hands aren't a big deal.  When it's 50F and below, damp hands = icy hands.  You can get a decent pair for $30 at Sierra Trading Post (sometimes you can find good ski gloves at places like TJ Maxx/Filene's Basement).  In cold rain, I wear my White Sierra rain pants (also $30 at Sierra Trading Post).  They are so awesome, I wear them even when I take the CTA.  Keep an extra pair of socks and cheap gloves in your bag and you'll have them to use as your wet ones dry out.  

I know people who have picked up Tyvek coveralls and/or 2-piece sets at Home Depot or Lowes and use those for their raingear.

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