We all know the feeling: you're all excited to ride your bike only to discover that Mother Nature has decided that today is the day that she will separate the real cyclists from the fair-weather riders. Although a great attitude and healthy dose of determination will go a long way to gutting out rides through the elements, the quality of your gear plays a big role, too.
So, what do you need to survive the elements?
Well, for Bordeaux company Popins, the solution is (obviously) to clamp an umbrella to your frame. If that's a little too Seussical for your liking, check out our selection of wearables and accessories that will keep you feeling dry an looking fly.
The first and most important piece of staying dry during a ride is a set of good fenders. Your front and back wheels need to be equipped with a pair of fenders that are as long as possible to prevent water kickback from the road. If you're looking for a set of sleek, minimalist fenders, we've got you covered.
If our fenders don't do the trick, we'd recommend checking out SKS from Germany. They feature a wide selection of designs to fit any kind of bicycle. Their classic Silver Bluemels model works wonderfully and will look great on all road and racing bikes.
One brand that has a novel approach mudguard is Plume. They have a stylish model that attaches solidly to the seatpost and retracts away neatly when not in use. They might not be as effective as full-length fenders, but they compensate with a sleek and discreet design.
Cycling in the rain can be dangerous as visibility decreases significantly on the roads and reaction times slow due to slick streets and brakes. More often than not, it's also required by law to have your bike lights on when there's rain, fog or any weather that reduces visibility.
Make sure you have a front light that's bright enough to illuminate the road. Oh, and because most dangerous accidents for cyclists involve the rider being struck by a car from behind, make sure your rear light is bright enough to illuminate through rain and fog.
One of our favorite jackets come from Parisian company K-Way. Their line of boldly-colored waterproofs are simple, lightweight, and affordable. The best feature is the front zipper that the packable jackets can be folded into, allowing you to store and transport it as a small package. Keeping one of these tucked into your rucksack will always keep you prepared for unexpected downpours.
Canadian innovator Reid Hemsing and Two Wheel Gear make an excellent garment bag that attaches to the rear of your frame and keeps clothes stored safely and neatly. The sleek and functional design is waterproof and has a 55 L capacity, so there's room for a laptop and other delicate items, and because it comes with a waterproof rain cover, your gear will stay drier than you.
If you cycle to work and need your professional attire to look perfect and stay dry, the Classic 2.0 Pannier is the solution for you.
A must-have for cycling in colder weather, Sealskinz gloves are made from neoprene, which means that while they insulate heat and are waterproof, they're thin enough to allow a lot of mobility. The Ultra Grip pair are touchscreen-friendly, breathable, stretchable and perfect for cycling in less-than-fair weather.
Dedicated cyclists may be kitted out with clips, waterproof shoes and overshoes. For the rest of us, a waterproof pair of trekking shoes will do the trick, combining ruggedness and a solid grip while allowing for sufficient movement.
The worst part of cycling in the rain is wet feet. Sealskinz makes another appearance on our list because they're just so good at keeping you warm and dry. Their Waterproof Socks are just what you need to make sure your feet stay in good shape. If you forget your waterproof shoes or use an old spare pair of trainers for cycling, you need this lifesaving piece of kit. You can pay it forward and thank us later.