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In Norway they say “Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær!” which means “There is no bad weather just bad clothes” referring to doing outdoor activities in inclement weather. So how bad is BAD? If you physically can’t ride your ZiZZO due to massive snow or dangerous weather conditions then it doesn’t matter how well you are prepared with your cycling attire, right? Now if it is just raining, we may be in business! As a kid many of us liked to stomp in a nice big puddle or maybe roll through the mud once in a while on our bikes. With a few simple modifications to your ZiZZO and some rain worthy clothing we can still get out and have some fun. Here are my top tips for dealing with a little moisture while out on your ZiZZO.
Mudguards/Fenders- If you know there may be some wet roads or mud along the route adding fenders or mudguards is a great way to weatherize your ZiZZO. They will keep most of the spray coming up from the tires away from the bikes frame and parts. They will also keep the mud and water from hitting you on the backside as it splashes up from the back wheel.
Rain Jackets- Riding in rainy conditions requires good rain proof clothing. I would highly suggest getting a jacket that is considered waterproof. To have that official rating it must have at least a 5,000mm rating, but 10,000-20,000mm is ideal. Don’t forget to choose a color that is very visible.
Be Seen- A nice bright front and rear light should be at the top of the list even if it’s daytime. Rain and gray skies decrease visibility and being seen is so important when near traffic.
Warmth- Merino wool socks are my best friend. I will spend a few extra bucks on them as they keep the moisture out and my toes warm. Having your extremities covered can make a huge difference in comfort level riding in the cold or rain. A good pair of full fingered gloves and maybe a “skull” cap under your helmet can keep the elements from coming through the vents of your helmet could level up your rain game.
Wet Lube- Moisture will corrode your ZiZZO if you let it. Add your favorite wet lube (made for wet conditions) to your drive train when the bike is dry before you take it outside in the rain.
Keep Upright- Be aware of the road surface being extra slippery. City sewer covers, railroad tracks, painted street lines and metal grates are all extra slippery so be careful and try to avoid them. That rainbow-colored puddle might look nice but that’s oil and it might a cause loss of traction so steer clear.
Avoid random puddles- As fun as it looks to maybe ride through a big puddle, I would suggest going around them. You just never know what kind of pothole may be hiding and ready to cause problems.
Clean Up- Once you get home don’t just put the bike away wet. Consider hosing it off, cleaning excess mud/grime and then taking a towel to it. Leaving the drivetrain wet and dirty will lead to bigger problems so take a few minutes to clean things up.
I hope a few of those tips will help get you “singing in the rain” as you enjoy a taking a spin on your ZiZZO when things may be just a little bit wet. Enjoy the Ride!