Best Wet Weather Commuter Bicycle?


Happy New Year from all at RCUK! Over the 12 days of Christmas, we’ll be reposting an existing article from this year – one from each month. Also popular in November was DA’s guide to online training tools.

So, it has started raining heavily and is likely to do so a lot in the next three or four months. Steady, cold rain makes commuting by bike less agreeable than in warmer, dryer weather, of course, but it also changes the whole game by introducing factors that need not be considered in dryer months: component wear, road grip, puncture resistance, resistance to damage caused by impact with potholes…

Optimising for any one of these will have some sort of effect on performance in other areas. The bomb-proof chunk of steel that works fine for a short commute – as the London Cycle Hire bikes prove – may bo too much for a daily ride of one hour each way. Speed and minimal weight win over distance right up to the point where a lighweight tyre punctures, at which juncture, with rain falling and grey gunge covering everything in sight, most cyclists would surely prefer to be riding less fragile rubber.

So, here are four distinct types of cycle suitable for “distance” commuting, which is to say commuting beyond the reasonable range of a folding bike. Each has its strengths and most have some sort of flaw…


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