7 easy DIY hacks for riding in the rain

Cheap solutions for staying comfortable in the wet

Apparel How To
To help waterproof mountain bike shoes, apply a healthy layer of duct tape over the laces.

To help waterproof mountain bike shoes, apply a healthy layer of duct tape over the laces.

It’s summer, which means blue skies and sunny days. Usually. When the weather doesn’t cooperate, here are seven easy hacks to help you stay dry next time you’re caught in a downpour.

Here’s a recap of what you just saw.

1. Mountain bike shoes fall into two camps. Those that drain well and those that retain more water than a plump camel. While you can try to keep your feet dry by wearing plastic bags over your socks, one great way to keep your feet drier on the trails is using a healthy layer of duct tape around your shoe laces. It only looks dorky until everything is covered with mud.

Using a spare google lens to extend your visor can help reduce the amount of dirt flinging into your face.

Using a spare goggle lens to extend your visor can help reduce the amount of dirt flinging into your face.

2. Using a goggle lens to extend your visor may sound (and look) ridiculous, but you’d be surprised just how well it helps to reduce debris accumulation. And it’s not just a trick for World Cup pros. We’ve seen a number of top motocross racers employ this hack in the outdoors series.

When it's wet out, glasses can fog up easily. Keeping them wrapped up while climbing will help keep your vision clear for descents.

When it’s wet out, glasses can fog up easily. Keeping them wrapped up while climbing will help keep your vision clear for descents.

3. I’m practically blind without my glasses, so I always struggle to keep my lenses from fogging up in the wet. One trick is to keep your riding glasses wrapped in tissue paper on the ride up. This doesn’t work for me (because I need my glasses to see), so I use a healthy layer of Cat Crap Anti-Fog Cleaner. If you have any other suggestions, I’m all ears.

Using silicone spray and moto foam will help keep mud from building up on your frame.

Using silicone spray and moto foam will help keep mud from building up on your frame.

4. In the rain, mud tends to build up on your frame. To help prevent this accumulation, try using a silicone based spray along the downtube. Another good option is “moto-foam.” Cramming this stuff in the nooks and crannies of your frame will help substantially reduce mud build up. And if conditions are this bad, it might not be a bad idea to protect your paint with some frame stickers from 3M. Another alternative is the clear number plate protector sheets sold by motorcycle shops. They’re cheap, sold in packs of three, and can be cut to fit.

If you're not afraid of DIY projects, you can make your own mud guard.

If you’re not afraid of DIY projects, you can make your own mud guard.

5. Before you go crazy with the silicon spray and moto foam, a good place to start is a simple mudguard. There are a number of options out there, like the classic Marsh Guard, but you can also make your own. A spare inner tube or empty plastic jar is all you need.

Wearing a pair of latex gloves under your riding gloves can help keep your hands warm on the dampest of rides.

Wearing a pair of latex gloves under your riding gloves can help keep your hands warm during damp rides.

6. Next make sure you dress appropriately. Avoid cotton, wear a base layer that wicks well, and find a rain jacket that breathes.

7. Another great tip is wearing surgical gloves under your riding gloves. This will cause your hands to sweat like crazy, but will also keep them warm. I almost always keep a pair of latex gloves in my riding bag because they take up no room, they’re great to have when the weather turns cold, and I can use them for applying first aid or to keep my hands clean when making repairs.

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  • p brig says:

    What’s the trail repair hack for d-bags who ride wet trails?

  • SteveP says:

    Don’t forget to use strips of gaffer tape inside your shoes behind the cleats instead of the joke stickers Shimano supplies

  • bryan says:

    Ummm, latex gloves do not breathe, wearing them for any extended time will result in clammy wet hands. That inner/outer glove combo will slip and slide all over, not to mention make your hands very hot and uncomfortable. Heavy intense activity or exercise will make those latex gloves fill up like a water balloon (ask me how I know). IMO you’re better off letting your riding gloves get wet because the excess water will evaporate and/or drip off, and a nice sticky grip will help keep your hands on the bar. This one is just flat out dumb, I don’t recommend this “trick” to anyone.

    • stiingya says:

      NO they don’t breathe, which is why they build up heat and keep your hands warm. There is a “squishy” feeling to it like neoprene dive gloves, but because your outer gloves provides compression against the latex against your hands the sweat squeezes out at the wrist and in the rain you don’t notice. (NO Water Balloon) Didn’t slip and slide, the latex is pretty tight on your hand and then it’s pretty tacky against the glove. I’ve done this under cow hide work gloves and it made the difference. And that was digging with a shovel and swinging an axe in rain, sleet and snow. Grip is good! I did end up tearing a palm just from the abuse that slowly pulled the whole way up to the base of a finger. But my fingers were toasty!!! :)

      And the point is keeping your fingers from getting numb so your able to grip, brake, shift, etc. Wet roots and rocks are better negotiated when you can still feel your fingers!

      Obviously if it’s not that cold, or if you have winter/waterproof gloves that’s a better deal. But it’s a great idea to throw some latex gloves in the pack.

      And you can buy them in foil packages with a single pair of gloves in it. So if you leave them at the bottom of your pack they won’t get lost, torn, ripped when you need them…

      Thanks!!!

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