San Francisco enjoys some of the best weather on the west coast with sunshine more days than not and an average year round temperature of just 57 degrees Fahrenheit. But, as they say, into every life a little rain must fall. And when it falls in San Francisco, it falls. The City by the Bay sees an average of 23 inches of rainfall per year—most of which comes down between December and February. So, as a bicycle enthusiast you have to be prepared for the inclement weather no matter what the forecast looks like. With a little forethought and a little planning you can stay dry on your morning commute with the best rain gear for cyclists in San Francisco.
The Best Rain Gear for You
The most important piece of rain gear a cyclist needs is a weatherproof jacket. But cheap waterproof clothing may hold sweat close to your skin which will ultimately leave you cold and clammy. So shop smart and look for something with multiple performance layers. Two layers are good (one to keep the water out, one to wick water away) but three are often better. Modern semi-permeable membranes allow sweat to pass through but keep rainwater out.
Showers Pass offers a wide variety of cyclists jackets in cuts and colors to suit any need. However, they can be a bit pricey. If you want to try the gear on before you buy, outdoor outfitter REI also offers a variety of jackets from multiple manufacturers and local retail outlets.
For women the Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier Convertible Jacket takes top marks for its cut, colors, performance, and price point. (Who would expect you could get this sort of serious kit for $100 or less?)
For men the Showers Pass Syncline Bike Jacket offers all the protection you need yet still retains a casual look that you can wear even after you climb off your bike.
You don’t want pants that are bulky and will get caught in your sprocket but you don’t want clingy fabric that’ll chafe. Thankfully technological advancements have improved the quality of fabrics available to manufacturers like Showers Pass and Novara. You really can get the weatherproof performance you need with the comfort and style you want.
For men the Showers Pass Transit Pants area top-of-the-line option. Built with the company’s three-layer permeable membrane technology, these pants comfortably fit over regular pants yet don’t make you look like you’re wearing a wetsuit.
For women Novara offers the Stratos Bike Pant that features waterproof technology and reflective piping and logos to make riders more noticeable in low visibility conditions.
When you’re riding in wet weather it’s essential to keep your feet dry. Wet shoes and socks can lead to chafing, blisters, and painful abrasions that can make cycling torture. You could go out and drop $300 or more on a pair of Shimano wet weather riding boots but you don’t have to. Something like Showers Pass Club Shoe Covers slip over whatever you normally ride in and close tightly to keep out rain, mud, snow, and anything else. Plus they retail for under $50.
Rain Gear for Your Bike
Kitting yourself out with rain gear is smart but don’t forget your ride.
Front and rear fenders help minimize splash up from wet roadways and puddles Nobody wants to get to work with that telltale mud stripe up their backs.
If you don’t already have head and tail lights installed on your bike, you should. They’re not only a must-have for travelling after dark, they make you easier to spot on dreary days. As a bike accident lawyer in San Francisco, I see way too many accidents where the drivers claim the cyclist “came out of nowhere.” Don’t let them have that excuse. Light it up big time!
Flat Tire Prevention
All that water on the roadways can make hazards hard to see. The last thing you want to do is get caught in the rain with a flat tire and no way to fix it. Slime self-sealing bike tubes help prevent blowouts by instantly sealing punctures. They come in a wide variety of sizes to fit most tires and are guaranteed to repeatedly seal punctures for up to two years.
The Best Rain Gear for Cyclists Keeps You Safe on the Road
The proper gear can keep you safe as you cycle through San Francisco no matter the weather. It’s important to stay warm and dry but it’s also important to stay visible. In the majority of bicycle accidents in San Francisco involving cars, the automobile operator is at fault but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your part to prevent accidents. As a San Francisco bicycle accident attorney I know that many drivers claim that they simply didn’t see the cyclist they struck. So it’s your job to stand out—especially when it’s raining. Wear bright clothing, use lights and reflectors, and ride safely. And always wear a helmet.