Finishing off the Discerning Cyclist’s style ideas (see Part 1 here) for stylish yet functional gear to keep you as dry as possible whilst you’re pedalling about in the pouring rain, we’re going to look at the lower half of the body. Getting dedicated waterproof trousers and shoes is not exactly as easy as you would think. What’s even more difficult is finding something that actually looks half decent.
If you’re a cyclist who prefers wearing bib tights then waterproof lower halves are very hard to come by and for what is available out there you will have to pay seriously good money and they’re still likely to be just resistant rather than proof. Now in the summer this isn’t such an issue, but in the winter you’ve not just got wet to deal with you’ve got cold and I’m sure we all agree that cold and the wet aren’t good combinations.
There are options and for light rain you can properly get away with sticking with the jeans or trousers you’re going to wear later on when you reach your destination buy you will need something with resistance to rain so they dry quicker.
Available from Levi’s for £80
These jeans are water resistant and dirt repellent. 2 ideal combinations for trousers that you’re going to cycle in and even more key when there’s rain because you don’t just have to worry about the water falling from the sky there’s the spray from the wheels and that water is mixed in with dirt and mud.
These Jeans are tough, strong and functional and carrying the Levi’s name you know they’re going to look quite stylish too.
Available from Rapha for £110
These are a very fine pair of trousers. They go beyond resisting the water they are virtually waterproof. The feel is a bit thicker but they do look quite smart and are more than suitable for wherever you go after you’ve chained up and onto business. They’re also lined so they help with keeping you warm during colder wet rides.
There is the option to take a bag and in that bag keep a pair of dedicated waterproof rain pants that you can just nip the loo and change out of before your time in the pub or around town begins. Not always ideal but it is an option. Nearly all rain pants do look very unflattering. They are all basically crafted for function over style but speaking of crafting…
Available from Acycles for £72.58
Not as stylish or flattering as the Levi’s or Rapha Trousers but these however do the job. Fully wind and waterproof and built for the job at hand. Whilst not ideal for every situation off the bike you could probably get away with keeping them on if the setting is casual & relaxed. Definitely a good piece of gear if you have very far to go.
Most cyclists get a cycling shoe of some kind. Whether it be the top notch road shoes with cleats or a more rugged mountain bike trainer shoe with grip for on the pedals, cyclists usually get a shoe suitably designed for pedalling along. However whilst these shoes are all very nice and functional. They’re nearly all waterproof-less and there’s nothing worse than wet feet. Well there is, cold wet feet.
So to prevent having to wear wellies or a workman’s boot you can use an overshoe. There are plenty about and they are a good affordable option to keep your feet nice and dry. They are easy to get on and off so you can store them in your bag when you’re not on the bike.
Available from Evans Cycles for £25.99
A good solid pair of overshoes. Tough and fitted made from Neoprene which is a great waterproof material which also helps to keep in warmth. These overshoes also have a little bit of shoe look to them with the moulded rubber toe cap which makes them look a bit less like diving shoes.
I could go on about rain gear for ages. There’s just so much of it. What’s been suggested here is gear that is good, solid and does the job well, plus with the added benefit it fits into what we love at Discerning Cyclist, stylish gear you can carry on wearing when you’re not cycling. The Vulpine Rain Jacket and the Levi jeans are certainly the best examples of this and there’s certainly more to come. Rumours of a new trouser range from Vulpine certainly whet the appetite and Rapha continues to bring out stylish new apparel every season meaning there is plenty of functional choice to look good on & off the bike.
Happy (singing in the rain) cycling.