Cycling in the rain - how to stay safe and dry

There’s no getting away from it. Living in the UK, you won’t always be riding your bike in perfect weather conditions.

So what should you do if you find yourself cycling in the rain – or worse, in a thunderstorm?

Start by checking out these tips for staying safe and dry on your bike when the rain starts to pour.

Man on Atlantic blue steed bike cycling in the rain

Safety tips for cycling in heavy rain or thunderstorms

Prep your bike

To make cycling in the rain safer, you need to have the right bike additions.

You need a good set of lights so drivers and other cyclists can spot you even when visibility is poor.

A bicycle mudguard is another essential. It protects you and your bag from the water and dirt that your tyres spray up from the road. It prevents that spray from flying into the face of the cyclist behind too. 

You may also like to let a little bit of air out of your tyres. Reducing tyre pressure by up to 15-20 psi means that more of your tyre is able to grip the road.

Wear the right gear

When you have gear that keeps you warm and dry, cycling in the rain becomes a lot more bearable. Some cyclists choose to invest in:

  • A waterproof cycling jacket
  • A reflective jacket
  • Waterproof overshoes
  • A waterproof backpack cover
  • A waterproof cap (to wear under your helmet)
  • Wrap around glasses
  • Cycling gloves
  • Warm base layers

Basically, gear that keeps you visible, warm and dry – and doesn’t weigh you down too much.

Take extra care

When cycling in the rain, you should take it easy. Ride more slowly, particularly around corners, and try not to slam on your brakes.

Urban cyclists should pay extra attention to the stretch of road in front of them.

Avoid puddles. You never know how deep they are and whether riding through one could cause a puncture or a fall.

Equally, metal grates, tram lines and painted lines on the road tend to be slippery when wet. So safely check over your shoulder before moving out to cycle around them.

Always pay attention to the conditions and if they seem to be getting worse, accept that you may have to interrupt your ride.

close up of an onyx black and atlantic blue Steed Bike cycling in the rain

Take shelter

If it really starts pouring down and you find yourself cycling in a thunderstorm, the safest thing you can do is to get off your bike, get inside and get dry. Any building will do.  

And if you’re out in the middle of nowhere, try to lower your elevation because lightning tends to strike at a summit or projection. Heading back down the hill you’ve been travelling up is always a good idea.

Also, avoid wide open spaces like parks and keep away from electrical installations and railway lines.

Move away from your bike

Not near a building?

Then you should stop and move away from your bike and any other metal objects you happen to be carrying. Consider the metal tags on your backpack and any bicycle tools you have on you too.

It’s very unlikely but standing near a metal object increases your chances of being hit by lightning – and that’s something that would definitely ruin your ride!

Man riding Onyx black Steed Bike with autumn leaves in background

Take care of your bike

Cycling in the rain can be tough on your bike. So after you’ve been out in bad weather conditions, give your bike the once over.

If your bike is muddy, you should give it a good clean and then wipe it down to prevent rust.

It’s also a good idea to do a few quick bike maintenance tasks, checking the tyres for damage or grit, and cleaning and greasing the chain.

Do all of this and your bike will be ready for your next ride, come rain or shine.  

Want a bike that can handle any weather? Then check out our range of sturdy and stylish single speed road bikes, all available with a lifetime guarantee.


What is the best clothing for cycling in the rain?

When cycling in the rain, lightweight thermal base layers are great for keeping you warm. You then need waterproof outer layers that will keep you dry – and help drivers and other cyclists to spot you.

A waterproof and reflective cycling jacket, a waterproof cycling cap, waterproof trousers and waterproof covers for your shoes should do the trick.  

How do you avoid falling when it's raining?

Your risk of falling increases when cycling in the rain. But there are lots of things you can do to stay safe.

Try to avoid a completely new route when it’s raining. And on the routes you do know, steer around puddles, grates, manhole covers and painted road lines. All of these things are slippery when wet. 

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