Thursday, December 7, 2017

♩ ♪ ♫ ♬Come On With The Rain I've An Umbrella On My Bike♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

The search for a way to protect cyclists from the elements is as old as the bicycle itself:


And while we still haven't found the perfect solution:


We are certainly living in a golden age of precipitation-repelling technology.  Given this, in the interest of preserving this water-averse watershed for posterity, I have undertaken a brief survey of some of the more innovative products currently available--products such as the LeafXPro:

LEAFXPRO ACCESSORIES from LEAFXPRO on Vimeo.

With features this handy and smart optional storm accessory that makes you look like you're riding around in a sling:




Then there's the Nubrella, which you can incorporate into any activity, not just cycling:

Nubrella Hands Free Weather Protection from Christina Ricci on Vimeo.

And yeah, it's basically just a giant hat:


Albeit one that looks like some kind of robotic space nautilus is eating your head, but yes, still just a hat:



Indeed, it's enough of a hat that if the tax on umbrellas was 50% and the tax on hats was 5% you could totally make a compelling argument to the IRS that you only have to pay the latter.

Of course you may be wondering why anybody would bother with any of this stuff instead of, say, wearing a raincoat, but why do that when you can wear an umbrella?



As seen on Philadelphia local news:



If nothing else, the Under-Cover undermines pretty much every stereotype about German engineering.

By the way, I tried to find the Under-Cover on Kickstarter, but all I saw was this changing kilt for prudish bros:

Frankly I think it works better as a garment:


And if nothing else that entire video is just an advertisement for the importance of riding in regular clothes.

Anyway, amid all this innovation you've got to appreciate the unapologetically poor design of the Uberhood, which I've featured before on this blog:



I should really get one of these for my Jones bars.

Speaking of products I've been trying, remember the Renovo?


And remember how I said I'd conduct a thorough investigation into why it's creaking?

Well, it's a long story, but the sort version is that instead Renovo are going to take the bike back and figure it out for me.  Then once they have I'll report back and let you know.  In the meantime I'll refrain from speculating as to the cause, and for the time being consider the test on hold.


At this point I'd like to point out that by the time my environmentally sustainable wooden bicycle is done flying back and forth across the country it will have the carbon footprint of a herd of yetis.

(And that's not even accounting for all the crabon fiber on the bike.)

As for the Jones bars:


I continue to love them, and even though I think my position's working well as is I'm still going to try a shorter stem in deference to their philosophy.  Hey, maybe they'll feel even better that way, who knows?  I'm nothing if not open minded.


And there you have it.

45 comments:

N/A said...

Does the bits on ol' Woodrow that house the BB and the Headset have metal... uh, receptacles? How are they affixed to the woody bits?

Hee Haw the barista said...

Or one could just leave the bike at home when the rain rains.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

Really... you need to test all the products you mentioned. spare us the disappointments. pls.

Anonymous said...

icanhaspodium?

Unknown said...

Funny that every "rain protecting" gizmo didn't have fenders on the bike. Nothing worse than wet feet.

Podium?

streepo said...

scranus

Dooth said...

My 45 year old lugged steel bike still rolls silently. Of course on its next ride it’ll sound like a pinball machine.

Not a fan of umbrellas whil riding said...

The last rain diverting device looks positively dangerous open or closed. "protection from the sun? How about a hat and sunscreen?

And, yes, no fenders in sight.

By the way, the first guy seems to have a flat, too.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Renovo. Braze on? We just drill a hole...

vsk

g. said...

Not to open this up to the #whatpressureyourunning argument, but does it appear to anyone else that the Trek in the hat-umbrella pic is about to pinchflat the shit out of that back tire?

g. said...

who the fuck do you have to pay off to get a comment to post on this damn site?!

jellyfishsalad71 said...

If that woman with the leaf pro had her saddle height set correctly she would be peering over the top of the fairing thingy.

Anonymous said...

That rain stuff is garbage- who uses protection anyway?

leroy said...

If you let a smile be your umbrella, you wind up with a mouthful of wet molars.

Mr. g. @2:45 pm. - My dog asked me to tell you he takes PayPal. I have no idea what he's talking about. Yet again.

Dobbie said...


Pedaling in the rain? Got my 21 yo daughter, who never liked real cars, one of these for XMass:

ELF velo-car

A clean coat of RAIN-X on the windshield and she is all set.

1904 Cadardi said...

What is the carbon footprint of carbon fiber? And does the full cradle to grave calculation include all the Zipp 303 wheels currently gathering dust in Dentists' closets?

Come on man, we need to know!

Anonymous said...

The times I've ridden any distance in a cycling specific poncho, the wind resistance was a drag (or, if truely windy, dangerous.) Once the wind picks up these umbrella equipped bikes will remind us of triathletes starting up after a swim. Anyway, no bad weather, just bad clothes, and bad bikes with no fenders. In the past 12 months I've re-discovered -- Real rain boots (cheap from Costco) which were a lot less trouble than galoshes. If using Riv. Splats, and I really want to keep my ankles dry (my legs are comically too long for rain pants) I can pull out the ole' gaiters from my ski kit. And a broad brimmed hat with no button on top is great under the helmet for keeping rain out of the eyes. Most cycling caps don't have enough brim, but I'm trying out one that fits me from Kucharick that's promising. Full test results in 2018, when it may finally rain again here in Nor-Cal.

HDEB said...

I'm waterproof : )

Dobbie said...

ELF velocar in the rain

Anonymous said...

Apparently these "inventors" think that the wind never blows when it rains. Get some fenders and a rain suit or if you really want to stay dry hop in your Hyundai and leave the bike at home when it rains.

Chris Harne said...

Kickback hubs! My friend has one on his folding bike. It’s a Sachs Torpedo Duomatic. Two speeds, no cables. It’s a coaster brake hub that works like it sounds – you kick the pedals back and the hub changes between it’s two gear ratios.

Sturmey Archer just made it’s first kickback hub, and when I learned about it I was pleasantly surprised. It seems a little odd to introduce a new kickback hub when there hasn’t been one on the market for decades (I’m fairly certain). I don’t know what the demand is, but the first ones just got shipped to the USA, and I got one of them.
my point is, does anyone wanna do a folding bicycle ride soon ?

Fnarf said...

None of these will help in Seattle, where the rain falls endlessly and the bike paths are engineered to flood, with the storm grates ingeniously raised above the road surface where the water is. Which means you will inevitably ride through four-inch-deep puddles after just an hour or so of rain. For some reason, all cycling booties suck donkey balls, too.

But the perfect rain gear for me, at any rate, is the poncho, which breathes, unlike any of those "breathable fabrics" like Gore-Tex, which don't. I haven't found the perfect rain pants yet; since all US cycling gear is targeted towards sporty racey types, none of the pants I've tried fit comfortably over ordinary trousers.

Steve-o said...

Chris,

I just got done having some major work done on my Swift Folder and would love to do a folding bike ride!

Where do I sign up?

Anonymous said...

I don' deflect the water I just absorb it - Spongebob

Anonymous said...

The best rain gear comes from Sail boat shops ($$$'s). Or for real cheap you can get those rubber coated Pants and jackets that road safety crews use; there's a place by me that sells the set for 20ish bucks. A couple plastic bags over your shoes and you are water proof!! I survived in this type stuff for years as a student. - masmojo

Chris Harne said...

Steve-o or anyone wanting to do rides, click on my url , my # is on blog header. text is best .

Anonymous said...

Me noticed. With Space nautilus pressure , those tubes would be infl8d.

FDB said...

Per your first picture Snob, all I can see when I look at all these umbrella things is a giant sail - perfect for flinging you off your intended path or off you bike entirely and into the path of wet-weather traffic.

Anonymous said...

i'm guessing the wooden bike is not dead yet, but going through growing pains.

leroy said...

My dog asked me if I were sleeping and someone were to test water repellant bike equipment by draining spaghetti through a colander over me, which would I prefer to hear:

William Shakespeare's "The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven."

or

The Weather Girls' "It's raining men, hallelujah, it's raining men, amen
I'm gonna go out to run and let myself get
Absolutely soaking wet"

I asked him why and he told me no reason, just a hypothetical.

bad boy of the south said...

I now live not too from Durm.I have seen the elf,not on the campus that bears the name of a tobacconist family,but parked at my local LBS.

cdinvb said...

Riding in street clothes?? In street clothes. Damn. I figured that one out a long time ago. And big tires that aren't rock hard. Just rolled better. Last longer, too. Years of hearing about what I was doing was an illusion or delusion. And Velcro Big Store shoes in toe-clip pedals come in way cheaper. Maybe it's being closer to 70 than to 50. But I'm in it, riding, for fun.

Jean-Francois Caron said...

Living in Vancouver BC I would ride in rainstorms with regular ol' rubber boots, waterproof pants from MEC, and a "waterproof breathable" non-cycling jacket from MEC, the kind with a hood. Regular clothes underdeath. My gloves would get soaked, as would my face, but otherwise I'd show up dry if I didn't ride too fast. I'd keep shoes at work, or otherwise just wear my rain boots all day. It's fine.

Camembert teuton said...

Great caps for rain - ie with enough brim - are running caps.

Olle Nilsson said...

Let's face it, poncho's aren't dorky enough and don't convey your penchant to waste money.

Anonymous said...

hate missing out on a top 30 given that's a pretty good race result and usually makes the first page. i'm just terrified riding in the rain.

JLRB said...

Crabon pick up truck

dancesonpedals said...

I guess MEC is how they spell REI in the Yukon.

Anonymous said...

Or just wear a raincoat, rain pants and waterproof boots.

Anonymous said...

Undercover brother.

Knüt Fredriksson said...

Wildcat,
I know you are still working on discovering all of the wonders of your borrowed woody and your alt bars. And I have no idea if you already have your next component/bike review planned. But I would like to enthusiastically encourage you to try to get a pedelec velo-mobile manufacturer to provide you with a long term test vehicle. Assuming that some of the currently available vehicles would be legal to ride(drive?) in NYC...
I think it would be fascinating to hear your take on what it's like to zip around the city in a pedal/electric/solar/shame powered clown car/bike/suppository.

(I had to click on all of the cars until they were all gone... if only!)

Anonymous said...

if you run out of fuel you can always burn the wooden bike. Or if you get attached by a vampire you can fashion a stake out of it. That's bonus utility right there. so what if it creaks a little, you can't have it all. I'm going to make a bike out of sausages. you get lost and you won't starve.

Anonymous said...

Your gonna let THEM tell you what was creaking on the bike??? C'monnnnnn

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:18pm,

Yes, part of testing a $10,000 bike is behaving like the sort of customer who buys a $10,000 bike. At that price I'd expect the company to make it all better for me.

--Wildcat Etc.

אופניים חשמליים said...

I've tested the Bike Umbrella at the Europbike show this year, besides the weird looking umbrella covering 80% of your body, it seems like a good solution for cold countries.