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What’s Your Rider ID? Take Our Quiz to Find Out

bikers2

Are you a one trick pony, or is your garage a veritable shelter for your bike quiver? Fixie or mountain bike? Do you pedal a state-of-the-art, custom ride? Do you consider brakes “old school”?  Do your besties tell you to wear more natural fiber and less Lycra?

In the words of the great 21st century philosopher, Stephen Colbert, “Facts matter none at all. Perception is everything.”

Face it, if you love bikes, there’s some part of you that can be called a dork. (Trust us, here at Nikwax, we’re all a bit dorky for bikes).

But within that giant cycling umbrella, we all fall into a range of niches. What kind of cyclist are you? Take our quiz to unearth your Rider ID.

First answer the short list of questions, and then add up your scores below to learn your Rider ID.

1. When you dress for a ride, your go-to clothing is:

  1. My full Euskaltel-Euskadi kit. It’s cool because I’m 1/96th Spanish on my mom’s side.
  2. It doesn’t matter, as long as my GoPro is charged.
  3. Dress for a ride? Cycling clothes are so bourgeois. My skinny jeans are all I need.
  4. I opt for the latest in breathable, wicking fabrics. But as long as I have my rear view helmet mirror adjusted, I’m good to go.

…………………………………………………………………

2. When you come up behind another rider, what do you say?

  1. Hold your line! Hold your line!
  2. Dude, on your left.
  3. Talk to another rider? Why?
  4. Hi-da-lee-ho neighbor. Great day to be on the bike, huh?

…………………………………………………………………

3. How do you fuel up for a ride?

  1. A balanced meal of protein and carbs, like two egg whites with steamed veggies and an avocado for healthy fat.
  2. Bacon and Twinkies, which I bought a yearlong supply of on Ebay.
  3. Double espresso
  4. I like to stop by the Farmer’s Market for whatever’s in season.

…………………………………………………………………

4. What about a post-ride recovery meal?

  1. I own every formulation of Hammer Nutrition
  2. PBR – tall boy
  3. The latest pop-up restaurant, or the Thai-Argentine fusion food truck
  4. I like to stop by the Farmer’s Market for whatever’s in season.

…………………………………………………………………

5. On a rest day, how would we find you passing your time?

  1. After a gentle, low cadence spin, I’ll be studying with Rosetta Stone so I can pronounce every European riders’ name without sounding like an idiot! Can you imagine not being able to pronounce Yevgeniy Npomnyachshiy? The horror!
  2. Oh, I do a lot of stuff. I do river trips. I’m starting my own Vimeo channel. You know, the usual.
  3. I’m studying nihilist philosophy and working on a start-up with my roommates.
  4. I like to stop by the Farmer’s Market for whatever’s in season.

…………………………………………………………………

6. What was the biggest after-market upgrade you’ve made to your bike?

  1. Aftermarket? My bike was never prior-market or during-market. Nothing on my ride is standard. I had the frame welded to my measurements and built it out with THE BEST bike builder in town.
  2. An extra 10-mm of travel on my forks.
  3. Removing the brakes and that pesky derailleur.
  4. A hand-woven basket from Bolivia. The trade supports a women’s compound and sales from the baskets bring economic freedom. I found it at my local Farmer’s Market.

…………………………………………………………………

7. If you were to ride a different discipline (road to mountain to track to commuter) – from your preferred discipline – for a day, which would you choose?

  1. Velodrome. I’m not going to waste my time on any discipline that’s not developing more power and a higher VO2 max.
  2. Dude, I’d totally try a fixie.
  3. I don’t live to ride; I ride to live.
  4. Any! The freedom of a bicycle is pure joy, don’t you think?

…………………………………………………………………

8. What’s the best bike movie of all time?

  1. Breaking Away
  2. Breaking Away
  3. Breaking Away
  4. Breaking Away

…………………………………………………………………

9. Who is the greatest cyclist of all time?

  1. Eddie Merckx
  2. Ned Overend
  3. Albert Einstein
  4. My kids

…………………………………………………………………

10.  If I were to plan a cycling-themed vacation, I would… (fill in the blank).

  1. Follow Le Tour de France route, on an Alpe D’Huez year
  2. One word: Moab and Fruita. Oh, that’s two.
  3. Vacations are so bourgeois. But I’d still go to Portland.
  4. Ride across Ireland or wait, maybe a Napa wine tour. No, no. I’d for sure do a philanthropic trip delivering bikes to rural communities.

…………………………………………………………………

Scoring:

If you answered mostly “1,” your bike ID is “Lycra Lovin’ Roadie.”

If you answered mostly “2,” your bike ID is “Dirt Bag Mountain Biker.”

If you answered mostly “3,” your bike ID is “Hipster, Fixie Guy/Gal.”

If you answered mostly “4,” your bike ID is “Safety First Commuter.”

Lycra Lovin’ Roadie:

Lycralovinroadie You know who you are. In July, you wake up at 5:30am to watch the full coverage of the Tour de France before you head out on your training ride. You have little tolerance for “no drop” rides, especially when you’re feeling strong. Criteriums are good training, but the real mettle is in a road race – mano a mano. There’s more science built into your training regime than exists in all of NASA. And speaking of NASA, several of your components were originally conceived of for space missions. Before, that is, they were improved by Campagnolo engineers.

Dirt Bag Mountain Biker:

dirtragMtnBiker You’d hate the “dirt bag” cliché if you didn’t embrace as heartily as you do. No one (save for the hipsters) has ever worked so hard to look like they’ve put so little effort into looking “good.” You love a dirty ride almost as much as you love the BBQ and beer afterward. BMX still holds appeal, with the likelihood of participation in inverse relation to your age. Your dirty little secret is that you’re actually really serious about riding, but that can always be cloaked under your frequent, verbal dismissals of roadies.

Hipster Fixie Guy/Gal:

hipstertumblr_lukbxrms3h1qj1y05o1_500You secretly long for brakes and a derailleur, though the associated social stigma keeps them securely out of reach. Irony runs so deep that you’re beginning to question if it would be more ironic to no longer be ironic… hmm? Your circle of friends looks like they stepped out of Nylon Magazine photo shoot and your Tumblr blog is really taking off. Portlandia was more entertaining before it went mainstream, and Chuck Palahniuk is an under-rated genius. Truth be told, you have wicked good fitness under your scissor-cropped jeans and big-framed glasses.

Safety First Commuter:

commuterYou’re excited about riding and likely have a passable road bike and a mountain bike, along with your commuter. Most of all, you think biking is the most responsible option for the health of the planet and your own body. You’re not too cool to wear a helmet to the grocery store (not to mention in the grocery store) and you volunteer for all the local trail work. You do good things, even if they don’t scream “cool.” You could care less about how fast you are. The feel of the wind in your face every morning on your way to work does more for your sanity and happiness than winning a race ever could.

Regardless of your tongue in cheek Rider ID, the most important thing is that we all continue to define ourselves as bike lovers, riders, cycling geeks and biking advocates. Here’s to you, our two-wheeled friends. Let’s ride.


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The Nikwax Spring Break Checklist

2palmsIt’s that time of year again: spring break! After drifting drearily through the murky winter months, it’s finally time to get out and go somewhere exciting. You know you want spring adventure, but where to go? Head to the mountains for some spring snow? Catch surf and sun in some tropical country? Wherever it is that you decide to go, we’ve got your gear covered. Here’s our handy checklist to help you prep for your trip:

 Mountain adventures:

  • Re-waterproof your ski skins. You won’t know your skins need this until they fail. Hit ‘em up proactively.
  • Substitute your big, insulated ski jacket with a shell and a light insulated layer for layering versatility. Wash both in Tech Wash to get ahead of the game.
  •  Consider wool for your base layers in the volatile spring weather. Wool is an effective thermo-regulator, keeping you cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold. Plus, since warmer springtime temps mean more sweat, wool is naturally anti-bacterial and won’t stink as much as synthetics. Bonus: Nikwax has a special Wool Wash that will preserve all of these awesome qualities.

 Tropical adventures:

  • Pack enough sunscreen to cover every inch of your lilywhite body. While you’re at it, find your sunglasses and a sun hat. Your eyes and head need as much protection from the sun as the rest of your body.
  •  Go get yourself an ENO Hammock. These super packable little hammocks hang very nicely between two palm trees.
  • Bring a tube of Nikwax BaseWash Travel Gel. It’s packaged to be TSA compliant, and it will come in handy to keep swimsuits, swim trunks, and your other travel clothes from smelling sour. Bonus: no washing machine needed! With the travel gel, you can do your wash in the sink.

General camping and biking adventures:

  • Set up your tent BEFORE you go. Did you lose some stakes? Snap a tent pole? Pack the rainfly when it was wet? Figure it out before you’re racing against nighttime and an incoming storm. While you have that tent up, consider spraying it with Tent & Gear SolarProof. We know you aren’t praying for rain on your vacay, but it never hurts to be prepared for it.
  • Air out your sleeping bags. Though it’s recommended that you store down bags by hanging them up in the open air, who has that kind of space? Pull them out and shake lightly to loft the down. If needed, wash them with Down Wash and Down Proof. The combo will add loft and water repellency, and leave your bag smelling sweet after a winter of exile.
  • If cycling is on the agenda, it’s time for a tune-up. If you rely on professionals for regular maintenance, hit them up before the spring break rush.
  •  They call it “mud season” for a reason. Even if you’ll be exploring a relatively dry area, the shaded areas will likely still have some snow or mud. Waterproof your shoes and boots now, so spring break happy hour can legitimately live up to its name.

Like the wise Helen Keller once quoted, “Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” Now get out there and have some fun, you crazy kids!


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Beat the heat

trailrunningsun

Summer: the one season that has the power to make us suffer and enjoy it at the same time. It’s during these dog days that we have hours and hours of sunlight that lure us outside. The same sun bears down in relentless heat, which can zap the enthusiasm of even the most die-hard athlete.

And for us recreational athletes? Well, we get hot, too! It’s (kind of) tempting to hole up inside, but we don’t really want to. There’s vitamin D to absorb, after all! Blue sky! Sun! Here at Nikwax USA’s Seattle headquarters, those are in limited supply. We want to beat the heat, not escape it.

So, even if it’s hot enough to almost fry an egg on the sidewalk, we’ll take fresh air and scenery every time.

(A side note: always be on the lookout for symptoms of heat exhaustion, which can include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

If you experience any of these symptoms, move to somewhere cooler, sip water, and stop rigorous activity.

Now—when it’s just hot, and not heat-exhaustion hot—here’s how we suggest you  beat the heat and  keep your cool.

  • Do acclimate. Don’t go out for a two hour hike in the heat of the day if you haven’t been consistently working out in the warmer temps. Build your way up time wise, so your body doesn’t go into shock when blasted with that blazing sun.
  • Do take advantage of the extra daylight. The cooler evening and morning temperatures are so much easier on the constitution than, say, high noon.
  • Do wear the right clothing. Clothes that wick and are light in color are the best choices for the summer swelter. Don’t forget that a hat/visor can also do wonders to keep you cool. Make sure you keep those wicking and cooling properties at there max by properly washing and maintaining your workout wear with products like Nikwax BaseWash.
  • Do hydrate properly. Avoid that last beer before bed and caffeine in the morning before that singletrack ride or five-mile run. Keeping on top of your hydration all day long (before, during and post workout) will help keep your body temperature regulated. Not a huge fan of H2O? Try adding some Nuun hydration tablets, or toss a slice of lemon into your water bottle.
  • Do choose your path wisely. Is there shade, access to a water fountain, a sprinkler or two that goes off during your route? Ask yourself what are the cooling benefits you will have access to based on the direction you go and maximize those advantages.
  • Do partner up. Nothing helps more than having a buddy to keep that motivation up, to keep accountability and to keep safe.
  • Do know when enough is enough. If you begin to feel any of the symptoms of heat exhaustion/stroke from dizziness to cramping, stop activity.
  • Do take care of yourself once back indoors. Continue to hydrate by jazzing up water with a slice of lemon, enjoying a coconut water or some green tea with honey, eating water-based fruits and veggies like watermelon, pineapple and cucumber and taking a cold shower.


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Biking: To Clip or Not to Clip?

clipless shoe and pedals

Blame it on calf envy.

Dazzled by the legions of clipless bike commuters (and their sinewy calves) swarming past as I pedaled my commuter bike in slo-mo, I impulsively made the leap:  From flat pedals with toe cages (aka “clipped”) to their clipless cousins.

Newly attached to my burly green steed via Sidi Duran bike shoes and Crank Brothers Smarty pedals, I cycled up to a quiet intersection and bam, it hit. Make that I hit—the ground.

Forgetting to rotate my ankle to disengage the bike cleat, I tipped sl-o-o-o-wly to the right, thumping onto a mossy parking strip.

At least it was a soft landing.

Lesson learned: Practice the ankle rotation move before venturing out in public.

With national bike month wrapping up, you too might be pondering the eternal question— To clip or not to clip?

It’s Nikwax to the rescue with a few insights from both sides of the clipless conundrum:

Con: The learning curve. As I learned, the newly clipless need to develop muscle memory for that ankle-rotating, disengaging motion. Try practicing in a grassy field somewhere quiet. Like Iowa.

Pro: You’ve got the power. And efficiency. And control. With cleats, you’ll automatically pull up on the pedal rather than just mashing it down. Watch with amazement as your pedal stroke smooths from a jerky, lop-sided egg shape to a nice round circle.

Con: You can’t just hop on your bike with regular shoes any more.

Pro: Oh yes you can. Check out Shimano’s double-agent pedals. One side has cleats for longer rides; flip it over for a plain old platform when you just want to cruise the neighborhood.

Plus, there are more bike footwear choices than ever. Want to go incognito? Try Keen’s cycling shoes that masquerade as regular-joe sandals.

Con: The intimidation factor. Many cyclists resist clipless pedals because of fears that they won’t disengage in a collision.

Pro: You can adjust your cleats to change the release angle. And, as illustrated in my (gentle) fall from grace, they really do release in the event of an accident.

Con: Bike shoes cost more money.

Pro: Not necessarily. Prolong the life of your bike shoe investment with Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather.

Wherever you land on the clipless vs. clipped debate, we know this much for sure: Biking is one of the very best things you can do for your community—and your calves.


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The Chamois Solution: A Care and Handling How-To for your Bike Shorts

Care properly for your bike shorts and they'll last a long time. Photo: Michael Robertson

Care properly for your bike shorts and they’ll last a long time. Photo: Michael Robertson

Quick! What’s the first thing you do after a bike ride?

If you didn’t answer, “take off your chamois,” then we’ll give you a moment to rethink your response.

Most of us call them bike shorts.

But years ago, I overheard a professional cyclist refer to them as “chamois,” and I immediately adopted the affectation as my own. It made me feel a little cooler and a little faster than I am.  Try it, and you’ll see.

Regardless of what you call them, bike shorts are integral to riding. (If you don’t think so, you’ve probably never worn them.) Plus, they can be expensive, which is extra incentive to ensure they last.

Below are a few “Dos and Don’ts” for keeping your chamois in tip-top shape.

DO wear shorts with a comfortably snug fit. The material shouldn’t jiggle around, but neither should it cut off circulation.

DON’T wear underpants with your bike shorts. Trust me on this one.

DO care for your shorts as the high performance gear they are. The fact that you can throw them in the wash without regard doesn’t mean that you should.

DON’T ever use fabric softener. Fabric softeners coat garments in a subtle, stain-blocking film, which is the very reason clothes and towels treated with softeners feel so soft to the touch. The problem is that this film clogs up the wicking and breathability features of synthetic and wool fibers.

DO wash in cold water. Heat is the enemy of Lycra and elastic.

DON’T use a heated setting on the dryer, or don’t use the dryer at all. Most people agree it’s best to line dry cycling gear. If you’d like to accelerate the process, use the dryer on no or low heat.

DO use a gentle cleanser like Nikwax BaseWash®.  Harsh detergents wreak havoc on synthetic fibers and the elastic around the waistband and thigh bands. Plus, BaseWash not only cleans, it enhances wicking and eliminates odors. (Bonus: if you’re touring, BaseWash also comes in a handy Travel Gel solution for easy hand washing.)

DON’T assume your “chamois”—and by that I actually mean the part that cushions your bum—is made of suede leather. While this all-important section of the bike short used to be made of sheep hide, most “chamois” from the past 15+ years is fully synthetic and should be cared for accordingly.

DO turn them inside out to wash and avoid wadding them up in the hamper if you’re not planning to wash them right away. This prevents a stink fest. Without going into too much detail (use your imagination), there’s a reason we recommend taking off your shorts immediately after a ride…

DON’T assume you need the thickest chamois on the market. Ask an expert at the bike shop to recommend the right shorts for your type of riding. A general rule of thumb is this: If you prefer an upright position, buy shorts with extra rear cushioning. If you’re more stretched out on the bike, opt for shorts where the chamois foam is more evenly distributed.


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What’s Your Rider ID? Take Our Quiz to Find Out

bikers2

Are you a one trick pony, or is your garage a veritable shelter for your bike quiver? Fixie or mountain bike? Do you pedal a state-of-the-art, custom ride? Do you consider brakes “old school”?  Do your besties tell you to wear more natural fiber and less Lycra?

In the words of the great 21st century philosopher, Stephen Colbert, “Facts matter none at all. Perception is everything.”

Face it, if you love bikes, there’s some part of you that can be called a dork. (Trust us, here at Nikwax, we’re all a bit dorky for bikes).

But within that giant cycling umbrella, we all fall into a range of niches. What kind of cyclist are you? Take our quiz to unearth your Rider ID.

First answer the short list of questions, and then add up your scores below to learn your Rider ID.

1. When you dress for a ride, your go-to clothing is:

  1. My full Euskaltel-Euskadi kit. It’s cool because I’m 1/96th Spanish on my mom’s side.
  2. It doesn’t matter, as long as my GoPro is charged.
  3. Dress for a ride? Cycling clothes are so bourgeois. My skinny jeans are all I need.
  4. I opt for the latest in breathable, wicking fabrics. But as long as I have my rear view helmet mirror adjusted, I’m good to go.

…………………………………………………………………

2. When you come up behind another rider, what do you say?

  1. Hold your line! Hold your line!
  2. Dude, on your left.
  3. Talk to another rider? Why?
  4. Hi-da-lee-ho neighbor. Great day to be on the bike, huh?

…………………………………………………………………

3. How do you fuel up for a ride?

  1. A balanced meal of protein and carbs, like two egg whites with steamed veggies and an avocado for healthy fat.
  2. Bacon and Twinkies, which I bought a yearlong supply of on Ebay.
  3. Double espresso
  4. I like to stop by the Farmer’s Market for whatever’s in season.

…………………………………………………………………

4. What about a post-ride recovery meal?

  1. I own every formulation of Hammer Nutrition
  2. PBR – tall boy
  3. The latest pop-up restaurant, or the Thai-Argentine fusion food truck
  4. I like to stop by the Farmer’s Market for whatever’s in season.

…………………………………………………………………

5. On a rest day, how would we find you passing your time?

  1. After a gentle, low cadence spin, I’ll be studying with Rosetta Stone so I can pronounce every European riders’ name without sounding like an idiot! Can you imagine not being able to pronounce Yevgeniy Npomnyachshiy? The horror!
  2. Oh, I do a lot of stuff. I do river trips. I’m starting my own Vimeo channel. You know, the usual.
  3. I’m studying nihilist philosophy and working on a start-up with my roommates.
  4. I like to stop by the Farmer’s Market for whatever’s in season.

…………………………………………………………………

6. What was the biggest after-market upgrade you’ve made to your bike?

  1. Aftermarket? My bike was never prior-market or during-market. Nothing on my ride is standard. I had the frame welded to my measurements and built it out with THE BEST bike builder in town.
  2. An extra 10-mm of travel on my forks.
  3. Removing the brakes and that pesky derailleur.
  4. A hand-woven basket from Bolivia. The trade supports a women’s compound and sales from the baskets bring economic freedom. I found it at my local Farmer’s Market.

…………………………………………………………………

7. If you were to ride a different discipline (road to mountain to track to commuter) – from your preferred discipline – for a day, which would you choose?

  1. Velodrome. I’m not going to waste my time on any discipline that’s not developing more power and a higher VO2 max.
  2. Dude, I’d totally try a fixie.
  3. I don’t live to ride; I ride to live.
  4. Any! The freedom of a bicycle is pure joy, don’t you think?

…………………………………………………………………

8. What’s the best bike movie of all time?

  1. Breaking Away
  2. Breaking Away
  3. Breaking Away
  4. Breaking Away

…………………………………………………………………

9. Who is the greatest cyclist of all time?

  1. Eddie Merckx
  2. Ned Overend
  3. Albert Einstein
  4. My kids

…………………………………………………………………

10.  If I were to plan a cycling-themed vacation, I would… (fill in the blank).

  1. Follow Le Tour de France route, on an Alpe D’Huez year
  2. One word: Moab and Fruita. Oh, that’s two.
  3. Vacations are so bourgeois. But I’d still go to Portland.
  4. Ride across Ireland or wait, maybe a Napa wine tour. No, no. I’d for sure do a philanthropic trip delivering bikes to rural communities.

…………………………………………………………………

Scoring:

If you answered mostly “1,” your bike ID is “Lycra Lovin’ Roadie.”

If you answered mostly “2,” your bike ID is “Dirt Bag Mountain Biker.”

If you answered mostly “3,” your bike ID is “Hipster, Fixie Guy/Gal.”

If you answered mostly “4,” your bike ID is “Safety First Commuter.”

Lycra Lovin’ Roadie:

Lycralovinroadie You know who you are. In July, you wake up at 5:30am to watch the full coverage of the Tour de France before you head out on your training ride. You have little tolerance for “no drop” rides, especially when you’re feeling strong. Criteriums are good training, but the real mettle is in a road race – mano a mano. There’s more science built into your training regime than exists in all of NASA. And speaking of NASA, several of your components were originally conceived of for space missions. Before, that is, they were improved by Campagnolo engineers.

Dirt Bag Mountain Biker:

dirtragMtnBiker You’d hate the “dirt bag” cliché if you didn’t embrace as heartily as you do. No one (save for the hipsters) has ever worked so hard to look like they’ve put so little effort into looking “good.” You love a dirty ride almost as much as you love the BBQ and beer afterward. BMX still holds appeal, with the likelihood of participation in inverse relation to your age. Your dirty little secret is that you’re actually really serious about riding, but that can always be cloaked under your frequent, verbal dismissals of roadies.

Hipster Fixie Guy/Gal:

hipstertumblr_lukbxrms3h1qj1y05o1_500You secretly long for brakes and a derailleur, though the associated social stigma keeps them securely out of reach. Irony runs so deep that you’re beginning to question if it would be more ironic to no longer be ironic… hmm? Your circle of friends looks like they stepped out of Nylon Magazine photo shoot and your Tumblr blog is really taking off. Portlandia was more entertaining before it went mainstream, and Chuck Palahniuk is an under-rated genius. Truth be told, you have wicked good fitness under your scissor-cropped jeans and big-framed glasses.

Safety First Commuter:

commuterYou’re excited about riding and likely have a passable road bike and a mountain bike, along with your commuter. Most of all, you think biking is the most responsible option for the health of the planet and your own body. You’re not too cool to wear a helmet to the grocery store (not to mention in the grocery store) and you volunteer for all the local trail work. You do good things, even if they don’t scream “cool.” You could care less about how fast you are. The feel of the wind in your face every morning on your way to work does more for your sanity and happiness than winning a race ever could.

Regardless of your tongue in cheek Rider ID, the most important thing is that we all continue to define ourselves as bike lovers, riders, cycling geeks and biking advocates. Here’s to you, our two-wheeled friends. Let’s ride.


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Staying Dry on the Bike

Bundling up and treating your gear with care is key for riding in the rain. Photo: bikehugger.com

Bundling up and treating your gear with care is key for riding in the rain. Photo: bikehugger.com

Rain doesn’t ruin a great bike ride.

To the contrary, there’s something empowering about getting off the couch in the gnarliest of conditions. A bike ride is particularly sweet when others scapegoat the weather and leave their bike hanging in the garage.

No, the rain isn’t the problem. Getting wet is.

The only thing that can ruin a good ride is if you allow the rain to soak you to the skin. Mother Nature may call the shots, but you are the one who determines your response. Here are two absolute must-remember tips for staying dry on the bike:

1. Warm Your Core

Luckily, the nature of being on a bike means your upper body will take the brunt of rain. This is a place where Nikwax can help.

On days when it’s only you and the postal service out on the road (you know… rain, sleet and dark of night…), choose your gear wisely. You’ll need:

bike-rain1A base layer that keeps your skin dry.

  • Make that a breathable base layer. Even though it’s raining from the outside, you’ll still be sweating from the inside. Washing base layers with Nikwax BaseWash® prevents build-up of odor-causing bacteria and oils on synthetic garments. It also enhances wicking properties to move the sweat away from your skin. The special formula cleans and conditions, keeping the synthetic fibers in tip-top performance shape.
  • Or, if you’re a wool base layer fan opt for Nikwax Wool Wash. Though durable, wool requires a gentle cleaner like Wool Wash to maintain its balance of hydrophilic inner and hydrophobic outer. Without getting too technical, that is the magic of why you stay warm even when your wool gets wet.

A waterproof-breathable outer layer that wicks sweat away from your body without letting the rain in.

  • On a bike, your jacket gets hammered with rain on wet days and sun and dirt on dry days. This extreme exposure to the elements contributes to a condition known as “wetting out.” The dreaded “wet out” is when your jacket can no longer bead up with water droplets. The result: it ceases to be waterproof and/or breathable.
  • The solution is frequent application of Nikwax TX.Direct®. First, run the jacket through the wash with Nikwax Tech Wash® to clean away any sweat, oil and other dirt. With another run of the washing machine, or with the Spray-On bottle, apply TX.Direct® to revive and enhance your jacket’s water repellency.

2. Remember your extremities: Head, hands and feet.

Keeping your core warm and dry may be the most critical, but thoughtful care to your alternative gear will help keep you comfy.

  • Consider a Merino wool skull cap under your helmet. It won’t keep you dry, but it will keep you warm.
  • Have a pair of full-fingered gloves on hand for inclement days.
  • While some are blended with mesh for breathability, most cycling shoes are leather. We can’t do anything about the mesh, but Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather™ will keep your feet dry from the water falling from the sky. And no, it won’t make your shoes any heavier or hotter for the dry days.

Don’t let a little rain put a kink in your riding schedule. With a modicum of preventative Nikwax care, the only thing standing between you and your personal best is your own motivation.