Faster in the rain?

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matt2matt2002
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Faster in the rain?

Postby matt2matt2002 » 3 Apr 2010, 5:12pm

Just back from my usual 25 miler around the lanes in South West Scotlandshire.

Quelle surprise - there were a few showers!

I found myself cycling faster as the rain came down - although I was in no real hurry to get home.

Anyone else find they go faster in the rain?
:?
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kwackers
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Re: Faster in the rain?

Postby kwackers » 3 Apr 2010, 5:16pm

I'm slower, the bike feels more sluggish which isn't too surprising if you think about it. Those beads of water that get thrown up off the wheels have to get that energy from somewhere!

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gaz545
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Re: Faster in the rain?

Postby gaz545 » 3 Apr 2010, 5:34pm

I'm slower,

But then most of my riding is done commuting through london. And if it rains the traffic gets worse and you have to be more careful thus i slow the pace down for my own safety.

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mill4six
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Re: Faster in the rain?

Postby mill4six » 3 Apr 2010, 6:39pm

My wife did a PB in torrential rain yesterday. In Motorcycle racing, cold damp air is denser so each stroke crams more oxygen into the cylinder, increasing power more than enough to provide an incremental increase in top speed, in spite of having to push the bike through the same denser colder air. I read that in a magazine somewhen, I've no idea if it works with lungs and people or if you're just keen to get home and into a big fluffy towel!

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jezer
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Re: Faster in the rain?

Postby jezer » 4 Apr 2010, 12:20pm

The old time trialists used to say that rain lubricated the roads and made them go faster :shock:
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vernon
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Re: Faster in the rain?

Postby vernon » 4 Apr 2010, 8:25pm

The time trailists might be on to something.

I've always managed to maintain higher average speeds on damp roads than on bone dry roads or it's certainly felt that way. The rolling resistance seems to be lower when the roads are wet.

Can't prove it scientifically though.

DavidT
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Re: Faster in the rain?

Postby DavidT » 4 Apr 2010, 8:53pm

Is there something to do with a bit of moisture in the air making it "easier" to breathe? After a rain shower, I often think there is a really good atmosphere, conducive to cycling/breathing? This may be twaddle of course, it may just be a personal motivational thing, although I do vaguely recollect a conversation many years ago with a time trialist who made some scientific sense of it?

(As an aside, the trialist in question, who was a work acquaintance, was of the same generation and area as a certain teenage Mr Boardman, and had participated in events with him. He mentioned Chris was significantly, very very significantly faster...... "He'll do well", he and his friends used to say apparently)
Last edited by DavidT on 5 Apr 2010, 9:13am, edited 1 time in total.

kwackers
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Re: Faster in the rain?

Postby kwackers » 4 Apr 2010, 9:19pm

vernon wrote:The time trailists might be on to something.

I've always managed to maintain higher average speeds on damp roads than on bone dry roads or it's certainly felt that way. The rolling resistance seems to be lower when the roads are wet.

Can't prove it scientifically though.

It would be an interesting experiment - is there any improvement in rolling resistance on wet roads? Does the improvement overcome the energy lost due to the amount of water 'lifted' of the road surface and thrown? How does that vary with tyre types?

My experience on touring tyres suggests rolling resistance increases - however they have quite deep grooves which can hold and transport more water, they're also wider. Almost certainly going to vary depending on the tyre type.

mw3230
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Re: Faster in the rain?

Postby mw3230 » 5 Apr 2010, 7:45am

kwackers wrote:
vernon wrote:The time trailists might be on to something.

I've always managed to maintain higher average speeds on damp roads than on bone dry roads or it's certainly felt that way. The rolling resistance seems to be lower when the roads are wet.

Can't prove it scientifically though.

It would be an interesting experiment - is there any improvement in rolling resistance on wet roads? Does the improvement overcome the energy lost due to the amount of water 'lifted' of the road surface and thrown? How does that vary with tyre types?

My experience on touring tyres suggests rolling resistance increases - however they have quite deep grooves which can hold and transport more water, they're also wider. Almost certainly going to vary depending on the tyre type.


Is it perhaps that the sound of the tyres on a wet road gives the impression of greater speed? Difficult to see any real increase in overall speed - or more to the point - shortening of journey times. Don't wet roads tend to make cornering slower and this would offset any slight increase due an improvement in rolling resistance. A power meter would be required to ensure that in a test the rider was inputting the same effort. Perhaps wetness makes one hurry, giving a shorter ride time. Tyre manufacturers make a great play on the ability of their tyres to shed and disperse water. I've not seen any mention that their tyres perform better wetter
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kwackers
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Re: Faster in the rain?

Postby kwackers » 5 Apr 2010, 10:11am

mw3230 wrote:Is it perhaps that the sound of the tyres on a wet road gives the impression of greater speed? Difficult to see any real increase in overall speed - or more to the point - shortening of journey times. Don't wet roads tend to make cornering slower and this would offset any slight increase due an improvement in rolling resistance. A power meter would be required to ensure that in a test the rider was inputting the same effort. Perhaps wetness makes one hurry, giving a shorter ride time. Tyre manufacturers make a great play on the ability of their tyres to shed and disperse water. I've not seen any mention that their tyres perform better wetter

My gut feeling is that any differences are tiny and insignificant to such things as wind drag, but I thought I'd put my open-minded hat on for a change. :lol:

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matt2matt2002
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Re: Faster in the rain?

Postby matt2matt2002 » 5 Apr 2010, 10:30am

I quite agree Kwackers - although I didn't at first recognize you with your new hat on.
:wink:

I think it's the sound of the tyres going through the wet, that give me the impression I am going faster - and that's nice.
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Flinders
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Re: Faster in the rain?

Postby Flinders » 5 Apr 2010, 7:06pm

I went slower in the wet last week. :(
Partly though I think that was because the minor roads were very muddy, so I had to slow down for safety on the worst ones, and partly that I find cycling into a head wind and rain is harder than into a head wind without rain. The rain doesn't seem to help to push me when it is behind me to make up for this. I call that very unfair. :wink:

basingstoke123
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Re: Faster in the rain?

Postby basingstoke123 » 5 Apr 2010, 7:22pm

I find that the threat of rain makes me go faster, as I try to arrive before the next storm arrives :)

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fraxinus
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Re: Faster in the rain?

Postby fraxinus » 5 Apr 2010, 10:59pm

I can not remember the exact details (Joe Beer atricle in Cycling Plus) but I read somewhere that rain ionizes the air which is supposed to be healthy. Dont know if that would increase performance.
Last edited by fraxinus on 6 Apr 2010, 7:14am, edited 1 time in total.
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Velorum
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Re: Faster in the rain?

Postby Velorum » 5 Apr 2010, 11:04pm

I think that it gives a greater sense of speed especialy when its coming down hard and the streams of rain drops seem to race towards you - in short its something of an illusion.

A quite nice one too - at least theres a minor compensation for getting soaked I suppose...........