Icon
Clear Icon
Search Icon
Clear Icon
Search Icon

The Ultimate Guide to Biking in the Rain: Top 10 Tips for Cycling Safely

Unless you are a bit of a daredevil, you wouldn’t like riding in the rain. Most riders don’t enjoy cycling in the rain. So, they come out with their bikes when it is sunny outside, avoiding bad weather like a plague.

What to do when you are caught in a sudden downpour on a rainy day? Whether you get stuck in sudden showers often or simply enjoy a bike ride in the rain, we have your mud-splattered back. This ultimate guide will help you tackle tricky roads, eliminating your fear of biking in the rain. Use these top tips to cycle safely, even when it’s pouring outside!

How to Choose a Bike: Picking the Perfect New Bike for You

Are you looking to get a bike and daunted by the number of options available? If so, we created this guide to help you find the perfect bike for your needs. There are three key areas you’ll need to consider:

  • The bike type that suits your riding needs

  • Level of performance and costs

  • Determining the right bike size

Let’s dig deeper into these things you should consider for choosing a bike.

Table Of Contents For How To Choose A Bike

  • What Are the Things You Need To Consider When Choosing A Bike?

  • Getting the Perfect Bike Fit

  • Type of Bikes Available

What Are the Things You Need To Consider When Choosing A Bike?

There are a few things you need to consider while choosing a bike. The first is choosing between an electric bike and a regular bike.

Do You Want A Regular Bike Or An Electric Bike?

An electric bike has a motor, a battery, and pedal assistance. Electric bikes require less effort to ride than regular bikes and they allow you to ride further. The pedal assistance gives you either 2x or 4x your pedaling output, depending on the model you buy.

Otherwise, electric bikes are the same as regular bikes. Besides the motor and battery, they come with all the same components.

Analog bikes are often more affordable, don’t have as many parts to take care of, and are easier to clean and maintain. They also don’t have the added weight of the motor and battery, making them lighter than an e-bike.

Analog bikes are often more affordable and don’t have as many parts to take care of. This makes them lighter and easier to clean and maintain.

Electric bikes are more expensive, but they are faster and easier to ride, helping you go faster with less effort.

What Level of Performance Do You Expect From Your Bike Components?

As with any product, the price can dictate what quality and performance you will get from a new bike.

We offer different bike levels, based on component quality and price to meet a wide range of rider demands best. Our starter-level bikes (Base and Comp) are great entry points for new cyclists using more affordable components without sacrificing performance. These components are from the same component lines that the higher-end bikes use.

Our Expert and Pro level bikes are designed for riders who are ready to take their riding to the next level. These high-end bikes use carbon frames, carbon wheelsets, the lightest and snappiest gear sets, and the most powerful hydraulic brakes.

Top-end range bikes are expensive and use the best components available, both in terms of parts and materials. Our S-Works bikes are our top-end performance bikes. These are the bikes that elite athletes use in championship races.

These are the best possible bikes on the market. Bikes like the

Tarmac SL7 and the

Demo have won the 2022 World Championships.

Getting the Perfect Bike Fit

A bike that fits you will be most comfortable to ride and allow you to get the most performance out of it. Finding the right fit will not only make biking easier, but it will also ensure that you don't get muscle aches, pains, and discomfort.

Get the right

bike size by referring to a size chart. If you go into your local Specialized bike shop, you can get a bike

fitted with Retul. Retul prevents aches and pains so that you can live a healthier lifestyle with less pain.

If you'd like to ride a bike before buying it, you can find our bikes at a

local bike shop to test ride. Additionally, they can fit the bike to you specifically, ensuring a great ride from your very first ride.

Type of Bikes Available

We break out our bikes into three main categories; road bikes, mountain bikes, and hybrid bikes. Which bike you choose depends on the terrain or environment you’re riding in.

What Type of Terrain Will You Be Riding Your New Bike on?

You can divide terrains into two different types, paved roads and unpaved roads. Paved roads include tarmac, asphalt, and concrete roads.

Off-road terrains are those which are unpaved. This includes unpaved gravel roads and country roads, which are the smoothest unpaved roads. Other off-road terrains include bike trails on mountains such as fire roads, singletracks, doubletracks, rock gardens, and other hilly terrains.

Road Bikes

Road bikes are bikes meant for riding on paved roads. Our road bikes are designed for fitness enthusiasts, event riders, and competitions.

Performance Bikes

Performance bikes or race bikes are meant for competitive cycling for road competitions. With a more aggressive riding geometry, these bikes are built for speed. They are lightweight and aerodynamic so that riders can race over tarmac, asphalt, and even cobbled roads.

Riders used to face a choice between a light bike and an aerodynamic bike for road racing.

At Specialized, we refused to choose between lightweight and aerodynamic. Our

Tarmac Series has long been successful by producing high-performing race bikes, but the latest

Tarmac SL8 has gotten one step ahead.

This bike has a lightweight body, that comes in an aerodynamic form. The high-end S-Works Tarmac SL8 is one of the lightest performance bikes available on the market!

Endurance Bikes

While speed is important for every

performance bike, sometimes it is more important to be able to stay on the bike for longer. Some competitive races are about endurance, challenging you to ride for long sessions and still getting that win.

While you need to crouch over a race bike, an endurance bike has a more upright riding position, so that you can ride more comfortably.

The wheelbase is longer so that you are more stable and comfortable, and the drop bars are closer giving you a shorter, more relaxing reach.

By staying in a more upright position, you can endure longer competitions as you will be more comfortable in the saddle.

Our

& Specialized Roubaix Series puts comfort first, ensuring that you can ride till you finish that last lap. With wider tires and handlebar suspension (

Future Shock), you will make it through hilly terrain while staying comfortable.

Gravel Bikes

Looking for an all-rounder road bike?

Gravel bikes are meant for the road and a variety of unpaved surfaces

Long dirt roads are unpredictable, and you are bound to run into rocks, jumps, ditches, holes, and other road faults that make for a rougher ride.

Gravel bikes also have a longer wheelbase than road bikes, which gives you more stability on rough surfaces.

Our

Specialized Diverge and

Crux are a capable range of gravel bikes. With Future Shock suspension, thick

tires, and an innovative thin chain that is also super strong, Diverge and Crux can help you tackle any terrain, fast.

Cyclocross Bikes

Unless you are a bike fanatic, it is highly possible that you have never heard of cyclocross. This rare and niche, off-season sport, requires a bike that has sport-specific aggressive geometry. Cyclocross terrain has mud, sand, rock, snow, and anything else you can find on country roads.

Cyclocross races are short and rough, so

cyclocross bikes need to be strong yet fast, ready to handle difficult terrain.

These bikes have a higher bottom bracket, lower stack height, and a short chainstay, all of which make the bike more aggressive and agile. They need to be light too since the sport allows racers to carry the bike when needed.

Mountain Bikes

Smooth roads aren’t your thing and you are looking for more adventurous and rough terrain? Then, you are looking for

mountain bikes.

Mountain bikers find trail riding quite addictive and you will too if rocks, jumps, drops, fast descents, and rough terrains are your thing. These bikes have flat

handlebars, thicker tires, and chunkier frames.

Check out this

mountain bike guide from the Pros Closet.

Mountain Bike Suspension

Suspension is often a highlighted feature in mountain bikes. Riding rigid, without any suspension, on trails is quite difficult and can take a toll on your body. It is certainly not recommended for inexperienced riders and long days on the trails. Most mountain bikes are either full-suspension or hardtails.

Hardtails: A

hardtail bike only has a suspension fork. Some cross-country and trail bikes are hardtails. Having only front suspension makes a bike more affordable, lighter, and versatile.

It’s recommended that beginner mountain bikers start with a hardtail. They are:

  • easier to climb hills with than full suspension

  • easier to maintain

  • great for smoother, flowier trails

  • lighter than a full suspension bike

Full-Suspension: Full-suspension mountain bikes are bikes that have a suspension fork and a rear shock. A combination of both eats up all the bumps and faults on the trails, ensuring you don’t feel them.

Having more suspension on both ends helps you ride longer on trails as you don’t feel every bump and vibration. You feel less fatigued and more confident to charge through obstacles.

If you want to ride rough terrains like rock gardens and downhill parks, you need more suspension. The more suspension you have, the easier it is to make gnarly downhill descends.

Specialized pioneered the mountain bike industry. We came out with the first ever mountain bike

back in 1981. We led the mountain bike industry with

FSR suspension technology. We

continue to innovate our lineup of mountain bikes.

Cross-Country Bikes

Cross-country bikes are for cross-country courses and trails. These bikes handle versatile terrain, including smooth fire roads and rough forest paths.

XC trails can be singletrack, doubletracks, or may even look like small dirt roads. XC bikes are often light and meant for fast racing on rough bike paths. There would be plenty of obstacles on the path like tree roots, broken branches, rocks, stones, and other natural debris.

Cross-country bikes must have quick and capable handling so that riders can make technical turns and tight corners. These bikes are often hardtail, which makes your bike lighter and easier to handle, so that you can avoid obstacles instead of going over them.

We have three different cross-country bikes. The

Rockhopper brings you a capable and reliable XC bike that is super affordable. The

Chisel has a progressive geometry, meant to make tough climbs while it races through rock gardens.

If you are looking for a cross-country bike that will ‘wow’ you, try out our

Epic bikes. This series has bikes from different price ranges, including hardtails and full-suspension models.

Trail Bikes

Trail bikes are versatile mountain bikes meant to do more than just one thing. They are awesome at climbing and descending, giving you a balanced bike that will help you explore different types of mountain terrains. Some trail bikes are hardtail, but if you want more versatility, opt for full-suspension bikes.

Our world championship-winning

Stumpjumper is a highly capable bike on climbs and steep descents. Its rear suspension is adjustable, light, and responsive for different types of terrain.

Our

Stumpjumper EVO is a more sturdy bike, meant for chaotic trails that are even rougher. If you are looking for a hardtail, check out the

Fuse.

Enduro Bikes

Most

mountain bikes are specialized for certain terrains, like downhills, trails, cross-country, etc. But, there is one bike that is capable of doing almost every kind of mountain biking, and that is our Enduro.

Whether you want to climb with confidence, sprint through smoother terrain, or fly down steep rock gardens, your enduro can do it all. They are designed for enduro races where you must make climbs and steep downhill descents.

Enduros are often heavier than trail bikes and have more suspension, both upfront and rear. They are chunkier so that they can endure the abuse of rough trails.

Enduros are the most adjustable bikes ever. Most capable enduro bikes have adjustable geometry. Our

Enduro has a flip-chip that allows you to adjust its geometry in two ways, one is slacker for downhill drops and the other is steeper for technical climbs.

Downhill Bikes

Downhill bikes are the other extreme of mountain bikes. These bikes are meant for steep and technical downhill descents.

While they aren't as versatile, they don't need to be either. Downhill trails need a sturdy, durable, and stable bike. They are often bigger and have larger wheelbases than other mountain bikes.

A larger body makes you feel more stable and confident, which is crucial for downhill biking. The bikes need to have a super slack head angle and a lower center of gravity, which makes you feel more grounded in your bike.

Downhill bikes have more suspension travel than most mountain bikes so that your bike can handle the rough jumps and drops without you feeling it.

Professional downhill mountain bikers prefer mullet wheels, meaning the rear wheel is smaller than the front wheel. It not only gives you quicker handling and acceleration, but it drops your center of gravity lower and further back. This reduces your chances of flipping your bike over, making downhill biking safer.

Our downhill

Demo comes with a mullet setup and is perfect for gnarly downhill riding. You will feel plated and confident, due to the lower center of gravity and extra suspension travel.

BMX Bikes/Dirt Jumps

Are you a potential daredevil, looking to participate in a

BMX bike competition, or do dirt jumps? Explore more extreme and adventurous biking, with dirt jumps or BMX bikes. Bicycle motocross is for thrill seekers, who want to do mind-boggling dirt bike stunts on BMX tracks.

Our P. Series has bikes that are super solid, heavy, and come with thick tires. They are not for versatile terrains or long distances. You ride them through adrenaline-pumping dirt bike courses, showing off your dirt bike tricks.

Hybrid Bikes

If you are looking for a new bike that you can use for casual riding, chances are that you will end up with a hybrid. Hybrid bikes are similar to gravel bikes, but they generally have flat handlebars. These bikes have features of both road and mountain bikes and can handle a variety of terrains.

City Bikes

City bikes or urban commuters are bikes that are used for commuting. While these bikes are mostly used on roads, they can also handle smoother off-road paths.

These bikes don’t need complex gears. Some are single-speed bikes or even fixies, which are fixed-gear bikes.

Urban bikes need features like fenders to keep away mud, and panniers to haul your things. They always need to have higher visibility, so that other vehicles can spot them when it’s dark. This is why they may be of bright colors and have reflective bike frames or reflective stickers on their frames.

Commuter bikes also need headlights and taillights, which either come with the bike or you can add them separately. If you are just starting a beginner's commuter like

Crossroads can work great for you.

Fitness Bikes

Fitness bikes are hybrids that resemble road bikes, as they also focus on performance. These are used by people who want to use cycling as a form of exercise and add it to their fitness regime.

Fitness hybrids are lightweight so that you can accelerate and go faster during your fitness training sessions. These bikes are often built for comfort as well so that you don't strain your body.

If you want a fitness-focused bike that you can also use for commuting, check out the

Specialized Sirrus.

Cargo, Cruiser, and Comfort Bikes

Beach cruiser bikes are bikes you ride for relaxation. You can use them for short-distance commutes and cruising. They are built to ensure that you can ride comfortably while enjoying the scenery on sandy beaches.

Specialized

Roll is a starter beach cruiser that you can use for cruising, short commutes, fitness, and more. It is affordable and comfortable and can be the best bike to start your cycling journey.

Cargo bikes are bikes that have a relaxed geometry and a sturdy frame so that can carry you and your cargo.

Comfort bikes are similar to cruisers, but they provide even more comfort. Specialized

Sirrus X is a bike you can use for comfortable commutes, touring, and even hauling light cargo over hilly terrain.

Electric Bikes

Electric bikes are similar to analog bikes, but they have a motor and battery. E-bikes that you can pedal turn on pedal-assist technology, where the motor helps you go faster as you pedal, helping you feel less tired even on the most strenuous journeys.

Our e-bikes have lithium batteries, that are built into the frame. You charge these batteries with a charger, as you do with your eclectic devices.

Similar to traditional bikes, you can find different types of electric bikes that suit different cycling disciplines. Electric bikes just come with a motor, battery, and Control Unit. We also have a Mission Control App that allows you to record rides and stats.

Electric Road Bikes

Electric road bikes are e-bikes with road bike features. While electric road races are not publicly renowned, e-bikes are soon getting their official competition. In 2023, we will see the first ever E-Bike Grand Prix, which will be an electric road bike racing series.

Until then, you can use your electric bike for powered training, group riding, and even commuting. Our

Turbo Creo SL is a lightweight e-bike range that sports a small but powerful motor.

Electric Mountain Bikes

Electric mountain bikes have created quite the buzz in the last decade, especially because they can help you tackle terrain you couldn’t even dream of doing with analog bikes, like long, steep, technical climbs.

Since there is less regulation regarding mountain e-bikes on trails, it is more accessible. If you want to expand your riding capacity and ride technical mountain terrain, e-mountain bikes will be perfect for you.

The specialized electric mountain bike lineup is versatile, with each bike being capable of tackling more than one type of cycling discipline.

Looking for a dedicated cross-country e-bike, opt for Turbo Tero. Ride the trails with confidence and explore more terrains with this powerful e-bike.

While all the other mountain e-bikes are branded enduro, each can handle a specific type of riding better.

If you want your perfect trail companion Turbo Levo can offer you more range on the trails. The e-bike has a powerful motor that can eat up technical climbs and descents.

Want a lighter trail bike, opt for Turbo Levo SL, a bike so light that it handles like an analog mountain bike. This is a super light bike that can handle all-mountain trails. It has super adjustable geometry that makes it capable enough to tackle different types of mountain terrains.

If you want an e-bike that will help you with downhill descents, try Turbo Kenevo. This bike is a beast on steep and gnarly downhill trails.

Electric Hybrid Bikes

Electric hybrid bikes are possibly the most popular type of e-bikes out there. People use them for commuting, fitness, comfort riding, cargo hauling and so much more. Choosing a bike depends on what you are using it for.

Looking for a fitness electric bike, choose

Turbo Vado or

Turbo Vado SL. You can use both bikes for commuting, by simply adding fenders and headlights.

If you are looking for a comfort bike or a beach cruiser, opt for the

Turbo Como or

Turbo Como SL, with the latter model being light enough to carry.

Electric cargo bikes are great for hauling cargo. Want to carry lighter cargo or even a passenger, try Haul ST. Want to carry two children to school, try Haul LT which comes with a long tail.

Want even more power, Haul Chop has dual-hub motors that can carry you, your kids, your cargo, and more.

Bike Components to Consider

Bike components and geometry makes one bike different from another. Here are a few crucial components you should consider before choosing a bike.

Handlebars

There are two main types of handlebars, drop bars and flat bars. Drop bars help you sprint and are common in road bikes. Flat bars give you more control and are generally seen in mountain bikes.

Drivetrain

The drivetrain is the gear system of your bike. A bike can have a 1x, 2x, or 3x drivetrain, these numbers represent how many chainrings they have. Road bikes have more chainrings, while MTBs mostly have a 1x drivetrain.

The number of speeds is the number of sprockets your bike cassette has. The more sprocket you have the higher the range and speed. Casual bikes can have lower gearing and might even have a single gear.

Brakes

There are a few types of brakes available in the market. Caliper rim brakes are quite common in lower or mid-range bikes. Top-end bikes often have mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes, which are compact, allow more mud clearance, and have more stopping power.

Wheels

Wheel sizes differ for road bikes and mountain bikes. Road bikes have thinner, smaller

wheels, and mountain bikes have thicker, larger wheels. Common road wheel size is 700c, while mountain bikes often use 27.5-inch wheels or 29ers.

How To Choose the Right Bike

Do you want a road bike? Mountain bike? Active or comfort? If you are undecided, the sales staff is here to help. The sales staff will greet you and ask some qualifying questions about what type of riding you like to do. They will help narrow your focus on the bike that is best for the roads, trails, and paths in your area. Once you’re close to knowing what type or types of bikes may suit your needs, ask the staff for a test ride! If you’ve chosen an e-Bike, check out our **

e-Bike buying guide**.

How To Choose the Right Size

Proper sizing is really important when selecting your new bike. Specialized retailers have access to Retül technology that can help you make data-driven decisions for your bike size, saddle height, and equipment. **

Retül technology** has been used to collect anatomical and biomechanical data from over a million riders around the world. With a few easy measurements, Retül software will recommend a frame size and starting saddle height. This helps get the bike into a comfortable and safe starting point for your first test riding experience.

How To Customize Your Bike

You can significantly improve your comfort and performance with Body Geometry saddles, shoes, and footbeds that are the correct size for your body’s anatomy. Specialized **

Body Geometry saddles** come in multiple widths to fit different sit-bone measurements. **

Body Geometry shoes** have an angled Varus Wedge across the forefoot to support the natural angle of your toes. The footbeds have a Metatarsal Button that lifts and separates your toes to eliminate hot spots and numbness. Plus, they come in three sizes to match the shape of your arch height. Strongly consider purchasing these accessories along with other essentials when picking up your new bike.

Suspension Setup for Your New Bike

If you are considering a full-suspension bike, the shop will use **

Specialized’s Suspension Calculator** to get the fork and shock inflated properly for your size and find a starting point for the suspension’s rebound adjustments. This is crucial for maintaining traction out on the trail. Proper suspension setup means you are getting the most performance from your bike. Many stores will start with the calculator’s recommendations, then perform static tests on the fork and shock to fine-tune those adjustments.

How To Register Your Bike

The staff will provide you the serial number for your bike, and you can add it to your profile by logging into specialized.com. This bike registration process activates the lifetime warranty on your new frame and starts your relationship with Specialized’s Rider Care team. They will provide you with more information and education about your new bike. Registering your bike right away ensures that you will have reliable and quick support from the store and Specialized if there is ever an issue with your bike’s frame or components. Once your bike is registered, you’ll get a welcome email from the Rider Care team providing links to additional resources so you can learn everything there is to know about caring for your new ride.

Servicing Your New Bike

The staff will have completed a technical check over on your bike before your arrival. Mechanical, hydraulic, and any electrical components have been thoroughly checked over and adjusted properly. That does not mean they will be perfect forever. In fact, these parts often settle in after you have pedaled your bike a while and will need to be adjusted again. That’s why the store will offer a complimentary 30-day check-in. They may even go ahead and schedule that appointment before you roll your bike out the door that day.

What Comes With Your New Bike?

Your bike will come with a few extra small parts that can be different across bike types and models. The staff will provide these to you, be sure to know what they are and how they may be useful in the future. If your bike has any rechargeable electronics, they will also give you the appropriate charger. For example, you may have an electronic drivetrain that needs to be charged once a month. The staff will show you where and how to charge these components to keep you riding through the season.

How To Clean Your Bike

The staff will also teach you a couple of things that you can do at home to keep your bike running smoothly. A clean bike is a fast and happy bike, and there are best practices for keeping it that way. Using soap and water is good, but you should avoid spraying water directly at moving parts. Never use a high-pressure sprayer to clean your bike. Wipe and lubricate your chain regularly. They should suggest the best type of chain lube to use for your area and riding conditions. For Turbo ebikes, please follow the steps in our ebike maintainance guide.

Everything You Need To Buy a New Bike

Proper sizing and suspension setup are key for an awesome riding experience. Consider customizing your riding experience with additional **

Body Geometry** equipment. Knowing where and who you can ride with locally will keep you motivated to get out and pedal. **

Registering your bike** activates your lifetime warranty and puts you in touch with the Specialized Rider Care team so you can be confident in your new purchase.

Now all that’s left is enjoying the ride.