Riding bike in the rain may not be a pleasant experience for every cyclist. We all have different preferences, and if you don’t like riding your bicycle in the rainshower, there’s a solution for you. You can always ride with an umbrella attached to the handlebars of your bike.
However, some people doubt the safety of this method. This article will discuss whether it makes sense to ride a bike in the rain with an umbrella and how you can attach an umbrella to your bicycle.
Riding a bicycle with an umbrella isn’t only beneficial in the rain but also in other situations. Let’s start with that right now.
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- How Do I Ride a Bicycle in the Rain With an Umbrella?
- Umbrella Benefits For Cyclists
- Is Cycling Safe With an Umbrella?
- How to Properly Hold an Umbrella While Cycling?
- How To Carry An Umbrella On A Bike?
- How To Carry Beach Umbrella On A Bike?
How Do I Ride a Bicycle in the Rain With an Umbrella?
Many people hold the umbrella in one hand and steer the bicycle with their free hand, but this is very dangerous. The best way to carry an umbrella on the bicycle in the rain is to attach it to your bike. There are several products you can use for this.
There are multiple umbrella mounts like the Flexzion umbrella holder that you can use to attach your umbrella to your bicycle. Usually, they come with a stand that can be attached to the handlebars.
The stand holds the umbrella firmly, and you don’t have to hold it with your hands. So you can steer the bicycle with both hands, which helps you ride safely.
Dealing With Wind Resistance
Are you worried about the umbrella blowing away or the ribs getting damaged by the strong wind? There’s a solution for that as well. If it’s a quality product, it’s sure to be equipped with a retractable cord that will keep the ribs of the umbrella stable and firm all the time. These retractable cords are attached to the handlebars.
There’s a hook attached to the end of the cord. You need to pull the cord on the hook and hook it on one of the umbrella ribs. This will prevent the rib from breaking in strong winds. It also prevents the umbrella from tipping over.
Umbrella Benefits For Cyclists
These umbrellas are designed to protect you from rain, but that’s not the only thing they can do. In this section, we’ll take a look at the benefits you can expect from an umbrella.
Protection from Rain
Since the umbrella is attached to the bicycle handlebars right in front of you, it can protect you from the raindrops that fall at an angle while you ride. Plus, the span of the umbrella also covers your head, so you won’t get wet when you’re not mobile.
Another fantastic feature of these umbrellas is that they can act like moving shade trees. Many umbrellas offer UV protection. The level of UV protection can vary, and some don’t even provide that.
We highly recommend you look for an umbrella with UV protection. The lowest level of UV protection rating we recommend is UV 50+. These umbrellas can protect you from harmful UV rays when riding in the middle of the day. They also get cooled by the wind over time. So you won’t feel any heat radiation and will have a comfortable riding experience over time.
Some of the best umbrellas come with a customizable stem. If the umbrella placement isn’t right after installation, you can adjust the angle so that you’re adequately protected. With this feature, you can adjust the umbrella to protect you regardless of the angle or direction the rain or sun is coming from.
Is Cycling Safe With an Umbrella?
Many cyclists on the Internet question the safety and practicality of mounting an umbrella on a bicycle. In this section, we’ll discuss these concerns to find out if they’re really unsafe or not.
Reaction to Wind
When you ride with an umbrella, you’re either riding into the wind or riding with it. If you’re riding into the wind, you’ll have to deal with significant drag, likely slowing you down. If the wind is blowing at an angle, it may be challenging to find a straight path.
If the wind is blowing in the same direction as you, you’ll have difficulty maintaining your speed because the wind will force you to go faster. Also, in such situations, it’s challenging to stop your bike.
May Block Your View
Even though this won’t happen if you’re careful enough, the umbrella can block your view if you place it too low. This means you can’t see what’s going on around you, which can even lead to fatal accidents. However, this can be easily fixed by placing your umbrella considerably high.
Another problem that most people worry about is that the umbrella may get inverted when facing strong wind gusts. It can even happen that the wind breaks the ribs of the umbrella. However, most quality umbrellas suitable for mounting on a bicycle have retractable cords that can prevent this from happening. So there should be no problems in this regard either.
How to Properly Hold an Umbrella While Cycling?
One of the questions we’re often asked is how you should hold an umbrella while cycling. While we don’t recommend holding the umbrella in your hand, sometimes there’s just no other way.
So if you really need to hold an umbrella while cycling, you should follow this section. You can’t hold the umbrella with two hands because then you won’t be able to steer your bike. Therefore, we recommend that you hold the handlebars with your dominant hand. With the other hand, you should hold the umbrella.
If it’s just drizzling, you can lean the umbrella back a bit and try to put the shaft on your shoulder. However, how you point the umbrella depends significantly on the wind direction. This is one of the most essential points to keep in mind. The wind direction can change, and you need to be aware of this and adjust the orientation of the umbrella accordingly. If you don’t, you’ll just end up getting soaked by the rain.
If the wind is very strong, you shouldn’t hold the umbrella backwards. Because if the wind changes direction and blows on the inside of the umbrella, you’ll lose control of the bike. The same can happen if you hold the umbrella sideways. Therefore, we recommend holding the umbrella towards your front if you’re facing strong wind currents.
How To Carry An Umbrella On A Bike?
There are multiple ways of carrying an umbrella on a bike when you are not using it.
In this section, we’ll discuss only the methods that’ll allow you to do so without having to face any difficulty in riding.
On Rear Bike Rack
One of the most efficient ways to carry an umbrella on a bike is to use a simple rear bike rack. But to secure your umbrella onto it, you’ll need bungee cords or rack straps.
Place your umbrella onto the rack, and slide the cords through it and around your umbrella to tie it down. Using a bungee cord is excellent since you don’t need to worry about knots.
Rear bike racks are very minimal and versatile. Therefore, you can carry things other than just umbrellas. Also, there are premium options with more weight capacity and many budget options.
Bike racks are a fantastic choice for those who want a quick and easy way to carry an umbrella on their bike.
Rear bike racks are mounted on the rear of the bike, duh! As a result, depending on how you tie your umbrella, you must pay attention when riding your bike.
Be careful not to scratch anything if you’re strapping your umbrella across the rack. You might damage the sides of other vehicles on the road with the ends of the umbrella, so this may not be the best way to secure it if you ride in busy streets. If your umbrella is short enough, you can tie it alongside the rack. It’s better for moveability.
Tied with Bungies
Bungies aren’t as famous as rear racks, but these are amazing tools for carrying various things while cycling. They can’t be used for carrying too big or long objects, but they’ll be perfect for carrying small cylindrical objects like water bottles and umbrellas.
Carrying an umbrella on these would be a breeze. You need to place the umbrella on the Bungie, and to ensure it doesn’t fall off, just tie the umbrella with the bungie on one end, or both if you want to be extra sure. This will allow you to carry your umbrella without any hassle.
On Front Bike Rack
Another option is to strap your umbrella to a front bike rack. These work similarly to a rear bike rack. To carry an umbrella on your front bike rack, place your umbrella on it and tie it down with clamp straps or bungee cords. The process is the same as how you would attach it to the rear rack.
We recommend using two straps or cords if you have a long umbrella. It will ensure that it’s all safely tied down. You’re free to use any strap or rope. However, bungee cords or rack straps work best.
One advantage of carrying your umbrella on the front is that you’ll always have a view of it. You can be sure it won’t brush against something.
But the disadvantage is that you won’t be able to squeeze through tight spaces if you place your umbrella across the rack.
Attach to Top Tube
Your bike’s top tube can be used for extra storage if you get creative. It’s a perfect place to store an umbrella, for example.
The simple way of attaching your umbrella to the top tube is by using velcro ties or ropes to keep it secured. Place your umbrella alongside the top tube and wrap velcro or clamp straps around the whole thing. Finally, make sure it’s all securely tied in place.
However, it can get tedious if you use a rope. You’ll need to tie knots to keep it secured. With a velcro strap, you don’t need to mess with tying knots. It can save you a lot of time.
Get a top tube bag if you want to make the most of it. You can use the bag to store more things if you have a small umbrella.
While attaching your umbrella to the top tube is a great option, the only problem is size. If your umbrella is too big, you won’t be able to attach it to the top tube. So keep that in mind.
A pannier is another excellent option for carrying your umbrella while riding your bike. The good thing about panniers is that most of them use a universal mounting mechanism. As a result, finding the right one for your bike will be easy.
To install a pannier, first, you’ll need to ensure that your bike has a rear rack. Then it’s time to attach the pannier hooks to the rack. All panniers come with clips that can connect to either side of a bike rack.
Place the pannier into position, and push the hooks down to attach it. You’ll hear a satisfying click. That’s when you’ll know it’s securely in place. Finally, put it in place by securing the center clip.
How To Carry Beach Umbrella On A Bike?
Beach umbrellas are bigger and much heavier than regular ones, so it’s tougher to carry these than regular umbrellas. However, even this task can be made much easier if you follow certain methods. In this section, we’ll discuss how you can easily carry a beach umbrella on a bike.
There are two things that you need to carry a beach umbrella properly. You’ll need a portable beach umbrella, and you need a rack that you can tie or strap the umbrella onto.
Try Using the Methods Described Above
Storing beach umbrellas is slightly more complicated. They’re much larger than regular umbrellas. However, you can still try some previous methods to see if they work for you. If it does, then you’re golden.
Strap The Beach Umbrella To Rear Bike Basket
You can carry a beach umbrella on your bike if you have a rear bike basket. And no, it isn’t as difficult as you might think. You would need a solid rear backset attached to your rear bike rack.
First and foremost, ensure your rear basket is secured safely onto the rack. Then you can use cable clamps to attach your beach umbrella to the basket.
You’ll find three places where you can clamp your umbrella down – the top of the basket, the bottom of the basket, and the back of your bike frame. This Reddit post can help you better visualize how the contraption could look.
Get A Portable Beach Umbrella
As for the umbrella, we highly recommend getting the Blissun Portable Beach Umbrella. It’s a huge one, and what makes it perfect for you is that you can carry it easily on a bike. Let’s take a look at some of its features.
These 7.2 feet umbrellas are enough to cover you entirely. The polyester fabric on top can keep you safe from harmful UV rays, and the fiberglass ribs will prevent the canopy from getting inverted even when facing strong gusts of wind. The pole itself is made of steel, and it’s coated with rust-free powder. A sand anchor will help you firmly secure the umbrella into the sand.
What makes it perfect for carrying on a bike is that it can be folded in half. This will reduce the effective length of the pole greatly, allowing you to carry it on a bike. You’ll be able to strap it easily on a rear rack of a bike. However, make sure you tie it in parallel with your bike. If you tie it across the width of the rack, then the effective width of your bike will increase as well, making it tougher for you to drive safely.
As you can see, some of the concerns about using an umbrella while riding are quite valid. However, most of them only apply when you’re holding the umbrella in your hand.
If you get an umbrella holder that can be attached to your bike, you won’t have to worry about these concerns. They’re designed to give you a safe riding experience, and that’s a good thing.