I've been searching (2 months) for the ultimate rain riding gear that is both comfortable, warm and dry, as well as other gear such as rain wipers, foggy mask that keeps your visor clear, and lastly music for those long rainy carefree rides.
Time to get ready: 30 minutes
1. Waterproof Shell (RMS) $70, includes pullover top, pants, booties and mitts. Great to keep the wind chill off during cold season
2. Thermal long johns, long sleeve top, walmart, Bay about $15-$20
3. Glove liners. Mountain Equipment Co-op on Broadway. Depending on the thickness, you can get one for $5 or $20 for silk thin. If your rain gear doesn't have mitts, the almost waterproof mitts are $29 here; but you will need to silicon the seams.
4. foggy mask, needed especially when the air chill around you is cold. Most shops should carry this around $40
5. wiper. my original wiper came from London Drugs for wiping down bathroom tiles after a shower. It is about 6" wide and has a hole on the handle so you can either hang it off your neck on a strap or tuck the handle into an unused crevice on your bike. $4. Needed for fog riding as the fog clings to your visor like small diamonds causing a nice fractal effect.
6. Small spray bottle & micro fibre cloth. You will need this to wipe the road grime from your visor. After riding down 91, you won't be able to see through your visor with all the misty grime that is tossed up by the cars. My original spray bottle came from Superstore (fairly small) $3 and the micro fibre cloth came from Canadian Tire ($7 for 3 cloths). Fill the bottle with half water and Turtle Wax wash. The soap & wax will also prevent other types of fogging on your visor (such as heat emanating from your head). For smaller spray bottle, get the new car smell air freshener spray bottle from Canadian Tire (size of a perfume bottle) and empty out the contents.
7. Generally most of the items will fit somewhere within pockets or hanging from straps. A small waterproof tank bag with a shell cover will run you about $80. I keep the spray bottle & cloth on a semi open side pocket so that I can do a quick wipe at stop lights.
8. Wool socks.
9. belaclava. Really needed to keep you head and face warm. Again Mountain Equipment Corp. ($11.50) or RMS ($14). Make sure you get the thin one. Optionally, you can get a head cap (just covers your head & ears) and a neck tube.
The cheapest heated grips will run you about $45 not including installation. The hardest part to installing the grips will be getting the bike rubber grips on and off your bike to install the heating elements underneath.
Heated Vest, Heat gloves and heated socks are all available, but with the rain jacket most of the wind chill is reduced. Even at zero degree riding with wind factor of 40kph, it is satisfactory without the heating elements.
I got the video Ipod tucked safely into my upper jacket pocket with an almost waterproofing casing. For remote start/stop I use the Airclick which is currently on clearance for $29 at London Drugs. I took apart the remote and sealed the buttons with silicon and coated the circuit board with rubber cement and mounted the clip on remote on the bike handlebars.
The Sennheiser PX100 from Best buy $80 was takened apart leaving only two disc that were almost wafer thin. I positioned them into the helmet behind the padding and traced the outline with a knife, cutting into the foam. Using the knife and fingers, I simply dug a small circular pocket to insert the speakers.
Reducing the gear:
Went on a shopping spree and bought the following
1. $90. Nitrogen Gloves by Joe Rocket. Waterproof and has a built in wiper on the thumb. This cuts out the 3 layers of gloves down to 2 layers; liner and gloves. This also cuts out the shower wiper that hanged around my neck.
2. $550. Alter Ego pants & Jacket with waterproof liner. The outer layer still gets wet (just damp as the water sheds) but your body stays dry and warm.
3. $85. Mec Expedition Stretch longs johns. Powder dry fabric that provides warmth, breathability and mobility.
New Time to get ready: 15 minutes