Having rode over 300 miles in the rain this year, I offer one indisputable fact: you will eventually reach a point where you cannot get any wetter than you already are.
For example, when I did the RSVP this year, it started pouring after the Canadian border. I rode 40 miles in the rain to Vancouver, and was no more miserable at the end than I was after the first mile of the deluge. Actually, as long as I kept moving, I was plenty warm.
I biked to work today, during one of our recent downpours, in order to test the effectiveness of my various rain gear. (And before you say anything: yes, most people I know don’t understand why I like biking long-ish distances in perfect weather and yes it’s okay to question my mental capacity for wanting to bike to work in the rain.)
The fenders are essential. I can’t believe how much less crud gets kicked up on me, the chain, and whatever I’m carrying. The local bike shop that I bought them from installed them and spent more time than I expected, but less than it would have taken me.
The rain jacket is Gore-Tex lined with all sorts of interesting zippers and vents. I layer clothes underneath it to keep warm. Without layers, it’s comfortable up to 65 degrees.
The pants are fine, though the fenders make the biggest difference on my dryness.
The neoprene booties work well though I don’t have the fancy illumiNITE (Illuminati?) type. They’re very snug over my shoes, and need holes cut out for the cleats, but my feet stay dry and warm.
The CamelBak was wet enough that I wouldn’t feel comfortable carrying my usual array of portable electronics. Do most people wear these under their jacket?
The gloves were thoroughly soaked through. I picked up a pair of neoprene lined which should fare better.