Six Must-Haves During a Hot Summer Bike Ride
Any cyclist would say that summer is the best time to take a ride, but we have to be prepared to ride comfy even when our body deals with high temperatures.
Get ready, because we have some tips to get you cooler rides for the whole summer.
1. Cooling vests
The lightweight cooling vest is an integral piece of cooling clothing for elite sporting bodies, industry workers, athletes, doctors all around the world.
During warm-ups or between races, the vest lowers skin temperature, delays the onset of dehydration, and reduces the heart's workload, all factors that increase performance.
2. Not all the jerseys are the same
A key characteristic of summer cycling jerseys is the ability to wick away sweat from the body. This will help to keep us feeling cool and comfortable as the mercury rises. Lightweight mesh panels can be great for this, although be aware that the sun’s rays can penetrate the holes so you may need some sunscreen under your jersey in such instances.
Choose an aero jersey that fits closely and provides plenty of breathability, along with an elasticated hem to prevent fabric shift.
The right jersey are very light, and thanks to a stretch fabric, the fit is tailored without feeling restrictive. A full-length zipper, perforated holes under the arms and a mesh panel underneath the rear pockets add to the jersey’s superior breathability, which is one of the best we’ve tried in hot and humid weather.
3. Bibs make the difference
Cycling shorts are probably the most important part of your summer cycling clothing. A comfortable pair will help prevent saddle sores and leave you able to ride longer and faster even when your legs don’t want to.
While the most important part of any pair of shorts is the pad, which must be good enough to cope with the demands of longer rides, the main thing that will be different about summer-specific cycling shorts will be the bibs. Essentially these should be made of as little material as possible, with a loose mesh construction and a low front to prevent overheating. However it’s important that they still provide enough support to keep the shorts securely in place.
Choose the ones that mix cut with thin, the proper shorts are designed in a way that air intake is optimized with a ventilation cut.
4. Airy Shoes
The shoes we ride in are highly personal (with choices of flat or clip-less, and a thousand-and-one variants to each).
Some are definitely intended for wintry use though, so be sure to check for decent ventilation and low bulk when purchasing to avoid cooking your feet!
5. Summer glasses for cycling
Not only your skin, but your eyes are particularly sensitive to sunlight.
Bright summer sun can lead to headaches and strain on your eyes. That’s why it’s rare to see a pro at the Tour de France who’s not wearing a pair of sunglasses to protect their eyes.
Always look for good quality sunglasses which block out 100% of the sun’s harmful rays.
The darker tint of a pair of sunglasses will help limit the amount of light entering the eye and help to protect you while riding.
Lens options can include clear for use at night, yellow to boost contrast on overcast days and photochromic, which will adapt to changing conditions.
Interchangeable lenses are available in any range price, while higher-end models come with top-quality lenses from optics experts such as Zeiss. For faster rides, choose wraparound frames if you want the best peripheral vision.
6. Hydration mix
Other than sun exposure, your number 1 concern when riding in the summer is staying hydrated. While the Hyper Hydration mix isn’t for your everyday rides, it is something you should consider for those really hot days when you’re sweating more than you can replace with fluids. The high-sodium content helps retain the water you consume, but this mix should only be used on long or intense rides in the most extreme conditions.