Just as it is in the winter, if you want to enjoy cycling in the summer you’ll need to dress for the occasion. From SPF to socks, here are 10 items that will help keep you cool and comfortable during the hottest days of the year.
With a wide-coverage lens and crazy-good clarity, the new Arena Chromapop sunglasses might be the perfect cycling shades for summer. They also boast a hydrophobic lens coating that is water, oil and dirt resistant, which means you won’t have to stop for a cleaning when you sweat. The Pivlock interchange system allows you to switch between tints easily, so you’ll always have the right color no matter the conditions.
BLUE LIZARD SPORT SUNSCREEN
Australia has some of the highest standards for sunscreens in the world. It’s no surprise then that Blue Lizard is currently one of the best sunscreens available, and unlike many other sunscreens is water- and sweat-proof for up to 240 minutes. This broad-spectrum UVA and UVB formula is mineral based and comes in a smart bottle that changes colors when UV rays are at their highest levels.
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If you’re looking to splurge on one summer kit, the new Flyweight jersey and bib from Rapha is the way to go. At just 104 grams, the jersey is seriously 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.
Like the top, the bibshorts are extremely well-made and durable despite how thin they are. The four-way stretch fabric is treated with coldblack technology to keep you cool despite the garment’s black color, while the ultra-thin mesh on the upper and straps feels a lot like a really thin base layer that fits the shoulders well and doesn’t bunch up. The chamois pad is the same you get in most of Rapha’s other shorts and is one of our favorites for long days in the saddle. The shorts come in short and regular lengths depending on how long your legs are. And while the kit falls on the high-end of the price range, it should last you a few years before it’ll need to be replaced.
This CoolSwitch headband will not only help keep sweat and hair out of your eyes, it will also help to pull heat away from the skin and protect you from the sun’s UV rays. It also dries quickly and is made with an ultra-soft Jacquard fabric for all-day comfort.
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To stay dry and comfortable, a good base layer is essential. This airy mesh utilizes six-channel fibers to make a fabric so light you’ll barely feel like you’re wearing anything at all. It’ll also help pull sweat away from the body and keep you cooler than if you were wearing a standard jersey alone.
Unfortunately, most sunscreens only partially protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays. For anyone needing extra coverage, these UPF 50 sun sleeves do the trick. The Ice-fil xylitol coating on the white option also reacts to sweat and water, cooling you down the wetter it gets. While covering yourself with additional layers can be tricky, these are a nice addition in heat up to the low-to-mid 90s.
Wet feet aren’t cool. The new Exploit socks from Assos wick moisture to keep you dry when temps heat up. The polypropylene material is also hydrophobic, meaning it’s unable to absorb water. As an added bonus, they look pretty cool, too.
A lot of aero road helmets aren’t so great in warm weather. This, however, is not the case with the new Airnet from Specialized. It’s almost 21 seconds faster over the 40km time trial distance than the Specialized Prevail, and thanks to long front vents and very large air channels at the base of the head, it’s one of the coolest on the market, too. Retro styling and a pretty reasonable price make this a good buy any time of year.
DMT R1 SUMMER SHOE
If there was a knock on the DMT R1 that was released in 2016, it was the lack of ventilation. This year’s version addressed these issues by including three breathable mesh sections and an aerated sole. The result is one of the most breathable options on the market for hot, humid days. Though they are expensive, consider it an option if you’re looking for a high-end summer race shoe and have wider feet.
SKRATCH LABS HYPER HYDRATION
$2.95 (per pack)
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.
Keeping your liquids cool in the summer can be a problem. Not only is this bottle from Elite durable and BPA free, it’ll keep your liquids cold for up to three hours thanks to its unique 100% natural cork design. Our only complaint is the 500ml size is a bit small for summer when larger 750ml bottles mean less stops for a refill.
GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT RIDE