While extended daylight hours can make the summer a great time to ride, keeping cool will be a challenge. Check out these 10 items that will help you enjoy the miles and beat the heat during the hottest, most humid days of the year.
Sidi Wire Carbon Air
Sidi is a company known for high-quality craftsmanship. The Wire Carbon Air Shoes won’t disprove this notion with their Tecno-3 Push system closure and heel security system, which is impressive considering they’re also one of the lightest and most breathable shoes in Sidi’s lineup. The perforated Lorica Vernice uppers and the vented carbon soles — the latter of which can be open or closed easily depending on how much air you want inside your shoe — make these shoes ideal for summer if your wallet can handle the cost.
POC Octal AVIP
It’s not just the shape and aesthetics of the POC Octal that make this helmet different from most others. Instead of using lots of small vents for airflow, the Octal uses large slots that improve cooling, air circulation and aerodynamics better than other standard helmet designs. It also weighs just 200 grams and features an EPS foam liner and polycarbonate shell, which the company claims make this model one of the safest available.
The Meryl Skinlife mesh that extends all the way to the cuff of the Free 9 wicks moisture and is highly breathable. While thicker socks can trap heat and cause perspiration, which can lead to blistering, these socks are similar to a base-layer design for your feet — making them a must-own for those really hot summer days.
The science behind bib shorts these days extends well beyond the quality of the chamois pad. In high temperatures, the thickness of the Lycra can trap lots of heat and cause excessive perspiration, particularly in bibs that cover portions of the torso. As the name suggests, the Feather bibs from Etxeondo are extremely light and highly elastic. This is accomplished by using the Powersystem 1.2 fabric, with a weave that allows for optimal breathability. Even the chamois has a perforated top layer designed to pull moisture away from your skin and speed evaporation.
Though it might seem counterintuitive, a good base layer is essential as summer temps begin to increase. The sleeveless Torino SL Carbon regulates body temperature well while also providing a crucial moisture-wicking layer to keep you dry and cool. Its seamless construction helps prevent irritation.
The problem with most lightweight jerseys is durability. And while the 125-gram weight of the Rapha Super certainly qualifies as lightweight, the synthetic blend is built to last without sacrificing any of the key components that make for a good summer jersey. It’s soft against the skin, doesn’t retain sweat and breathes extremely well. Keep in mind that the fit is slightly loose if you’re used to an aero/race cut, which we found to be a nice break from tight-fighting jerseys that have oversaturated the market.
Rudy Project Tralyx
The new Tralyx from Rudy Project goes in a new direction from other sunglasses in the company’s lineup. Utilizing cutout vents in the frame and lenses decreases weight and improves airflow, keeping your glasses from fogging on really hot days or during long, slow climbs. The lenses also adjust really well to changes in light conditions and provides plenty of peripheral and top coverage without feeling like you’re wearing a pair of ski goggles. (If you have a small face, the Tralyx SX could be a more suitable option.)
A sports drink that quenches your thirst while also providing much-needed electrolytes is a must when exercising outdoors in the summer. While other drinks can taste overly sweet, the Skratch Labs Hydration Mix is one of the best-tasting and easiest to digest during extreme exercise in hot weather. While the pineapple flavor is a personal favorite, you can’t really go wrong with any of the options.
After a long ride in the sun, it’s nice to have a treat waiting for you. For those times when a hot car is the only thing you have waiting for you post-ride or race, the MiiR Growler is the answer. This vacuum-insulated 64-ounce bottle will keep cold temperatures for up to a day (hot beverages for up to 12 hours) while also maintaining your beverage’s carbonation. It’s also leakproof, doesn’t sweat and is built with medical-grade stainless steel that should last forever.
Giro Zero II
While your instincts might tell you to go gloveless during the summer, one spill is all it will take to remind you otherwise. Fortunately, the Giro Zero II is the next best thing, providing minimal protection on the nonpadded leather palms and a breathable, moisture-wicking mesh on the back of the hands. And for a tight-fitting glove, they go on and off without much of a hassle.