Some tips and new products designed to deal with the challenges of heat, sun and stress that cyclists uniquely face during the summer.
Studies have shown that cyclists, like all outdoor activity enthusiasts, are vulnerable to an increased risk of skin cancer. There are plenty of options available when it comes to sunscreen and application methods, but we find that inevitably, it doesn’t last all day. That’s why we make – and wear – UPF 50+ bike apparel that keeps you fully covered. Our Soleil Tops are wonderful through the summer, providing lightweight, cool-to-the-skin, total coverage. I find that when it’s over 90, a little cold water down the back of my neck is an instant relief. And it’s super versatile – hiking, water sports, you name it!
You can lose up to 2 quarts of fluid per hour riding in very hot weather. Replenishing is critical to avoid dehydration and heat stress. We find that moving from water bottles to hydration packs is the best solution, and this season, we have a couple women-specific packs from Osprey that carry a 3-liter reservoir. Use Polar Bottles in your water bottle cages. They’ll keep your liquids colder (I like to freeze mine in the summer when I mountain bike — stays really cold the entire ride).
Tip: drink at least 16 ounces of fluid right before and after your ride.
Weird factoid: Formula 1 race car drivers face some of the most extreme heat conditions of all athletic endeavors. They actually swallow an electronic pill that monitors their core body temperature (which can exceed 105 degrees during a race). Fortunately, we don’t have to deal with anything remotely close to that since we can count on convective heat loss (air flow across the body) to help cool things down.
Cool down your core: take a cold shower before you ride, drink a slushie, eat something cold.
Ride early: avoid the scorch zone of 3:00 pm.
Wear synthetics that wick moisture. Our Echelon bottoms (available in short, knicker or NEW full length tight) are made of ColdBlack®, a heat-reflective fabric with a 3-5 degree cooling effect.
Ventilate: full length zippers on jerseys, mesh side panels, cutaways through saddles – it all enhances breathability and air flow which can help in thermoregulation.
Finally, if you’re going on a big, hot ride, avoid alcohol for 24 hours prior to. Alcohol dehydrates and your body will definitely be the worse for it.