Summer Cycling Tips

Summer is always something we accidentally get excited about in the UK, before October arrives and we then grumble about how short lived and miserable it actually was. Hence why a lot of us book holidays abroad. However, those few sacred days of sunshine and more hours of daylight often sneak up on you unexpectedly, so it’s always a great idea to have an artillery of summer gear on standby. Here are some great summer cycling tips for the whole family.

Routes

Make the most of the better weather by exploring your local area, or venture further afield to try out a new route or two. Sustrans is a great starting point, where you can download a copy of the National Cycle Network guide (£1), browse routes online, or download one of the many cycle route phone apps available.

 

Summer Bike Equipment

Bicycle Helmets

Providing essential protection and keeping the sun off your head and providing much needed shade, most bicycle helmets also provide excellent venting.

Cycling Tyres

Cycling tyres are prone to pretty big seasonal variations, especially mountain bike tyres, which vary in tread pattern. You’ll need tyres to suit your bike, the terrain and the weather.

Preventing theft

A good bike lock will give you peace of mind when you’re out and about, and stop someone else from having a nice summer on your bike.

 

Looking after yourself

Know your limits

On the trails or on the road, cycling in the summer can be an awesome experience, but don’t over do it. It’s important to know your limits, especially in the sun – take regular breaks and keep to the shade as much as possible.

Hydration

In warmer weather, it’s absolutely essential to keep hydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during and after riding and carry more liquid with you than you need. You can never have too many water bottles, or a hydration bag is a great idea.

Energy Drinks

If you’re looking at spending more than an hour on a bike, energy drinks are great for helping you ride faster longer, as they boost energy levels and replace lost carbohydrates and electrolytes.

Sunblock

Sun damage can have a devastating effect on your skin. As cycling involves typically long periods of exposure, and the effect of the sun is increased by the sweat on your skin, good sunblock is really vital. Also, it goes without saying that you’ll probably acquire some random tan lines, which will look even worse when contrasted with lobster red, blistered skin.

Children

It might be great weather for taking the kids out cycling, but make sure they aren’t too hot or cold, drink plenty of water and are literally slathered from head to toe in suncream. It’s hard to forget how challenging some routes are for little legs, so make sure you scale it back accordingly so everyone enjoys their ride.

 

Summer Clothing

Although the temptation to immediately wear as little as possible in summer is hard to resist for some people (damning the eyes of everyone around them in the process), cycling clothing still needs to be adaptable and versatile to provide valuable layering, wind and water resistance and keep you cool and remove moisture from your body. An unexpected downfall or drop in air temperature at altitude will mean you need to take extra layers with you. Highly breathable materials will keep you comfortable and make cycling a more pleasant experience during the summer months.

 

Cycling jackets

As the weather can turn on you when you least expect it, a cycling jacket is still vital to protect you from wind, rain or cold. Our summer essential is a packable showerproof/windproof jacket which can resist all but the worst weather and happily be packed away ready for use. Sleeveless gilets are a good option if you have a thicker or shower proof jersey, or a convertible jacket with detachable sleeves is a really versatile option.

 

Altura Crosslite cycling jacket Altura Crosslite cycling jacket Montane Featherlite jackets Montane Featherlite jackets
Castelli Squadra jacket Castelli Squadra jacket Endura Rebound cycling jacket Endura Rebound cycling jacket

Footwear

All year round, a good pair of cycling shoes will improve the efficiency of your cycling, and needn’t be season specific. Overshoes and cycling socks are great accompaniments and will help to keep your feet cool and dry.

Endura Coolmax socks Endura Coolmax socks Sealskinz mid-light-waterproof socks Sealskinz mid light waterproof socks
Shimano M076 Shoes Shimano M076 MTB Shoes Specilized Tahoe Shoes Specialized Tahoe Shoes

Legs

If you’re getting your legs out, make sure your cycling shorts will still keep you warm enough! ¾ length shorts might seem like the first choice to make, but a pair of normal length, lined baggy shorts with legwarmers might be better in the long term (and will last you through until Autumn too). For road cyclists, now’s the time to flash that Lycra, or try out a pair of bib shorts if you haven’t already. Leg and knee warmers are most useful in Spring and Autumn, are versatile to complement many cycling wardrobe essentials, handy enough to fit in a pocket and may or may not make you want to burst into the refrain from Fame.

Endura CoolMax Bib Shorts Endura CoolMax Bib Shorts Altura Mayhem shorts Altura Mayhem Shorts
Altura Stream shorts Altura Stream shorts Madison Tour Shorts Madison Tour Shorts
Endura Thermolite leg warmers Endura Thermolite leg warmers 

Hands

You’ll still need a pair of gloves for comfort and control. Summer-weight gloves and short fingered cycling mitts are great for warmer weather, but until then, long finger, water resistant cycling gloves will complete the transition from heavy-duty winter gloves.

Endura Dexter Endura Dexter SealSkinz Ultra Grip SealSkinz Ultra Grip
Altura Progel Asymetrix Altura Progel Asymetrix Specialized BG Gel Short Fingered Gloves Specialized BG Gel

Cycling base layers and jerseys

Keeping you warm in the cold, and cool and dry in the heat, a quality, wicking base layer is one of the best investments you can add to your cycling wardrobe and can be used all year round. Cycle clothing is all about layering, and this still applies in summer, just with less layers. As the weather warms up, wear a good quality cycling jersey on top of your base layer, and if it’s really hot, just a short sleeve jersey will do.

Altura Baa-Baa base layers Endura Baa Baa Altura Cyclone base layer Altura Cyclone base layer
Montane Bionic base layer Montane Bionic base layer Specialized First base layer Specialized 1st Layer
Endura BaaBaa Merino Tech Jersey Endura BaaBaa Merino Specialized Allez Jersey Specialized Allez Jersey
Madison Trail Sport Jersey Madison Trail Sport Jersey Endura FS260 Pro Short Sleeve Cycling Jersey Endura FS260 Pro Short Sleeve Cycling Jersey

Cycling glasses

Keeping the sun, mud, rain and insects out of your eyes, cycling sunglasses make for more than just a pretty face. There are all types available, with interchangeable lenses or shifting tints to boost performance, or just downright nice looking ones.

Specialized Tarzo NXT glasses Specialized Tarzo NXT Madison D'arcs Quad cycling glasses Madison D Arcs set
Endura Shark cycling glasses Endura Shark Endura Angel glasses Endura Angel

 

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JT August 31, 2012 Bike Guides