Summer Cycling Tips
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
Providing essential protection and keeping the sun off your head and providing much needed shade, most bicycle helmets also provide excellent venting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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||Montane Featherlite jackets|
|Castelli Squadra jacket||Endura Rebound cycling jacket|
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||Sealskinz mid light waterproof socks|
|Shimano M076 MTB Shoes||Specialized Tahoe Shoes|
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||Altura Mayhem Shorts|
|Altura Stream shorts||Madison Tour Shorts|
|Endura Thermolite leg warmers|
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||SealSkinz Ultra Grip|
|Altura Progel Asymetrix||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.
|Endura Baa Baa||Altura Cyclone base layer|
|Montane Bionic base layer||Specialized 1st Layer|
|Endura BaaBaa Merino||Specialized Allez Jersey|
|Madison Trail Sport Jersey||Endura FS260 Pro Short Sleeve Cycling Jersey|
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||Madison D Arcs set|
|Endura Shark||Endura Angel|
August 31, 2012 Bike Guides