Summer weather is here, and that means hot here in Dallas. On a recent weekend ride, my Wahoo bike computer registered 100 degrees cruising over the pavement — and the weather app on my phone showed only a few degrees cooler.
When the temperatures go up, the right gear can make a difference in keeping you cool and safe. Here are a few items that I have used on high temperature rides.
Insulated Water Bottles
Polar 24 ounce insulated water bottle. Ever been out in the hot sun riding for a couple of hours and take a swig from your water bottle that is so warm it’s like tepid soup?
Fill up one of these bottles with ice before you hit the road and it will keep your water chilled through the beginning part of your ride, and cool for a few hours after that.
Camelbak makes a competing bottle that also does a good job and holds 25 ounces, if you don’t like Polar.
Halo II Headband
I wear prescription cycling sunglasses, and there’s nothing worse for me than when sweat drips down my forehead into the inside of my sunglass lenses. Or even worse, into my eyes where the salty stinging forces me to squint or close one eye so I can’t safely see where I’m going. The beauty of the Halo II headband is that it has a “sweat seal channel” that sends any sweat that does soak through the band behind your face. It fits great under your helmet so that you can barely tell you’re wearing it.
Tailwind Stickpack Drink Mix
I am both calorie conscious and cheap when it comes to using drink mix on rides. Unless I’m going more than 40 miles, I generally don’t like to consume any calories at all. I hate the idea of mixing up a drink that I might not use, so I often carry one of these stickpacks when I ride. If I start to bonk or worry about cramping because I’ve been sweating a lot, I can just open up one of these packets and dump it into my water bottle and I’m all set. Tailwind is an RBR sponsor, so it makes me happy that I can recommend their products will full confidence. Think I’m biased? Check out their Amazon reviews.
Pearl Izumi Sun Sleeves
When I rode the Dirty Kanza 200 mile gravel grinder a few years back, I was in the hot Kansas sun for an entire day. I knew I’d sweat off my sunscreen, so I opted to try out white sun sleeves from Pearl Izumi. They really worked and kept my arms from getting burned, and were not noticeably hotter than bare arms. I will be the first to admit that I haven’t worn mine since that race, because I’m sensitive to being ridiculed about the way they look. But if I were going to spend that many hours in the sun again, I’d wear them.
Giordana Fusion Jersey
I wear a lot of white jerseys, which are both visible in traffic and good at reflecting away the sun’s heat. I went into my jersey drawer and thumbed through my collection of white jerseys from Craft, Pearl Izumi, Giordana, Capo to see which ones were still current and available for sale, as most of the manufacturers change or rename their collections every year or two. I saw that the reasonably priced Giordana Fusion is still available in white, with a suggested retail of around $85. The Fusion features fabrics that are good at wicking away sweat, along with built-in UV protection. (It comes in other colors too.) I particularly like the slightly oversized, high quality zipper that zips all the way down, which has held up well over time.
Did I miss anything? Which gear do you reach for when the weather gets hot?