08 July 2013

7 Ways to Beat the Heat on the Bike This Summer

Photo via Flickr user John Gronberg
The dog days are upon us, but sweltering heat isn't enough to scare us off our bikes. In fact, it only seem to bring us out to pedal more. As temperatures continue to creep up, however, it's important that we take care of ourselves so we can stay safe and have a fantastic time in the process. 

Here are our top 7 tips to beat the summer heat:

Dress appropriately

Just as you wouldn't wear your shorts and thinnest jersey during the height of winter, it's not a good idea to dress too heavily in the peak of summer. Opt for a short-sleeved jersey made of a technical fabric, since cotton and silk will absorb every ounce of moisture your body produces. (Check out our collection of men's and women's cycling jerseys here.) On the bottom, opt for a cycling short or bib made of similar materials, as they'll wick sweat and push moisture out, giving you a much more comfortable, cooler ride. (Shop our collection of men's and women's cycling shorts here.) 

Opt for panniers

Have you ever had a backpack on during a hot day and noticed the relief you feel almost immediately after taking it off? Allow for optimal air flow while you're on a ride and pack anything you need with you in a pannier or a basket. The same goes with your head. Don't skip the helmet, though; instead, invest in one with a lot of ventilation so you can keep your noggin cool without skimping on protection.

Embrace your sweat

Sweat might be a little gnarly to some, but it's the body's natural cooling system and it works really well once you stop trying to avoid it. Drink a lot of water, opt for a deodorant instead of an antiperspirant and choose a light, breathable sunblock.

Freeze your water overnight

Photo via Flickr user John Gronberg
On a hot day, your water will likely cook as you do and we can all agree that a gulp of hot water is less than refreshing. Fill your bottle with plenty of ice or freeze your water overnight for a chilled swig. The only trouble with completely freezing your water is you want to be sure it melts as you need it to, so there's never a moment you reach for a drink and all you have is a block of ice. Experiment with different water to ice ratios to figure out what works best for you.

Pour a little water on your head

Your sweat not doing the trick? Squirt a little water from your bottle though the vents of your helmet and you'll feel immediately refreshed since the water will, hopefully, be cooler than your head and you'll stay cooler as it evaporates. Just be sure you have plenty of water with you, though, since you most certainly don't want any dehydration.

Wrap a wet bandana around your neck

Since the head and neck are basically the body's thermostat, it's important to keep them as cool as possible. A good trick is to wrap a wet or—even better—icy bandana around your neck. It'll provide relief from heat for as long as it takes the water to evaporate. Then, if you need to, you can just soak it in cool water again and start over.


The most important thing you can do for yourself on any ride—especially one in hot conditions—is to stay hydrated. Even if your water is warm and less than fun to drink, be sure to drink it anyway. Your body's core cooling system cannot work without water.

Have any tips of your own to share? Leave it in the comments section below.

1 comment:

TJConnery said...

Invest in a new LED lighting system (front and back)and train before dawn. We own the night.

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