As summer looms on the horizon for riders in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s a good time to take stock of your warm-weather riding gear. There’s much more to summer riding that just a short-sleeved jersey and bike shorts; the weather can be volatile, hydration becomes a more important issue than ever, and the sun can betray you, switching without warning from welcome friend to mortal enemy.
You can shed pounds of sweat on long rides in the sun, so a technical jersey made with a high-wicking fabric will help keep you dry and cool. Two of the best are the Morvelo EFX Nth Series Summer Jersey and the Sportful R&D Cima Jersey.
Handmade in Europe, the Morvelo ($130 USD) uses a combination of three different fabrics, combining fast-drying breathability and an aerodynamic race cut for high-speed comfort. The four pockets and one gel pocket offer ideal storage options for long distance events and a robust construction can withstand the abuse of racing and long Gran Fondo rides.
The Cima ($150 USD) is constructed from a stretch woven fabric that offers light weight but also excellent coverage, wicking, and support. As many seams as possible have been eliminated to enhance the next-to-skin feel, and the result is an extra-lightweight jersey that still fits and feels like a more traditional cycling jersey. It comes with the standard three rear pockets and features rear reflective highlights for added safety in dim conditions.
Most riders are familiar with arm warmers; they’re super handy in winter and autumn to add an extra layer of warmth on the arms, and can be easily stashed in a jersey pocket when not being used. Sun sleeves are based on the same principle, but they shield the arms from damaging sunburn and reflect sunlight away from the skin to prevent the rider succumbing to heat exhaustion. These sleeves from Pearl Izumi work beautifully, have a UPF/SPF rating of 50+, and feature In–R–Cool® technology to provide optimal skin–cooling effect and moisture management to wick away perspiration.
This lightweight helmet is a mere 220 grams, comes with infinite size adjustments, and has 26 air intakes for maximum summertime ventilation. The Mojito is a great option for riding in the warmer months, and comes in an awesome range of bold colors, fluoro patterns, and national flag insignias.
Serving up triple the electrolyte content of a normal sports drink, this refreshing coconut beverage is absolutely free of additives and delivers only 10 calories per serving. Developed by pro athletes and sports doctors, SOS Rehydrate effectively combats the tiredness, fatigue and dehydration that can often accompany a long summer ride.
Stay safe from sun damage on your long rides this summer with this natural sunblock from Peak. With an SPF30 rating, this mineral sunscreen is designed to offer plenty of protection without any potentially hazardous chemicals. Unlike conventional sunscreens, which contain ingredients that are absorbed into the skin, Peak sits on the skin’s surface. Free of parabens, phthalates, and other questionable chemicals, Peak is non-allergenic, safe for all skin types, coral and reef safe, and biodegradable.
Even the summer weather can turn nasty (summer monsoon, anyone?), and when it does a rider needs to be prepared – preferably with a lightweight waterproof, breathable race cape like this one. Throughout the lightweight jacket, the seams are fully sealed against water and the pull-on cuffs are elasticated next to your arms, so you can be confident that no moisture will sneak in. The athletic fit of this Endura jacket keeps it close to the body without restricting movement, and its translucent appearance keeps your race number or jersey colors visible at all times. It’s also so lightweight that it can be packed into a small stuff sack with ease, so on those days when the weather seems a little unpredictable, pop it in a jersey pocket as your perfect just-in-case option.
Hydration is key at any time of year, but particularly in summer. Sometimes a water bottle, or even two bottles, is simply not enough for a long day in the saddle. The Rogue from famed hydration experts CamelBak comes with an ergonomic handle for easy refilling, an on/off lever to prevent leaks, and a nozzle that delivers 20% more water per sip. External hooks let you carry your helmet while still allowing full access to your pack, and a stretch overflow storage compartment means extra storage for stashing a rain jacket, phone, and sunscreen.
Summer is the time to hit those high mountain passes that were just too cold and miserable to tackle in winter, and nothing makes summer climbing more fun than a new lightweight set of wheels. Built for rapid acceleration and climbing for any performance-minded rider, the Dura-Ace 9100 C24 from Shimano feature lighter-than-ever rims, increased lateral stiffness and a higher spoke tension. These wheels are built to climb!
If hitting the trails is more your thing, do it in summer style with Giant’s new rance 2. A trail bike that thrives in the most challenging conditions, the Trance is stacked with features that include Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and SLX shifters, a lightweight, yet super strong and stiff, ALUXX SL aluminum frame, and Fox Float Performance suspension. The roughest trails flatten out under this awesome machine, and it’s pretty much guaranteed to deliver endless miles of hot summer riding.