Summer is finally here. You've spent the winter grimacing on the turbo, cycling in more layers than you could count and dreaming of sun on your face and bare arms... or maybe you haven't and now is the time to dust off that bike that's been neglected since October.
Either way, let's get out there and soak up every precious minute... it's time for long rides out to somewhere new, and getting the train home, or travelling light and riding back the next day. It's time to take your bike on a budget airline, fretting about it the whole way, but you know it will be worth it to spend every day for a week ascending beautiful mountains whilst the sleepy locals look at you like you are mad. Time to set yourself a big challenge, push yourself, really make the most of the weather so you remember that it's worth it when you are back to winter training.
A good quality, lightweight wicking jersey is an absolute must for a hot day. As you sweat, you want your jersey to be wicking the sweat away from your skin instantly, and you want that sweat to disappear before it starts to smell! You also don't want any moisture to stay on your body by the time you start your descent, or stop for a coffee in the shade. Even on a warm day, being damp will make you feel cold very quickly, with that accompanying clammy feeling. It doesn't do your muscles any favours either.
The Women's Race jersey from Queen of the Mountains (also in Coral) dries faster than swimwear, so the sweat has evaporated before you've even noticed it's there.
Similarly the Men's Spektrum Jersey by Angeles Creative is made from a super lightweight waffle-type fabric that is extremely light, so the moisture is transferred into the air instantly. The Women's Spektrum Jersey is also a very light but slightly different fabric, with a similar effect.
Another good option is the Marker Jersey by Good Cycling (also in Women's) This jersey has the same waffle-type fabric under the arms and it also has anti-bacterial properties, for extra stink-protection! At the end of the day, you can rinse these jerseys out and you know they will be dry and ready to wear again the next morning.
Summer rides are often long rides. Why not be out on the bike all day after all?! It's really worth investing in a good pair of shorts with a longer-performing pad for these days, as it will make the world of difference in terms of comfort. The Queen of the Mountains Race shorts have an extremely high quality Cytech pad that is suitable for 4+ hours of riding. It's worth noting not all shorts can boast this, and it really is noticeable on a long ride. They are also made from LycraPower® fabric that reduce muscle vibrations, therefore reducing muscle fatigue, so you can get up and do it all again the next day. They also come as an option with a Coral trim for a pop of summery colour.
A cap will also make a real difference on a sunny day. The brim shields your eyes from the sun and it will also stop sweat streaming into your eyes. We recommend The Climb #1 cap from The Wonderful Socks, made from a cotton-polyester mix fabric called gabardine which dries super fast. It has a sweat wicking, antibacterial tape running around the inside to keep your head nice and fresh! Rinse it out at the end of the day and hang it up to dry, there's a little ring inside. The caps by God & Famous are also designed with hot weather in mind, as anyone who has ever tried to cycle around New York City in the heat will probably appreciate. There is a sweatband at the front and a breathable mesh panel at the back.
And then... socks. The Wonderful Socks know what it's like to cycle in the warmest weather, being as they are from Italy, they actually get to enjoy a proper summer rather than the rather hit-and-miss unpredictable affair we get in the UK. Their socks are constructed in Polypropylene and Resistex Carbon; high performance fibres that are breathable, lightweight, soft, and antibacterial. The wicking properties keep your feet cool, dry, and as a result you can be pleasantly surprised by how little your feet smell at the end of the day. Useful if you have packed light and are recycling...
And finally... don't forget to hydrate! It's good to have too bottles, one for water and one for water+electrolytes.
Enjoy your summer riding!