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  1. #1
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    What's best 105+ desert sun clothing to wear??

    I live in the desert, I'm trying to mountain bike in 105+ temps in midday sun... ANYTHING I can do clothing-wise to help me ride longer would be helpful. I'm confused about what the best clothing options would be:

    1) Standard short-sleeve light-colored breathable biking shirt with sunscreen slathered on forearms

    2) Long-sleeve light-colored breathable biking shirt (would I stay cooler/fare better with forearms not exposed?

    3) "Body Armor" type short-sleeve shirt with a biking shirt on top of it - It seems crazy to wear two layers in the heat, but does that keep sweat from evaporating and insulate you from the sun more?

    I've tried searching for the answer to this and am frustrated... If there's any fellow desert rats out there, any help would be appreciated. Thanks - Tim

    PS - I know you have to be careful when biking in extreme heat, what I need to know is when I'm doing it, how can I do it best.

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    oh man i hope your ready for some lectures buddy. these people are almost as passionate about heat as they are helmets. but i just ride in a regular t-shirt or no shirt at all. seems to get me along fine even when its 111 outside
    All Mountain was so 2005

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unadonis
    I live in the desert, I'm trying to mountain bike in 105+ temps in midday sun... ANYTHING I can do clothing-wise to help me ride longer would be helpful. I'm confused about what the best clothing options would be:

    1) Standard short-sleeve light-colored breathable biking shirt with sunscreen slathered on forearms

    2) Long-sleeve light-colored breathable biking shirt (would I stay cooler/fare better with forearms not exposed?

    3) "Body Armor" type short-sleeve shirt with a biking shirt on top of it - It seems crazy to wear two layers in the heat, but does that keep sweat from evaporating and insulate you from the sun more?

    I've tried searching for the answer to this and am frustrated... If there's any fellow desert rats out there, any help would be appreciated. Thanks - Tim

    PS - I know you have to be careful when biking in extreme heat, what I need to know is when I'm doing it, how can I do it best.
    can't help u with the clothing apart but in that heat you'd be wise to get a camelbak if you dont have one already. fill it halfway with water then lay it in the freezer. before you ride fill the rest up and go. that will keep you cool for a bit

    edit. after thinking about it some more i'd probably go with a long sleeve jersey or dry fit shirt (long sleeves)

  4. #4
    "El Whatever"
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    Long-sleeve. One layer, bright colors.

    I've ridden in normal jerseys in those conditions, but I'm rather brown-skinned and grew in a sunny-hot-humid place, so I suffer less from skin burnt.... And I wouldn't do it again.

    Try riding a normal jersey under those conditions and after few minutes you'll beg for a long-sleeved one.
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    I live in the desert as well, so I gotta ask why ride in the midday are you commuting or something or are you just some kind of sun worshiping freek. Personally I like to hit the trails no later than 7:00am and be done by at least ten thirty... but then again do to my job I gotta work outside in the heat 5 days a week.

    As for shirts I've always just worn cotton short sleeve (cheap and breathable), but recently got me a t-shirt style high techie north face shirt mcthingy which works quite well. If you notice all the guys working outside (roofers,etc) most wear long sleeve. It really depends if you want sun protection or breathability.

  6. #6
    "El Whatever"
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanzoTi
    If you notice all the guys working outside (roofers,etc) most wear long sleeve. It really depends if you want sun protection or breathability.
    True. I've worked on construction sites outside cities and in arid (semi-desertic) places up north mexico... when it's really hot, no-one around in his very right mind would go sleeveless.

    It actually keeps you cooler.

    Some coolmax (or any wicking fabric) stuff is good as once you sweat, the water has no function on your body. In dry-hot weather the only sign of sweat you'll see are the salt stains on the clothes as sweat evaporates so fast that you're actually wiping salt away from your eye-lids instead of the sweat drops you usually do.

    Ride afternoons or early mornings. Avoid riding between 14:00-17:00 hrs. Not only sun is shining up but by that time soil is so freaking hot that the whole environment works as a goddarn oven. It gets worst close to rivers as the humidity can be very high (ask anyone living in south texas if you don't believe it - weather there is similar to our north part of the country and it's freaking hot and humid).
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    only ride early mornings or in the evenings
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  8. #8
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    I ride in South Texas where it is very hot and very humid usually at the hottest times of the day.

    The main thing is to just bring lots of water and don't ride quite as hard as you usually do. Take a decent break at your midpoint and just sip water throughout your ride. I still find it amazing the performace differance I have between 90 degrees and 100 degrees.

    Water is the main thing and know the signs that you are getting overheated. After years of doing this I have only gotten overheated once but knew it so I layed down for about 15 minutes till I cooled off then headed home at a moderate pace.

    I ride in a cotton t-shirt, i usually burn a bit at first during summer but after the first few rides I'm good.

  9. #9
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    Dittos on the long light colored sleeves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unadonis
    I know you have to be careful when biking in extreme heat, what I need to know is when I'm doing it, how can I do it best.
    Icing the "Hump" is a good one as well.

    A few other things that work for me:

    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. That is start 24 hours before your ride, during your ride and 24 hours after your ride depending on how dehydrated you got.

    Also carry a frozen water bottle or two in your camelback, use them to cool your cranium, the base of your skull is the most effective place. This will help with heat exhaustion and heat stroke. When they thaw, drink em up. Remember you can be hydrated and still suffer heat exhaustion.

    Sometimes I carry a floppy hat to wear when I don't need the helmet.

    One last thing, drink Gatorade or whatever your favorite bug juice is before the ride too, not just after.


    Louis
    Last edited by SunDog; 07-11-2005 at 01:39 PM.

  10. #10
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    UnderArmor works for me

    I ride in Phoenix all summer long and because of time constraints, I have to ride between 4 and 7 PM. I recently started wearing the UnderArmor brand loose fitting shirts - it's a coolmax material that is superlight and wicks the sweat away. I do short sleeves with lots of sunscreen because the long sleeve feels to restictive to me. I notice the light, breathable material keeps me cooler than jerseys and never gets waterlogged like t-shirts. Wish I had found these 10 summers ago!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanzoTi
    I live in the desert as well, so I gotta ask why ride in the midday are you commuting or something or are you just some kind of sun worshiping freek. Personally I like to hit the trails no later than 7:00am and be done by at least ten thirty... but then again do to my job I gotta work outside in the heat 5 days a week.

    As for shirts I've always just worn cotton short sleeve (cheap and breathable), but recently got me a t-shirt style high techie north face shirt mcthingy which works quite well. If you notice all the guys working outside (roofers,etc) most wear long sleeve. It really depends if you want sun protection or breathability.
    well some of us like to wake up late and then go ride. so thats why i ride midday. oh and sometimes i have to work at 8 am abd get off at 2 and then go for a ride. so theres some reasons. and i work outside too and i think it helps a little with tolerating it. frankly the heat doesnt even bother me now on long rides when its 110 out. but thats me
    All Mountain was so 2005

  12. #12
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    Loose fitting light cotton, white is preferable.

  13. #13
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    I've been

    wearing coolmax shirts from Campmor, the short sleevers were a mere $6 and the long sleevers were something like $8, and as a poster above remarked, the sweat will evaporate pretty quickly off of these, helping to cool you as well as can be done by sweating.

    They also sell these blubandoo neckbands, which absorb a lot of water, and then cool you through the evaporation. No personal experience, but next time I order, I'll pick up one or two to try out.

    I'm heading up to higher elevation, and shade, to ride, and it's only 80 degrees here. I feel for ya riding in those temps!

  14. #14
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    I switched to plain white long sleeve jerseys made of 100% polyester. It provides good sun protection and is not any hotter than a short sleeve.
    blah blah blah

  15. #15
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    Long sleeves plus sun screen

    Don't think the shirt alone is going to be enough sun protection. I've read that the SPF of a cotton t-shirt is less than 15. I'm not sure about coolmax.

    There was a good article in Runner's World a few months ago on heat acclimation. If you don't live in it you will definitely have an adjustment period. Don't go out with the locals and wonder why you are hot and they seem to be fine. I used to play 27 holes of golf in Phoenix during 110+ August heat. Now that I live in SoCal I can't imagine doing that again. What was I thinking?

    Oh yeah, drink lots and lots of water. I also always have a Gatorade or some kind of fitness drink to replenish the sodium too. Stay away from caffeine. It will dehydrate you quickly.

  16. #16
    Jm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unadonis
    3) "Body Armor" type short-sleeve shirt with a biking shirt on top of it - It seems crazy to wear two layers in the heat, but does that keep sweat from evaporating and insulate you from the sun more?

    This is a myth that I've heard perpetuated many times. Your body sweats to keep from overheating. Wearing ANYTHING that is going to "keep moisture in" will cause your body to overheat. This is bad and you'll suffer the same effects as if you didn't have enough water in your body, which is your body overheating because it can't release heat energy.

    The absolute best will be a light colored light mess sleeveless jersey with lycra shorts, not baggies, not long sleeves, not dark colors, etc. That's going to be hands down the coolest and will let your body cool more effectively.

    You're not just sitting around in the sun all day, you are excersising. Obviously wearing what I outlined will allow your body to sweat more, which may require more water intake, but your body will be in better shape and not as dehydrated, meaning your performance and comfort will be better while riding.
    Last edited by Jm.; 07-11-2005 at 06:23 PM.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

  17. #17
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    Not quite a myth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    This is a myth that I've heard perpetuated many times. Your body sweats to keep from overheating. Wearing ANYTHING that is going to "keep moisture in" will cause your body to overheat. This is bad and you'll suffer the same effects as if you didn't have enough water in your body, which is your body overheating because it can't release heat energy.

    The absolute best will be a light colored light mess sleeveless jersey with lycra shorts, not baggies, not long sleeves, not dark colors, etc. That's going to be hands down the coolest and will let your body cool more effectively.

    You're not just sitting around in the sun all day, you are excersising. Obviously wearing what I outlined will allow your body to sweat more, which may require more water intake, but your body will be in better shape and not as dehydrated, meaning your performance and comfort will be better while riding.
    Maybe what you are stating is applicable in high humidity heat, but in dry heat, covering up in the right type of clothing is indeed benificial and recommended by some medical and physiology professionals.

    Anyhow, for some good info Google: heat exhaustion prevention.

  18. #18
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    Gonna let you in on a little secret:

    http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...ductId=7109793


    These are the BEST thing you can get. Long sleeve, White, wicking, and only $8.
    How can you go wrong.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    This is a myth that I've heard perpetuated many times. Your body sweats to keep from overheating. Wearing ANYTHING that is going to "keep moisture in" will cause your body to overheat. This is bad and you'll suffer the same effects as if you didn't have enough water in your body, which is your body overheating because it can't release heat energy.

    The absolute best will be a light colored light mess sleeveless jersey with lycra shorts, not baggies, not long sleeves, not dark colors, etc. That's going to be hands down the coolest and will let your body cool more effectively.

    You're not just sitting around in the sun all day, you are excersising. Obviously wearing what I outlined will allow your body to sweat more, which may require more water intake, but your body will be in better shape and not as dehydrated, meaning your performance and comfort will be better while riding.
    Yeah, well why don't you go and tell that to the entire middle east!!! Jeeeez! I guess they've been doing it wrong all along with white hats and full covered clothing...

  20. #20
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    Right about one thing

    [QUOTE=Jm.]This is a myth that I've heard perpetuated many times. Your body sweats to keep from overheating. Wearing ANYTHING that is going to "keep moisture in" will cause your body to overheat.QUOTE]

    You don't want to wear anything that holds in the moisture. A longsleeve loose fitting coolmax shirt isn't going to hold in much, but the two layers of clothing the OP was referring would probably kill him.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by -bb-
    Gonna let you in on a little secret:

    http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...ductId=7109793


    These are the BEST thing you can get. Long sleeve, White, wicking, and only $8.
    How can you go wrong.
    Are those things meant to be worn tight or loose fitting?

    Duc

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldy
    You don't want to wear anything that holds in the moisture. A longsleeve loose fitting coolmax shirt isn't going to hold in much, but the two layers of clothing the OP was referring would probably kill him.
    Not true necessarily.

    If he's going to ride southern mexico (read: rain forest, 100F with 85-95% humidity) he'd rather wear sleeveless.

    If he's gotta ride Arizona, Utah, Middle East or the Atacama he'd rather get covered as hell. The sun will fry you with no clothes to protect you. Believe me, in those weathers you don't have to worry about sweat. It freaking evaporates so freaking fast it's unbelievable.

    There's something you gotta take into account. Human body temp is around 98F.... simple thermodynamics, if the ambient temperature is 110F where do you think the heat is going to????? In these conditions, you'd rather isolate from ambient temps and stay hydrated. The dryer it is the worst it gets.
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    Quote Originally Posted by -bb-
    Gonna let you in on a little secret:

    http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...ductId=7109793


    These are the BEST thing you can get. Long sleeve, White, wicking, and only $8.
    How can you go wrong.
    They look good, but how do they feel next to the skin? I've noticed there's a wide variation in the way these 'dri/dry...' polyester knits are created, and how they feel. One of the best is the Reebok PlayDry, which feels almost like silk.

    So how does the Campmor fabric feel?

    Jim

  24. #24
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    Is this some sort of masochist thing? 105+ is not biking or any outside activities weather most doctors would tell you. Just like surfing in arctic waters.

  25. #25
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    Wear a practice mesh hockey jersey, in white or some other light color. It keeps the sun off and flows more air than anything else you can wear. Under $20 at any hockey shop. You may need a little sunscreen on the top of your shoulders, because a little bit of sun does get through the mesh.

    +1 on icing the Camelbak.

    Cotton will soak up your sweat and get heavy...I don't recommend it.

  26. #26
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    desert clothing

    THis is what i have found keeps me from being fried in the desert ( my experience being a high speed airborne infantryman and later on a fellow who tried to farm and ranch in the desert).

    I usually wear a tshirt with a long sleeve shirt over it....lightweight both but not white(bedouins wear black robes).

    SHorts are good, but nice to have long pants.

    Wide brimmed hat

    Sunglasses

    Drink hot coffee
    Hydrate yourself but not too much (avoid hypoatremia- occurs when you dump a crapload of water in your system under exertion)

    THe whys...

    Its more important to keep the sun off your fragile skin than it is to dose with high levels of UV..keeps you much cooler.

    If you have to shed a layer, keep the long sleeve ( i dig cotton henleys).

    Hot coffee or tea is a little bedouin trick...itll dilate your superficial veins so as to shed more heat. Don't buy the old wives tale that coffee and such dehydrates ya...mucho literature on this subject.


    IF you develop a headache....seek shade and quit exerting yourself. I have seen so many people drop from heat exhaustion it's not funny - one of the best was a FNG we saddled with the spare barrel of the 60 strapped to the top of his ruck..he went down on a 70 degree day and managed to break his nose and jaw. Good stuff.

    Heat doesnt bother me...your body adapts to the conditions it's subjected to. That said, I prefer high humidity heat to the dry baking oven like heat of the desert.


    another last trick is soaking a rag in water..drape it down the back of your helmet over your neck.
    "...it feels like.....times have changed."
    "Times maybe. Not me."


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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thisisthelongestusername.
    Yeah, well why don't you go and tell that to the entire middle east!!! Jeeeez! I guess they've been doing it wrong all along with white hats and full covered clothing...
    Well, I don't think it's a fair comparission. They live in it all day, every day. The sun takes it's toll and compared to that, we are only out for short periods of time, at high exertion levels. Our body is going to be loosing water like crazy and in the heat we don't want our body temperature to rise so keeping our body sweating is a primary concern. We are not so concerned with the cumulative power/damage of the sun (although maybe in the future we will be?). The nature of cycling clothes and body position means that air is not going to be able to move freely between our body and the clothes (as it does with people wearing robes and other loose-fitting middle eastern attire).

    I don't think the two are comparable.
    I know in my heart that Ellsworth bikes are more durable by as much as double. AND they are all lighter...Tony Ellsworth

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    Okay.

    Quote Originally Posted by akitadogg
    THis is what i have found keeps me from being fried in the desert ( my experience being a high speed airborne infantryman and later on a fellow who tried to farm and ranch in the desert).

    I usually wear a tshirt with a long sleeve shirt over it....lightweight both but not white(bedouins wear black robes).

    SHorts are good, but nice to have long pants.

    Wide brimmed hat

    Sunglasses

    Drink hot coffee
    Hydrate yourself but not too much (avoid hypoatremia- occurs when you dump a crapload of water in your system under exertion)

    THe whys...

    Its more important to keep the sun off your fragile skin than it is to dose with high levels of UV..keeps you much cooler.

    If you have to shed a layer, keep the long sleeve ( i dig cotton henleys).

    Hot coffee or tea is a little bedouin trick...itll dilate your superficial veins so as to shed more heat. Don't buy the old wives tale that coffee and such dehydrates ya...mucho literature on this subject.


    IF you develop a headache....seek shade and quit exerting yourself. I have seen so many people drop from heat exhaustion it's not funny - one of the best was a FNG we saddled with the spare barrel of the 60 strapped to the top of his ruck..he went down on a 70 degree day and managed to break his nose and jaw. Good stuff.

    Heat doesnt bother me...your body adapts to the conditions it's subjected to. That said, I prefer high humidity heat to the dry baking oven like heat of the desert.


    another last trick is soaking a rag in water..drape it down the back of your helmet over your neck.
    I wrote a lengthy reply, but screwed it up by hitting refresh. So here is the short version.

    Caffiene: Googled it, you are right. Caffiene is not the dehydration demon I thought it was. I'll keep drinking coffee before I ride

    Layers: Each layer adds insulation. Insulation+heat=bad news. If you have to have two shirts, wear one and pack the other.

    Dark colors=would you rather drive a black car or a white car through Death Valley. Light clothing is backed up by the literature, and it feels better.

    Soaking a rag in water and draping it down your neck is a great trick. It can make you feel better really quick.

  29. #29
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    True

    Quote Originally Posted by cdub
    oh man i hope your ready for some lectures buddy. these people are almost as passionate about heat as they are helmets.
    You are wise beyond your years.

  30. #30
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    Why not use a long sleeve cotton shirt? It seems to me that it will keep the moisture close to your body and allow the wind/air to evaporate the moisture. This will cool your body in the process, rather than having the moisture wicked away where you lose the cooling value of the sweat you have spent all that effort generating. Ot have I got it wrong?

    Wombat

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    More Camalbak Thoughts....

    Quote Originally Posted by Chiewable
    can't help u with the clothing apart but in that heat you'd be wise to get a camelbak if you dont have one already. fill it halfway with water then lay it in the freezer. before you ride fill the rest up and go. that will keep you cool for a bit

    edit. after thinking about it some more i'd probably go with a long sleeve jersey or dry fit shirt (long sleeves)
    On any given 90deg+ day I fill my 100oz bladder with ice and top off with water. I generally have nice cold water right to the end of a 3.5-4hr ride.

    I like light colored sleeveless shirts for the really hot days, the Walmart shrts with the Starter name are my favorites. I skip the sunscreen cuz we spend most time under the trees but if you're in the sun, slather on the SPF 30...

  32. #32
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    While cotton does breath but it also soaks up the sweat which isOK but if its dusty prepared to be dusted. I like the silky long sleave flat stiched synthetics, baggy cut with no cuffs. Also long knicker pants in white (old style messenger pants) protect the knees from becoming sunfried burgers, ice in camelback is a must, also a head sweat in white under the helmet works wonders wicking sweat from the eyes.

  33. #33
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    my $.02..

    wicking Long sleeve jersey in light color AND a drape to cover the back of your neck. Also every once and a while soak the drape in water and let it dry.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thisisthelongestusername.
    Yeah, well why don't you go and tell that to the entire middle east!!! Jeeeez! I guess they've been doing it wrong all along with white hats and full covered clothing...
    I agree with Jm. I've been to the Middle-East and never once saw anyone with a white hat and full covered clothing riding a mountain bike.

    We are talking exercising in the heat, not walking around, not farming, not hanging out.

    I base my conclusion (sleeveless jersey) using the best scientific method possible - actually riding in 110 AZ desert heat.
    I AM JUST A JERK

  35. #35
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    You didn't see me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    I agree with Jm. I've been to the Middle-East and never once saw anyone with a white hat and full covered clothing riding a mountain bike.

    We are talking exercising in the heat, not walking around, not farming, not hanging out.

    I base my conclusion (sleeveless jersey) using the best scientific method possible - actually riding in 110 AZ desert heat.
    I and several folks rode on a weekly basis in Egypt over an 8 year span in tempatures that exceeded 110 F. I can tell you that those that did not start wearing long sleeves soon did.
    Some wore loose fitting longs sleeves, I prefered Nike Dry Fit longsleeve T's. Quite often I would also don a sun hat in place of the helmet depending on the ride.

    Just how often do you ride in 110 plus heat up there in PHX?

    And since when is farming not exercise?

    BTW the first pic is of my Bedouin friend Masalem Farrag of the Tarabeen Tribe in the Sinai.
    The second is of me riding in Luxor.
    The third if riding in Wadi Hof outside of Cairo.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by SunDog; 07-13-2005 at 12:20 PM.

  36. #36
    caninus xerophilous
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jm.
    Our body is going to be loosing water like crazy and in the heat we don't want our body temperature to rise so keeping our body sweating is a primary concern. We are not so concerned with the cumulative power/damage of the sun (although maybe in the future we will be?). The nature of cycling clothes and body position means that air is not going to be able to move freely between our body and the clothes (as it does with people wearing robes and other loose-fitting middle eastern attire).
    In my experience of riding with long sleeved shirts in exteme heat and dry conditions the clothing, loose or dry fit type, does not inhibit sweating during rigorous riding.

    It also reduces the amount of heat reaching your body, whish is benifiical in extereme heat conditions.

    Also I doubt that much cycling gear is made with such riding in mind.

  37. #37
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    I think we can all agree that the best thing is to wear something that reflects the radiant heat from the direct sun ALONG with providing maximum breathability. This only works well in dry heat, where as east coast humid heat penetrates right through and the radiant heat become the least of your problems. I'll take 105 and dry over 90 and 99% humidity ANY DAY! For that reason alone I don't travel anywhere east of the mississippi in the summer. It's torture.

    I've found that soccer, football, etc jerseys work the best as long as you don't wear anything under them. I've found my soccer jersey actually keeps me cooler on some days than if I rode shirtless. It almost seems to accelerate the evaporation.


    Want to know the BEST END ALL way of beating the heat? Don't turn on the air conditioning in your car or home. Live with the heat and your body will adapt quickly. Living in a cool house or car fools your body into thinking it's really that cool out and when you go outside the temp change is usually too much for it. Same goes for the winter time. Let your house get cold and your body will adapt and you will have to wear less clothes to stay warm.

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