Clothing for Riding in Hot Weather- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Clothing for Riding in Hot Weather

    Not sure where to post this but since about half of my weekly miles are while commuting I thought I'd give this area a try.

    I'm looking for some long sleeve shirts that are good for commuting / non-commuting longer rides in warm to hot weather. I live at 8k feet and the highs can range from mid 70's to the mid 80's and even pushing 90. Which, at elevation, is hot!

    Right now I'm wearing long sleeve travel shirts that are vented or a long sleeve zip up jersey that I bought a little big to give more air circulation.

    Does anyone have any clothing suggestions for:
    1. shirts?
    2. pants?


    Thanks for your help. Links appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Why long sleeves, to me that just sounds like asking for problems with heat exhaustion in hotter temps.

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  3. #3
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    Well, I actually have a skin problem which is made worse by prolonged exposure the sun. My skin doctor said it's the worse he's seen on people twice my age (I'm 45). For me not being outside is not an option. So I'm just trying to take better care of myself (after not doing so for too many years)

  4. #4
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    In that case, underarmor.

    They make long sleeve fitted/compression tees that will cover your skin but keep you cool. I haven't tried to 2 I have on hot days but I see kids playing in the local baseball games with them all the time. Haven't seen any pass out lol. And it gets hot AND humid here.

    That would be my best suggestion, otherwise your trying to find a loose fitting, thin, long sleeve shirt make from wicking material. Not easy to do.

    There is "generic" UA long sleeve shirts too. Have one of those, got as a gift, seems to do fine as well. Just don't foresee it lasting like any of my UA stuff. I have cold gear base layer that's survived 3 fall/winter seasons and still in good shape.

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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice. I'll check to see what they have.

  6. #6
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    +1 on the Under Armor. They call it HeatGear. I have a shirt and I wouldn't say it keeps you cool but it doesn't make you too hot for long sleeves if that is what you need to wear.
    https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/me...pid1257471-001

  7. #7
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    I've road raced on days over 100F with regular long sleeved cycling jerseys with good results.
    Tighter is better for wicking sweat away.
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  8. #8
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    Light colors, for sure. Folks use arm sleeves for the desert sun for UV protection, so riding fully covered does happen and it is smart.

    Either way, it's going to be uncomfortable.

    I commuted in TX in 100+F temps PLUS high humidity (east TX). Even a 4mi commute was no picnic due to sweat. I strongly preferred early morning and late evening riding, to stay out of the direct sun. That made a pretty big difference, but obviously spending that much time in the office just wasn't right, so I'd usually have to pick one.

  9. #9
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    There are also "sun sleeves" which are basically lightweight arm warmers that can be had pretty cheaply if you have a short sleeve shirt you like.

  10. #10
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    I ride in the same kit all year.

    Merino Wool 45Nrth T Shirt
    Twin Six 3 quarter pants
    Merino Wool Socks
    Five Ten Shoes

    I enjoy merino wool for all year, there is no odor in my clothes which I wash once a week sometimes once every two weeks.
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  11. #11
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    Thanks for all your suggestions! I'm checking out what all of you've suggested.

    Mr Pink57, which part of the country do you live so I could know what the weather is like. Also, how did you size your twin six 3/4 pants? I'm looking at them now and they look on the tighter side of things. I've got a 33" waist.

    also, where I live is on the dryer side of things...today it's 80 with 33% humidity. The altitude could have something to do with that.

  12. #12
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    I just ordered one of these this morning. Has the three pockets in back like most roadie jerseys. Not sure how it will work out, but the reviews on the site are encouraging, and it costs under 50 bucks including shipping.

    Mens Long Sleeve Coolmax Jersey

    That under armor jersey looks good too.

  13. #13
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    I have a pair of the black Pearl Izumi sun sleeves, and you know, honestly, they are hot. I wear them on 40F days and they keep me warm. They might be defective for all I know. There is no way that on an 80F humid day I will be wearing those.
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  14. #14
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    Try these http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KBZSUZG/...THVAWS47&psc=1
    I've been using them in Tucson year round (underlayment in Winter)

    I get the high altitude -> quick sunburn -> further medical issues comment

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by expatjoe View Post
    Thanks for all your suggestions! I'm checking out what all of you've suggested.

    Mr Pink57, which part of the country do you live so I could know what the weather is like. Also, how did you size your twin six 3/4 pants? I'm looking at them now and they look on the tighter side of things. I've got a 33" waist.

    also, where I live is on the dryer side of things...today it's 80 with 33% humidity. The altitude could have something to do with that.
    I live in Minnesota so we get either hot or cold not much in the middle. I wear a 36in waist and got the XLs which I have had for almost 3 years now. They have stretch to them all over so they are quite comfy.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Why long sleeves, to me that just sounds like asking for problems with heat exhaustion in hotter temps.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    People always think this... And it's totally the opposite of true. There are lots of great resources explaining why in great depth if you care to look, but the punch line is that you get hot for two reasons: heat gain, and ineffective heat loss.

    The big three ways you gain heat while riding are internal (you are "burning" calories), convection (hot air moving over you), and radiation. That last bit comes from the sun, the street, the hot rocks on the trail, etc. Long sleeves are a physical barrier between you and the source of the radiation, so you gain less heat from it. If those sleeves are loose, they also provide dead air space (aka insulation) between you and the hot air around you. If the temp outside is > 98.6 degrees F, by wearing long sleeves, you're putting a big dent in external heat gain. Pedal slower, and you can lower the internal heat production.

    The next side of the equation is your body's cooling machinery. Your body likes to sweat to cool itself. Long sleeves can prevent sweat from evaporating directly from your skin, but you're moving, so those sleeves will constantly touch your skin and absorb sweat, which then evaporates leaving the micro climate between your sleeve and your skin cooler. More surface area means more evaporation, so a slightly loose, quick-drying LS jersey or the hiking shirts that the OP started with are just about the best thing you can wear to stay cool in the heat.

    For reference, I live, ride, and do search and rescue all summer long in Tucson, AZ.

    When it's humid, tighter sleeves seem to me to be a little cooler. But if it's hot and really humid, you need to find something else to do. Take a nap, find some shade, or just wake up earlier.

  17. #17
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    I'm not a fat man but I sure sweat like one. For feeling cool I greatly prefer my under armour fitted shirts to my smartwool shirts. The only advantage the smartwool has in the heat is they don't smell as quickly.

    For longer rides Pearl Izumi makes some stuff called in-r-cool which is dope too.
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  18. #18
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    @Tenspeed - I was wondering about those because of the UPF factor but will make sure I don't get those.

    @MrPink - thanks for the heads up on the sizing and comfort range of those pants. It's good to have functional clothing that can be used in a variety of conditions.


    @cmonkEP - Thanks for adding all your experience. I used to live in Williams where I rode a lot and have experienced hot and humid summer days in the desert. Heat exhaustion can happen in no time flat.

    @Volsung - I was wondering about the PI in-r-cool items. I've own PI stuff before and have been very pleased with the quality and durability.

    Everyone, thanks for the advice. If I'm correct about wool is that is makes you sweat but that helps with the evaporative cooling effect (which is why it's cooler in hot weather)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by expatjoe View Post
    If I'm correct about wool is that is makes you sweat but that helps with the evaporative cooling effect (which is why it's cooler in hot weather)
    Wool doesn't necessarily make you hotter, it just doesn't dry as fast as poly. I've got a Giro ride shirt that's merino that I love hiking in when it starts getting hot. I've got another icebreaker long sleeve top that I use on SAR calls that I know are going to go into the night because it's not too hot during the day and it's awesome when the temp drops and you're soaking wet.

    The big thing with wool is that it doesn't stink or hold onto smells like poly.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmonkEP View Post
    People always think this... And it's totally the opposite of true. There are lots of great resources explaining why in great depth if you care to look, but the punch line is that you get hot for two reasons: heat gain, and ineffective heat loss.

    The big three ways you gain heat while riding are internal (you are "burning" calories), convection (hot air moving over you), and radiation. That last bit comes from the sun, the street, the hot rocks on the trail, etc. Long sleeves are a physical barrier between you and the source of the radiation, so you gain less heat from it. If those sleeves are loose, they also provide dead air space (aka insulation) between you and the hot air around you. If the temp outside is > 98.6 degrees F, by wearing long sleeves, you're putting a big dent in external heat gain. Pedal slower, and you can lower the internal heat production.

    The next side of the equation is your body's cooling machinery. Your body likes to sweat to cool itself. Long sleeves can prevent sweat from evaporating directly from your skin, but you're moving, so those sleeves will constantly touch your skin and absorb sweat, which then evaporates leaving the micro climate between your sleeve and your skin cooler. More surface area means more evaporation, so a slightly loose, quick-drying LS jersey or the hiking shirts that the OP started with are just about the best thing you can wear to stay cool in the heat.

    For reference, I live, ride, and do search and rescue all summer long in Tucson, AZ.

    When it's humid, tighter sleeves seem to me to be a little cooler. But if it's hot and really humid, you need to find something else to do. Take a nap, find some shade, or just wake up earlier.
    I feel compelled to agree with all of this. After working in the outdoor industry for a few years, and (gasp) actually educating myself on this, I agree 100%. Baggy, ultralight clothes will keep you cooler, longer. The traditional material of choice was gauze/seersucker (puckered cotton) or linen...but none of them are not even close to durable. Form fitting clothing, regardless of the material, is about as bad as you can do for purposes of heat dissipation, though quick-wicking materials can help quite a bit.

    A head-wrap like a Buff or bandanna, soaked in water on your head/under your helmet, can do wonders to help keep you more comfortable.

    As noted, high humidity makes everything miserable. I'll take 110F and low singles humidity, versus 90F and high 90s humidity, any day. Failure of the ability for sweat to evaporate leads to overheating, and at very high humidity, that happens real fast. I never spend more than an hour working (riding a bike, hiking, whatever) in those conditions...find a body of water and set down in the shade near it.

    *edit* note than sun sleeves/rashguards work for surfers because they're constantly getting wet, allowing evaporation...unless you're sweating buckets from your arms, they'll do nothing...

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