Finally there is a stretch of sun forecast for the west coast. The unseasonably rough spring of cool temperatures and nagging rain has made choosing the right cycling gear difficult. With close to 10 days of sun on the way I think a lot of cyclists are going to be surprised. There are a lot of differences between riding in cool weather and hot - and this quick change isn’t going to do our bodies any favours. Pay more attention than ever to your hydration. If you have been fine with one bottle for short rides, bring two. Even a slight change in temperature can wreak havoc on your ride. Don’t underestimate how hard your body is working and treat it kindly the first few rides out in the heat - and of course choosing the right gear will make those long roads all the more fun. Here are five summer essentials to check out.
While we are talking water: hydration can be an ongoing challenge for mountain bikers and cyclists alike - there aren’t a lot of convenience stores or gas stations to refill your bottles on route. Plus, depending on the style of riding it may not work to have something hanging off your bike. This, coupled with the fact many new bike designs make bottles virtually impossible to carry, you need to carry your water on your back. There are some great hydration packs from EVOC. I like the 3L Race Lite Performance Plus Backpack for its small footprint and minimalist lines. It will carry 2L of water and has handy hip pockets to have snacks and essentials easily at hand. For entire days on the trails the EVOC CC 10L & 2L Backpack is a great choice. It will hold extra layers, armour and whatever gear you will need, and while it includes a 2L bladder you can add a larger to hold up to 3L! The well thought out pack includes a tool compartment and a system to hold your full face helmet. EVOC’s Air Pad system and airmesh hip wings will keep you cool with its thoughtful ventilation system.
Flexibility is the name of the game on the road. We don’t want to be carrying any gear we don’t need. Sugoi’s Arm Coolers do some great double duty on those long days that start early and end roasting. They offer your arms some nice wind protection on cool mornings but as the day (and you) heat up, their Icefil technology kicks in. The fabric pulls moisture away from skin and reacts with body heat to cool skin temperature. The SPF50+ rating is a great bonus. Keeping your hands cool and sweat free will keep you on your bars and saddle longer. Look for a glove that is snug and has been designed and sewn to reduce rub and chaffing. Look for ventilation and mesh to help your hands breathe and stay dry. Pearl Izumi Women’s P.R.O. Gel Vent Glove checks all of these boxes plus has ventilated gel padding to reduce fatigue.