When the summer sun appears and the temperatures rise, it's a welcome reward for cyclists who have struggled through dark winter months of cycling. And yet, in order to survive the summer heat on the road, it's important to use the right head-wear to ensure you are staying in the right headspace. Here are a few tips to keep you in the best mental and physical state this summer.
Your summer cycling gear should above-all be comfortable, light-weight, breathable, and offer sun protection.
How many holes does your helmet have? Some helmet brands promote the benefits of their ‘holey’ helmets and while aeration is great, the holes can also cause awkward sunburn for short-haired and bald cyclists. A cycling cap keeps the UV rays off your head, can trap sweat before it trickles down your face, and the peak shades your eyes from the sun (and it looks ultra-cool at the coffee shop). The best part is that cycling caps are so compact that they comfortably fit in your jersey pocket when you want it out of the way.
In summer, opt for tinted sunglasses or photo-chromatic lenses that darken to protect your eyes from glare. When selecting sunglasses and lenses, ensure that they also block UV rays. A lot of brands, like Oakley here, use Virtual Mirror so you can virtually try on sunglasses!
Sunscreen is a must and will keep your skin healthier and help reduce the effects of aging. For long trips, apply two layers of sunscreen and use lip balm when it's dry and hot. A common problem with sunscreen applied to your forehead is that it can seep down with the sweat and irritate your eyes. A cycling cap, bandanna or sweat band coupled with large framed sunglasses (which block the sun) is a good alternative.
Your neck is typically exposed to the elements, so a summer neck gaiter will provide robust protection against the relentless sun. The neck gaiters may also be described as neck socks, neck tubes or a neck warmer but ensure that you choose one suitable for summer; thin, light weight with UV protection. An extra tip is that the neck gaiters can be soaked in water when you stop for a break and the cooling effect will continue while you are still cycling.