How to dress for early summer riding
Longer days, dryer roads and warmer conditions. Whether you’re going for climbing PBs, exploring gravel trails or having a full turbo-charged day in the saddle, summer cycling is bliss. However, this is the UK after all, which means the weather could turn on its head in a matter of seconds, and all of a sudden you have a wash out to contend with. One minute you’re getting sunburnt and the next you’re cursing the fact you didn’t pack a rain cape. In this article, we take a look at the Specialized summer cycling kit you need for every eventuality, whichever bike you ride.
Let’s start with the all-important contact point. Bib shorts are a crucial part of your summer ensemble because if you’re attempting a long, hot ride, lightweight and breathable bibs could make all the difference. The HyprViz Collection is the obvious solution as the pre-moulded 3D Chamois with multi-density foam and thinner fabrics mean that the shorts are both super comfortable and allow for airflow around the saddle. They also have a UPF 50+ rating so your skin is protected from harmful ultraviolet rays. Always remember to layer the sun cream on any exposed skin though.
The super-light fabrics and mesh panels of a summer-specific jersey help to keep a rider cool on the go. The weather can change very quickly so if you think the morning is a little too cool for a summer jersey, you can always start out in a lightweight summer gilet that can easily be packed down once surplus to requirements. This type of layering is the key to summer riding and coping with fluctuating temperatures so don’t forget to bring your arm and knee warmers along, especially if it’s a climbing day.
Summer base layers work by wicking sweat away from your body to keep you dry, cool and more comfortable in the hottest conditions. It may seem bizarre to voluntarily add a layer on a summer day, but it actually makes more sense than simply unzipping your jersey. Whereas Merino wool is the material of choice for colder rides, synthetic fabrics used in the summer layers are far quicker drying and lighter so you might not even notice it's there. Even better, sleeveless vest options can be worn if you’d rather not have the extra arm layering and just want the benefit of the sweat-wicking material.
There’s nothing as valuable as a trusty rain cape when met with a traditionally British summer downpour. Breathability is key but you also need a jacket that will pack down small in your back pocket and not be too heavy once you wear it. There’s no point avoiding the rain while simultaneously soaking yourself in sweat. Our Pro Wind Jackets are made from 100% Recycled Polyester Wind Shell, which ticks all these boxes and combines the two traits you need in a rain jacket to avoid both the chill from a short shower or a stiff wind.
Finally, keeping your feet comfortable is an absolute must. This is where Concept Store customers can take advantage of the Specialized x Fjällräven partnership. Perfect for multi-day summer adventures, they are quick-drying and will keep your feet supported throughout a long ride. More traditional synthetic summer cycling socks, which are thinner than regular socks, also have their many advantages including a mesh construction for airflow and wicking moisture.
Summer cycling can be some of the most fun you can ever have on a bike. From road climbs to gravel runs and everything in between, 2022 is the year to get the pedals turning. Head to your local Specialized Concept Store where our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be more than happy to help you find the perfect kit for you.
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