The Tour de France has taken over our TV screens, the sun is blazing and the holidays are fast approaching â€“ summer is officially here.
If youâ€™re anything like us then you probably already have a number of two-wheeled adventures planned for the upcoming weeks, counting down the seconds until itâ€™s finally time to get out there and spend long, lazy days riding under a glorious summer sun.
But are you prepared for the fun-filled season ahead? If not then you might just want to read onâ€¦
Bring out the bibs
Time to put the long thermal bib tights back in the draw and grab yourself a pair of lightweight, breathable bib shorts. Bibs are awesome for long summer rides, their comfy chamois and built in cooling technologies designed to make your riding experience as comfortable as possible.
Some of the best bibs we stock here at The Bike Factory come from renowned cycling clothing manufacturer, Santini. Their bib shorts come in three different variants, at three different price points.
The entry-level Fase bibs are made from soft and reflective papaya fabrics, perfect for those of you looking for a comfortable pair that wonâ€™t quite break the bank. The top-end Tono bib shorts feature a unique Thunderbike Power fabric construction with minimal seams, geared towards racing in hot temperatures.
Let your body breathe
Cooking inside your own jersey is one of the worst feelings you can have while on a bike â€“ comparable even to bonking just a few kilometres from home. One way to avoid overheating during summer is by investing in a lightweight and breathable jersey, one with porous fabrics that can wick away sweat and keep your body cool.
Specialized make some of the best summer jerseys out there, their SL PRO Short Sleeve jerseys made from an incredibly lightweight VaporRize material. As well as being lightweight, this unique fabric is also soft to the touch and incredibly efficient at wicking away excess moisture â€“ keeping your body cool and comfortable on long hot rides.
Santini also make some of the best summer jerseys that money can buy, their Ace jersey featuring the same fabrics and design as the official UCI World Championship jersey. Their Classe SS and Tono 2.0 jerseys are also optimised for the summer, their lightweight, melange fabrics helping to ensure breathability and comfort whenever the temperatures ramp up.
Donâ€™t forget your mitts
Even when itâ€™s hot mitts are a must. Warm weather coupled with worn bar tape and sweaty palms is a recipe for uncomfortable disaster so youâ€™re definitely going to want to grab yourself a pair of light, breathable mitts.
Mitts might seem like a simple purchase at first, but when you look deeper and discover the vast amount on offer it can soon get quite confusing. The main things you want to look for are a porous upper fabric, a supple and protective palm pad and â€“ of course â€“ a flashy colour scheme thatâ€™s going to be the envy of all your riding friends. Here are three of the best from our massive selection:
Prepare for the worst
Before you get carried away and head out in your short sleeve jersey and skimpy bib shorts, just be aware that youâ€™re still in the UK and therefore at the mercy of a summer downpour. Itâ€™s best, therefore, to pack a lightweight and easily-storable rain jacket on each one of your rides â€“ just in case.
Specializedâ€™s Deflect SL Pro Rain Jacket is one of the best, so good even that itâ€™s the go-to rain coat for pro riders like Peter Sagan and Julian Alaphilippe. The three layered fabric design makes the jacket both waterproof and breathable, ideal for when itâ€™s raining but still quite hot and humid.
Alturaâ€™s Pocket Rocket 2 and Santiniâ€™s 365 Marzo Windbreaker are two more fantastic summer jackets, both small and easy to stow away in a jersey pocket, ready and waiting for that inevitable summer shower.
With all that kit now at your disposal youâ€™re more than ready to go and tackle the British summer, have fun!
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