Summer cycling clothing is essential if you want to enjoy the best season for riding your bike. Dedicated cyclists know that there’s no better time of the year than summer. Take a look at the Belgian’s Crew buyer’s guide, and explore the summer cycling must-haves.
What to Wear For Cycling In Summer
Cycling is different in the summer. The days are longer, mudguards have long been removed and, for the most part, it’s warmer. On occasion, it’s too warm and, equally, sometimes it’s downright changeable, too.
The hotter weather means summer cycling clothing will be noticeably different from your sporting gear in the colder months. Above all else, you’ll want to stop yourself from getting too sweaty.
In this guide to summer cycling kit, we’ll run through what you need to stay cool and comfortable when hot weather hits.
The most important things to remember are:
- Breathability - Clothing that lets air circulate will prevent you from getting too sweaty and it will also dry out much quicker.
- Comfort - Wear gear that fits you properly, and you’ll ride longer. Cycling clothing should have a tight fit but we aren’t pros or riding the world championship, no need for skin suits.
- Flexibility - Make sure you wear stretchy clothing that allows you to move around freely.
- Sun protection - Pick out gear that will cover you up where necessary, Be careful of extra light summer nets clothing, it may be lightweight but it will let UV rays in and burn your skin.
Choosing the right jersey
As with most things in cycling, there’s lots of choice when it comes to summer cycling kit. What’s right for you will likely be determined by factors including the weather you typically encounter, how far you’re planning to ride, how hard you’ll be pushing yourself (and how much you’re sweating, as a result).
Lightweight, short-sleeve jerseys are the best option for summer cycling. Look out for jerseys with mesh panels for ventilation, which make use of the airflow generated by the rider, and can help keep you cool on the move – even on a still day.
Many riders tend to have a larger top thinking it will make it easier perspiration wicking. It's a bad idea. A too large summer cycling jersey will not absorb your sweat. For an ideal summer cycling outfit: take a fitted jersey to your size.
Also prefer a jersey that can open or close full, more practical in case of heat stroke. The Belgian Crew cycling jerseys use a skilful mixture of several fabrics spread over different areas, a technical summer cycling jersey provides better breathability. Mesh fabric inserts in the back and on the sleeves allow better moisture management.
This is the reason why Belgian Crew develops technical jerseys with a meshed back for added breathability and a lightweight material at the front that dries quick but also adds a bit of protection on your torso.
Almost all cycling jerseys will have three rear pockets, but we still find the most important of all is the added hidden zipped pocket, a must in all Belgian’s Crew cycling jerseys to stash small valuables.
Layers are still your friend
Summer cycling clothing should be adaptable, using thin layers that can be added or removed throughout the day as conditions dictate.
Even in summer, morning can be cool, especially if you’re in Northern Europe or at altitude. Equally, conditions can change quickly and it pays to be prepared for short summer storms or chilly descents.
The focus should be on lightweight materials to help wick sweat away from the body and prevent that sticky, clammy feeling. Technical materials used for summer clothing also encourage ventilation to keep you cool.
In some climates, temperatures can fluctuate significantly within a day. Opting for a thin summer jersey and adding and removing layers as necessary will help you cope with any temperature changes. Instead of sticking to one jersey for the whole day, using layers can minimise sweating when it’s too hot and the chilling that may follow when you cool down again.
You can layer up with a gilet, arm warmers or a lightweight jacket, as we’ll come on to, and all can be stashed in a jersey pocket.
While many riders take pride in cycling tan lines, sunburn is an uncomfortable addition to a summer ride – and not recommended.
If your jersey is particularly lightweight, you may still be able to burn through the fabric, so put on sun cream. The Belgian Boys Club always suggest to use avobenzone free sun creams to avoid possible stains on cycling jerseys.
Summer Cycling Jersey
At the higher end of the market, you’ll also find silicone grippers and dimples that help improve aerodynamic capabilities even more.
Serious cyclists should check out our Belgian Crew jersey collection. Our collection has been race-tested for optimal performance, and its fabrics body system enables next-level temperature regulation. There are three handy pockets to store all your essential items, and a fourth zipped hidden pocket, so you won’t need to bring any extra bags.
Looking good and hitting a new personal best at the same time? It doesn’t get much better than that. For other high-performance options, take a look at our website, and find the ideal cycling outerwear piece for you.
The best cycling shorts share many of the same characteristics as the best jerseys. They’re lightweight, flexible, fitted and breathable where needed. Some novice riders tend to use normal shorts, but we strongly suggest to stick to bib shorts bib shorts with shoulder straps to improve stability and comfort, at all levels. Once you try bib shorts, you will not go back.
Explore the Belgian Crew shorts collection. The Tommeke Bibshorts are sculpted from special Lycra Power fabric, which will wick away sweat from your skin to ensure you stay as dry as possible. They are named after the son of Belgium Tommeke Boonen, and developed to perform best on the tough cobbles of Belgium or Roubaix. For these reasons, the shorts have a muscle compression feel, making sure you can put out as much power as possible. The personalized chamois construction also provides impeccable comfort and has perforations for better airflow.
The Kannibaal bib shorts, is named after the King of Belgium, Eddy Merckx, aka The Cannibal. These are the most advanced bib shorts ever produced and as the name suggests, they are developed to keep you riding all day. Made with a seamless construction, you will forget you are wearing them.
A good pair of socks can make a surprising difference to your summer cycling days. The feeling of getting sweaty inside your shoes can spoil your enjoyment, and the discomfort will also affect your performance if you’re training or competing in a race. You should pick out a nice lightweight pair, as thin as possible, stretchy and fitted. Antibacterial properties are ideal to keep your feet smelling like roses. Most important, socks should be high!
Belgian Crew Socks are designed to be as performing as possible. They have a reinforced toe and heel area and padded sole for extra comfort. Check out Belgian Crew’s full range of socks.
Bye, bye, sweat
When it is hot outside and we ride really fast, we often have to deal with unpleasant sweaty smells within a very short time. The Belgian Crew Full Gas Base Layers are an exclusive blend of breathable mesh fabrics that wick away sweat and heat even on the hottest of days. A seamless construction prevents the clothing from rubbing against the skin. This is an important feature, especially on long rides in the summer heat. Thanks to the antibacterial treatment, bye bye smell.
More helpful tips for cycling in hot temperatures:
- Don’t forget to drink enough and regularly! Increased sweating leads to a severe loss of fluid of up to one litre per hour.
- Adapt your training to the conditions, shift intensive sessions to the morning hours and take a more relaxed approach to cycling. Cycling in hot weather puts additional stress on your cardiovascular system.
- Even on hot days you should not never ride without a helmet: The helmet also protects you from direct sunlight.
- Always wear sun glasses to protect your eyes from those bad UV rays and also for protection from unpleasant insects.