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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 04-16-08, 07:09 PM   #1
BobSmalls
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Too much sun. What to wear?

I'm fair skinned and I have a family history of skin cancer. My commute leaves me exposed to too many hours of sun. I'd love to cover up in some nice, dark clothes, but the heat can be brutal, too.

I'm hoping one of you can tell me about a thin, long-sleeved cycling jersey with good UV protection.

Failing that, if I were to get the Nashbar Essential jersey, what's the correct color for good UV protection while being wearable in the hot sun?
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Old 04-16-08, 07:11 PM   #2
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Reading the title of the post I my humour instincts kicked in and I was urged to reply "wear nothing" till I read your family history of skin cancer I will keep my mouth shut on this one !
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Old 04-16-08, 09:36 PM   #3
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The brighter the colors, the better (White is the best) you want to reflect the rays away from you and white is the best color for that.

Wear sunscreen RELIGIOUSLY! And I dont mean that namby pamby SPF 15 crap either.... Go SPF45 or better. Put it on before EVERY RIDE...

A long sleeve T-shirt should be good to go.

BTW, with you family history, you should realy look into going to a dermatoligist every year for a full body (I mean FULL body ) skin exam.... It can save your life (it saved my dad's)

JMHO
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Old 04-16-08, 09:41 PM   #4
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I hesitate to bring up Rivendell as the mere mention usually starts flame wars, but ...

Check out the Rivendell site www.rivbike.com and look under their "Clothing" link. Find the seersucker long-sleeved cotton shirt. Keeps you cool on hot, sunny rides and covers up everything on top except the backs of your hands. Not fashion forward, if you can handle that.

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Old 04-16-08, 09:46 PM   #5
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Also look at long sleeve rash guards used for surfing and windsurfing. Many have an SPF of 45 to 50 and some have a turtle neck that protects your neck. They also have a bike jersey snug elastic fit, if that is what you want. A Google search for "long sleeve rash guard spf" will find numerous vendors.
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Old 04-17-08, 05:03 AM   #6
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Plain clothes have some UV protection. If it's not a special "sun protection" fabric, white is least protective, black is most. The more see through the fabric is, the less protection it provides. Clothing (both UV rated and not) is better protection than sunscreen. Even if I reapply religiously, I burn if I'm out in the sun all day. Clothing protected areas don't burn.
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Old 04-17-08, 06:58 AM   #7
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When I backpacked the grand canyon I went and bought a white cotton dress shirt from goodwill. Cotton is great in sun and hot weather (bad in cold cotton kills) I would recommend a dress shirt and I took my favorite LL bean trousers and cut them to three quarter length for ridding. A cool bandanna on the neck for the carotid arteries to keep them cool
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Old 04-17-08, 07:10 AM   #8
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Check out hiking shirts like this REI Sahara. I have one in dark olive and it works great at not only keeping the sun off of me, but keeping me cool as well. There are others, but this was the first one I could recall.
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Old 04-17-08, 07:56 AM   #9
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Last year I started wearing long sleeve alertshirts all summer. They were quite cool. I don't know how much protection they give though. I was wearing the ANSI lime ones. I do know that I got a tan circle on the back of my hand where the hole in the glove was, but no tan on my arm that's covered by the shirt, so it must be at least some protection.

I would think that the color of the fabric does not necessarily have anything to do with the SPF rating. Color only directly indicates the fabric's reflectivity in visible light, not in UV where it matters. I've seen graphs that show black fabrics that are almost transparent in the UV and would provide almost no protection. I've played with IR cameras before and the color of the fabric often has NOTHING to do with how reflective it is outside visible range; wild patterns printed on shirts can totally disappear, some fabrics are translucent, some are opaque.
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Old 04-17-08, 09:06 AM   #10
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UPF 40 L/S tee from North Face.

Also, here's an article on what types of fabrics/colors are best for sun protection from the Skin Cancer Foundation.

An excerpt:

Quote:
Sun-Protective Clothing Checklist

• Tightly woven and dark or bright colors offer better protection than pale or pastel colored, loosely woven clothes.
• Thicker, heavier fabrics offer higher UPFs.
• The closer the fabric is to the skin the less sun protection it offers.
• Generally, if you can see the sun through a fabric, it does not offer a very high UPF.
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Old 04-17-08, 08:35 PM   #11
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MEC makes a UPF 30 long-sleeved jersey. http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...45524442624750

I just got one and wore it on a metric with good results. It wasn't sunny the whole time, but since I was an idiot and forgot about my legs, they provided a good "control"--back and arms were totally fine, legs pretty decently burned.

Cheaper than the other jerseys I saw with stated UPF ratings, though shipping to the US adds a bit (I was getting some shorts anyway, so decided to give it a try).
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Old 04-17-08, 08:58 PM   #12
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Merino lightweight long sleeve shirts. MEC also sells them. They're not specifically made for cycling but they work wonderful. I wear merino year-round and I can't praise it enough.
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Old 04-17-08, 09:15 PM   #13
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I use Coppertone Sport spf 50, even under my jersey. Similar bad family history with skin cancer, so I don't mess around with being in the sun.
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Old 04-18-08, 08:53 AM   #14
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Too much sun. What to wear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobSmalls View Post
Failing that, if I were to get the Nashbar Essential jersey, what's the correct color for good UV protection while being wearable in the hot sun?
A few weeks ago my wife and I were watching one of the 'investigative news shows' (Dateline, 20/20 or the like). They had a report on claims for UV protective clothing and had a number of items tested. Few provided anything more than what regular clothing offers.

I did a quick search for the item and couldn't find it.

Then I found this item: http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/200...rotection.html, and this one: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beau...-ratings-may07

Sounds kinda like many things we read about the benefits of different food items. The results often depend on who does the study...

Something to note is that any clothing provides some level of UV protection. How much, I don't know. If anyone finds more on this I'd be interested in hearing about it!

Cheers,

Allan
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Old 04-18-08, 10:25 AM   #15
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Like many others, I possess no expertise, just personal experiences.

I also use Alert Shirts (ASCI ones), and with a body full of moles and other imperfections prone to become cancerous never had an issue. I prefer the loose fitting clothes other typical skin tight kits. I also recommend Body Armor products, worked well for keeping cool while playing in the sandbox during daytime patrols.

Between these two products, my Dermotologist says I am doing the right things for protection.

Other than that, moisturizer with high SPF's, reduces dryness and skin irritations while providing protections.
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Old 04-18-08, 10:47 AM   #16
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Long t-shirts are often equivalent to very low SPF, so don't think that is sufficient. Pick up something with built-in protection or use high SPF sunscreen with both UVA and UVB coverage.
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Old 04-18-08, 11:53 AM   #17
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This is tough. Many sunscreens are associated with increased cancer. Use the natural sunscreens with Ti oxide, etc. Yes you'll look a bit swim guard. Other alternatives: solumbra cycling shirt {expensive, not vented enough**, Bourne cycling has spf50 jerseys, or you can get fabric conditioners which can add SPF to your favorites. I think it degrades from top to none after about 20 washes
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Old 04-18-08, 12:52 PM   #18
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The trick will be finding a uniformly snug long sleeved wicking shirt that isn't too tight in the armpits for comfort, and doesn't ride up too much at the bottom. If it's white and you're in motion you should be quite cool due to the airflow.
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Old 04-18-08, 12:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devildogmech View Post
The brighter the colors, the better (White is the best) you want to reflect the rays away from you and white is the best color for that.

Wear sunscreen RELIGIOUSLY! And I dont mean that namby pamby SPF 15 crap either.... Go SPF45 or better. Put it on before EVERY RIDE...

A long sleeve T-shirt should be good to go.

BTW, with you family history, you should realy look into going to a dermatoligist every year for a full body (I mean FULL body ) skin exam.... It can save your life (it saved my dad's)

JMHO
Billy
actually spf 15 is = to spf 50 in protection. 50 just lasts longer on your skin.
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Old 04-18-08, 01:25 PM   #20
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My wife comes from a family of redheads who will burn through regular clothes. The most effective and durable stuff they've found are the products from Coolibar. It looks likethis shirt might fit the bill. The other product is the Blue Lizard sunscreen. Great protection and lasts much longer than other stuff.
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Old 04-18-08, 02:52 PM   #21
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Do you live in a humid or dry location?
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