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Old 07-07-05, 10:24 PM   #1
ltuw
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Choosing Jersey Color, Heat Conductivity, & Thermodynamics

Does it matter what color your jersey is for long rides in the sun? I want to conserve as much energy as possible and was wondering if having some black around the neck and shoulder a bad choice.

I live in California and would like to conserve as much energy as possible in high temperatures. I like white but it can get dirty really quick. How about a Red Jersey? Safety is also a concern but how effective is a bright yellow jersey? Any engineers or researchers out there who can shed some light? "No Pun intended"
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Old 07-09-05, 12:16 AM   #2
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I use to live in the Mojave Desert so I felt your pain for many years. I found out something interesting though while living there. My $80 high tech jersey made of 100% polyester works no better (or worse) then my $15 Walmart jersey made of 100% polyester! I also discovered that loose fitting jerseys allow the air to billow into the jersey cooling you off way better then my $80 high tech tight fitting jersey. Also white has long been proven to be the best at reflecting heat. Yes white gets dirty fast but your going to wash it after every ride anyway so who cares?

So now I buy nothing but the Walmart white loose fitting jersey with 100% polyester. Also for shorts again loose fitting; so I buy MTB shorts (Walmart doesn't sell cycling specific shorts thus no padding). I buy tan colors only because they don't make white shorts!

Another odd thing I discovered, and you can experiment with this to see if you get the same results; I tried to use different types of sunblock but found that the stuff made me feel hotter then going without sunblock, so I rode a lot of years without sunblock in that desert sun. But my skin is what they call a olive color and it takes a lot of sun to burn it; however I would probably use the sunblock if I had lighter, skin just to be safe.
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Old 07-09-05, 07:41 AM   #3
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What about heat capacity and the coefficient of thermal expansion?

Just kidding - a lot of terms are being thrown about. The best way to keep cool in hot weather is to stay hydrated and to keep moving. You will sweat normally if you are hydrated, and the evaporation of the sweat by the moving air will cool you. If you have plenty of water, you can squirt a little on the shoulders/back of your jersey, which will also help. When you stop, the cooling mechanism stops also unless there is a breeze.

A white jersey will reflect more sunlight than a darker one so it will be cooler. I have a pure white jersey that I have worn for 5 or 6 years of road riding, and it is not dirty at all. Don't wipe your dirty hands on it! I have worn both white and dark jerseys in the hot southern California sun, and the difference between them is noticeable, but insignificant compared to whether you are moving or not.
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Old 07-09-05, 07:48 AM   #4
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"Another odd thing I discovered, and you can experiment with this to see if you get the same results; I tried to use different types of sunblock but found that the stuff made me feel hotter then going without sunblock"

Yes, anything that slows or prevents your skins natural ability to "breathe" will make you feel
hotter because you are! This is the catch 22 of today..don't want TO much sun but your skin
still needs to do it's job of dumping excess heat.
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Old 07-09-05, 08:01 AM   #5
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Here in the upper Midwest we will get into the 90’s just a few days but often we can have high humidity. I found that by using something like a Craft or Santini under layer really helps. Some are solid others are almost a fishnet looking weave. They really seem to help get the evaporation moving. Seems crazy to wear two layers in the 90’s. but it seems to work. I wear a race cut jersey with long zippers over this and will open the zip if I want to get air in.

Going light colored works best. That applies to helmets also. I wear Bell and have the Furio and the Ghisallo. All the marketing hype talks about vents…yada …yada…yada… Well the Ghisallo has just a few more vents and it is MUCH cooler. But you may need sunscreen on your head! I use the Furio for cooler weather riding now.

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