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  1. #1
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    Heat protection/clothing question

    Help! Im looking for recommendations for womens lightweight jackets/covers for those days when the sun is strong. I try to ride super-early in the a.m. (as soon as its light enough to be seen), but as the day goes on, the sun just saps my strength. Ive not worn anything but short sleeves because Im on thyroid meds and really susceptible to the heat . Obviously, I need to cover up better than I have been, so any suggestions would really be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Aunt Roady's Avatar
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    Dengidog: although it flies somewhat in the face of standard recommendations around here, I highly recommend linen if you want a long sleeve shirt. It will dry as fast as poly, doesn't stick to you, and to me is extremely comfortable. The downside is that linen wrinkles (part of why it's so cool). The other shirt I would recommend is a long sleeve Patagonia t-shirt (which are actually on sale right now). Very comfortable (though clingy) and a degree of odor control for the first 50 washes. Enjoy that ti Habanero — sweet bike!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Roady View Post
    I highly recommend linen if you want a long sleeve shirt. It will dry as fast as poly, doesn't stick to you, and to me is extremely comfortable.
    +1. I use my old linen dress shirts for summer cycling.
    Gimme that car-free living!

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Cowboy wear .. long sleeve cotton shirts , with the collar up .

    take a siesta in the middle of the day then go a bit further at dusk .





    myself I just toured in the European Northern latitudes..

    to be, as the song goes, where the weather suited my clothes ..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-10-14 at 10:54 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Linen is good. I love the Columbia PFG shirts with the vented backs, they have long sleeves to protect you from the sun.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member lanahk's Avatar
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    Sun sleeves may help. They work like arm warmers, only they reflect sun but allow you to stay cool. Not sure what you'll find in Mexico, but if you can get mail order...

  7. #7
    Garlic
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    When I ride in the heat, I use my long sleeve nylon trekking shirt--well ventilated, light weight. I'll turn up the collar if the sun is on my neck. I'll adjust ventilation with the buttons, sometimes wide open. If I find a water source, I'll soak the shirt and get a few minutes of evaporative cooling.

  8. #8
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Frankly, I've tired the "cover up to stay cooler" idea and found it to not work at all. I wasn't cooler and I overheated much more easily. Trapping heat next to your skin isn't a way of staying cooler. It just traps heat which isn't a good idea.

    Go with technical fabrics like Coolmax and less of it. The best thing you can do for heat riding is to get a Camelbak. Pack it with as much ice as you can possible put in it first thing in the morning and refresh the ice as needed. The ice provides you with cold water for drinking which helps deal with the heat. The ice on your back also provides cooling to your core which is far more important. In very hot, humid conditions, the condensing water drips off the bag and cools you further.

    I'm a drylander, born and breed, from the high plains of Colorado. I don't do well with humidity but I've toured through out the humid eastern US in relative comfort even in temperature pushing (and possibly dragging) 100F thanks to my ice filled Camelbak.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Grishnak's Avatar
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    I agree with cyccocomute,use coolmax,even with sleeves,turn your cap around to protect your neck.

  10. #10
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I use Pearl Izumi Sun Sleeves. They are extremely effective at speeds over ~10 mph. At slower speeds, i.e. climbing, I'll push them down sometimes, but not always. I put on sunscreen under them in case I push them down.

    I haven't tried them hiking yet. I also haven't tried leg covers. I think they are much more effective than a shirt, as they wick perspiration immediately which then cools you by the wind on the wet fabric. Rather like your skin, except they are white, so don't absorb as much heat. I also wear light colored jerseys.

  11. #11
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    I wish I had covered up when I was young; not because of the heat, but because of my skin. Sun damage isn't attractive and some skin cancer can kill. I know someone who has just been operated on after the doctor found a melanoma.

  12. #12
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    Long cotton sleeves work great to cool you down if you keep them damp. You just go through water at an alarming rate, so you'll have to know where to get more, or use natural sources if available. For example, I've left Redding, CA on an August day when it hit 108 F, but was headed up into the Sacramento River canyon, which was forested and had many streams along the way to soak my nice thick long sleeve cotton t-shirt. In the desert, I would have run out of water after 10 miles at that rate.

  13. #13
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    I like Under Armour HeatGear for hot weather. It's wicking effect really works well. The material weighs very little, compresses tiny, and is winkle free. Much better than linen/cotton, IMO. The high-vis color is great for cycling.

  14. #14
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigAura View Post
    I like Under Armour HeatGear for hot weather. It's wicking effect really works well. The material weighs very little, compresses tiny, and is winkle free. Much better than linen/cotton, IMO. The high-vis color is great for cycling.
    Do you think the extra layer under the jersey is cooler than just a jersey with nothing under plus sun sleeves? I always ride with my jersey unzipped down to my pupik when it's hot. No sun hits the chest on a road bike.

  15. #15
    Macro Geek
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    The sun saps my energy, as well. This is what works for me:

    1. A long sleeved cycling top made of synthetics. (Cotton did not work nearly as well for me.)
    2. A bandana made of synthetic that covers the top of my head and ears, and that drapes the back of my neck.
    3. Cycling gloves.
    4. Oversized sunglasses.
    5. Regularly applied sun block.
    6. Avoid cycling between noon and 2 p.m., or whenever the sun is highest.
    7. Drink plenty of water, and maybe an electrolyte mix.

    Long pants: Haven't used them, but might be a good idea.

  16. #16
    Senior Member robert schlatte's Avatar
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    All of the above are great suggestions for keeping cool. I drench my head and cap in water when I can. Even on the hottest days air moving across wet skin feels very cool. Also, I am constantly on the lookout for lakes, ponds, gravel pits, or borrow pits in which to take a dip. I also believe in getting off the bike and taking an afternoon siesta in the shade. It is great for recharging the battery and bringing back the enthusiasm.

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    Here are two other sources for sun protection clothing: http://www.solartex.com and http://www.sunprecautions.com. Sorry I don't know how to make them actual links. Currently I use the Pearl Izumi Sun Sleeves and feel they do a pretty good job, but their protected area is obviously limited so am considering something from the two listed companies.

  18. #18
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    VA dermatology has cut out sun damage.. that mostly from driving the car with the window open


    and 1 Melanoma off the part of my back I could never reach with sunscreen goo ..

  19. #19
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Do you think the extra layer under the jersey is cooler than just a jersey with nothing under plus sun sleeves? I always ride with my jersey unzipped down to my pupik when it's hot. No sun hits the chest on a road bike.
    No, I would not layer it for cooling. It's the wicking evaporation that cools you. I'll wet mine at a water source for more cooling effect, although it dries very quickly. Blocking the sun provides additional benefits.

    As far as layering is concerned, I've layered it on top of my merino wool layer for warmth.

  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I use sun sleeves, but I only like them up to about 30C ... after that they're too warm and I overheat. So on long hot days, I'll wear them from morning to about 1 pm, and then I'll switch to sunscreen.

    If you're looking for something to protect the back of your neck ... go with a bandana. Soak it in water and wrap it around.

  21. #21
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    Sunscreen is essential for me in sun. It has a cooling effect as well offering protection from skin damage.

    I spend a lot of my time outdoors as I work in cherry orchards. Long microfibre trousers have been very helpful in protecting my legs in heat up to 37 deg C (~100 deg F). I also use long-sleeve work shirts with nothing underneath, and a broad-brimmed hat (which obviously is less than suitable for bicycling).
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  22. #22
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    Thanks, all, for the great responses. Ive got some UV protection sleeves on the way, courtesy of Ebay, and Im going to look into some of the suggested sites for clothing. Ive dunked ice water on my head, but that only works for a bit. Of course, it beats passing out! Ive also carried ice in my camebak and that helps, but Im afraid I drink it almost faster than it can melt. I never wanted to wear long sleeves/hats/bandanas before because I always thought theyd make me even hotter. Obviously, I was wrong. Its starting to really warm up here, so I can try practicing all of the suggestions. Again, many thanks!

  23. #23
    djb
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    Let us know how the sleeve things work out. Like cycco I have tried long sleeve shirts but while it can be ok sitting on the beach, when cycling its just too hot. Like you I tend to drink a lot but everyone is diff so I hope the sleeve things work out. I just spend the money on good 55 sunscreen (but could probably see using a light covered shirt if access to water was limited)
    Adios

  24. #24
    Clark W. Griswold
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    Here are some great suggestions:
    Women's CoolRunner? Long Sleeve T | MountainHardwear.com
    Women's Sol Cool? Long Sleeve Shirt | ExOfficio.com

    I have personally used a Sol Cool LS and I like it. I didn't feel super cool but it was noticeable. I also use a lot of MHW products and have reason to believe that their Cool.Q is great. The reviews I have seen are good so far.

    I think both companies make neck gaiters and bandanas with their cooling technologies. I also know MHW does "arm warmers" with Cool.Q.

    Cotton is always a poor choice as it gets soaked with sweat and stays soaked with sweat and just is nasty like that.

    For a good cooling choice you can get some peppermint essential oils and mix them with water and use them as quite an effective cooling spray that will also de-funk your clothes. I used some oil in my shoes once and the weather dropped a bit more than I was expecting and my feet were quite cold all day but they smelled nice ; )
    I generally carry a small spray bottle with me when touring because things can get funky and I don't always have access to a shower or bathing and don't want a melty stick deodorant.

  25. #25
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
    Cotton is always a poor choice as it gets soaked with sweat and stays soaked with sweat and just is nasty like that.
    That's exactly what I like about cotton ... it gets soaked with sweat, and the water from the sink in a public toilet when I run it under the tap, and stays wet for some time. It provides an air conditioning effect.

    Cotton is a poor choice for winter ... but it's a good choice for summer.

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