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Old 09-23-17, 04:59 AM   #1
Stormsedge
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Sun Protection for Legs

The summer sun on my distance rides this summer has proven my sun screen inadequate. I am looking for best practices/recommendations for both sun screen and summer weight bike tights/leggings. I think I'd really prefer an spf rated bike tight, but do not see any summer weight in internet searches...leggings/leg protectors seem to get mixed reviews.

My best combination so far was applying an spf50 about an hour and a half before the ride, then using an spf30 spray 15 minutes before getting on the bike (stuff I had on hand). This may be as simple as someone posting "I use such and such 100spf spray...follow the directions." Thoughts?
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Old 09-23-17, 09:34 AM   #2
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Despite all the sun down where I'm at, I only get a little bit on the portion of the leg that is between my knee and the bottom of my shorts. My issue with sun was on my bald head. I used to get a mottled tan up there that matched the holes in my helmut. A sweat cap took care of that and also keeps my head cooler under the helmet.

I can't help with anything useful, sometimes I put on sunscreen, sometime I don't. I don't burn easily and have not gotten a burn while biking four to five hours or more.

Maybe Tom Brady has something.... drink lots of water..... I doubt it though. But the may be enough quasi-science in it to make for lively discussion.

Hopefully this will bump your question back up and other will chime in on your question, not my pokes and faint attempts at jest and meaningless communication.... fatic, wasn't that what my speech teacher called it?
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Old 09-23-17, 10:55 AM   #3
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Are you getting burned, or what?

I've been using Neutrogena Beach Defense spray SPF70, for a few years.

It's a thin liquid spray, so I spray it on a smaller spot and spread it with my fingers. No greasy feel at all, and no beach tanning smell either. It's lasted for 4 hour sunny rides.

I spray in my palm and spread it on my face and neck. It doesn't burn if sweat gets in my eyes.

Staining
One problem is that it turns white fabric yellow after sun exposure, and that stain is very difficult to remove. It seems to stain even after the application has dried. I think many sunscreens might have the same problem?

Vinegar didn't work. Oxygen bleach didn't work. So I tried full strength liquid bleach on a white jersey, and eventually let it sit for 5 minutes! That did work, and the bleach didn't affect the color printing on the jersey.

Last edited by rm -rf; 09-23-17 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 09-23-17, 11:41 AM   #4
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Like Iride01, I only seem to get the dark tan in the 6" or so from the bottom of the shorts to the knee. Below that I've never needed sunblock at all. So... longer shorts? Knickers, maybe?

I wear that laser-sharp tanline with pride, though. I earned it.
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Old 09-23-17, 12:10 PM   #5
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""Hopefully this will bump your question back up and other will chime in on your question, not my pokes and faint attempts at jest and meaningless communication.... fatic, wasn't that what my speech teacher called it?""

Lol...yes, can't hurt. Uh, who's Tom Brady? Is he a new Day6 factory rider? 😉

Others, yes, I'm burning from short to knee (I usually wear a heat gear type long sleeve shirt under my jersey, so torso and arms not really affected)...a very clear hot day in Texas left redness that looked like sun poisoning or an allergic reaction, on my legs even above my short line. The higher spf seems the best solution...I've been sunburned enough times in my life that there is really no excuse for not throwing this old goo away and getting something better. Cheers!
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Old 09-23-17, 12:31 PM   #6
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Lots of companies make products for keeping the sun off legs. Google "leg coolers" or "leg screens."
https://www.voler.com/browse/product/li/1240450

https://www.competitivecyclist.com/sugoi-knee-cooler

Sun Legs | Pearl Izumi Cycling Gear
I'm just south of the OP in North Georgia and began using the white Pearl Izumi sun sleeves as light arm warmers on cool mornings. I have to take them off when it gets to 80°. I've ridden with people who wear these products in very hot conditions but I don't like it.


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Old 09-23-17, 12:43 PM   #7
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Knickers (below-the-knee shorts) would be ideal. If anyone could recommend a brand for these, I would like to know too.

Be very careful with the spray. It isn't particularly effective, and is an inhalation risk. Zinc oxide cream will work the best, but makes a mess of everything.

I've come to the conclusion that physical barriers are the best. I always use long-sleave jerseys and one of these under my helmet:
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Old 09-23-17, 07:32 PM   #8
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Knickers? and long sox?
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Old 09-23-17, 08:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormsedge View Post
The summer sun on my distance rides this summer has proven my sun screen inadequate. I am looking for best practices/recommendations for both sun screen and summer weight bike tights/leggings. I think I'd really prefer an spf rated bike tight, but do not see any summer weight in internet searches...leggings/leg protectors seem to get mixed reviews.

My best combination so far was applying an spf50 about an hour and a half before the ride, then using an spf30 spray 15 minutes before getting on the bike (stuff I had on hand). This may be as simple as someone posting "I use such and such 100spf spray...follow the directions." Thoughts?
If I'm heading out for an all-day ride, I will often wear my leg warmers or knee warmers until it gets too hot for them.

Then, I stop, remove the knee warmers, and apply Neutrogena's UltraSheer DryTouch sunscreen ... just about the only one I've found to not be greasy and horrible.
https://www.neutrogena.com.au/our-pr...y-lotion-spf30

I will apply it again a couple hours later if necessary.
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Old 09-24-17, 04:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Knickers (below-the-knee shorts) would be ideal. If anyone could recommend a brand for these, I would like to know too.]
I decided to do a science experiment for the common good...lol. I've been wearing inexpensive Eastbay Evapor Long sleeve T shirts (and an UnderArmor as well) under my bike jerseys all summer. I do not notice any sun burn on my arms/torso. There are some internet articles about the spf/upf properties of different clothing...one included the Eastbay product saying it tested in the 300s even when wet. Okay, I'll bite, because I already know they seem to protect me from burn on my arms and torso during long rides. These are not bike specific tights, so I'm not sure how they will work (they are fairly thin, so will have to be worn with another short), but at $25 for two, I pulled the trigger and will report back in a few weeks. Btw, they have a 3/4 length.
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Old 09-25-17, 12:37 AM   #11
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As I mentioned, I just go with knee warmers (or leg warmers) if the day starts cool ... like what you might find on this page ...

https://www.torpedo7.com.au/shop/bike/arm-leg-warmers
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Old 09-25-17, 05:10 AM   #12
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As I mentioned, I just go with knee warmers (or leg warmers) if the day starts cool ... like what you might find on this page ...

https://www.torpedo7.com.au/shop/bike/arm-leg-warmers
Got it, I will pick a set of these up and try them as well. Thanks.
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Old 09-25-17, 09:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormsedge View Post
Others, yes, I'm burning from short to knee (I usually wear a heat gear type long sleeve shirt under my jersey, so torso and arms not really affected)...a very clear hot day in Texas left redness that looked like sun poisoning or an allergic reaction, on my legs even above my short line.

This redness above the bottom of the shorts makes me think there's something besides plain sun going on. Perhaps this is a combination of heat rash plus sunburn?


Also, what's your summer riding been? The middle of every other day, mid-day once a week, or once a month? After I've got a base tan (from weekend rides), I don't usually have to worry about sunscreen on my thighs.
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Old 09-25-17, 10:28 AM   #14
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This redness above the bottom of the shorts makes me think there's something besides plain sun going on. Perhaps this is a combination of heat rash plus sunburn?


Also, what's your summer riding been? The middle of every other day, mid-day once a week, or once a month? After I've got a base tan (from weekend rides), I don't usually have to worry about sunscreen on my thighs.
I've experienced something similar and to a lesser degree around my ankles after 3 or more hours exposure to the sun. Doesn't really feel dry and scratching like my imagination thinks a rash should. My doctor (when I was in for annual) suggested it might be capillaries in the skin enlarging towards surface to protect the skin from the exposure...new to me.

I try to ride three times a week, goal is 100mi, norm +70. I usually ride AM starting btwn 9 and 10. I've got more base tan than I've ever had, but I am still fair complexion. The issue shows up on bike rides of 50 mi or more where I'm in the sun a good portion of the peak. I think a new sunscreen is probably the minimum I'm looking at for long rides.
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Old 09-25-17, 12:03 PM   #15
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I started using sunblock arm covers 3 yrs ago, have just about worn out one pair (got via a search on Amazon for sunblock arm covers, about $10/pr). As long as
I am moving or out of the sun when stopped they are ok up to ~90F, but I rarely ride after 1pm. Sunblock leg covers I have not tried. I didn't like the way
my arm skin was beginning to look a few years ago, but the leg skin still "looks ok". My other solution is starting rides at 6:30-7am and ending by 11am, thus
having less heat and sun exposure while still getting 45-60 miles in. I also use a Halo head cover year around under the helmet. Keeps me warm in winter and
no sunburn on scalp in summer, also controls sweat drip completely. http://store.haloheadband.com/athletic-bandana-p/pb.htm Not cheap but they work and
should last at least 10 yrs IME.

Last edited by sch; 09-25-17 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 09-25-17, 04:45 PM   #16
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Hmmm, lost my post.

Isn't this getting a little late in the summer to be asking about summer sunshine? Time to talk about winter RAIN.

Anyway, I wear jeans a lot, on the bike, off the bike, around home. Thus leaving me with pasty white legs

I started experimenting with bike shorts some this summer, and oddly I was able to ride all day, sometimes with suntan lotion, sometimes without it. I never burnt the legs, and never saw any sign of a tan. I've wondered if the high energy use and blood flow from cycling reduced the tendency to burn (and, of course, constantly moving sun exposure).

There are a number of manufactures and models of bicycling tights/knickers/capris. Full length, and 3/4 length (just below the knees). Both in bibs and regular (padded) shorts/pants style.

https://www.rei.com/c/cycling-tights

That would seem like some of the best sun protection for the legs.

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Old 09-26-17, 06:05 AM   #17
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I hate sun screens of all sorts because in almost no time, I'm sweating like a pig and the muck's floating on the surface of layer of sweat. The answer for me is clothing and sadly, we're really poorly served that way these days.

BTW, I too have developed a sunburned scalp with blotches that matched the vents in my helmet. A bandana fixed that plus gave me that piratical look.

Bamboo clothing works really well. I've only found long sleeved shirts which I save for long, hot days. It breathes well and handles sweat well. I don't iron mine so it always looks like it's just been dug out of a pile of clothes (well, it has). Stops the sunburn though and is cool - all you have to worry about are the bits the gloves aren't covering.

As for legs. I don't have a problem there as they slowly tan up. Consequently, I haven't gone looking for clothing but I'm sure you could find some light trousers made for hikers in bamboo or similar. I know the modern fashion is for tight and stretchy but it is only a fashion and within reason (like, don't wear flares), light, loose fitting trousers will work and be comfortable.
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Old 10-12-17, 07:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Lots of companies make products for keeping the sun off legs. Google "leg coolers" or "leg screens."
...
Sun Legs | Pearl Izumi Cycling Gear
I'm just south of the OP in North Georgia and began using the white Pearl Izumi sun sleeves as light arm warmers on cool mornings. I have to take them off when it gets to 80°. I've ridden with people who wear these products in very hot conditions but I don't like it.


-Tim-
They also make Sun Knees. I've worn both the Sun Sleeves and Sun Knees during heat waves.
I prefer them to wearing sunscreen.
And unlike sunscreen, you can take them off as the sun gets lower.

Surprising thing to me is that one ride where it rained hard late morning and they didn't bother me at all, UNTIL the rain stopped. The rain evaporated from the wet Sun Sleeves/Sun Knees rather quickly, so even on a hot day they left my arms and legs so cold that I was shivering for a few minutes and had to kick up the pace to feel comfortable.

Bad side is four more pieces of clothing to put on, but they take no longer to put on than sunscreen, and they never get in my eyes.

And the side-effect is spouse rolling eyes at the sleeves and shaking head at the knees. Since we have a sense of humor about it it's good for a laugh everytime. So not sure if that's a bug or a feature.


Another alternative for the legs is a bit of cross-sport dressing. Adidas Tiro 17 three-quarter soccer pants have a built-in knee tight. I've found them quite protective, quite comfortable even on long rides, and so long as I've got bike underwear or bike shorts underneath, the seam doesn't bother me.

For the cosplay look, a Star Trek The Original Series Uniform would work. Good arm coverage and the bells end above the chain ring.

-mr. bill
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Old 10-12-17, 08:32 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Stormsedge View Post
The summer sun on my distance rides this summer has proven my sun screen inadequate. I am looking for best practices/recommendations for both sun screen and summer weight bike tights/leggings. I think I'd really prefer an spf rated bike tight, but do not see any summer weight in internet searches...leggings/leg protectors seem to get mixed reviews.

My best combination so far was applying an spf50 about an hour and a half before the ride, then using an spf30 spray 15 minutes before getting on the bike (stuff I had on hand). This may be as simple as someone posting "I use such and such 100spf spray...follow the directions." Thoughts?
Good question. Excessive sun exposure is a risk for people who cycle a lot.

My personal preference is for mineral based sunscreens.

Ordinary sunscreens operate by being absorbed into your skin and chemically changing when exposed to UV light, and there is some evidence that the chemicals might even contribute to skin problems. Mineral based sunscreens actually block the UV light. They do not chemically interact with your skin, are broad spectrum, do not need to be applied in advance, and typically do not rub or sweat off as easily as the others do.

This is a pretty good summary of the differences, with links to the claims made.

https://www.kitchenstewardship.com/n...creen-reviews/

The negative? Depending on how much zinc oxide there is in the sunscreen, you're face will take on a whitish sheen. Not a big deal for me.

I find myself occasionally doing spring skiing, which is a 3 sigma case for sun exposure. Bright sun, and a lot of reflection off of the white snow. This is a sunscreen that proved effective in those conditions (after others, including some zinc-based ones failed), and is what I use on the bike.

https://www.neutrogena.com.au/our-pr...nc-body-lotion
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Last edited by Biker395; 10-12-17 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 10-12-17, 01:07 PM   #20
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side-effect is spouse
This is a side-effect I no longer experience.

Always picked my own ties anyway.


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Old 10-12-17, 01:25 PM   #21
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At age 65 I can't say I've never used sunscreen because I might have 10 or 12 times. I got sunburned about 15 years ago while riding in March on a bike trail but that was because of a bp med I was taking. Since then I've been fine, but I live in Wisconsin so unless you a susceptible to getting burned it's not likely without a lot of exposure. I may get skin cancer some day, I may die of it, but I'm pretty sure I will die of something someday.
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Old 10-12-17, 01:54 PM   #22
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Coppertone Sport SPF 70. Doesn't run in my eyes.

Might have to order it online. I'm not sure why but it seems really hard to find anything above SPF 50 in the stores, even though every article I've ever read on the subject recommends 70 or above.
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