It’s going to be a hot one. The temperature has been building for weeks to the point where there’s only the slightest whiff of cool air for an hour or two as the sun breaks on another day.
Today, you’ve got time. No work, family, partner or friend’s commitments. No jobs around the house (that can’t be justifiably delayed, again!)... It’s time to ride.
The bike is going to be crisp, the traffic light. You can squeeze in a couple of hours on your favourite stretch of black top. Stop at that café for a cool drink before heading back to civilisation, feeling better for the chance to uncouple from the grind for a few hours.
It’s the ride back that gets you though. The traffic is building at the same rate as the temperature and it’s not long before you are literally sweating in your jocks! There’s got to be a better way to stay cool, stay focussed and enjoy this last half hour on the bike instead of suffering through it.
Well there is, get yourself some summer gear fool!
It’s simple, the more ventilation you have the cooler you’ll be. You can’t expect that full-on winter jacket to do a job it’s just not built for. Let’s look at two of the key pieces of gear you’ll need to keep you riding cool this summer, jackets and gloves.
Get yourself a good summer jacket. Material technology has come a long way over the years where now lighter materials can provide great protection while keeping you cool. If you want to stick with leather, you can get a perforated sports jacket like Alpinestars SPX Airflow, but most riders opt for mesh textile.
Dririder have a huge range of summer textile jackets, with a lot of their styles made in a standard version and an ‘air’ version (there’s a tip for you, every time you see the word ‘air’ on a Dririder jacket it means it’s made for warmer riding). Check out the new Dririder Air Ride 5 here. Just released, this jacket carries on the linage way back to the original Air ride 1. The philosophy is the same, keep you cool and keep you safe, but the latest Air ride does this so much better.
Using a Maxtex 600D outer shell with abrasion resistant mesh in the chest, back and sleeves, this jacket allows ultimate airflow for the hottest days. A bonus is it also comes with a breathable and waterproof liner that zips in so you can whip it on quickly for an unexpected downpour. Safety is boosted with a CE armour back protector, and comfort is taken care of with a neoprene collar and full adjustability. When it comes to colour and sizing, you are spoilt for choice with this jacket with ten colours available for men in sizes XS to 8XL and five colours for women in sizes 6 to 22.
You can check out a video overview of the jacket below >
Gloves fall basically into three categories, summer, winter and all season. If you want to stay cool, getting yourself a good pair of summer gloves is one of the best and most cost effective ways of keeping your cool. Think of your hands as heat sinks for your body, they are hanging out there in the breeze, make use of them!
Summer gloves come in all sorts of styles to suit all sorts of riders. Sports, Urban, Touring, Cruiser, no matter what you ride there is a summer glove for you. They all share a couple of basic characteristics though.
Look for a short cuff, you want something that meets your jacket sleeve, not something that goes up past your jacket sleeve (a gauntlet). A short cuff of the right length will max your safety protection but keep you cool. Here’s a tip, if you are heading into AMX to try on some summer gloves, take your summer jacket with you, this way you can get the right cuff length to suit.
Next you are looking for ventilation. Look for a mesh or perforation on the back of the hand. This will increase airflow to your skin without compromising safety significantly. The back of the hand usually doesn’t come in for too much road contact in the event of a spill, that’s saved for the palms! Some summer gloves also feature vented slots to really force air up inside the glove and cool your hands down.
Of course with gloves, protection is top of mind as hands usually go down first. The best summer gloves don’t compromise in this area. Look for a natural leather palm with added layers in key abrasion zones like the heel and side of your hand. Carbon fibre also plays a part here with some gloves featuring carbon fibre knuckle protectors for added safety.
If you want to check out our top picks for summer gloves, click here.
If you want to go straight to the range, click here;
Other gear for summer
We’ll save the details for another post, but if you are really committed to keeping cool this summer, make sure your helmet has some decent ventilation. Ventilation technology for helmets has come a huge way in the last 5 years, with many helmets on the market now featuring ventilation channels that actually create a vacuum effect and draw air into the helmet, over your skull and out the back. If you want to see a couple of examples, have a look at Shoei’s X-Spirit III sports helmet, or GT-Air II sports/touring helmet.
Finally, don’t forget about your feet! A big pair of clumping touring boots will end up drenched in sweat on a hot summer day. An alternative is to get yourself a pair of ride shoes, which are lighter and more summer friendly while still offering great protection. Much like summer gloves, a short cuff greatly reduces heat and discomfort. Many of these shoes also have ventilation features while still retaining the safety of high quality materials and rigid shanks. For a couple of great ride shoe examples, see Alpinestars Faster 3 Ride knit shoe here or the Dririder I-Ride here.
We hope this post gives you some advice to make your summer riding more comfortable and safe. Contact our service team or call into one of our stores for more advice and help with fit up.
Keep riding and stay safe.