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Summer Cycling Essentials

Winter is well and truly behind us and spring is nearly done, meaning the best season of the year is nearly here! Summer is, of course, the best time of the year to be on the bike, and so we want to help you enjoy it as best we can by sharing some of our favourite products to use in summer, and just why we need them:

Sunglasses

While you should always ride with glasses to protect your eyes from insects on the road or low branches and twigs on the trail, the need for glasses in summer is an absolute essential to protect you from UV rays.

At PRO BIKE TOOL HQ, we advise you to wear proper cycling sunglasses rather than a pair of casual shades.

There’s a number of differences between sports-specific and casual sunnies.

Firstly, it’s the increased range of protection. Brands like Oakley and 100% typically offer lenses that are a lot larger than those you’d get on standard glasses, meaning sun doesn’t come in over the top of the lenses and you don’t get distracting bright flashes coming up around the underneath of the glasses when you’re on the bike. This provides you greater protection from items flying into your face, and allows you to better see deviations and imperfections in the road or trail from the corner of your eyes.

The sports-specific lenses offered by cycling sunglasses are also super-important. Sunglasses for riding typically have lenses designed to match certain types of activity or light conditions; for example, Oakley’s PRIZM lenses provide depth to blemishes in the road, which helps you see any nasty things in the road you need to dodge. Also, bike-specific sunglasses typically offer frames that allow you to swap lenses, meaning you could have a set of lenses for low light and a set for bright sun.

Our favourite shades

Our faves at PRO BIKE TOOL HQ are 100% Speedtraps.

They're the choice of Peter Sagan thanks to their cool looks, 100% UV protection, and adjustable fit. If they're good enough for a triple world champion and all-round badass, they're definitely good enough for us!

Sunscreen

Needless to say, riding in summer needs skin protection! Whether you’re out on the bike for an hour on a shady trail, or all day on a bikepacking adventure, you need to get that sunscreen on! It’s easy to underestimate the heat of the sun when you’re riding, as the moving air on your skin keeps evaporating your sweat and cools you down. There’s plenty of times we’ve come back from a ride with some pretty unsightly burn lines, so don’t get caught out yourselves!

To get the best protection, choose a sports-specific lotion, such as our go-to, Pelotan. Products like this are developed to be sweat-resistant, meaning you can slap it on before your ride and forget about it – no need to keep on re-applying! Generic sunscreen quite typically needs to be constantly re-applied as it is easily sweated off the skin. Pelotan is also great thanks to its high-level UV filter and SPF30 protection, non-greasy formula, and easy spray-on nozzle.

Lightweight socks

There’s nothing worse than hot and clammy feet, and keeping your feet cool can make a huge difference to how you feel overall. As with all clothing, you’re best off opting for a bike-specific sock for your ride to ensure your comfort, as they will be made from materials that wick sweat away from your feet, and feature compression through the mid-foot to help with blood flow.

We’re a big fan of snazzy socks here at PRO BIKE TOOL HQ, and have an impressively-stocked sock drawer. However, our favourites are definitely those made by PONGO LONDON. And better still, they have two ranges specifically made to help keep you cool, the ‘Pro Race’ and ‘Climber Mesh’, both of which are made from a fine woven fabric that provides both ventilation and moisture-wicking properties in all the key places. And they look the bomb, on or off the bike!

Wahoo ROAM bike computer

If you want to ride further and faster this summer, and have the most fun while doing so, you need a bike computer to help you navigate, track your training, and, most importantly, to record your ride on Strava so you can impress your mates!

We’ve used a number of bike computers through the years, but having had a play with the all-new Wahoo ROAM, we can safely say it’s the absolute best you can get.

All the great features of the Wahoo ELEMENT are still there, such as they super-simple set up and control using a phone app, and integration with all your training apps like Strava. But the big bonus is in the update to the screen and navigation; the ROAM is the first Wahoo with a colour screen, and there’s mapping features so good you could find a needle in a haystack if you had to.

Electrolytes

Riding in the heat means more sweat! And with more sweat, comes the loss of essential minerals such as sodium and potassium from the body. These chemicals are key to keeping us riding and feeling at our best, as they aid the processes behind our muscle contractions, thus keeping our legs turning. Electrolytes are also vital to our general body processes, such as those of our central nervous system – so it’s essential for your all-round health to keep them topped up!

Electrolytes are most easily made a part of your bike ride through specifically developed tablets for sports. We go for Nuun tablets thanks to the great range of flavours, and the high mineral content in each tablet.

You can also make a home-made version, which isn’t as effective but still of use if you have no alternative, by mixing water, sugar, and salt – and maybe throw some cordial in there so it doesn’t taste too grim!

A bike cover!

You may not associate a bike cover with the warm dry days of summer, but these guys are essential all year around.

If you’ve gone and taken your best bike – that pride and joy you daydream about - out of winter storage (read our blog: How to get your best bike ready for summer), you want to keep her at her absolute best when she’s out in your yard between rides.

Moist, humid climates aren’t going to do the drivetrain of your bike any favours, with the dampness speeding up the corrosion of parts such as your chain and cassette. Super-high temperatures in high summer can hasten the corrosion on your plastic and rubber parts, and the strong sun can actually make your beautiful paint-scheme fade! And let’s face it, we all like to rest under a nice comforting blanket - and so does your bike.

Our bike covers protect your ride from all conditions, from snow, wind, and rain, to high sun and dust, making it just essential for all seasons.

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