The days are lengthening, temperatures are rising, and there’s barely a cloud in the sky. This all means one thing: the season of the cyclist has arrived. As much as we’d all like to be committed, hard-core, all year long commuters, the truth is that lots of us are fair-weather riders, and the summer months are when we come into our own.
But after a long winter off, lots of us find that we’re no longer prepped and ready to go. Our tyres need pumping up, the chain needs oiling, and our wardrobe leaves an awful lot to be desired. If you’re ready to get back in the saddle, here are three summer cycling essentials that everybody needs.
#1: Cycling Shorts
The best way to start your summer commuting season is with the right pair of shorts. Travelling can be long and arduous, and the wrong wardrobe will leave you chafed, uncomfortable, sweaty and saddle-sore. Many seasoned cyclists opt for a pair of padded cycling shorts, and these can certainly help keep you comfortable in the saddle – although may leave a bit to be desired in the style department. There are various other more stylish lightweight alternatives available that will keep you cool, including Café du Cycliste’s Paulette Shorts which I recently reviewed.
Although many of us are glad to leave our winter accessories behind until next October, gloves are something that many practical cyclists simply can’t manage without. Rubs occur all year round, so it’s important to keep your fingers protected. However, ordinary gloves will make your hands sweaty, itchy and uncomfortable, so you’ll need to refine your criteria. Many retailers, such as E-Outdoor, will specifically retail suitable options, but for those who want to know what they’re looking for leather, fingerless gloves with a pad covering the palm are ideal. These will protect your hands from rubs and stop them from getting sweaty and slipping around the bars, making them an essential for every commuter.
Last but not least on your special summer wish list is a good pair of sunglasses. You need to be able to see where you’re going at all times, so UVA and UVB filters are essential. There are hundreds of options to choose from, sporting a vast range in terms of price and style.
A ‘sporty’ set of sunglasses aren’t at all necessary for a daily commute. With sunglasses, just go for the style that suits you best – although bigger frames can help give your eyes some added protection from debris, pollen and flies.
Bring out your bike and beat the traffic jams this summer with our three commuting essentials.