The Summer Guide to Cycling in Style

Summer’s here. But just because it’s heating up, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style during your ride. Instead, you just need to find the right clothes that fit well and are made from the best lightweight, breathable materials.

Below we run through some of the best cycling tops and shorts for both men and women this summer, as well as some lightweight jackets in case of a downpour (i.e. British Summerproof).

For Men:


Icebreaker – Tech Lite Short Sleeve Lancewood – £60

This ultra comfortable 150gm merino t-shirt is ideal for warm weather. It performs that bit of magic of keeping you warm in the cold, but cool in warmer climes. Boasting a touch of lycra, this t-shirt is very soft on the skin and breathes well. It also looks cool with its simplistic Lancewood graphic. Available in admiral (navy blue) and maroon.

Icebreak Cycling T-shirt Tech Lite

Café du Cycliste – Simone Merino – £90  

Discerning Cyclist reviewed this almost two years ago and it still remains one of the smartest cycling polos out there. Matching a traditional cycling jersey like-for-like in terms of functionality, this clean cut merino polo boasts a front breast pocket as well as two back pockets, a lower back and has reflective features under the collar. Available in misty green or grey.

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Cafe du Cycliste Simone Jersey

Velobici – Vici Polo T – £90

This Velobici polo caught my eye as soon as I saw it and is blessed with a wealth of cycling functionality, and is made from a blend of Supplex nylon and lycra. Again there’s a rear ride pocket, a reflective chest badge and a curved drop-back hem.

Velobici Vici Polo T Shirt


Café du Cycliste – Paulette Shorts – £80

My staple shorts this summer, ones which I gave a rave review recently. Nice and stretchy, extremely breathable and a cracking sleek design from Café du Cycliste, these shorts tick every box when it comes down to stylish cycling shorts for hot weather. Available in deep green or black.


Levi’s – Commuter 504 Regular Straight Shorts – £60

The ever-popular Levi’s Commuter range has produced another winner with these straight fit cycling shorts. Highly durable and made from Lycra T400 fibre and 67% cotton, these water resistant shorts also offer a U-lock holder on the waistband and a raised back for extra coverage. Available in blue and ‘cougar’ (beige).

Levi's Commuter Cycling Shorts

Oakley – Rockwalk Shorts – £28.11

Reduced to just over £28.11 from £42.10, these stylish yet functional cycling shorts represent excellent value. Designed for hot weather, these Oakley shorts are versatile, durable and come in a contoured cut. Bargain. Available in two shades of grey – which is plenty enough.

Oakley Rockwalk Cycling Shorts

Lightweight Jackets

Howies – Helium Lightweight Jacket – £49

When it comes to making a stylish, lightweight, packable cycling jacket that will protect you from an unexpected summer downpour, Howies are the masters. Their latest jacket, the Helium, can be easily rolled up and popped in your pocket, making it perfect for emergencies. Available in kiwi (bright green) and blue.

Howies Helium Lightweight Cycling jacket

PEdAL ED – Saddle Packable Jacket – £165

If you’re looking for more of a dapper jacket, on and off the bike, this could be what you’re after. From PEdAL ED (who seem to have a problem with caps lock), this stylish, yet surprising practical jacket, is made in Italy and is water resistant, windproof, lightweight, packable and protects from dirt with ‘self-cleaning’ NanoSphere.

PEdAL ED Saddle Packable Cycling Jacket

Adidas – Infinity Wind Jacket – £29.99

Another bargain out there is the Adidas Infinity Jacket which currently has £20 off at Cycle Surgery. With a minimal design, this Adidas cycling jacket allows fluid movement on the bike, has hydrophilic mesh in key areas for moisture control and has a four-way stretch fabric.

Adidas Infinity Cycling Jacket

For Women:


Howies – Light Merino Base Layer SS – £45

This 160g merino wool top from Howies performs well as a base layer in winter, but also as a standalone t-shirt in the summer months. Featuring a slim fit design, this cycling top is naturally anti-bacterial, has flat-locked seams for comfort and has contrast side panels. Available in cerise (pink) or phantom (charcoal grey).

Howies Light Merino Base Layer

Levi’s – Commuter Shirt – £48.90

Another great product from the Levi’s Commuter range, this smart ladies cycling shirt is also currently reduced from £70 to £48.90 and represents great value. Made from Thermo cool fabric, this chambray button down provides breathability for a very comfortable and stylish ride.

Levi's Ladies Commuter Shirt

Icebreaker – Tech Lite Tank Flax – £55

A regular fit tank top made from 87% merino wool and 13% nylon corespun, this Icebreaker cycling top is perfect for summer rides. Featuring another great minimalistic artistic design, this top is designed for all the rigours of a ride as well as the destination, with odour resistance helping you along. Available in water (turquoise) and shell (salmon).

Icebreaker Tech Lite Tank Flax


Rapha – Turn-Up Shorts – £80

No stylish cycling list would be complete with Rapha, and these Turn-Up Shorts are another great product. Featuring a casual, flattering design and fit, the Rapha Turn-Up Shorts are made from cool, lightweight fabric and boast two side front pockets as well as two rear welt pockets. Available in grey/green and dark grey.

Rapha Turn Up Shorts

Vulpine – Summer Capri – £75

If you prefer a short that covers the knee, then the ¾ length Summer Capri Shorts from Vulpine made be more to your taste. Built for cycling, these shorts feature a high back, a subtle diamond gusset and offer plenty of stretch. Currently only available in blue with stock in seemingly short supply.

Vulpine Women's Summer Capri Short

Giro – New Road Mobility Short – £79.99

These Giro New Road Mobility Cycling Shorts managed to pack a whole lot of cycling functionality into quite a stylish design. With added stretch, a contoured waistband and two front and rear pockets, these Giro shorts are great for summer cycling.

Giro New Road Mobility Shorts Cycling

Lightweight Jackets

Howies – Shelium Lightweight Jacket – £49

The aptly named ladies version of the men’s Helium Jacket mentioned earlier, the Shelium Lightweight Jacket is another cracking lightweight, packable, water resistant and windproof number from Howies. Available in blue yonder (blue) and smoked pearl (charcoal grey with pink zip).

Howies Shelium Lightweight Cycling Jacket

Rapha – Lightweight Bomber Jacket – £120

This super sleek minimalistic effort from Rapha is another packable, water resistant jacket that looks good on and off the bike. The lower back also ensures an extra bit of protection, while the material is windproof and quick drying. Available in orange (although not far off red) and dark navy.

Rapha Lightweight Bomber Jacket

Vulpine – Packable Disc Jacket – £99

Weighing in at a remarkable 75g, you really won’t find a more lightweight cycling jacket than the Packable Disc Jacket from Vulpine. As you made have guessed from the name, it is indeed easily packable and is again water and wind resistant, as well as being fast drying. Available in red/orange and navy/green.

Vulpine Women's Packable Disc Jacket

What are your favourite cycling clothes this summer? Comment with your experience of what you’ve been wearing below!

Pete Reynolds

Pete is the co-founder and editor of Discerning Cyclist. He commutes by bike daily from his home to his co-working space. Originally from Wirral, UK, Pete now lives in Spain. When visiting a new city, Pete loves nothing more than to explore it on two wheels. See Pete's Muck Rack profile

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IMPORTANT NOTE: Coffee funds may be converted into beers funds on Fridays.