Cycling in the summer is easier  – and ultimately more enjoyable –  if you’ve got your kit sorted. Here’s our selection to keep you cool, safe and looking the part…

DHB Sport Aeron LAB Polartec Sleeveless Base Layer

It may seem counterintuitive but base layers are just as advantageous in hotter climates as they are in cold ones. This summer-specific body hugging tank is made from Polartec’s Delta fabric, a honeycomb knit of fibres: synthetics to wick away perspiration and hydrophilic fibres to hold the moisture a little longer, thereby harnessing its cooling properties without it lingering around the body. £40,

Café du Cycliste Floriane Cycling Jersey

This Côte d’Azur-based brand is known for its vibrant contemporary designs and is a go-to if colour is your thing. They perform well too – made from recycled polyester and elastane fabric with small perforations, the stretchy and moisture-wicking jersey will help keep you cool in the heat, is not too thin for use on milder days, and has the added benefit of being UPF30. Plus, as the sun goes down, the four white arm stripes are reflective in low light. £137,

Rapha Pro Team Lightweight Gilet

A jersey will suffice once you’re warmed up during the summer season, but this gilet will stave off the chill on nippy early morning rides. With lightweight mesh on the back, a good collar height, reflective logos on front and back for visibility, and neatly executed detailing around the arm holes, this body-hugging number weighs around 80g and packs down exceptionally well to stash unnoticed in a back pocket. £90,

Assos Equipe Rs Schlosshund Rain Jacket Evo

This Swiss-designed water-repellent cover-up is ideal to throw on during all-too-frequent summer downpours. Made in a highly breathable three-layer fabric, it’s lightweight (170g), and fits really nicely with enough room for comfort and to accommodate layers underneath. It’s also long enough in the body and neck for good coverage, yet still feels streamlined. The detailing is notable too: from elasticated cuffs and hem (with silicone gripper) to a highly reflective strip down the back. £290,

Rapha Pro Team Arm Screens

Summer jerseys are short-sleeved, so when there’s a chill in the air on an early start – or if you’re out all day in strong sunshine – your arms will need some protection. Rated to SPF40, these lightweight (just 25g for the pair) and breathable sleeves slip on over your arm where they’ll sit unnoticed like a second skin. £35,

MAAP Team Bib Evo Bib

This is the Australian performance cycling brand’s newly updated fourth-generation bib, made from an abrasion- and pile-resistant fabric which has plenty of stretch while remaining supportive. The bib has a 3D Thermo moulded seat pad, which is very comfortable when riding, and is relatively low-cut at the front, with a lightweight mesh back panel that helps with cooling.  It provides SPF50+ sun protection, and won’t budge when you’re on the bike thanks to the broad elasticated leg-hem bands which have printed silicone grippers on the inside. €215,

Pongo London PRX 1.0 Cycling Socks

The lightweight and snug-fitting 3D textured fabric has a luxury feel and the technical mesh panels on top of the foot help with cooling. They are Italian-made and have a classic six-inch cuff. £18,

Assos Assosoires GT Cap

Cycling caps offer a little extra comfort when wearing a helmet, as well as helping with wicking in the summer and some extra warmth come winter.  This very comfortable and versatile cap is made from a weighted cotton/polyester fabric mix, which is lined around the edge for extra comfort. £18, 

Le Col Cycling Mitts

These mitts provide extra cushioning for your hands. Made from a synthetic fabric – lightweight and breathable on the top for cooling, and thicker on the palm in those higher pressure areas – they are minimal and snug fitting. £40, 

Specialised 2021 S-Works Vent Road Shoes

Designed specifically for riding in the heat, these are an evolved version of the highly rated S-Works 7 road shoe – but with more ventilation. The super-stiff carbon outsole, durable upper (made from Dyneema, 15x stronger than steel), and top end BOA S3-Snap dials for micro adjustment and performance remains top notch. But there’s also hugely increased air flow thanks to the generously sized engineered mesh panels on the upper and tongue, a vented toe box, as well as cut-out sections integrated into the carbon sole. £399,

Fizik Antares Versus Evo 00 Adaptive Seat

This flagship version of the brand’s performance range of 3D printed saddles has a carbon base and rails, making it the lightest (168g) and most comfortable offered. The upper is the 3D printed component – an open honeycomb lattice of four zones, each with levels of cushioning appropriate for that area – determined through years of pressure-mapping data collection, as well as hundreds of testing iterations made possible by 3D printing. The result is a silky and very comfortable ride that also generates increased air flow for a little extra cooling. £369.99,

POC Ventral Lite Helmet

When a cycling helmet weighs less than 250g it’s getting into the lightweight category. This model comes in at a mere 190g (in a size medium), the brand’s lightest ever, and one of the lightest available on the market. It meets strict CE standards for safety, although features such as rotational safety have been sacrificed to create significant weight savings. Comfortable, unnoticeably light and with great ventilation, this is ideal for hot summer climbs. £240,

Moon Cerberus Rear Light

Whether it’s an early start, a later-than-expected finish, or finding yourself on a busy road, a rear bike light should ensure that passing traffic stays at a safe distance. With light emitted from both sides, as well as directly backwards, the 270-degree visibility is a unique offering for added safety. Numerous modes give good battery life on a single charge, with a low flashing one of around 20 hours, plus it’s waterproof and easy to mount on even aero seat posts. £30, or £65 with front light,

Elite Fly Water Bottle 550ml

Ensure you’re well hydrated and not carrying a gramme more than necessary with the world’s lightest sports water bottle. Weighing a mere 54g for the 550ml (16oz) size (there are also two larger sizes), this is made possible from varying thicknesses of plastic (it’s thicker on the base and thinner in the middle), which also means it’s easy to squeeze for good water flow regulation. £5,

Maurten Drink Mix 320 Caf 100

This powder is a mix of carbohydrates (80g), electrolytes and caffeine (100mg, about one-and-a-half espressos) – all natural with no colouring, preservative or flavourings – and is perfect to keep you hydrated and alert on long and hot cycles. £51.60 per box,

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article