As temperatures rise in summer, it’s not enough to just throw on a short sleeved jersey. While your bare arms will cool you a little, the fabric of your clothing still has an important job to do beyond just being lightweight.
As well as offering protection from the sun’s harmful ultra violet (UV) rays, cycling clothing needs to be breathable and moisture-wicking. Our bodies regulate core temperature by sweating, but that only works if the sweat can evaporate, allowing excess heat to disappear along with the vapour.
Your summer kit needs to be efficient at drawing moisture to the surface, where the sun and wind can deal with it. The added benefits to wearing technical fabrics are that they’re inherently quick-drying, which keeps them very comfortable; and they’re very light.
A true race fit, as found in the R-EV1 range for men and women – developed by Alé alongside pro race teams and in the windtunnel – has the benefits of both being super-aero and working like a second skin. For a balance between a race fit and everyday training comfort, there’s the Formula 1.0 collection for men and women. Then, for performance and comfort as well as strong value, Alé have the Solid range for men and women.
Fabrics for amiable summer conditions – efficient up to 30º C, as found in the Alé summer ranges – also provide UV protection, which is important for long, hot rides in the sun. Beyond that, for temperatures up to 40º C (especially on long, slow climbs) you need something more protective.
The Alé Piuma Short Sleeve Jersey can handle conditions from 25º to 40º C with a superlight, double-density mesh that puts breathability above all else. This extremely cooling piece offers the benefit of five pockets, a stretchy, ripstop back and reflective detailing for safety on all six color options.
If you’re riding somewhere particularly scorching, let’s say…on the equator at midday, there’s a piuma sleeveless and the women’s Piuma Short Sleeve – both allow for as much heat to escape as possible.
Caps aren’t just for keeping the rain out of your eyes in winter; they’re designed and crafted with different features for each season, ready to perform different roles. In spring and summer, cycling caps designed to fit snugly under your helmet provide additional protection from the damaging UV rays. Summer caps have shorter peaks that can be used either in the down position as sun visors, flipped up out of the way for effortless style, or worn backwards for practical neck protection.
Fast-cooling cotton fabric is ideal for warmer climates, and it’s found – mixed with durable polyester – in Alé caps from the likes of the simple yet stylish Alé Cotton Cap to the bolder Impavida Summer Cap. If the sun’s beating down, opt for even more protection from sunburn with the Sunny Cap which uses the latest technology – a clever modern blend of polyamide and elastane – to resist the sun’s rays. For an even lighter solution that still provides UV protection, there’s the bandana corsaro , which offers up no-peak simplicity and full-length neck protection.
With your feet working so hard on long, hot rides, it can be tough keeping them from overheating. The key is cycling socks with thicker, yet sweat-wicking, padding where it’s needed (the heel and toe), and highly breathable mesh where it’s not (such as on your instep). Of course, as every road cyclist knows, it’s not just enough for your socks to be cool, they have to look cool, too. Historically, the pro peloton has favoured mid-length white socks, but for the rest of us who ride in all weathers and have a limited sock supply, keeping them sparkly white can be too much of a challenge! The solution for men and women’s cycling socks for both style and practicality is bright colors and bold patterns.