Author Topic: How do you handle summer cycling?  (Read 3674 times)


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How do you handle summer cycling?
« on: May 29, 2015, 04:43:15 PM »
Last summer, I had a lot of problems with profuse sweating while cycling around town on my bicycle.  Summers in New Jersey tend to be rather hot (90-105 degrees F or so).  I don't want to wimp out and start using my car instead, but it got to be a problem that I was soaked in sweat when I went into the library or different shops.

How do other Mustachians handle this?  Do you only cycle early in the morning?  Are there other solutions?


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: How do you handle summer cycling?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2015, 05:20:32 PM »
You can minimize it some by not carrying a backpack (use panniers or a milk crate) and riding slower.  You can carry a small towel to wipe down a little as needed.  But really, you're just going to be sweaty.  I think the best solution is just to learn to ignore it.  Shops & libraries will still transact business with someone who is sweaty.  Sweat itself isn't smelly, so just make sure that you're clean and use deodorant/antiperspirant.

I should add that if you're staying somewhere for a while (like work, or a friend's house), take another shirt to change into.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2015, 05:22:36 PM by Eric »


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Re: How do you handle summer cycling?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2015, 05:27:32 PM »
Basically what Eric said! I've been biking year round in Austin TX for 7+ years now, and basically you just get used to being sweaty and sometimes you are real leisurely about it. For biking to work, I wear some shorts and a tshirt, take it easy, and take a complete change of clothing and a wash cloth/baby wipes. For everything else, I wear deodorant and loose light clothing and call it a day.

For the ladies, most makeup won't survive that kind of weather + exercise, so if I wear anything, I stick to eye linter + mascara (I'm experimenting with using primer bases to help it 'stick' better) and/or put it on when I get there.


  • Bristles
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Re: How do you handle summer cycling?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2015, 07:51:59 PM »
Wear quick dry clothes that aren't cotton and don't show sweat, you can hide a lot of it that way.

Keep your hair short, that'll prevent sweat in the first place and also hide it.

Aside from that, people will deal with it.  They're just jealous you are fit and saving money and they are overweight and broke. 


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: How do you handle summer cycling?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2015, 08:05:12 PM »
When it was summer here, for short trips I just dealt with it. For my commute to work I'd ride in tshirt and shorts and change at work (I'd have a can of deodorant at work). Nothing wrong with riding a little slower to reduce sweating too.

Honestly, I reckon the bigger issue than sweat is UV protection, especially if you're riding during the heat of the day. Riding in the sun (hell, being outside in general) for a long time on a 35+ degree (C) day is likely to get you pretty sunburnt.

The sun doesn't mess around, especially during the peak of the day here down under (I suspect it's an issue in the northern hemisphere too).

Maybe there's some suitable longer sleeve t-shirts and pants for riding in summer, along with sunscreen that deals with sweat better.

I'm keen to find out if there's any bike helmets that offer better UV protection.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2015, 08:15:45 PM by alsoknownasDean »

Paul der Krake

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Re: How do you handle summer cycling?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2015, 08:31:03 PM »
I try to do my bike errands either in the morning, or right before I shower in the evening. Besides, I am within 15 minutes of all places I regularly go to, and said places all blast the AC like it's going out of style.


  • Bristles
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Re: How do you handle summer cycling?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2015, 09:11:57 PM »
I concur with the other posters:

1) Shower regularly, wear anti-perspirant (not deodorant). Sweating is more of a "gross" thing than a "smelly" thing if you're otherwise clean.

2) I prefer loose-fitting, short-sleeved, button-down shirts similar to "Hawaiian prints" when biking around town on errands. They're thin, loose, and dry very quickly. "Quick-dry" synthetics can actually create a smell once they've been sweated in. That smell doesn't go away without washing. Cotton tees get wet with sweat and stay wet for the entire time I'm in town. They don't smell, but I'm not comfortable wearing a wet t-shirt indefinitely.

3) Slowwwww down. Ride at easy conversational pace. This is actually hard for me (and likely some other folks as well). I like to ride to get where I'm going and find out once I'm there that I sweated more than I intended. Riding slow intentionally is not easy.

4) Rack, trunk bag, panniers, basket, bike trailer--whatever is necessary to keep from wearing a backpack.

5) Route--I hit a few neighborhood streets and greenways more often when it gets hot. A little more time, but it forces a slower pace and is more shaded.

6) Timing--Save your main errand days for days when you can get out and back in the morning. Save one-off errands for evenings after work (and it's light outside longer to help with this during the hottest months).

Commuting? Totally different since I always shower/change for that.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: How do you handle summer cycling?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2015, 09:48:10 PM »
The people you are coming into contact with will realize you are sweaty because its hot outside and maybe they will know you were cycling.  It's not like you were doing something weird; you can't help it if you perspire.  The library in particular I feel is a casual place, I went in there today after being on my bike for a few miles, and I was not only sweaty but kind of wet since it had been raining.  Chances are they really are not caring if they even notice.  I know I see lots of homeless/sleeping/noisy/mentally ill people in the library all the time.  The library employees deal with far more "unusual" people than a sweaty person.
I would say just go for it and realize the exercise, money saved, love to our mother Earth is a fine trade-off for looking like you have been outside. I would bet more people get a positive impression from you than negative!! 
The above doesn't completely apply if your biking to your place of employment, but shops and library are fine ;)