A guide to dressing for summer cycling, from MAAP.
The heat is cranking, your legs are purring nicely from a decent winter and spring of training, now all you want to do is ride outside.
We’re all about performance at MAAP, and wearing the right kit for the conditions is the key to unlocking your potential. Dressing for summer in a cycling context means lightweight kit, minimal layering, and technical features that aid rather than inhibit your body’s own built-in cooling processes.
With your body producing more sweat than in winter, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for anything antimicrobial or odour-reducing, to avoid that dreaded summer jersey stank.
When you are equipped for summer cycling – and know how to deploy the various pieces of kit – you’ll find you get even more out of your warm-weather riding.
Keeping cool in the heat of the summer relies on a couple of things, but if there’s one word that defines the discussion it’s ‘fabric’.
Firstly, you’ll want breathable fabrics that aren’t too heavyweight. Too thick of a material and you’ll find yourself sweating way more than you need to, which in turn dehydrates your body and impairs your ability to perform. You’ll also need a fabric that efficiently wicks moisture away from your body to prevent pooling of sweat and unpleasant odour buildup.
While it may seem counter-intuitive, layering also has a part to play in effective summer dressing strategy. The kit you chose needs to work well together, so it can act like a single system to cool you down.
The first thing you put on should be a lightweight base layer, ideally with a vest cut or a t-shirt cut. A long-sleeve base is great for winter riding when it can provide extra warmth, but you probably want to avoid that in summer time. MAAP produces its own summer-appropriate base, the Team Base Layer, which is available in core colourways year-round, but also frequently included in our seasonal collections if you’re looking for something a bit more lively.
The Team Base Layer employs mesh fabric panels to really maximise airflow. The base layer is quick to dry, so you don’t feel like you have damp material clinging to you when you stop working out – and all the fabric used are bluesign® approved. The sides of the women’s version are also contoured for a more precise fit.
During the summer you’ll want to get your lower legs out as much as possible, which means bib shorts rather than tights. Look for lightweight fabrics with built-in SPF protection, and high-performing chamois pads. Our partners Elastic Interface are the industry-leaders when it comes to chamois – what is the plural of that word? – and all our bibs can be relied upon to keep performing well into the peak of summer.
We also collaborated with Elastic Interface on a proprietary 3D thermo-moulded chamois, which allows us to deliver multi-layer density in our Team Bib Evo, Pro Bib 2.0 and Alt_Road Cargo Bib shorts. That means greater comfort and a more durable chamois that keeps providing the same level of performance over time.
Our Training collection is an enduringly popular ‘range within a range’, and the bibs are especially well-loved among the MAAP family. Our professional athletes choose them for their daily training and – as well as standing up to the rigours of regular wear – they do very well in the heat. The materials used in the Training Bib 2.0 are extremely lightweight, but still manage to provide SPF 50 sun protection. The women’s version of product can be found here.
The Team Bib Evo, as well as boasting that 3D thermo-moulded chamois, also packs durable moisture-wicking performance that doesn’t decline over multiple washes. That means more hours in the saddle with the fabrics keeping you feeling cool, dry and fresh.
Climbing slightly further up the performance ladder, you’ll find our Pro Bib 2.0, simply our most elite short option. Optimised for use in temperatures up to 40°C, they boast an awesome SPF 50+ protection from the sun’s rays. The blend of fabric in the main bib is 71% polyamide, 29% lycra – allowing an impressive balance of strength and support. The compression fit supports your muscles in motion, while the fast-drying, quick-wicking properties keep you cool, dry and fresh on even the hottest days.
Looking for something a little more rugged? The Alt_Road collection is created for adventures that go beyond the asphalt, and we took it to some pretty hot places to test it out – the Aussie outback and Death Valley – so you know the Alt_Road Cargo Bib can perform in the soaring temperatures. The fabrics used are lightweight and antimicrobial, which is great for use in the heat as it prevents odour buildup, while also wicking moisture really impressively away from your skin. The Cargo pockets on the legs allow you to carry that little bit extra, be that a banana or an extra sachet of isomix to restore some electrolytes when you’re miles from the nearest servo.
The short-sleeve summer cycling jersey is the zenith of a cyclist’s kit collection, the blank canvas on which a personality may be splashed. While shorts, socks, mitts, even your helmet can add to your on-bike style – nay, panache – the short-sleeve jersey takes it to another level, carrying the potential to dramatically influence the character of a ride and how you feel as you push power through the pedals.
Our summer jersey collection incorporates a range of signature styles and fits to suit different types of riding, with a few key attributes in common, including technical fabrics, SPF 50+ sun protection and – you guessed it – short sleeves.
That said, did you know that sleeve length is affected by riding position? Our signature Pro Fit jersey is probably our out-and-out best short sleeve cycling jersey. It has slightly longer sleeves and a shorter torso for the perfect race fit, i.e. with its slim fit and contoured paneling, it is ideally suited to a more aggressive, flat-backed body shape on the bike. Our flagship Pro Base Jersey – and equivalent women’s jersey – is the definitive performance piece, its ultra-soft Italian fabrics and honeycomb mesh sleeves optimising airflow, and maximising on-bike comfort in temperatures in the hot summer months.
The sweet spot of summer jerseys can be found in our Training collection, a perfect balance of technical performance and all-day comfort. The material used in our Training Jersey is sustainably manufactured in Italy, it is lightweight, high-stretch, moisture-wicking and engineered for durability throughout summer and beyond.
If you’re one for the path less travelled, literally, the Alt_Road Jersey is the only choice – check out the women’s version here. The moment you leave the tarmac, you want to feel at one with nature, and this piece helps you achieve that. The Alt Road fit is designed for freedom and flexibility – exactly what you strive for on the alternate path – and the materials used here keep nature in mind, not to mention off-road durability and performance. The Alt_Road Jersey is crafted from renewable, environmentally sustainable, anti-microbial and anti-odour Natural Match® merino wool technology – whether you’re hitting the gravel with mates before grabbing a few drinks or embarking on a multi-day adventure, this jersey does everything you could ask and more.
MAAP has created some long-sleeve summer cycling jerseys, specifically for riding in high heat and heavy sun. Remarkably, they manage to keep you almost as cool as a short-sleeve, but with the added bonus of all-day SPF protection on your forearms.
First, there’s the Emblem Pro Hex, a long-sleeve jersey with technical lightweight and breathable fabrics featuring recycled yarns. The jersey has micro-perforations on the back, side panels and collar, for that much-needed extra airflow. The fabric packs SPF50+ protection.
The Evade Long Sleeve Jersey is made with ultra-soft knitted Italian fabrics which increase airflow and add an extra layer of coverage for those long days in the saddle. Like the Emblem above, the jersey is made with fabrics sustainably manufactured with the bluesign® SYSTEM.
While we’re focusing on warm weather riding, it’s worth remembering that summer mornings can be cooler than you’d expect. Clear skies give way to a chilly air before the sun is high in the sky, and so carrying a Draft Team Vest with you can be a smart move. The great benefit of the Draft Vest – and it’s Jacket version companion – is it’s lightweight and packable, so can be placed into a jersey pocket once the day warms up. If you head for the mountains in the summer time to really test that hard-won winter form, you’ll also be very grateful for the extra layer the Draft Vest and Jacket can provide for those chilly descents.
Another way to fend off the chill as you’re striking out for the high hills on an early morning is a pair of Base Arm Warmers, which are even easier to store away once the mercury is soaring and they’re no longer required. In a pinch, they can also be deployed as arm screens if you’re visibly burning up and forgot to pack any extra sunscreen in your jersey pocket.
With the sun beating down on your brow, a cap is a great addition to your summer cycling apparel. Worn with the brim down it can keep the sun out of your eyes and off your face. MAAP packs a whole range of stylish cycling caps for summer riding. Key features to look out for in a cycling cap for summer are breathable fabrics and – ideally – some sort of antibacterial properties to keep down bad odours that build up over many rides in the heat.
No ride in the sun would be complete without a pair of shades. We collabed with 100% on a couple of pairs of super-luxe looking Hypercraft sunnies, which offer full-spectrum UV protection including UVA, UVB and UV400. Enjoy the view without being dazzled, or worrying about the long-term damaging impacts of the sun on your skin. 100% is a company that got its start in motocross, before stepping confidently into the pro cycling world. They have sponsored some of the top professional athletes in our sport, and seriously know how to build a pair of sunnies that look awesome and perform even better.
While it might not technically count as an item of clothing, if you want to cultivate the tanlines that are perhaps the most immediately noticeable feature of a devoted bike rider, then remember to apply sunscreen before every ride.
Let’s go over the key things one last time.
1. Focus on lightweight fabrics that boast excellent moisture-wicking properties. This way you can still feel cool and fresh, while the temperature gauge is climbing.
2. Wherever possible, try to buy kit with built-in SPF protection. The same goes for sunglasses and UV protection.
3. Consider adding some lightweight, warmer items to your wardrobe, for those chilly moments you might encounter at the start and end of long summer days of riding.
4. Antimicrobial is a great property when you’re choosing your summer kit, as it stays fresh-smelling and clean-feeling for longer.
The best way to get to grips with dressing for summer is to get out there and ride. If you have any questions about MAAP products and their performance in the heat, don’t be afraid to ask on our social media channels, or by contacting us directly via our website.