Free Delivery over £30* | Free Click & Collect at Decathlon Stores | 365 Days to Return

Why you should wear Cycling base layers in the summer

From city cyclists to Tour de France competitors, there’s one big divider in the what to wear department, and that’s whether base layers are essential in summer. When the sun is beating down and you’re pedalling hard, do you really need another layer beneath your cycling jersey?

Cycling base layers in the Summer
What does a base layer do?

It might sound logical that the more you wear the hotter you'll be, but many experts and long-time riders say that a base layer will actually keep you cooler in the heat. This is because the layer of clothing directly in contact with your skin helps your body’s natural defences against overheating – in short, a base layer will help manage moisture and regulate your temperature.

Summer base layers

Your winter base layer won’t do the job you need it to do in the summer, it’s far too thick and designed to trap heat. So, you’ll need a specific summer base layer that’s been created to stop you overheating and wick sweat away. B’Twin do some great affordable cycling base layers like this quick-drying sleeveless one with an aerating honeycomb fabric, but if you’re a regular rider you should spend a bit more on something more durable like this short-sleeved second-skin version .

What style of summer base layer?

It’s given that your summer base layer will be lightweight, but it should also be form-fitting and have a good element of stretch for comfort. A summer base layer will help wick moisture away from the skin and also provide light compression for working muscles. The closer the material is to your skin the better it can move moisture away, and the more comfortable you’ll be because it will move with you. Pick a style with a full-length front zip so you can be in control of your own temperature.

How does it work?

The breeze you create just by riding has its own cooling effect, and it’s sometimes only when you stop for a moment you appreciate how hot it is. A summer base layer will create a cool, airy space between your body and it, so you’ll feel cool and it won’t soggily cling to you. Bonus points: many summer base layers will also protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.

What else can you do to stay cool on your bike?
  • Stay hydrated – because you sweat more when riding in the summer (your body’s way of cooling you down naturally) it’s really important to keep on top of fluids. Drink little and often and always stop off for more water if you’re getting low
  • Just because it’s hot doesn’t mean you don’t need gloves, in fact you might need them more as sweaty palms have very little grip and can become sore. Choose fingerless gloves to help you feel less constricted
  • Don’t forget your feet! Lightweight, sweat-wicking cycling socks are vital in sticky weather
  • Chamois cream will help with any chaffing caused by sweaty areas of skin rubbing together
  • Sunglasses are a must for protecting your peepers and also help keep flies and bits of stone or road getting in
  • Ride early in the morning or later in the evening, when the sun’s not at its hottest
  • Have a cold shower when you get home – you’ll probably need it anyway and your prickly skin will certainly thank you

Shop all cycling base layers here