Tips for riding your bike in hot weather

By: Colin MotorCycle Direct Posted: August 30th, 2016


There's nothing like a bit of good weather to make you want to jump on your bike and go for a ride in the sunshine. However many riders don't realise the dangers of being outside in the heat and how best to cope with high temperatures. Here we take a look at the best tips to keep you cool while enjoying the warm weather.

Sweating


Our bodies have sweat glands which work to keep our skin damp. The sweat then takes the heat from the skin and it evaporates into the air. As sweat is mainly water it is crucial that you are topping your body back up with the liquid you are losing. Your body's regulating system can become unbalanced as it feels cooler when riding along, but when you stop without a breeze around, your body has to work harder to keep cool. Make the most of any stops in your journey to top up with plenty of water.

Layers


Despite the weather being hot, it is still recommended to wear layers when out riding your bike. As mentioned above, you will get a wind chill effect when riding so layering up will reduce the impact of this. Then where appropriate stop and remove the layers so your body can cool itself down. If possible, dipping bandanas, neckbands and neck tubes into cold water before wearing them can provide some cooling relief as well as protect you from the sun.

Helmet


Ensure the helmet you are wearing is well ventilated so cool air can pass through around your head. Very well ventilated helmets may be noisier so earplugs may be necessary. Ear protection is recommended for all riding but particularly to block out wind and turbulence from ventilated helmets.

Clothing


Wear correct clothing and ensure it is well ventilated. The bottom layer needs to be able to absorb moisture to allow the sweat to come away from the skin to allow the process to continue. Meshed and ventilated jackets and trousers allow you to cool down whilst still protecting you from warm winds that may affect your body temperature. You can also purchase cooling vests, which you soak in water and wear under a jacket to provide further cooling.

Gloves & Boots


It can be very difficult riding your bike with sweaty palms so ensure you wear appropriate gloves to help keep your hands cool. Many gloves will have armour in high impact areas and then mesh on the rest to keep cool. It's a known fact when it comes to boots that feet can get hot and clammy so having the right pair of boots is essential. Any boots that have 'air' in the name are specifically designed to help your feet breathe. Ensure any socks worn can absorb moisture.

Look after your bike


It's important to ensure that your bike copes in the heat as well. Firstly check that the coolant levels in your bike are all up to scratch. Check your radiator cap is screwed on tight to prevent any leakage. Check your engine oil and ensure it's topped up to the correct level as the oil will lubricate the engine which will result in less friction and therefore less heat being produced. Also check your brakes as they can start to overheat so where possible try to avoid harsh breaking.