Stay Cool! 5 Top Heatwave Tips For Mountain Bikers

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We bring you our top tips for beating the heat and keeping cool while pedalling.

Yes, there’s a heatwave. And yes, this article was born from a heat induced stream of consciousness while we sat around in the office eating emergency ice cream and Gin n Tonic lollies from Lidl.

Our little corner of Yorkshire has become as hot as Moab, and we’re all melting. But the sun is shining, and the trails are in tippy top condition, so we still want to ride. But how? Here’s our top tips for keeping pedalling even when it’s hot as hell.*

1. The Correct Head Angle Will Cool You Down

Hannah bangs her head on the wall keep cool
In search of the perfect angle

Obviously you’re going to be wearing a helmet, so the wind in your hair sensation is going to be limited to what you can get through your helmet vents. Consult your helmet manufacturer’s technical pages to obtain details of the optimal angle for delivering maximum airflow. You may find that if your helmet is older than your bike, the angles won’t match well with modern longer/lower/slacker geometry. Consider buying a new one.

2. Consider Short Shorts While You Can

stay cool keep cool
Maximise your airspace with short shorts (and SPD sandals)

It’s anticipated that European imports of short shorts will be more difficult after Brexit, so grab them while you can. Short shorts provide a two tier system of cooling: at close quarters, the shorter length exposes more flesh to cool breezes; at the same time the intermediate airzone around you remains cooler for up to four metres, as fellow riders keep their distance.

3. Race Plate Spoiler

stay cool heatwave keep cool
Keep your race plate clear of obstructions for maximum airflow

Contrary to popular opinion that race plates should be removed as soon as you finish the race and that riding with them between times is just attention seeking, you should leave your race plate on. It will act as a spoiler, directing a jet stream of cool air into your face.

4. Choose The Biggest Tyre Tread Possible

stay cool tyre keep cool
Go as big as you can, then as fast as you can.

Conditions may be dry, but this is the perfect time for your mud spikes: larger side knobs will create a fan effect, particularly cooling the important torso area. This cooling effect can be enhanced by the addition cooling unguents like Vicks Vaporub or rubbing alcohol. At a push, beer dregs will do.

5. Freeze Your Flats

These are ripe for freezing

Got a pair of shoes that are still not quite dry after that ride in April? Result! Pop them in the freezer overnight ready for a cool start to your next ride. If you’re not a flat pedal rider, there’s always SPD sandals.

*The sun may have gone to our heads. Please follow professional advice, stay hydrated, apply sunscreen, that sort of thing. Or, give us your suggestions – sensible or otherwise – below.

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Comments (10)

    Ride Fast. The faster you ride, the cooler the breeze. Just don’t stop, stopping will result in the creation of a warm salty puddle.

    Go riding with someone who has packed a bag full of ice pops 😀

    take two bottles; one frozen the other chilled. drink the chilled one first, by which time the frozen one will have melted.

    cold drinks all round

    and rehydration tablets.

    Keep moving, the sweat only pours off when stationary.
    Night time riding this time of year is fantastic, T shirt and shorts in the dark and slightly cooler conditions. Less bugs to breath in as well.
    I put my filled bottles in the fridge the night before. No room in the freezer. The insulated Camelback bottles, Podium Chill and Ice then keeps it cool, at least for a bit.

    Carrying water is heavy. Instead dehydrate some water the night before you ride and take it along with you instead of all that weight reconstituted water.

    Perhaps time to bring out the E-bike for those that have them?

    Less exertion and more speed = cooling breeze

    (Or fix up some playing card type things as sails and make a large electric fan!)

    Short shorts work for girls but you wouldn’t want to see me in short shorts noooooo

    Hack your ebike and attach a fan to the handle bars and plug it in to your battery.
    Cool breeze AND wind assist.

    @Mark that is genius lol

    @bigrich – plus, ice floats so it’s lighter than normal water, win win!

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