We ride in the TX heat all the time...worked out in it for years so playing in it is a no brainer to us. It's not as bad as some of you think or read on the internet... Now, when I go north...anything under 65 is FREEZING to me!
Wicking fabric works better than cotton as a base layer as well. wicking socks, shirt and cycle shorts under gear.
you gotta put the fluids in however...if you are not letting any out other than sweating...you are not drinking enough...the kidneys need a flush!
We have evaporative vests that will work in low humidity...sometimes still way to fast drying. Wearing them in high humidity is like sitting in a pot of warm water...at least you are wet
We also have a couple of cooling vests that you put frozen inserts in...the Six Flags mascot animal folks wear them under their costumes in the warmer locales. They even supply the military versions to wear under fatigues. They last a few hours on average...work better under non mesh. We carry the inserts as ice in our beverage cooler,then put them in the vests about 3PM on a warm TX day in August for the ride home.
I agree on the comments on mesh...a little is good..a total mesh is not as good on long hot trips, you may feel cool, but it's because you are drying out on the inside most likely and your evap vest will be dry in nano seconds.
And yes, Yarddog...there are no laws covering this...do what works for you
Kind of like wearing gear/helmets or not... LOL
SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait
I just purchased a Vanson Vent Max 4 jacket, which has shoulder, elbow and back armor, and the rest is very free-flowing large mesh. No collars, waterproof pockets, etc which interrups air flow. I have actually had to look down a time or two to make sure it is zipped. If you want maximum air flow, this is the jacket. I also wear shorts under my Firstgear HT overpants. 1+ on the hydration comments, except for the Pediolite (tastes like sxxt!) I ride South Texas all year round. Love the heat!
And remember the next time you stop at a gas station with those outside ice boxes put your helmet and jacket inside on top of the bags of ice while you are doing your business inside the store. By the time yo come out, you will have a cooler environment for your head and body.
San Antonio, TX
Any favorite shirts for the heat? Under Armour, LD, or ... ?
BMW MOA, AMA, KCBMWMC
09 R12rt, 01 KTM 200 Exc, 84 Honda Big Red
98 Katana 750 (gone to a new home)
I have been very surprised that I donÔÇÖt see cycleport/motoport mentioned much on this forum when talking about gear. The company is one of the top two or three high quality motorcycle gear manufacturers out there (along with aerostitch, BMW etc). I have owned many different types of gear over the years and I always had the problem of staying protected and not dying of heat in the summer time. After years of trial and error I broke down and spent the money on the ÔÇ£air mesh KevlarÔÇØ pants and jacket form motoport- I canÔÇÖt say enough good things about this gear, there really isnÔÇÖt anything else on the market today that can compete with motoport gear for hot weather, I would be happy to give specifics if you are interested -check out the company website.
I was looking for undergarments last year prior to making a lap around lake Superior so I called LDComfort and Mario answered the phone and we had a great conversation about the hot and cold issues that we all encounter riding motorcycles.
I purchased the long and short versions of the riding gear and I used them all during the ride. Temps were from 45 and rain to 85 and full sun with a Darien suit and they performed just as Mario said they would. I have a BMW Airflow 3 suit for summer riding and when the temps get high I can pour water on the LD material and when I take off it feels like the AC is turned on. Great product!
Why is it that so many believe that mesh jackets will cause dehydration more than non-mesh? Your body does not care if the sweat evaporates quickly (mesh) or more slowly (a vented jacket). It does not measure the amount of sweat on your skin. You WILL NOT sweat less if it evaporates less slowly. You WILL sweat when your core body temperature rises.
Evaporation is a good thing since it will cool your body. A jacket that traps sweat and does not allow it to evaporate will not cause you to sweat less. It increases the amount of humidity surrounding your body and causes it to cool less efficiently.
A good sweat-wicking undergarment (long-sleeve is better) under a mesh jacket will keep you cooler and thus will cause you to sweat less than a regular jacket.
No matter where you go, there you are!
I agree with Greg on wearing long sleeve "wicking" shirts under a mesh jacket.
I traveled from Jacksonville down below Ocala to The Don Garlit's museum Thursday and came home in the hot/humid late afternoon heat. We stopped twice for a water break in 120 miles and found that we could drink a full 20oz each time. When I leave for Redmond I'll be using a 70oz Camelback for much of the trip. Ride Safe
Living and riding here in the Mojave Desert and Death Valley where temps easily hit 105-115 by 10:00am you find out pretty quickly that riding with too much mesh or no protection is a lot like a convection oven. Convection ovens cook 25-30% faster than a regular oven. Riding with your faceshield up is like a blow dryer on high heat in your face.
Evaporative cooling needs to be carefully controlled else you simply dehydrate and heat your body's core.
It's a tough balance even with a cooling vest and sleeves. My Kewl vest and sleeves were probably the best $70 I have ever spent on gear. For short jaunts and daily errands around town I'll wear the vest/sleeves with a convertible / controllable mesh jacket and it's like the coldest AC from your car blowing on you when it's a 105 outside.
For longer trips I wear my Rally 3 jacket over the cooling vest and work the zips so it doesn't dry out so quick and add a Kool-Tie neckerchief up top.
As for water, too much of a good thing is just as bad if you don't add electrolytes (sodium/potassium/calcium) into the mix. Straight water on hot days can result in hyponatremia which can be as bad as hyperthermia.
Store-bought sports drinks are not as good as they claim at electrolyte replacement and as someone else mentioned the excessive sugar / fructose comes with their own set of problems.
We race bicycles, mountain and road here and have found some of the products by Hammer Nutrition HammerNutrition to work very well and it costs less.
Their product HEED is a light and easily tolerated sports mix that boosts glycogen levels and also contains electrolytes. For the longer days in the desert heat you can get Endurolytes which is purely an electrolyte product available in capsule and powder mix. Like the old school "salt tablets" just a but more complete.
I try to ride every day here regardless of temps and a lot of my work in LA takes me across the Mojave, plus weekend trips into Death Valley.
At least in our climate zone there's a lot more to it than just mesh jackets and lots of water.
Well, with RobStar, PGlaves, henzilla, and others providing so many good solutions for cooling oneself in the summer, I thought that a few alternative solutions should be suggested. These suggestions arose from my careful observation of my brethren MC riders (think Sons of Anarchy) here in the Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin area. Let's start with exhibit 1.
1. Ride with a tank top, shorts, and flip flops - It is obviously way cooler (in both senses of that word) to ride at a high rate of speed because the 85 mph wind provides convective (that's a 2-bit word) cooling. And the helmet isn't worn because it will just mess up your hair and make you look dorky.
2. Ingest a fair amount of alcohol - Remember when you were young and had a fever? Your mother, or other nice lady, (as this definitely wasn't a Dad's job then; it is now if you know what's good for you Mr. Cro-Magnon) would rub your head, arms, or other body parts with alcohol, and it would cool you down. The idea now is that ethyl alcohol (in any form, but normally as a beer with Tequila shots) will act on you like ethylene glycol does in cars (both liquids do have ethyl in their names, duh!!!). An hour or two in a Cooling Fluid Emporium, get on your bike and you do not feel the heat; guaranteed.
3. Ride at night - No sun, no heat; why didn't I think of that sooner. It is much easier to avoid the heat if one rides at night. Also, there are fewer pedestrians and cagers on the roads at night. You definitely won't get heat stress taking that blind 35 MPH corner at 70 after the sand gravel truck dropped its load there earlier today ("What did that new portable sign say, Beware of Shhhhhhhhiiiiiii....."). It is also much easier to race your three other buddies on this twisty and blind stretch of road at night ("Why are those two headlights coming at me on my side of the road? Oh, that's strange, I thought the double yellow is always on my left side.")
So, I have provided three very reasonable, thoroughly researched, and well-considered solutions for avoiding heat stress; and this is just the tip of the iceberg. I haven't even mentioned driving mini-bikes off a ramp on a pier into the lake; some other time, maybe.