Bike Riders Getting Protected From UV
There are many types of athletes which need to wear UV sun protection gear. There is no doubt bike riders are near the top of the list. Bike riders train for hours, always outside (there are rare indoor bike training facilities). Their whole body is exposed to the sun, the wind and sweat may have a cooling effect, but just the same they are absorbing large amount of UV sun radiation in each and every ride.
Many cyclists don’t know, but there is UV around us all the time, even on cloudy days. The sun sends its harmful rays from sunrise to sun set. The rays are divided into two main types, short rays and long rays.
The short rays reach earth at higher intensity during summer, when the earth tilt is closer to the sun. These rays are called UVB and they are the sun tanning rays. When exposed to UVB the bike rider will get the tanned lines on their legs and upper arms at the sleeve line. This type of UV is easy to block, any kind of shirt or cycling tights can prevent the sun tanning/burns.
Getting Protected From UVA Rays
The other type of rays are the long UVA rays. They reach earth along with visible sun light, from summer to winter and from morning to evening. The UVA has ability to penetrate into deeper skin layers, where it causes most of the damage and long term side effects. The UVA causes the skin wrinkles, skin aging, sun spots and cancer.
Getting Upgraded Protection From Cancerous Rays
The best solution for bike riders who train outside and do road riding is to ride at hours when the sun is less intense. Early morning and late at evening the UVA level is lower. Night training is best but can be extremely dangerous for cyclists, too many road accidents have occurred when there are low visibility conditions.
Regular Dry Fit shirts are nearly transparent when it comes to UVA penetrations. They are designed to wick off sweat, and be well ventilated. UVA goes through them like a hot knife through butter.
The more sensible solution is to wear UV protective clothes. Originally they were developed in Australia when surfers were getting skin cancer in higher percentage than overall population. These special fabrics are designed to block UVA and UVB.
The UV protective clothes for bike riders have a special rating called UPF which stands for ‘Ultraviolet Protection Factor‘. The highest protection factor is marked as UPF 50 or +50. For maximum protection it is recommended to get the highest UV screening level you can.
For men – You can get these Men’s Cool Dry Cycling Knickers 3/4 Tights UPF 50+ (see image)
There are different brands and designs, it does not really matter which one you pick. You just have to get decent solar radiation protection when you ride.
There are designs for women and for men. They have a reflective color to help the cyclist to stand out and be seen by the drivers.
For shirts you can choose from the long sleeve shirts which are more popular at winter and the short sleeve shirts for summer.
Many cyclists add an arm protection accessory which are the UV sleeves. These cover all the way from the back of the hand up above the elbows. So the bike rider gets extra protection for those stretched arms baking in the sun.
Covering the back, arms and legs, together with UV sun glasses, will keep you safe from long term cancer risks.
Don’t forget the helmet… have a great ride!