How to ride a bike without sweating

A little getting ready is the trick to not getting sweaty

Let’s get one thing straight: if you didn’t sweat, it would be really hard to live. The appearance and odour of sweat may be frowned upon in many places, but perspiration is essential to your body’s natural temperature regulation efforts.

You’ll never truly get rid of it – and trust us, you really wouldn’t want to – but if fear of getting sweaty prevents you from choosing your bike, we can help by teaching you how to make a few smart choices to cut back on perspiration and its side effects.

Wear loose, breathable fabrics

Keeping dry is all about air flow. If you’re wearing tight-fitting clothing that doesn’t breathe, your sweat will be trapped exactly where you don't want it. Skip the skinny jeans and nylon jackets.

Carry on your bike, not your body

Whether it’s a backpack, messenger bag, handbag or bum bag, when you have something against your skin, it’s impossible for air to move over it and cool you down. Opt for a basket or rear rack with panniers when you’re carrying cargo on your bike.

Shop backpack alternatives

Find a shadier route

Yes, the temperature is technically the same in the shade, but to your body, it may feel 10-15 degrees cooler because you’re avoiding the solar radiation the sun emits. Review your route options and head for shadier zones.

Find your best route

Give yourself extra time

This one’s pretty straightforward: give yourself time to take it easy. The easier you have to ride, the less physical exertion is required. The less exertion you’re putting out, the less your body will have to work to regulate its temperature.

Find your best route

Skip spicy food and caffeine

Our bodies’ insides are not immune to hot and cold, and both spicy foods and caffeine, which stimulate adrenal glands, can turn up the heat. When our body tries to cool the warming effect of spicy food, it works harder and causes sweat.

Drink water and eat… almonds?

Food that’s easy to digest – water, almonds, bananas, olive oil, sweet potatoes – could keep you from sweating more. When your digestion system has to work harder, your body experiences more exertion, even if it’s not the physically draining kind.

Wait after showering

When you step out of the shower, take a few minutes before towelling off and getting dressed. Again, perspiration is how your body naturally regulates its temperature. If you’ve just spent time under hot water, give it a minute get back to normal.

Need more tips for riding in warm weather?

We polled a group of people who ride year-round in some of the warmest climates out there. Here are their recommendations for keeping your cool on the bike even when the weather isn’t making it easy.

How to dress when it's hot