"AT DOWN UNDER IT CAN BE 40°. THAT IS SO EXTREME. IT IS SUCH AN ASSAULT ON YOUR BODY."
At race pace, a cyclist’s body produces a tremendous amount of heat. For every 100 kilojoules of energy he burns, 20-25 kilojoules are transferred into his pedals. The rest turns into warmth.
If that heat does not dissipate quickly, his core temperature will rise and harm his performance.
Clothing that allows his body to cool itself effectively is essential, especially for high-summer days in the mountains.
During the Tour de France, for instance, the mercury often rises above 40°C in the Pyrenees and Alps. To race up such steep cols, Team Jumbo-Visma’s riders have to expend huge quantities of energy, but their actual speed remains agonisingly slow. That means that there is very little airflow to evaporate their sweat and cool them down. And they race for hours above the tree line, where there is very little respite from the full heat of the sun.
To ensure that Team Jumbo-Visma’s riders are prepared for their hottest days of racing, AGU has worked with the team’s performance staff to develop a range of jerseys and shorts that feature exceptional cooling properties.
The team’s lightest-weight jersey weighs 25% less than their regular aero shirt and makes use of HeiQ’s Smart Temp technology. Activated by body heat, this fabric remains up to 2.5°C cooler than other performance fabrics.
The riders also have a mesh shirt which features HeiQ’s Smart Temp technology and offers outstanding ventilation.
For shorts, AGU outfitted the team with special bibs treated with Coldblack fabric. While dark colours usually absorb more heat from the sun, Coldblack technology reduces such heat build up to ensure that the riders’ skin remains cool. It also offers exceptional UV protection.
The Black 320 chamois, which the riders have the option of using, is extremely breathable and features a layer of special Coolcube fabric, which wicks away sweat to prevent irritation.
“I handle hot weather less well than cold weather. I sweat a ton, and if it’s really hot, it’s very difficult to take in enough fluids to replace what I’ve lost, so it’s definitely something I need to focus on in the future and learn how I can deal with better.” — Wout van Aert
With SmartHeiQ temp control
Besides fluid, your body also excretes minerals when you sweat, which can lead to imbalances that cause cramps. This can be countered by eating salty foods when it is hot.
Sweating is your body’s natural way of cooling itself. Before you overheat, your body releases moisture through your pores, which then evaporates to cool you down. On a hot day, you need to drink a lot to replace that lost fluid. During a grand tour stage, Team Jumbo-Visma’s riders can lose more than three 3 litres of fluid through sweat. They will consume two or more bidons per hour to avoid becoming dehydrated. Even if you are not racing up alps, you should make sure to drink before you get thirsty on your rides and keep your bottles filled. There is nothing worse than getting stuck on a hot day without water.
Working with Team Jumbo-Visma’s riders and performance staff is central to AGU’s research and development strategy. Together, we have already produced several iterations of the team’s hot-weather kit and made custom versions of it to fit the dimensions of each of the racers. The team has been training and racing with it for months and is very satisfied. Products that make use of similar technology are already available for our customers. Our High Summer jersey features the same open mesh structure as the shirt that Team Jumbo-Visma races with, and our High Summer bibshorts are treated with Coldblack.
Hot feet can be a real problem in the summer. On a warm day, the constant pressure that you put on the soles of your feet can cause an unbearable build up of friction, which is made worse by heat radiating from the asphalt. AGU’s High Summer socks are made from a special combination of materials that reduce friction and keep your feet dry and airy.High summer socks
High Summer bibshorts are treated with Coldblack.
“I can remember a Tour of Portugal when it was so hot that I really had a lot of problems. There was a day that was 37°, and we had a stage of 220 kilometres, and on the final climb, I said to a teammate, ‘it’s suddenly gotten cold here’. I had gotten goosebumps all over and felt completely dizzy, and then we rode past a sign that said 37°, and I thought, ‘oh, it really isn’t cold,’ and then we got to the top and I was completely delirious. In the end, we got to the hotel and I sat for a long time in a very cold bath, and after two or three hours, I finally started to feel a bit normal. No, that wasn’t very healthy.” — Taco van der Hoorn
AGU’s designers have been experimenting with a variety of innovative materials that promise better ventilation and cooling in hot weather. The challenge is to incorporate those fabrics into articles of high-performance kit without compromising aerodynamics or comfort.