Protection and performance: How to use sun sleeves for cycling

Protection and performance: How to use sun sleeves for cycling

Anyone who loves cycling knows that quality protective wear is as essential as a good bike. While helmets, sunglasses and padded shorts immediately spring to mind, superior sun protection is every bit as important in ensuring safety and comfort when you’re out on the road.

While limited sun exposure and moderate amounts of regular exercise are widely encouraged for health, cycling for sport sees people in harm’s way for far longer periods than recommended on a regular (if not daily) basis.

Bicycle Forums Australia shows the average cyclist can easily ride 40 to 80km per day, which equates to approximately 3 to 6 hours in the sun with arms and hands fully exposed.

Since 95% of melanomas can be attributed to overexposure to UV radiation, it’s clear that cyclists are amongst the high-risk category for skin cancer.

What about sunscreen?

Sunscreen can be effective in reducing exposure, but we’ve heard from cyclists that the sunscreen is uncomfortable on their arms as they sweat, often feeling greasy and making their skin hotter. It also takes attention and reapplication to keep up the protective layer, especially while you’re sweating – which means stopping your long-distance ride and having greasy hands afterwards.

Cycling sun sleeves are the simplest and undoubtedly the most effective method of protection for a cyclist’s arms and hands. We talk to cyclists all the time, and the consensus is unanimous: arm sleeves provide fast and comfortable protection for cyclists – in fact, many say their rides are much more enjoyable with the cooling effects of sun sleeves on their arms.

Convenience at your fingertips, right up to your armpits

The greatest appeal of cycling sun sleeves is how simple they are to use. Small, lightweight and easy to carry in your pocket, arm sleeves are on-hand to provide immediate and almost total protection when you’re ready to go.

Weather changes, extended timeframes and excessive sweat (all synonymous with cycling) are no match for the physical defence provided by UPF50+ fabrics. Cyclists free of time limitations love the fact they can ride longer into the day without worrying about the rising UV index or when they last slopped on their sunscreen. Those who have experienced the sting of the sun after the rain or sweat has eroded their sunscreen appreciate the fact that sun sleeves deliver 98% protection come rain, hail or shine. 

Beyond the obvious

There are some more specific cycling-related benefits too. Many cyclists are passionate about their favourite jerseys because it’s exactly the right combination of warm or cool, wind or waterproof, with perfect ventilation and pockets where you like them. Cycling sun sleeves don’t mean parting with your favourite kit. They slip on under your shirt and are held at the tops of your arms with soft elastic.

Cyclists say that long-sleeved cycling jerseys are baggy around the arms, which flutters in the wind irritatingly. Adding sun sleeves to your chosen short-sleeved jerseys creates a much more streamlined and aerodynamic fit which is especially important in competition, where every moment counts. A wide variety of sizes delivers even better control in ensuring the best fit (and pace) for every cyclist.

For extra shoulder protection, you can use a shoulder wrap instead of sun sleeves. Wraps cover your shoulders and extend down to your wrists, and can be worn under any shirt.

Proud to partner with cyclists

SParms arm sleeves are developed with cyclists in mind and are recommended by Bicycle Queensland. Our range also includes with thumbholes for extra length and protection of the backs of your hands.

Many cyclists also pair sun sleeves or a shoulder wrap with other sun protective gear, such as:

  • Gloves: gloves protect your hands from photoaging and are typically palmless, so you keep full contact with your bicycle handles
  • Neck gaiter: neck gaiters or face shields pull down over your neck and the lower part of your face, and come with the same cooling effect as well as UPF50+ sun protection.
  • Leg sleeves: like arm sleeves, leg sleeves can be worn under shorts and cover your legs in UPF50+ skin protection (and are also great for aerodynamics)

No matter which option you choose, you can enjoy the peace of mind that our innovative technology and patented fabrics deliver 98% protection against UVA and UVB rays wear after wear, so that you can stay safe and enjoy your ride without worry.

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