Best lightweight cycling jerseys for road, gravel and mountain biking

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There is a saying that there is no bad weather for biking, only bad clothes. This is true when it is cold or humid, but also when it is sweltering heat. If the summer heat saps your enthusiasm for a great bike ride, take a look at one of the season’s newest cycling jerseys and shirts.

All of them make the ride cooler and more comfortable than anything else in your cycling jersey drawer, even when the heat and humidity are oppressive. Whether you are a roadie, gravel racer, or single track chipper, jerseys made from lightweight, cooling fabrics will make pedaling your bike comfortable in hot weather.

Keep your cool in the best hot weather cycling jerseys

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1. Kitsbow Superflow Cooling Tee

Designed for mountain biking and gravel, the Superflow Cooling Tee is an airy crew neck to wear on a bike or on foot around town. Its Polartec Delta mesh fabric is ultra absorbent. Although the shirt is synthetic, it looks more like cotton, which makes it feel like there is a breeze even when you are pedaling in the intense humidity. The medium fit is perfect for mountain biking and everyday wear, neither too loose nor too tight. Best of all, each jersey is made to order in Old Fort, NC, which minimizes waste. Choose from nine colors.

[$65; kitsbow.com]

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An image of a white Velocio Concept radiator suit.
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2. Velocio Concept radiator jersey

Skinsuit cut and race ready, the Radiator is so breathable it’s cooler than wearing nothing at all. Moisture wicking creates airflow against your skin while the fabric wicks away heat and sweat. Velocio’s articulated pattern is fast and functional with UPF 30. Although the body of the jersey is ultralight, it doesn’t skimp on functionality. The heater has three anti-sag pockets and a zippered pocket with a sweat barrier sized to carry tools, food, and a smartphone. Silicone elastic taped hems at the back stay in place whether you’re hammering in the saddle or standing up a hill. To maximize airflow, Velocio opted for a collar, but incorporated a full-length zipper garage in the front to keep the zipper from getting irritated.

[$179; velocio.cc]

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An image of a navy blue Rapha Brevet lightweight jersey with white and pink stripes.
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3. Rapha Brevet lightweight jersey

With six pockets, Rapha’s ultra-breathable, ultra-breathable and lightweight Summer Patent gives roadies and gravelers plenty of storage space for long rides. The large zippered pocket on the lower back holds a phone, a lanyard port (if you ride with a cable, the internal helmet guides go up to the neck), and a jacket in case of threatening weather. This is also where you’ll find a sewn-in Tyvek label printed with a beta on wild garlic foraging while driving that cleverly serves as a tire boot. Store your money and ID in the hidden chest pocket, don’t lose items like keys and credit cards in the hidden hand pocket, and snacks and tools in the cargo pockets. Fully loaded you will be lumpy, but most of the pockets are mesh so you don’t feel suffocated. An elastic hem keeps the patent from going up and the mesh side panels keep things airy. During a multi-day hike, the antibacterial treatment reduces odors. Simply rinse the bikini line to remove the salt and let it dry overnight.

[$165; rapha.cc]

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An image of a gray 7Mesh Elevate short sleeve cycling shirt.
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4. 7Mesh Elevate Short Sleeve Cycling Shirt

It looks like your favorite well-worn cotton tee, but it handles the hottest hikes on trails and gravel without getting sweaty and saggy. The hybrid jersey-shirt is woven from polyester with lyocell wood fiber which retains some perspiration by design. Like a wet bandana, it’s nice on the skin and keeps you from overheating on hot days. When you stop for coffee after the ride, the shirt dries almost instantly. It is as versatile as it is comfortable. Wear yours with a swimsuit, denim shorts and gravel shorts as the day’s adventures go.

[$50; 7mesh.com]

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A Gorewear Explore shirt in Nordic blue.
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5. Gorewear Explore shirt

Most cycling jerseys are either round neck tees or zip front road tops. Gorewear Henley’s poly / merino blend brings another style option to the world of cycling jerseys, and there is no better top for multi-day gravel adventures. Polyester wicks sweat away and merino keeps smelling fresh for longer. This is the key if you are packing a shirt for a four day adventure. The style gives it a cool, relaxed look off the bike to boot.

[$90; gorewear.com]

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An image of a Yeti Turq Air LS jersey in slate.
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6. Yeti Turq Air LS Jersey

The midday sun can make your skin sore, but the waning daylight will make you shiver down the home stretch. This long sleeve mountain bike jersey magically keeps the t-shirt cool on a hot day, but keeps you warm and covered when the sun goes down on the horizon. Yeti’s secret sauce is its UPF20 openwork weave fabric that prevents stench with anti-odor treatment. It contains less spandex than previous versions, so it dries faster than ever. The Turq Air LS has no pockets, but the Sunglasses Wipe is a lifesaver in gusty rain, sandstorms and wet days. With a backpack, the dropped hem prevents the shirt from riding up and the trail fit was comfortably loose without being baggy.

[$100; yeticycles.com]

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A cyclist wearing a Fox Flexair Delta SS jersey.
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7. Fox Flexair Delta SS Jersey

As breathable as it gets without showing off the skin, Fox’s Flexair has two-tone color blocking, imperceptible flat seams under a bag, and a dropped hem that keeps the jersey from pulling up. It’s not just the openwork mesh that keeps you cool. Polartec’s Delta fabric wicks aggressively for evaporative cooling. The fit is contoured without being tight, with four-way stretch that lets you move freely up and down. The sleeves are more densely knitted than the body of the jersey. Fox says it’s for abrasion resistance. (We didn’t take a shovel wearing this jersey, so we can’t confirm that.) The jersey is minimalist and too light to withstand loaded pockets, but the simple design and minimal branding make it a choice of all. preferred days for trail running.

[$75; foxracing.com]

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A Leatt MTB Ultraweld 4.0 cycling jersey in Cactus.
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8. Leatt MTB Ultraweld 4.0

The bulletproof vest is warm whether you wear back protector and elbow pads or a full compression top for lifting laps. In short, less is more when adding a jersey on pads. This ultralight, racing-friendly opening pick is made from absorbent stretch mesh with visible air channels for breathability. The elbows are reinforced with an abrasion resistant anti-wear film for peace of mind when not padded, and the elbow pads also prevent the jersey from ripping. Store the gloves in the internal side pockets between the towers (there is also enough room for fuel). We tested the black colourway, which showed no dirt or stains. It can be chalked up to the stain resistant coating of the jersey, or it can be the color. The flat-seamed collar is pressure-free when paired with a Leatt neck brace. It is also available in a multitude of sizes: XS-3XL.

[$70; leatt.com]

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