Riding dirt bikes in hot temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit can be unbearable without a proper dirt bike gear for hot weather and a good plan for hydration.
Gearing up for rides in hot weather starts by wearing breathable jersey and pants and choosing protective gear enabling airflow around your body. You can also modify your dirt bike gear for hot weather to further increase airflow around your body to keep you cool.
Over the years, we have gathered a lot of experience in riding dirt bikes in hot weather and wanted to share our tips and tricks with fellow riders. These tips will help you to plan a successful ride day even in the sweltering heat and to enjoy dirt bikes throughout the summer.
Preparing for a Hot Weather Ride Day
A great ride day in hot weather requires some planning the day before—or even earlier if you have not been riding in hot conditions before and need to get some new dirt bike gear for hot weather.
Luckily, there are few things you can do to make riding under hot conditions more enjoyable. In general, you need to time your riding correctly, have a proper hydration plan, and choose the right type of riding gear.
Ride Early Mornings and Late Evenings
A successful ride day starts by preparing for the hot weather. One of the main ways to beat the heat is to ride early in the morning and later in the day before sundown.
Plan to arrive to the riding spot early and gear up and prepare your dirt bike ready so that you can hit the trails early. Most places open around 8am and that leaves a good 2- to 3-hour window to ride before the mid-day heat.
Start Hydrating the Day Before and Stay Hydrated
Hydration is important. You should start drinking more the day before and stay hydrated throughout the ride day. You should plan to drink minimum of 2 liters per each hour of riding.
Also remember to bring salty snacks to balance out the nitrate intake requirements. You can easily get a headache or feel lightheaded if you drink a lot of water and don’t get enough salt. Our favorite snacks for hot days are pickles in a jar.
You will also be sweating a lot and loosing even more salt which may result in muscle cramps. Salty snacks or magnesium supplements will effectively prevent or alleviate cramps.
Pack also recovery drinks or similar, such as salt tablets, with you and drink them throughout the day. We like bringing sports hydration tablets with electrolytes (such as by Nuun) and adding them to the drinking water or mixing them into the hydration pack.
Select Breathable Riding Gear That Promotes Airflow
Most brands offer dirt bike gear for hot weather that is specifically designed to let more air through and around your body.
These models are typically made of more mesh-type materials that allow the airflow go through the material more efficiently and the difference is noticeable. You can also modify your dirt bike gear to make them more breathable.
Let’s take a closer look at the dirt bike gear for hot weather in the next section.
Read also: Best dirt bike backpacks for trail riding
Choosing Dirt Bike Gear for Hot Weather
Choosing the correct dirt bike gear for hot weather can help with keeping you cooler. The goal is to choose gear that promotes airflow while still protecting your body.
Making sure your riding gear and protective padding will maximize airflow is the most important factor in staying cool. You can also make few modifications to protective pads to increase the cooling capabilities of your riding gear.
Dirt Bike Boots and Socks for Hot Weather
Most riders have only one set of boots. And to be honest, there is not a lot you can do to make your boots more cooler, but few things may help with keeping your feet from overheating.
Choosing lighter socks inside the boots can help with airflow. Look for socks that are designed to absorb moisture away from the skin allowing the foot to stay dry and comfortable in hot weather. Choose socks that have a mesh upper or mesh back to accelerate wicking and ventilation.
Instead of wearing long socks, you can choose shorter socks and a separate sleeve around the knee braces. Other option is to wear pads that leave more room for airflow around the top of the boot area.
Hot Weather Pants and Pant Modifications
Select pants that are designed for higher temperatures when picking out the dirt bike gear for hot weather. They often come with mesh in the upper parts and on the backside and have increased airflow around the crotch and upper leg areas.
Hot weather tip: Many pants have an inner liner from the waist to thighs or knees—it’s a separate fabric just like shorts inside the pants. For hot weather, we cut the inner liner out to further increase the airflow. It really makes a noticeable difference in airflow.
Others cut their pants making them into shorts. This can also be very effective. You can also find specific dirt bike shorts that are knee-length and still offer great protective levels. If you wear shorts, make sure your knee braces are not getting tangled with the shorts or getting snagged anywhere making moving around the seat difficult.
Hot Weather Jerseys
When you choose your dirt bike gear for hot weather, select jerseys that are breathable. Jerseys designed for hot weather and for increased airflow are usually made of mesh fabric with small holes and you can definitely feel the airflow.
Hot weather tip: You can wet your jersey prior to hitting the trail or during a break to help you cool down. The wet shirt against your body will transfer some of the heat into the water molecules. And when the water vaporizes, it traps some of that heat and releases it into the surrounding air effectively cooling you down. This effect will last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes depending on the surrounding humidity.
Dirt Bike Helmet Options for Hot Weather
Most riders again will have only one helmet. But if you happen to have several helmets, choose the one that clearly offers more airflow inside the helmet when you pick out your dirt bike gear for hot weather. No matter what your helmet looks like, open all air vents around the helmet to increase airflow.
Extreme hot weather tip: To further increase the airflow, you can drill the air vents open and make them larger. Many of the air vents are very small and usually blocked by some mesh material resulting into almost non-existent airflow inside the helmet. We took a drill bit and drilled these air vents fully open and increased the airflow inside the helmet. This is a great improvement for hot weather.
Read also: How to modify helmet for hot weather
You can also wear a wet bandana inside the helmet to get extra cooling around your head. Simply pouring cold water into the inner lining of the helmet sometimes works well with temporarily cooling you down.
Roost Plate Options for Hot Weather
If you decide to wear a roost plate, or chest plate, you should choose a model that leaves the back area open for maximized airflow.
Hot weather tip: Wear the roost plate on top of the jersey. Otherwise the roost plate is trapping the heat inside the jersey and restricting airflow much more than when worn on the outside. It’s also easier to open and remove the roost plate between rides and even during short breaks on the trails when you wear it on top of the jersey.
Hydration Pack Options for Hot Weather Trail Riding
When selecting the dirt bike gear for hot weather, go for the fanny pack or waist hydration packs over the backpack models. The reason why you should prefer the fanny pack style is that they leave your back area open for better airflow.
Fill the hydration pack with ice cold water and add some ice cubes in the water bladder. This will help keep you cool and also keep the hydration pack cool against your body. Add salt tablets or recovery drinks to your water solution to increase your salt intake and to avoid dehydration.
Be sure to check out our article about dirt bike backpack options for trail riding for more information and to find out all of our recommended hydration pack options for enduro riding.
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Best Fanny Pack Hydration Pack for Hot Weather: USWE Zulo Hydration Hip Pack
The USWE Zulo is a lightweight hydration waist pack and it is a great addition to your dirt bike gear for hot weather. It’s designed to eliminate the weight off your shoulders. This fanny pack offers intuitive tool storage with a 2-liter water bladder and clever hose routing options.
Our Favorite Dirt Bike Gear for Hot Weather
We ride most of the year in hot weather in Texas and during summer the temperatures often reach triple digits. So we know it can get real hot if your riding gear doesn’t match the conditions—and sometimes even if you were wearing the proper dirt bike gear for hot weather.
Here is a list of our preferred dirt bike gear for hot weather. Each one of these items has been specifically selected for riding in hot weather and they are modified for maximum airflow.
Helmet: AGV AX-8 EVO, drilled for maximum airflow.
Goggles: Scott Prospect, with reflective lens.
Jersey: Troy Lee Designs GP Air Jersey – Team 81, mesh jersey for great airflow.
Pants: Troy Lee Designs GP Air Pants, pant’s inner layer removed for maximum airflow.
Boots: Sidi Crossfire 3 SRS Boots, best boots out there.
Hydration pack: USWE Zulo 2L, lightweight fanny pack that keeps the back open for good airflow.
Read also: 11 tips to prevent arm pump in trail riding
Hot weather creates unique riding conditions and can quickly wear you down if you don’t prepare well.
The key is to find riding gear that promote good airflow around your body while still keeping your body protected.
With the right kind of dirt bike gear for hot weather, you can stay out on the trails longer and extend the riding season through the summer.
Stay frosty out there!
- How to modify dirt bike pants for hot weather
- How to modify helmet for hot weather
- Best dirt bike backpacks for trail riding
- Single track riding tips for beginners
Last updated: May 31, 2022