Here is what your fellow club members are wearing under their protective gear during the warm months. As with all things related to comfort, these are opinions. You may have to try several types of clothing to find what is right for you.
- Toolshed: Can't say enough about 'em, and available in both men's and women's. If I can race in 'em and keep cool, you can certainly pleasure ride with these. Short version for when it's hot, and the longer ones when the weather cools down.
- Under Armour: I have the Heat Gear compression shorts and compression shirt. It keeps me completely dry most of the time. Sometimes the top of my back stays a bit sweaty, but not nearly as bad as when I have regular clothes on.
- + 1 on the UA. Wal-Mart sells the "generic" stuff (Athletic Works) for dirt cheap. Works great.
- I prefer Under Armour leggings and their Turf Gear top, or the cheap generic stuff sold by Dunham's and others. It prevents chafing and wicks the sweat away from your body, so any ventilation at all actually helps cool you off. Rode 250 miles this past Saturday in full unperforated leathers in 93 degree heat and dew points in the 70's. Had a great ride.
- I've tried the short sleeve and short pant versions and found that I'm not as cool and that the leather sticks to bare, sweaty skin.
- Silk: Especially under my leather suit, but I've taken to wearing long silks under my mesh suit, too. Simple, ultra-thin underwear from Sierra Trading Post or other outdoor retailers. They let the sweat wick away and feel more comfortable against my skin than the polyester liner that most gear has. I'm not sure if it's any cooler, but I do notice that I'm dryer and more comfortable while riding.
- From experience, I recommend wearing some underwear. It was cool in the AM, so I wore my Under Armour long johns. It got warmer than expected and I was roasting, so it was commando time. I could tell right away that it wasn't going to be comfortable. But hey, I was a lot cooler. Next time I'd wear the Under Armour shorts under the long johns, or bike shorts on longer rides.
- Bicycle shorts: If you buy cycling shorts, make sure you don't get the cotton ones. There are several different lengths available for men and women, but I like the short shorts. Performance Bicycle Century shorts are great, and you can often get them on sale for $20 or $25 a pair if you aren't in a rush. Some of the more expensive shorts would have more padding than you'd need on a motorcycle and might be uncomfortable. If you want less padding go for triathlon shorts. There are also lycra shorts made for runners that have no padding, but fit snugly and wick well. Search eBay "lycra shorts" or "spandex shorts", or try your local discount or sporting-goods store.
- Anything not cotton: That stuff chafes! Around town when it's only a short ride, it's whatever I'm wearing that day (jeans, shorts, whatever) under the 'Stich. Long distance, I don't wear anything cotton... Everything is breathable, wicking and usually anti-microbial. Comfort first, style second.
The following products are recommended by motorcyclists to ease the discomfort of long, hot days in the saddle. One of them may work for you.