Sweating & Cooling issues

Forum rules
The information / discussion in the Cycling Health Forum is not qualified medical advice. Please consult your doctor.
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 11:06 am

Sweating & Cooling issues

Postby sayapria » Sat May 28, 2011 2:13 pm

Hi All,

I am new to this but I loved bikes since I was a kid till now, I am 52 year old male in reasonable health.

There is something which annoys me about riding a bike, it is the questions of sweating and cooling. I have a hilly area so I have to climb steep roads later to go downhills, What happens is when you are working hard climbing, you get all sweaty however when you go downhill you are no longer working hard and the sweat cools your down more than normal. I am worried about this as I feel that it can affect my health. I always heard that you do not cool yourself quickly after a had workout. So my questions to anyone who knows something about this:

1- Is it dangerous for the health to get sweaty then cooling quickly after a hard workout?
2- Is there any more risk in Winter when the weather is much cooler?
3- Is there any technique to enable us to ride a bike without having to worry about the effect of sweating and cooling?

I appreciate any reply and help with this matter

User avatar
Posts: 6027
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:58 pm

Re: Sweating & Cooling issues

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Sat May 28, 2011 8:14 pm

There are a lot of old wives tales and conventional wisdom on matters like this. But, I am glad to see, there are a lot of riders here who are into evidence based wisdom over the dross variously called "common sense", "it is well known", "Lance Armstrong says"...

My experience is it doesn't matter, but then I did all my hard riding in flat old perth with it's mild climate.

I'll be interested to see what evidence based takes we get on this thread.
Unchain yourself-Ride a unicycle

User avatar
Posts: 1793
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:18 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Sweating & Cooling issues

Postby winstonw » Mon May 30, 2011 10:29 am

My view is you cannot avoid over and under heating on hills. You just want to minimize the extremes as practically as you can. This is why such a diverse range of cycling clothing has been developed.

To stop overheating on ascents, unzip your jersey/vest and keep your body as relaxed as possible, breathe deeper than you think you need to, in through the nose, out through the mouth. And above all, stay adequately hydrated.

On longer descents, zip up, bend down to reduce trunk surface exposed to wind. Fingers and toes often suffer first. So you may want to wear long finger gloves and toe caps over your shoes. In the past, I've found putting a pair of rubber surgical gloves (the kind I carry for mechanical repairs) under my short finger gloves, and covering the front of my toes with a bit of shopping bag plastic inside my shoes, suffice for mornings down to 4C.

Pros in Europe often stick a newspaper down the front of their jersey on descents.

I usually wear arm and leg warmers between 4C and 14C (esp if you know the weather is going to warm up quickly as the sun rises), rather then long armed or legged jerseys and niks. Much more versatile with temp changes. A good idea to wear a cap or headband to catch sweat before it falls in your eyes and glasses.

BTW, the best thing you can do to avoid the extremes is lose weight and improve fitness. Ive lost a lot of weight recently and am amazed how much less I sweat under the same conditions.

Posts: 6
Joined: Sat May 28, 2011 11:06 am

Re: Sweating & Cooling issues

Postby sayapria » Tue May 31, 2011 10:09 am

Thank you all for sharing your experiences and advice. I think it will be a common sense approach of minimising the extreme changes by using the techniques described above.

Posts: 82
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:28 am
Location: Budgewoi, NSW

Re: Sweating & Cooling issues

Postby albe » Tue May 31, 2011 11:09 am

interesting thread ... and now i have an excuse to get down into the tuck position other than just to go faster ... i'm just regulating temperature extremes! 8)

User avatar
Posts: 8272
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:33 am
Location: TL;DR

Re: Sweating & Cooling issues

Postby Xplora » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:13 pm

If you're still pedalling, I wouldn't worry. Just regulate the temps as others said. Once you STOP, however, lose the wet clothing and ensure you are warm enough, just like mum told you to. The body is always fighting infections and viral attacks, when you are cold the shivering is robbing your energy and ability to fight back. I've got a shocking habit of sitting at the PC after riding in a sweaty mess freezing my bum off.

Ken Ho
Posts: 1297
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:28 pm
Location: Pikey, based on Southern Gold Coast

Re: Sweating & Cooling issues

Postby Ken Ho » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:01 pm

I've been alternately sweating on ski hills and chilling down on the lifts for a few years now, and never had an issue.
In cooler conditions, I prefer to over-dress a bit and sweat, but stay warmer on the lifts. Getting too cold is worse than warming up and cooling down.
Wearing a chest warmer is a good compromise too. Let your arms and legs radiate heat when they need to, but keep your core warm with a fleece vest.
You have officially become your parents.

Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:33 pm

Re: Sweating & Cooling issues

Postby thewallace » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:18 pm

I'm a big sweater, but it come to advantage in races as I look like I'm working 10 times harder than I actually am.

With the heating and cooling, as long and you feet, head and hands are staying warm you should be fine. Also if you don't have one get a windvest/cycling gilet. When climbing unzip to let the air flow and and get the cool look going on, then once over the top zip it up to keep you warm. They are amazing pieces of kit

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users