How To Bike Work Without Getting Sweaty

I can understand why you might be thinking of commuting to work by bike. Wouldn’t we all like to save money on gas, improve air quality, and avoid traffic congestion? Once you do it every day, it is easier too. The problem is, if you’re like me, you don’t want to get sweaty. Who does?

You’ve come to the right place! I’ve prepared these tips on commuting to work on a bike without getting sweaty. I don’t like perspiring profusely. I’m sure you don’t either.

Top Tips For Biking To Work Without Getting Sweaty

Wear The Right Outfit

You can avoid sweating by wearing clothes that allow your body to cool down. For one thing, that means wearing lighter clothes and avoiding dark colors.

Beginner Commuter Tips

  • Don’t wear anything too heavy, like a jacket and jeans
  • If you feel too warm, stop or slow down and take off a layer or two of clothing
  • Do anything to allow your body to breathe, such as rolling up your pant legs, unbuttoning one or two buttons on your shirt, and not wearing a tie until you are at work
  • If it is possible to change clothes at work then try wearing wicking fabrics that will draw away moisture from your body
Hi-vis commuting cyclist

Don’t Rush Your Trip

This is very logical, but if you go too fast, you’re going to sweat. Make sure you leave for your trip in plenty of time.

Avoid routes that make the trip harder. Don’t go on a route where you’ll have hilly climbs. Last but not least, stay away from fast roads that will make you keep up with the traffic.

If possible, take routes that will allow drivers to pass you without any trouble. Bike slowly, especially during the hot season. Take the time and enjoy your commute! It could be a lot worse on a hot stuffy subway.

Bring Along A Cold Drink

I know you realize you need a drink anytime when exercising to stay hydrated. Especially in the heat. Yes, we all do that. In addition, however, you can hold it to your skin when you are stopped. You can cool down so much faster that way.

Related article – How To Prevent Dehydration While Cycling

Don’t Wear Anything on Your Back

I know many cyclists wear messenger bags or backpacks. This seems like a balanced way to transport anything when cycling.

I wonder if you’ve thought of the sweat on your back. I suggest you add a basket instead to your ride, or a pannier.

Related article – Backpack Or Pannier – Which Is Better For Daily Commuting?

Woman commuting to work in a suit

Travel In The Shade

You might want to use multiple roads for your commute. Use the one with the most shade, away from traffic as much as possible. Not only will the shade shield you from the heat, but in addition, staying away from cars, which radiate heat, will keep you cooler.

Used Advanced Strength Deodorant

A clinical strength or advanced deodorant will keep you from sweating. In addition, you will smell fresh. You should have an extra deodorant stick at work on hot days and avoid the sweat stains on your clothing.

Don’t be the stinky sweat-stained person at work…

Use Sunscreen

Even though this won’t keep you from sweating, it will help prevent skin cancer. Continued exposure to the sun can cause skin cancer, and sunscreen can save your life. You should buy a product with a neutral scent and a matte finish, so your skin won’t shine.

Related article – Easy Ways To Prevent Sunburns While Cycling

Keep Your Hair Easy To Maintain

Either cut your hair short or if you have long hair tie it up before your commute. This will help avoid your hair getting tangled. 

Also, consider wearing a cycling cap to help hold everything in place. If your hair is not tangled, it will look fresh when you arrive at work! Taking precautions keeps the desired style, and a cap will help absorb some of that sweat.

Take A Shower Before Your Trip

Moreso during summer, take a cold shower before your trip to work. This should help cool your body down even before you head out. Also, should help with the smell if you do sweat!

Man cycling to work on with a shirt

What If There Is No Shower At Work?

It really isn’t necessary to have a shower at work, if there is someplace you can wipe yourself down or wash. The only things that are really necessary are soap, water, a towel, or possibly baby wipes if there is no towel.

If you do sweat some despite all your precautions to avoid perspiration, remember sweat doesn’t always produce a foul smell. Remember this, especially during excessively hot weather or a ride through hilly terrain.

If possible, start to freshen up before you get to work. Be prepared and allow time at work to freshen up before starting your day.

How Can You Freshen Up At Work After Cycling?

One of the most important things is to allow plenty of time to cool down after you arrive at work.

Have a cleaning kit with you, including a can of dry shower. Make sure you use deodorant after washing with soap and flannel or baby wipes. You will be fresh and sweat-free throughout the day.

It would be great if you have a shower at work, but if you don’t, hopefully, these tips will help. Your coworkers will appreciate it.

What Bike Would Be Best For Your Trip?

You may already have the bike you want for your daily commute. If you are looking for a bike to buy, however, or want a different bike, you should buy the one that would fit your trip best.

While there might not be one absolute answer to what bike would be best for you, there are guidelines you could consider that might be helpful. Check out our guide A Beginner’s Guide To Picking The Perfect Bicycle for some help.

Four Key Factors to Consider

  • How far is your commute?
  • How smooth or flat is your trip?
  • Are you more concerned about comfort or speed?
  • Is cycling only one part of your commute?
Woman cycling to work

City Bike

If your journey is primarily smooth and short, a city bike or a hybrid might work best for you. City bikes have a comfortable upright riding position and are more durable, with heavy tires. Hybrids provide an athletic riding position and lean forward more. An upright riding position provides more comfort but a slower ride.

Fixie or Road Bike

These bikes work best for fast, short journeys. You will arrive faster with this than on a city bike. It is similar to a single-speed bike and is lightweight.

The term fixie is short for fixed gear and has a drivetrain attached to the rear tire. In some cases, they don’t have brakes. They are some of the simplest bikes around, and a rider must constantly pedal whenever the bike is moving and cannot coast. Some skilled riders can stop by holding back on the pedals with their feet.

Hybrid Bike

If your trip to work is bumpy, a hybrid bike might work best for you. Hybrid bikes will have front suspension. A hybrid bike is a mixture of a mountain bike and a road bike. Such bikes usually work well over various types of terrain.

Just like on a mountain bike, a hybrid will have a flat handlebar. By comparison, a road bike will have a drop bar.

Shifting and braking will be similar to that on a mountain bike. By comparison, road bikes almost always have shift levers and an STI-integrated brake.

On a hybrid bicycle, you use thumb triggers to shift, which is completely separate from braking. Hybrid bikes use disc or V-brakes.

What to Do When You Arrive at Work?

My final tips involve what you should do when you arrive at work.

Cool Down Time

People often sweat the most after their ride is over. This happens because there is not as much wind, so evaporation increases. It will be even worse if you must stand in a commercial space that can be quite warm.

Start slowing down when you get close. In an ideal world, hold something cold, such as a drink or ice pack, against your head or neck. You can cool down quickly.

Two Laps

It might help to ride around a couple of times after arriving, to cool off. Go to the shade and take the things on your bike off.

Part time TCP contributor, full time cycling enthusiast! I am USAC qualified cycling coach - my forte and passion are working with new or inexperienced cyclists.

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