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Sun Sleeves...

Old 05-10-18, 02:44 PM
  #1  
BobbyG
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Sun Sleeves...

At 6500 feet and higher sunburn sets in quicker than at sea level. During my 40-50 minute morning and afternoon commutes I usually don't worry as the sun is low, the streets are shady and I'm not out that long. In the past, when riding mid-day, or long distances I would wear old, cotton, long-sleeve button down shirts and turn up the collar. But I find these quick-drying, high-vis t-shirts more comfortable, practical and safe. So last weekend when I stopped at Performance Bicycle for some tires, they had these sleeves on sale, advertised as SPF 50. The price was less than the long-sleeve jersey I was considering, and they could be used with any of my short-sleeve jerseys...so I bought a pair.

Today I worked at home until lunch, when the sun was high and the sky was clear. The bike thermometer said 102 in the sun. So I put on the sleeves. They're snug, but not tight. I was worried they'd be hot, but they were the opposite. First of all they kept the sun off my arms without feeling warm. Then as my arm began to slightly perspire, the evaporative cooling effect came into play, just as with the long-sleeve cottom button downs I would use for longer rides in the summer sun.

But what I didn't expect was the breeze entering through the billowing short sleeves and cooling my arm pits and surrounding areas. You don't get that with any dedicated long-sleeve shirt.


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Old 05-10-18, 03:01 PM
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Love the arm-warmers too. I don't have a chance to wear them yet. Morning commute is still cold...come to think of it, so is the afternoon.
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Old 05-10-18, 03:04 PM
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I think I would get hot wearing those to prevent sunburn, but then again I'm not riding at 6500 ft.
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Old 05-10-18, 03:11 PM
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I have a pair of... craft? sun sleeves and I rarely wear them. I find that they do warm me up more than nothing would but... squirt a little water on them and it's like wearing mini fridges on my arms.

I should dig them out again and try them - my dermatologist would be happy.
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Old 05-10-18, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
I think I would get hot wearing those to prevent sunburn, but then again I'm not riding at 6500 ft.
Surprisingly a set of white 'arm warmers' are not warm. Reflecting the sun keeps you cool.

I've done a couple of 250km events in the Australian summer sun where I had them on all day. Occasionally I'd use a little extra water at the rest stops to wet them down.
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Old 05-10-18, 03:11 PM
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Only thing is the Performance ones will wear out fast, I have a pair that only lasted a few months, before band at the top no longer holds it in place. But for $20 maybe that's okay.

Pearl Izumi, and Castelli both make sun sleeves as well.
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Old 05-10-18, 03:38 PM
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I used to wear long sleeves working, running and biking when I lived in Albuquerque. Always a slight breeze, never too humid. However, now living nearly at sea level in hot and extremely humid, that just doesnít fly. Sunscreen and sleeveless if I have half a chance to stay cool.
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Old 05-10-18, 03:46 PM
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I'm a fan of sunsleeves too. I ride directly into the sun both ways on my commute and noticed that my left wrist above my watch band is by far the darkest patch on my arms even with sunscreen. I'm going to start wearing the sleeve under my watch, pulling it as far down toward my hands as possible. It's still in the 60s or lower here, so don't know if they'll get uncomfortably warm, but I'm not concerned because we don't get much beyond the mid 70s most of the summer.
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Old 05-10-18, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
... squirt a little water on them and it's like wearing mini fridges on my arms.
Originally Posted by JonnyHK View Post
Occasionally I'd use a little extra water at the rest stops to wet them down.
I hadn't even thought of that. Now I can't wait for another super hot day to try wetting them!
(this is like when I made my rain cape and couldn't wait for a rainy day.)
Originally Posted by socalscalatore View Post
Only thing is the Performance ones will wear out fast, I have a pair that only lasted a few months, before band at the top no longer holds it in place. But for $20 maybe that's okay.
For $20 it's okay. I see even less expensive ones online.

I should have mentioned, the official air temp was 95F. Colorado Springs rarely breaks 100F, like 4 times a century. However, all three bikes have thermometers (one analog, two different digitals, and they all seem to be within a degree of each other, and in the direct sun they have been as high as 120F. BTW, the analog thermometer is circular, and room temperature 68F/20C is straight up....nice design touch.

I grew up in Chicago and lived for a time in Iowa and dry weather is much nicer (unless you're a lawn).
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Old 05-10-18, 04:01 PM
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Since I started wearing spf-rated arm coolers a few years ago, my arms are more consistently protected from sun than when sunscreen was first line of defense.
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Old 05-10-18, 06:16 PM
  #11  
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Where do road warriors keep their armies? In their sleevies!
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Old 05-10-18, 08:34 PM
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I bought a pair of the hi-vis ones and a pair of white ones. Haven't tried them on yet.
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Old 05-10-18, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
I think I would get hot wearing those to prevent sunburn, but then again I'm not riding at 6500 ft.

Not at all. Cooler than SPF80 elmer's glue.

FWIW sunsleeves aren't enough for me...not that fairskinned, and only 1200feet ASL here....but I'll tan right through jerseys now. Probably would burn if I didn't limit riding during peak sun as much as I do.
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Old 05-11-18, 10:17 AM
  #14  
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I love sun sleeves because I hate the feel of sunscreen on my arms. For the most part they are great, and the newer "In-R-Cool" Pearl Izumi ones are my current favorites, but even they start to lose their cooling effectiveness on hot days in higher humidity (IE: Texas in July through September).

The one thing I've found to watch out for though is getting a sunburn on any exposed skin on the wrists between arms and gloves.
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Old 05-11-18, 10:52 AM
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I wear cheap-o jobs off Amazon. They have thumbholes so if you wish, you can pull them down over the backs of your hands. Like $10 bucks or something. And no, they are not hot at all but on cooler mornings, they will keep the cold wind off. Still much thinner and cooler than arm warmers.
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Old 05-11-18, 02:04 PM
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Sun sleeves are OK for lower temps and humidity, IME. Over 80-85F around here, where the dew point is 75F, I'll take them off and take my chances with sunscreen. (Bullfrog gel for the win!) I've been comfortable up to 90 degrees + in various deserts, where 30% RH is a damp morning.
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Old 05-12-18, 04:55 AM
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I've got mixed feelings about the sun sleeves. I've got a pair of white pearl izumi sleeves. I would wear them on very long rides, especially when I know it'll be very sunny. I liked the idea of consistent protection, especially on those long rides where I'd need to put another coat of sunscreen mid-ride to ensure good coverage. On very hot, humid days, however, I did feel warmer with them on. So, I'm still kind of in the undecided camp, especially on very hot days. Long rides, very sunny, burt cooler temps - in those conditions I'd be more of a fan. But, try them and see how you feel with them.
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Old 05-12-18, 07:48 AM
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I'm a sun sleeve guy too. For me, direct sun on long hot rides feels worse.
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Old 05-12-18, 02:34 PM
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I have some Louis Garneau sun sleeves in white, and they're comfortable up to 110f. Haven't tested warmer. Especially if you're riding on the road, you get more than enough airflow, and keeping the sun off your skin keeps you cooler.
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Old 07-25-21, 11:30 AM
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I started using sun sleeves maybe two years ago. I always wear them if Iím not wearing something else over my forearms because of cool weather. I donít really find they have much heating effect, especially since they are white. Although in the winter I sometimes wear them under a couple layers for a bit of extra windbreak on a cold day.

With elbows bent all the time, the forearms get maximum sun intensity and that is not good. Iíve really knocked down the cumulative exposure these last two years. 👍

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Old 07-25-21, 11:33 AM
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If I'm riding a route with a lot of exposure during the main part of the day (most rides) I always wear sun sleeves. I may even use sunscreen underneath to protect myself even more.
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Old 07-25-21, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
I'm a fan of sunsleeves too. I ride directly into the sun both ways on my commute and noticed that my left wrist above my watch band is by far the darkest patch on my arms even with sunscreen. I'm going to start wearing the sleeve under my watch, pulling it as far down toward my hands as possible. It's still in the 60s or lower here, so don't know if they'll get uncomfortably warm, but I'm not concerned because we don't get much beyond the mid 70s most of the summer.
Someone refreshed this thread and I just read your comments. Boy, have times changed here in what I refer to as the pacific northWET. Let's see, it is about 80F and more coming and we obviously had the 108F day a few weeks back.

But to keep this on topic, I purchased some sleeves in the Spring but have not used them yet. I just wear my long sleeve jerseys at the moment. But I did get a melanoma removed last August just below the inside crease of my right elbow. Probably too much hiking at high elevations with short sleeve shirts way back when.

I want the old days back!
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Old 07-26-21, 10:06 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by JonnyHK View Post
Surprisingly a set of white 'arm warmers' are not warm. Reflecting the sun keeps you cool.
I have some black sun sleeves. When I'm wearing them, my arms are the coolest part of my body. I recently found out that voler doesn't sell them in black any more, which is disappointing.
Decades ago, I took a heat transfer class and learned that color is not a totally reliable predicter of radiative absorption. Voler proved it. I expect there weren't enough people that believed that black sun sleeves would work so they didn't sell well.
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Old 07-26-21, 10:12 AM
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If I'm trying to avoid the sunlight, I try to draft on the shade side of a taller riding cyclist. Hard to do tho, unless I find a basketball player riding there bicycle.
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Old 07-27-21, 12:44 AM
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I just got some cheap ones, no brand names even, but they are indeed comfy. In temps over 90F, they were cool and I even forgot I had them on.
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