tan lines

The thing about cycling in the sun is that the tan lines associated with cycling kit - stark white dividers across the mid thigh and upper arms - don't tend to work so well with the rest of your summer attire.

If you're not a big fan of accumulating cycling tan lines - we've got some alternatives for you...

arm cooler

We all know about arm warmers - but what about arm coolers?

Just like arm warmers, these roll up your arms, sitting just underneath your jersey sleeves, but they're lightweight, breathable, and designed to protect you from UV rays. These will also block a tan or burn from developing.

This does mean you'll miss out on the extra browning altogether, but if you're prone to burning that might be no bad thing.

There are a few different styles- these from Assos will still keep the breeze off, as will the Rapha Arm Screens, whilst the Solo Icefil's will actually cool you down.


Not all cycling jerseys follow the traditional pattern - and they don't have to.

Castelli for example offer the Bellissima Sleevless Jersey and the Regina Vest. They're not the only ones - Louis Garneau bring you the Sirocco and Gore Bike Wear the Element Singlet.

Long in the tooth cycling club types might claim this makes you look 'like a triathlete' - but you'll be laughing when you get dressed up in the evening!


I discovered, via the tan lines on a recent touring holiday, quite how much cycling shorts differ in length - there is plenty of choice.

If you're avoiding lines that show with summer skirts, go for those which are shorter in the leg - Pearl Izumi's Symphony Cut Short should keep your lines a little higher.


Sun cream is an essential addition to any cyclists medical cabinet - and you need to apply it to keep the burn at bay - let alone the tan.

Of course, it's highly likely you don't want to be carrying your cream with you whilst you ride, so opt for an all day sun lotion, like those from P20 - which is waterproof, sweat proof, and goes up to factor 50.


If you're lathering on the sun cream, and covering up with arm coolers, you might be feeling sad about missing out on your natural looking tan.

Don't - just build up a natural looking tan all over with a product like Dove's Summer Glow. There are a few of these available, and the benefit is that the colour is gradual, so you don't risk a sudden 'you know when you've been tango-ed' moment and application mistakes are easier to avoid!

Just make sure you really spread the moisuriser out over your fingers, as it can tend to accumulate between them, leaving some funny marks, if you're not careful!

tan lines

If you can't fight them, or perhaps you don't really want to, then embrace your cycling tan lines! They're a sign that you've been enjoying the great outdoors, and a reminder of all the great times you've had on a bike!

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