| Berk Mercanci

Riding in Hot Weather - The Pro Air on the Roads of Izmir

When the mercury soars, the nature of riding shifts. Managing your temperature, keeping hydrated and remaining poised on the bike can be extremely challenging. Made from an extremely lightweight mesh, this jersey is breathable enough to tackle the height of summer heat. To test it out, we gave it to the Variant Cycling Collective to test out on their home roads - Izmir, Turkey.

Riding in Turkey can get hot. Izmir, where I live, is one of the coastal cities located in the furthest West of Turkey, and it is widely known for its high temperatures. It's not uncommon for my Garmin to give readings as high as 45 ºC in summer. Being close to the sea, humidity is also really high, so getting clothing choices right is really critical.



A light jersey can make all the difference on those hot days.

The humidity makes you feel the long climbs in the sun twice as much. Because the Jersey channels air, moisture evaporates fast. Couple with that the fit, it's easy to forget that you're wearing it - it's simple, uncomplicated and does the job perfectly.

One good thing with extreme heat though, after the wash, this jersey is ready in an instant.



Setting out to ride in hot weather, it pays to be prepared. I choose all my kit, from shoes through to helmets depending on how breathable it is, because hot weather needs specialist engineering.

Also critical is hydration. Fortunately the Turkish countryside is littered with ‘’hayrat fountains’’, which are built to supply water to rural outposts. When planning routes, we always take into consideration how many fountains we'll be passing.

Izmir is great because the mountains are close to the sea. You can go from 0 to 1500 meters quickly, and feel the temperature drop a bit.


“The Pro Air is made to help you keep cool on the hottest days, actively channeling air to the skin whilst the fabrics actively wick sweat away from the skin. The same Lightweight materials still provide that high level function and fit.”
Yanto Barker
Founder and Former Professional


Because the terrain is fairly arid, shade is hard to find around Izmir. Shrubs only grow to a couple of meters tall, so that makes what you wear all the more important. A good jersey needs to work twice as hard to channel air straight to the body.



As the temperatures get so high, you tend to stagger your rides earlier in the day. That means waking up before dawn and getting back before midday. Or you can wait for the sun to get weaker later in the day. This fives you a solid 5-6 hours of riding, and means you avoid climbing in 45 degrees.



Cycling in Turkey is developing rapidly. It is not a brand new thing though - in the 60s and 70s, riders like Rıfat Çalışkan and Ali Hüryılmaz became big names, and people really followed the races closely.

People who ride bike for both sports and transportation are being increasing. People are starting to have more knowledge about bikes due to the magazines, books and media presenting cycling in Turkish.

For myself, as a photographer who enjoys riding, it's been great - and events such as the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey and Tour of Antalya really help bring the sport to a wider and wider audience.




Thanks to Berk Mercanci of Variant Cycling Collective for talking to us about riding in Izmir, tackling hot conditions, and for his photos documenting the challenges, joys, and amazing terrain on offer in Turkey for riding.

If you've got a trip booked to take your riding to hotter climes, browse our collection of Pro Air Jerseys and get set for riding under the sun.