Ask a coach: 'How hot is too hot for cycling?'

Increased temperatures can lead to fatigue and, at worst, illness and injury

Female cyclist drinking from a water bottle on a hot day
(Image credit: Future)

Riding in the heat, be it at home or as part of a cycling holiday to sunnier climbs, may sound more appealing than a grim, cold slog - but with temperature records being shattered across Europe and America, are these locations now too hot for cycling? 

Once the body is no longer able to cool itself at the same rate as it is producing heat (and we produce a lot of heat when we exercise), this can lead to core body temperature rising excessively and possible heat stroke / heat exhaustion. 

Image shows James Spragg.
James Spragg

Sports scientist and coach James Spragg is one of the experts who will be answering your questions in Cycling Weekly's ASK A CYCLING COACH series which comes out every Wednesday. Working both in research and applied settings, he currently runs Intercept Performance Consultancy

Swipe to scroll horizontally
CategoryWBGT (°C)Row 0 - Cell 2
1 - Low≤ 25.6–27.7Row 1 - Cell 2
2 - Moderate27.8–29.4Row 2 - Cell 2
3 - High29.5–31.0Row 3 - Cell 2
4 - Extreme31.1–32.1Row 4 - Cell 2
5 - No exercise≥ 32.2Row 5 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Environmental RiskWet Bulb Temperature (Celcius)Humidity

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

James Spragg

James Spragg is a sports scientist and coach, working both in research and applied settings. When not working with athletes James can be found skiing, climbing, cycling or drinking coffee!

Alongside Dan Lorang and Peter Leo, James runs Intercept Performance Consultancy. Over the last 8 years in various roles, as coaches, performance consultants, performance managers, and sports scientists, Dan, James and Peter have played a role in helping athletes achieve more than 10 World Championship titles, several Olympics medals (including a Gold and Silver Medal in Tokyo 2020) and several Top 5 results in some of the biggest sporting events on the planet (Tour de France, Olympics, World and European Championships). Our single focus is on improving performance in all settings.