Commuting - Wicking Undergarments
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12-05-06, 07:55 PM
Hi All. Long time, no post. If you remember me, y'all helped me get started about 18 months ago.
Well, it's been almsot 2 years, and I'm still doing it! Not every day, but more often than not, I go to work on 2 wheels, not 4.
Now that it's getting cold, I'd like some advice on undergarments. I can't change at work (well, it's rather difficult), so I need things that will keep me warm, but keep me dry (from sweat), even after I'm indoors. (As an aside, I find work is generally - but not always - not heated enough for my taste, so I like being kept warm their as well.)
One more Q: I remember being warmer with my windproof shell and gloves last year than this year. Do those things get warn out (after being crumpled in my closet for the summer :-|)? Or is it just windier this year?
12-05-06, 07:59 PM
I like wool as a warm undergarment, but it won't keep you from sweating. It may keep you relatively warm once wet though. Try out a Smartwool shirt, their stuff is nice.
Have you lost weight since last year? This could be a reason why you feel colder.
I just got a couple of smartwool t-shirts myself. They were very slightly scratchy at first but I slept in them and didn't notice it. I just got them a few days ago and have heard that the scratchyness goes away after a few washings. Some people do not notice it at all and some never get used to it.
That being said, one of the nice things is they do not aquire a stench like synthetics. I got a bunch of duofold t-shirts on sale and they get a kind of odor within a few hours of being worn, and not even sweating. It seemed to get better with more washings. There are many different styles, some yarns are woven different or something. I have several of this one style that does not feel very soft but stays dry even when I sweat, the outer layers will get damp but the shirt seems to stay dry. I wear them as undershirts a lot. I just ordered some duofold merino wool shirts on sale at campmor which were way cheaper than smartwools but have not recieved them yet. I know I will like them as a cycling base layer and I hope they will be comfortable enough to wear other times as well.
Also wool does not have that bucket of ice feeling when you put it on like some synthetics. Some people like silk as a base layer but that would probably not be practical for everyday use.
I don't notice it as much this winter but the last two I felt very cold all the time. I even did my thyroid levels (I work in a lab) to see if something was wrong. They were fine. If I am moving I work up some heat but I get chilly just sitting around, esp right before I go to sleep.
12-05-06, 08:33 PM
Undersilks. They'll wick away the sweat and dry quick. Also regulates your temp to keep you warm when it's cold out, but not overly warm when you're inside.
I've been happy with my Champion Base Layer stuff. I got the mid-weight long pant and crew. Indoors they're comfy under clothes. Once you start getting active, they keep you freaking hot. I probably should have gone with a few sets of the lighter weight stuff, but I'll bet in another month or so I'll be happy I went with the thicker stuff.
Good, comfy, very warm once you're active.
12-05-06, 09:40 PM
myself till it starts getting below about 50 I like a 50/50 tee shirt. or even better a 80% cotton/20% ploy shirt I find they are flexible on temp I don't sweat anymore then in a fully poly shirt and I find they are far nicer to wear once I get off the bike. I hate wearing a poly shirt when I am not riding.
12-05-06, 10:46 PM
I currently wear a unionsuit made by Burton that I bought years ago for skiing. I find it really comfortable and I am warmer than ever. Good luck.
12-05-06, 10:54 PM
I found a good shirt it is a wicking amterial on the inside and merino wool on the outside. at first I found it a bit warm inside but got used to it. it works inside and on the bike down to about 40 degrees by it's self. gets colder then 40 and I throw a cotton tee over it and it's good down to about 32 as long as the wind is not too bad. http://www.sierratradingpost.com/p/161,14288_Terramar-2-Layer-Top-Outlast-Merino-Wool-Long-Sleeve-For-Men.html
12-05-06, 11:22 PM
Another vote for Smartwool here, or Patagonia's wool base layers. I've been riding all week with a smartwool base layer and I get sweaty but the shirt just doesn't stink. A half hour with a synthetic shirt and it stinks, I can't say enough about wool, it's great stuff.
12-06-06, 03:57 AM
Another vote for wool: I use a superfine merino wool T shirt and it outperforms all my synthetics.
You shouldnt really sweat very much on a winter commute.
Windshirts shouldnt wear out, I have used several types, polycotton, pertex, polyester and thye all last for years with no dropoff in performance. If you want to add some water-resistance and beading use nikwax TX10 .
12-06-06, 06:22 AM
I vote for anything made with Power Dry. I use LL Bean underwear for skiing and winter cycling, and the stuff rocks.
12-06-06, 06:26 AM
Silk from rei here.
12-06-06, 07:56 AM
I like polypro and have no problem with stinking ... but I only wear it once before washing.
12-06-06, 08:35 AM
I'm a big fan of the Champion C9 silkweight from Target for wicking, but it holds odor within one ride. I wouldn't want to wear it all day. Merino wool doesn't wick as well, but is good for all day since it doesn't hold odor and is very comfortable. Smartwool is great, the REI MTS merino wool is very good too, and can be found on clearance.
12-06-06, 04:48 PM
I am transitioning from powerdry to smartwool. I never really got dissatisfied w/ the former, but I am really loving the smartwool. Still waiting on Santa for smartwool bottoms though.
12-06-06, 08:44 PM
12-07-06, 07:43 AM
It's a brand name for silk long johns. You can get something similar (Terramar I think) at Campmor, REI, Sierra Trading Post, etc.
I just got my duofold wool shirts and they are awesome! Softer and fit better than smartwool! I did not see any for men but if you are not over 44 or 45 inches at the chest the Xlarge should fit. Here is a link.
12-07-06, 09:04 PM
Do long jonhs slow you down?
It really seems to me that mine do - constricting my legs and tire me out faster - but maybe it's just my imagination...
For the best Merino clothing try here:
cj10, welcome to the Forums.
When you say "the best" do you mean best for EastCoastCoder? Or best for cyclists in general? Based on your personal experience as an avid cyclist? Little background info on how you've reached this conclusion would not hurt here.
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