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  1. #1
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Inexpensive short sleeve base layer

    I've searched and googled, but I can't settle on an inexpensive (<$20) short sleeve base layer. Just want something to wear under a short sleeve jersey down to 45-50 degrees with the temps generally warming during a ride. The Champion double dry compression shirts are in that range, but does anyone have experience with this brand? I can vouch for plain compression stuff doing little else than stopping loose parts from jiggling - the stuff I've tried doesn't breath too well. I'll spend more if I have to, but $50 for a "technical" T shirt seems pretty silly. I'd rather confine my bicycle spending excess to the search for a perfect saddle.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I originally took your position. Find a cheap base layer. I was never satisfied. Maybe you don't sense the cold as easily as I do. My concern was a good base layer for the start of the ride. Which can be as low as the high 30's.... So, I wasted money on a couple cheap base layers. Ultimately, my dissatisfaction led me to purchase a long sleeve UnderArmour layer. Instead of a heavy winter jacket, I wear multiple layers , with the Underarmour base layer, as the base. Now, I'm happy. If I'd taken that route originally and not bought cheap , I'd saved about 40 dollars.. UnderArmour is like a second skin, so buy one size up.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

  3. #3
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    CZ, are you wearing the heatgear or the coldgear Under Armour? Probably a function of temperature, Can't imagine the coldgear above 45 or 50 for an activity such as cycling, but I could see long sleeve at the lower end of that range switching to short sleeve and arm warmers above 50.
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  4. #4
    institutionalized PDXJeff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bonechilling View Post
    Or just ride your bike and stop playing dress-up with it, like it's a ****ing doll.

  5. #5
    NC cyclust
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    Walamrt has a good selection of wicking poyester tops for both summer and winter. They are available in sizes up to 3X. The tops they sell for $15 are just as good as the $80 ones that you see in cycling catalogs. No back pockets, but other than that, they are great. And cheap.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nccyclust View Post
    Walamrt has a good selection of wicking poyester tops for both summer and winter. They are available in sizes up to 3X. The tops they sell for $15 are just as good as the $80 ones that you see in cycling catalogs. No back pockets, but other than that, they are great. And cheap.
    I like these wally world t-shirts as well, however when temps get high above 80 they just got soaked and i had to take it off. Strangely in Miami Friday it was 80 on my ride, yesterday it was in 40's so the long sleeved option worked fantastically. and it was from the same wallyworld version that i took off mid ride on friday.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    rdtompki. I bought the Duofold. I found it with less wicking ability than Underarmour. Bulkier too. I wear the Coldgear when it's 30 to the high 50's. Each body reacts to the cold differently. I find the UnderArmour not too hot when it's about 55. But, that is me. I simply take off my lite weight , windproof , outer jacket and I'm not hot. I've not used my winter weight jacket all winter. Maybe, I would if the temps dropped below 30. But, then I'm likely not to cycle anyway..
    Should you temperature range be like mine. The Underarmour will save you cash, because you might not need buy a heavy weight winter jacket , which spring for well over 100 bucks.... Arms feel the cold so easy, I prefer the long sleeve Underarmour base layer.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

  8. #8
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Great info all. The Underarmour cold gear is reasonably price on the Internet so I think I'll try Underarmour, but also check on Wallyworld. Our temps change so fast in the morning. Today we have frost on the grass (you Easterners don't laugh) and it might be 40 degrees, but that's at 7 am. By noon it may be upper 60's or 70. I really want to start riding NLT 0800 so I can finish most any ride before noon.

    Additional weather note: I often feed our horses at 0430 and it can actually get below freezing so all you cold climate folks we do feel your pain in central California.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    ^.. If your start temps are much below 30, an excellent base layer and windproof jacket my be insufficient ?.. The coldest it gets here is about 35 in January..One reason I liked UnderArmour over Duofold. Wicking. Wicking means perspiration control. When the sweat goes to the surface, that means less stink. Retaining heat with less bulk is what I am looking for. It's what the Green Bay Packers wear when the SuperBowl is held in Green Bay,during their frigid January. So, I thought I"d give it a try.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

  10. #10
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    Don't hesitate to spend money on a couple of good sets of baselayers. They can last a long time and will give you good service. If there is a Nike or Addidas outlet store closeby, they have compression polyester lycra turtlenecks which are very good in cold conditions.

  11. #11
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Any good second hand shop wil have a huge selection of good wool sweaters, in any thickness, color, or type of wool. I've seen some really nice merino wool sweaters for $2 or less.....

  12. #12
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Head to your favorite thrift store. I have found countless bike jerseys, UnderArmour shirts and base layers, etc.

  13. #13
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    I got some Wal*Mart long sleeve V-neck wicking base tops. The red one bled viciously in the wash so it's going to Goodwill and I'll stick with the white ones. I got them several sizes larger than my usual size as I don't want them for compression, just for wicking and warmth. I also got some Champion / Russell thin mesh shirts for warmer weather; they are more colorfast. The UnderArmour coldgear mock turtle base I've only worn a few times and ended up soaking wet - it was too warm for the other clothes I had on that day (l/s jersey and a windbreaker, temps ~40F.)

    On my last trip to Wal*Mart they were closing out the shirts in the Women's dept but there were still a few selections in the Men's dept, maybe not in long sleeves. You might be able to find some closeouts of the brand name "technical" shirts this time of year.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    All I've got to say (besides thanks) is I'll have quite a collection in my closet before I get this all sorted out. In a way this is as bad as saddles; everyone's requirements are completely different. I try to work in my cardio range (120-130 HR) except climbing when the HR obviously goes higher. I'm generating enough heat. Just need something that wicks and something to block the wind when it's cold. I do have stylish short and long sleeve compression shirts for show, not go.
    Rick T
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  15. #15
    Cute, fluffy, and illegal gotls1's Avatar
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    Sounds like you might be all set here, but I'll throw in my .02 anyway. I got some nice Nike base layers at Costco not too long ago. Not too heavy and they do a nice job of wicking.
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  16. #16
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    Check the closeout / clearance racks at your local sporting goods stores. Not too long ago, I bought a Nike Dri-fit short sleeved T-shirt @ Sports Authority for $10.
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  17. #17
    Clipless faller rainycamp's Avatar
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    At a Jockey store in an area outlet mall, I got short sleeved and a sleeveless base layer shirts. I find they work well in the temperature range you're talking about. Under $25.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Zoxe's Avatar
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    We have tried various versions of the Champion stuff, but don't own the compression tee. We have been impressed with their quality and longevity over the past 9mo or so. The only complaint is the pants -- the first set of double dry bottoms I got were about 1 size up from what was advertized. (I'm a 42" waist; I was swimming in their 42-44" set.)

  19. #19
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    I have all the expensive craft stuff. It works well, however, I've also started buying the Champion stuff at Target and have to say it works as well. I suppose if I were riding in -0- below weather I would want something good, like Craft, but for what I do, a Champion tee (or Under Armour), a jersey and a windvest is perfect. Add some arm warmers and good to go!
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  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    I found a store in NYC called Uniqlo that sells "heat-tech" shirts... they are a Japanese Company and have a whole line of these shirts that are moisture wicking and very warm. I bought a couple for 7 dollars each(short sleeve) and 10 dollars for a long sleeve shirt... and they are very warm and feel like they almost generate heat...They may sell them online somewhere..

  21. #21
    Serotta Steve Serrotta Steve's Avatar
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    I sewed my own pockets on in cool fabrics and made custom jerseys for less than $20

  22. #22
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    This thread simply won't die. Makes me think there ought to be a "Bicycling Clothing" forum.
    Rick T
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  23. #23
    Veg*n nykoelle's Avatar
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    I found a good sale recently at Dick's, the cold weather stuff by Reebok was on sale. The one I got is workin' pretty good, I got pants and a shirt, happy with both.

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