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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 09-22-10, 10:28 AM   #1
Seattle Forrest
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Do other Clydes (and Athenas) hate polar fleece?

The days are getting short and the nights are already cold; worse, the rains are coming early this year. Threads are popping up about how best to dress for the cold.

So, I'm wondering if my fellow Clydesdales and Athenas find polar fleece as uncomfortable as I do? Is the stuff too warm? Does it feel clammy against your skin? Does it make you sweat more than usual, and then turn into a sponge? Or is it just me?
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Old 09-22-10, 10:39 AM   #2
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It's just you.

Ok, the rest of the story. I've never tried polar fleece in an active sport. I've coached hockey and while standing along side the ice rink is very inactive, other than pointing out the calls the ref missed on the other team, I found a layer of polar fleece to be nice. I tend to run warm so I don't think I'd like polar fleece unless it got real cold then maybe. Last year my winter rides were short in time and I found a few layers of long sleeve and short sleeve shirts seemed to work the best at keeping me warm but not damp.
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Old 09-22-10, 10:42 AM   #3
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I don't like to do anything where I get too sweaty in polarfleece. It is nice for hanging around in, but sweat is pulled out to the outside of the fleece and then just sits there. I do use it to dry my horses when they are sweaty after a winter workout!
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Old 09-22-10, 10:48 AM   #4
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Like dbikingman, I haven't worn my fleece as "active wear." I appreciate its warmth, though, and because of its effectiveness in that regard, I probably wouldn't choose to wear it on a ride. My collection is actually pretty limited - two pullovers that were gifts and a zipped vest I bought for myself, and I've never worn any of them while sweating.

The thing I dislike about them is the static electricity discharges when removing them. Drives me nuts.
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Old 09-22-10, 11:12 AM   #5
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I haven't tried my fleece while cycling yet, but have used it while hiking and found it very comfortable. I suspect for cycling I would want a lighter fleece (something like polartec 100 rather than the polartec 300 fabric)

One other difference is that I use it in a drier climate that the OP (Texas/New Mexico/Arizona) and the moisture wicking works and then evaporates. Its possible that the higher humidity in the PNW prevents the evaporation, making the cloth uncomfortable?
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Old 09-22-10, 11:16 AM   #6
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I'm no clyde, but I can only wear it cycling when the temps drop below 30 F or so, and NEVER as a base layer.
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Old 09-22-10, 11:32 AM   #7
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Its possible that the higher humidity in the PNW prevents the evaporation, making the cloth uncomfortable?
That's entirely possible. I do pretty well in a wool base layer under a pair of quick-dry pants, but it could be just humid enough that they can dry and fleece can't.

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I'm no clyde, but I can only wear it cycling when the temps drop below 30 F or so, and NEVER as a base layer.
Even as a scarf, it's too much for me. I have a really nice one ( tapered neck, pocket ) but it's not very comfortable for anything beyond a walk. Even kayaking ( which is work, but nothing like cycling ) is too much for a fleece mid-layer. I wear a wool scarf cycling when it gets very cold; my parka is made for layering, and has a big neck, letting cold air in.



On that note - bit of a tangent - I find a wool neck gaiter works much better than a scarf, and folds up to use a lot less room in your pocket:



I assumed this was part of being a Clyde, but maybe it isn't. I inherited a lot of Scandinavian genes, so I do very well in the cold ... on top of not doing as well in the heat for Clyde reasons.
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Old 09-22-10, 12:16 PM   #8
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To me, its' not for cycling. It is very warm and raises a sweat, then the wind blows and goes right through it to my clammy body.
I'm fat and Irish. I sweat in all climates. Good gloves and a hat are more important to me in the winter.
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Old 09-22-10, 12:22 PM   #9
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I like the warmth, light weight, soft coziness of polar fleece but I do dislike the static electricity, the pilling, and the extra puffiness a polar fleece sweater adds to my physique. At least they are easy to wash.

That said, my favourite fleece is a windproof fleece jacket that I bought from Lands End that is awesome for hiking, walking about in town, and cycling. But that fleece jacket is a more structured and doesn't have the soft puffy shapelessness as the pullovers and 3/4 zipped sweaters made from the medium weight polar fleece.
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Old 09-22-10, 12:22 PM   #10
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I agree that above...say 10 degrees F or lower, it is too warm to ride in.

Anywhere above that, wind blocking and versatility are key. I prefer thinner garments that I can layer, with a light nylon shell jacket.
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Old 09-22-10, 12:25 PM   #11
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I like the warmth, light weight, soft coziness of polar fleece but I do dislike the static electricity ...
You mean the way it attracts The Furpes? ( Furpes is like herpes, in that it never goes away. But it's not a sickness - it's tumbleweeds of fur that a cat or dog shed. And it tends to embed itself in fleece. )
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Old 09-22-10, 12:26 PM   #12
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Kitty - what Land's End jacket is that? If there's a comparable men's model, I might be interested in taking a look at one for this fall. My last jacket is too big for me now.

I hope I haven't mis-inferred your gender from your screen name.
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Old 09-22-10, 12:39 PM   #13
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You mean the way it attracts The Furpes? ( Furpes is like herpes, in that it never goes away. But it's not a sickness - it's tumbleweeds of fur that a cat or dog shed. And it tends to embed itself in fleece. )
That stuff! Ick. Nothing gets rid of it: not roller tape, not a vacuum cleaner, not threats to the furry beasts that shed the fur.

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Kitty - what Land's End jacket is that? If there's a comparable men's model, I might be interested in taking a look at one for this fall. My last jacket is too big for me now.

I hope I haven't mis-inferred your gender from your screen name.
Yup, I am a proud Athena! The jacket name is the Marinac and it's available in women's and men's sizing in regular sizes and plus sizes (possibly tall for men as well, not sure). My Marinac is about 4 years old and still looks new, is light weight but warm, and doesn't look like an enormous potato sack.
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Old 09-22-10, 12:55 PM   #14
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To me, its' not for cycling. It is very warm and raises a sweat, then the wind blows and goes right through it to my clammy body.
I'm fat and Irish. I sweat in all climates. Good gloves and a hat are more important to me in the winter.
I have the same problem, except I'm not Irish. The wind just blows through the polar fleece. I need a wind stopper front and a vented back to regulate my temps. I think that I will feel clammy no matter what I wear. I do have a fleece balaclava (sp?) that hood thing, the problem with that is it starts to smell if you cover your mouth.

I normally quit riding when the temps drop below 45 F.
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Old 09-22-10, 01:08 PM   #15
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"I need a wind stopper front and a vented back to regulate my temps."

That is one great idea! Consider it stolen.
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Old 09-22-10, 01:17 PM   #16
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Thanks for the tip, Kitty. I see Land's End has the old model in men's, in limited colors, marked down from $80 to $30. I might have to bite on that one. Ill go sift through my old emails to see if I still have the last free shipping offer.
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Old 09-22-10, 01:29 PM   #17
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I ride year round and really don't like polar fleece. Like others mention the wind will go right through it. I tend to layer my clothing anyway. Merino wool tends to keep you warm and the wind doesn't blow through it as easily as it does with the polar fleece.
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Old 09-22-10, 01:32 PM   #18
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Just the feel of it makes my skin crawl. I will never, have never worn it. Uggggg
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Old 09-22-10, 01:49 PM   #19
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It's never been cold enough around here for me to wear it. I was riding the beach trail once with half finger gloves when temps were in the 50's. Another rider thought I was crazy as he was outfitted with full finger gloves. He made comments about the "freeezing" cold. I've been riding in the mountains in cooler temps with the same gloves and outfit, jersey, underarmour and windbreaker. That's not mentioning the guys that claim to need booty covers on their shoes

I can see temps in the 30's, but 50's?

What temps are you guys riding that calls for the fleece?
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Old 09-22-10, 01:57 PM   #20
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I live in the deep south. It rarely gets cold enough to worry about it here.

+1 on the lands end Marnaik. I use it on the motorcycle in the winter.

I guess I should say, I wear it in the winter, riding the motorcycle.
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Old 09-22-10, 01:58 PM   #21
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When I was young and nuts and lived in central IL, I used to participate in our club's annual New Year's Day ride, regardless of temp. I finally got tired of looking at (and being one of) all the runny noses at the after-ride pot luck.

Thinking of those rides just reminded me of my first shoe covers - old, stretched out cotton sweat socks with a hole cut into the bottom for the cleats. Ah, good times.

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Old 09-22-10, 02:26 PM   #22
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What temps are you guys riding that calls for the fleece?
The colder months it averages right around 32 degrees. I do not like fleece so I use Merino Wool blend as a base layer.
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Old 09-22-10, 02:30 PM   #23
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What temps are you guys riding that calls for the fleece?
I've stopped for a drink an hour into a ride, and found my water bottle frozen.
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Old 09-22-10, 02:38 PM   #24
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I have the same problem, except I'm not Irish. The wind just blows through the polar fleece. I need a wind stopper front and a vented back to regulate my temps. I think that I will feel clammy no matter what I wear.dd
I have an Arc'teryx Accelero jacket for cycling in most weather. It blocks about 2/3 the wind, but lets some of it through as air conditioning. It's not completely waterproof, but takes a while to soak through. It weighs 10 oz. Full disclosure, though: I'm a big fan of Arc'teryx clothing.

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Old 09-22-10, 02:51 PM   #25
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The colder months it averages right around 32 degrees.
That would do it!
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