Originally Posted by Doohickie
Not cycling specific, but Costco has Calvin Klein 100% merino wool men's V-neck sweaters for $20 in lots of sizes. They make excellent insulating layers.
My experience has been the opposite, which is odd and surprising. Merino has to be the world's best base layer fabric, in any temperature. 90 degrees and sunny, I'll wear a light merino shirt to hike steep mountain trails. 20 degrees and it looks like snow? Merino base layer, top and bottom, plus other stuff, too. The stuff is made out of 100 % Grade-A wonderful. So it seems natural this would be the stuff of great insulating midlayers, too.
Well, I wore a merino sweater (over a merino base layer and under a jacket) on a 35 mile loop, and, 10 miles in, I was starting to carry around a lot of sweat. I stopped at the halfway point for a bite to eat, and both my shirts were soaked, which meant a cold Forrest once the exercise stopped. Every time I did the same ride in a merino base layer and cashmere mid layer, with the same jacket, and there's very little sweat to be found. Better still, perspiration gets pulled away from the skin (because that's one of the awesome things merino does), and then seems to vanish at the next layer. A merino sweater was like a sponge, but a cashmere one ... I don't know, but it's magic. And it's $10 at the thrift store.
That's really the best "tip" I've learned about exercising outdoors in the cold, in years.