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  1. #1
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    Is white wool just a bad idea, considering sweat stains?

    I've got black icebreaker base layer long sleeve (bodyfit 260, on the warmer side of icebreaker's product line) and I noticed that lately I've been using it so much that after a couple of days, my body starts to itch. It feels like the wool has some grime to be washed. It doesn't smell bad, but it isn't as comfortable as the first day after I wash it.
    With that being said and spring coming, I've been looking into getting lighter wool top to alternate with the icebreaker.I'm not really picky as long as it's 100% merino wool, so mostly I'm looking for the right color at the right price, something just kinda casual.

    I'm thinking about getting one of these from Swrve. They have them in blue and white. Blue seems like it might be hard to match with anything and everything like I can with my black base layer and a plain white t made out of wool just seems cool. Neutral colors, ya know? So I think I want the white one. The only thing I'm worried about is pit stains? I know I will be sweating in it. Does wool stain as easily as cotton?

    Or does anyone else have any other product recommendations for wool t-shirts in subdued tones? links please. =]

  2. #2
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    My advice is to consider buying Ibex. I've tried many brands of 100% merino, and there's a huge difference between them. Ibex is the best I've seen. A Merrel shirt was the worst. I have 8 or so Icebreaker pieces, because I wear a large (their sample size) and get it fairly cheap on the web -- but it is definitely more itchy. I can wear an Ibex top all day without a second thought. An Icebreaker top will start bothering me at some point.

    I'm sure the natural color would show more stains, but as a baselayer does it really matter?
    Last edited by JeffS; 03-05-11 at 12:15 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
    My advice is to consider buying Ibex. I've tried many brands of 100% merino, and there's a huge difference between them. Ibex is the best I've seen. A Merrel shirt was the worst. I have 8 or so Icebreaker pieces, because I wear a large (their sample size) and get it fairly cheap on the web -- but it is definitely more itchy. I can wear an Ibex top all day without a second though. An Icebreaker top will start bothering me at some point.

    I'm sure the natural color would show more stains, but as a baselayer does it really matter?
    Hmm, maybe it would be good to experiment with different brands. Wool is just so much pricier than cotton that it's sort of risky to sample different brands.

    Do you mean that large goes on sale more often?

    It wouldn't be a base layer really, it would just be a t-shirt for the hot days that are coming.

  4. #4
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by albertmoreno View Post
    Do you mean that large goes on sale more often?

    It wouldn't be a base layer really, it would just be a t-shirt for the hot days that are coming.
    Every so often, you will see a lot of sales samples go on the market, on ebay and sites like http://gearsamples.com/ (shutdown currently). A couple of years ago, they were all men's size large. More recently, there have been a few other sizes available. Icebreaker has started having their own sales within the last year or so as well, so it's not as big of a deal. It's been a while since I bought wool. The last purchase was at least a year ago when I "won" a 50% off coupon through an icebreaker promotion.

    I personally choose not to wear baselayers as regular shirts. They're very thin and tend to feel weird to me if they get waterlogged with sweat. A little bit thicker shirt seems to wick better and feel more comfortable. My summer preference is either an Ibex jersey or some Icebreaker shirts I have. I think they're from the GT line, but their site is in winter mode right now so I can't really tell. Their lines turn over almost yearly though, so it probably wouldn't help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
    Every so often, you will see a lot of sales samples go on the market, on ebay and sites like http://gearsamples.com/ (shutdown currently). A couple of years ago, they were all men's size large. More recently, there have been a few other sizes available. Icebreaker has started having their own sales within the last year or so as well, so it's not as big of a deal. It's been a while since I bought wool. The last purchase was at least a year ago when I "won" a 50% off coupon through an icebreaker promotion.

    I personally choose not to wear baselayers as regular shirts. They're very thin and tend to feel weird to me if they get waterlogged with sweat. A little bit thicker shirt seems to wick better and feel more comfortable. My summer preference is either an Ibex jersey or some Icebreaker shirts I have. I think they're from the GT line, but their site is in winter mode right now so I can't really tell. Their lines turn over almost yearly though, so it probably wouldn't help.
    I guess I'm just looking for a breathable top that doesn't overheat and that won't stink after a ride, something casual-looking i.e. not Lycra, but you say icebreaker has a summer mode? Maybe I should just wait for that.

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    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I like black
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    I like black
    to the point, i like it.

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    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    I stopped getting pit stains when I stopped using stick deodorant...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    I stopped getting pit stains when I stopped using stick deodorant...
    No seriously, that's an interesting idea. Unless you sweat puddles, I feel deodorant sometimes exasperates the problems of sweating. In the winter, I don't even use deodorant. I just find that I don't smell as much as if I were to wear deodorant when I sweat minimally, but the summer is a different story and then I have to wear deodorant.
    My winter stink is usually faint and natural, unless I wear deodorant. Daily showers seem to be all I need to not smell obnoxiously offensive.

    If you don't use stick deodorant, what do you do?

  10. #10
    Senior Member bcbb_ben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    I stopped getting pit stains when I stopped using stick deodorant...
    I have found this to be the case with my clothes as well. Not that I've stopped, but I did change brands around to find out what doesn't stain my shirts.

    I will go for long periods without deodorant too, and once my body normalizes the stink stops or becomes a more palatable "musk".

    No insight on clothing choice, just stinky comments.
    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    Then they eBay it for 100 bucks for PBR money.

  11. #11
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    I've never tried Icebreaker gear, but I've noticed that with wool gear, price tends to correllate with durability and comfort. I've got a Garneau wool long sleeve in natural white and I don't notice any staining problems with it. It's also really comfortable, even for having paid considerably less than my other wool jerseys. My baselayers are Smartwool; they're black and grey so no staining problems, and they're super soft and comfy. No itchies at all. My other jerseys are Woolistic and again, they're incredibly comfortable. No itching, easy to remove tags, even the zippers aren't scratchy.
    I've also been wearing all this gear pretty consistently for at least 2 years and I don't see any snags, pulls or holes in the weave of any of them (with the exception of my lightweight Woolistic RUSA, which they admitted was a problem in the first run and they're fixing it for only the shipping cost.) Even the pocket stitching and chain-stitched logos are as perfect as the day I bought them. I machine wash on delicate setting, towel press them dry and hang on a drying rack.
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  12. #12
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by albertmoreno View Post
    If you don't use stick deodorant, what do you do?
    Honestly, I just shower regularly, at least every day. When I started going without deodorant in college (at the advice of my sister, I might add), I started asking friends what I smelled like. I pretty much got two answers -- "nothing, really" and "I dunno, soapy, I guess."

    I used to use regular sticks and eventually that gel stuff (remember when those came out?). Looking back now, I'm surprised that pasting my underarm hair with that gunk did any good at all.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    Honestly, I just shower regularly, at least every day. When I started going without deodorant in college (at the advice of my sister, I might add), I started asking friends what I smelled like. I pretty much got two answers -- "nothing, really" and "I dunno, soapy, I guess."

    I used to use regular sticks and eventually that gel stuff (remember when those came out?). Looking back now, I'm surprised that pasting my underarm hair with that gunk did any good at all.
    I know an active life style and a healthy diet can reduce the putridity of sweat and this might be a question better directed at the luddites in the living car-free subforum, but is there any natural way to prevent body odor other than showering daily, staying active, and eating well? I heard in the old days, people used lemon juice as anti-perspirant. Don't know if that's just a myth.

  14. #14
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    No, not really.

    The "natural way" would have little concern for body odor.

  15. #15
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    I much prefer a very light or white color 'baselayer' especially if long sleeve. I use a white synthetic one (underarmour 'coldgear' I think)

    The reason is I often wear a short sleeve shirt over and then my arms are more visible especially when it is dark. This is very important for signaling.

    My white baselayer has some stains (not in the pits tho), mostly a few grease spots, but I could care less as it is not what I wear at work or while dining.

    At some point I will get a white/natural wool longsleeve baselayer as I prefer wool over synthetic.
    Last edited by noisebeam; 03-11-11 at 10:25 AM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Itchiness = fineness for wool

    I've got a couple white base layers. They don't have a problem with pit stains, but they're very thin, and, if you're not an exhibitionist...

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
    My advice is to consider buying Ibex. I've tried many brands of 100% merino, and there's a huge difference between them. [...] but it is definitely more itchy. [...] An Icebreaker top will start bothering me at some point.
    What matters is how thick the fibers ( like hairs ) in the wool are. Anything 17.5 microns or smaller will feel like cotton; your skin can't perceive them as itchy when they're this small. Up until around 19ish microns it will feel very good. As you get larger, it gets more and more scratchy. Anything that's 17.5 microns will be wonderful.

    It has nothing to do with what company made the clothing, and everything to do with the wool itself. But the good stuff tends to be more expensive, because there's only so much of it to go around.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  17. #17
    Godbotherer dwellman's Avatar
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    Wool is great that it doesn't hold odor very well (not like poly) and I don't think I've noticed stains, but all my stuff is darker. For Icebreaker you're looking for Techlite -- Superfine/150

    Patagonia has just as fine and comes in lighter colors.. . .

    Arcteryx is also VERY nice stuff as well, but hard to find. I've only seem red and black recently, though.

    I am a profuse perspire-er and do not do well with cotton. Not at all. But I find no problems with thinks like Nike Core/Pro Loose. A little on the warm side once the mercury hits 60. After that I have a shirt (you know the ones you get with your packet?) I got from an event made by CHAMPRO sports which is actually one of my favorite shirts. It's loose, little longer than normal and a nice deep blue.

    Oh and about anything from Hind is good, too. . I have a couple of their DryLETE and it's comfy, but not loose.

    I know I have some stuff that is supposed to be odor / stain resistant. . Zorrel. But it's a cotton poly blend.
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  18. #18
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    icebreaker's spring/summer line

    new stuff out. i'm trying to decide on something from it.

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