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  1. #1
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Anyone using wool?

    Picked up a wool long sleeved base layer shirt with a tall collar that zips up. I've worn it twice in cool conditions (20's) and I really like it. It seems to wick moisture much better than the synthetic stuff I've used over the years..........but breathes well and keeps me comfortable. Will look to see if I can find something in short sleeve that I can afford.
    Ride your Ride!!

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    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Wool socks with sandals - absolutely great, and wool handles moisture superbly.

  3. #3
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Smart wool medium weight base layer shirt - sartorial perfection.

  4. #4
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    I'm a nylon hater myself even though I have a couple of synthetic Jerseys. They don't seem to be as uncomfortable to me as the ones in the early '80s though. I do like the understated old styles more too. My merino arm warmers are some of my most useful things to wear.

    Since I'm relatively tall for my build I need an xtra tall Jersey and there's not too many out there to choose from. Aerotech and Nashbar being the exceptions for synthetics.

    So here's a company that will make an extra tall merino jersey with whatever available color schemes they offer:

    http://www.eleven.cc/traditional-mer...ycling-jersey/

    Not exactly cheap but certainly competitive with any other higher end wool jerseys considering it's custom made to your specs. I'm ordering one in March providing I have enough left of my bonus check after finishing up my '83 Trek.

    Here's some more links:

    http://www.oregoncyclewear.com/woolcyclingjerseys.html

    http://roadholland.com/products/

    http://www.vintagevelos.com/en/5-men

    http://www.torm.cc/jerseys.html
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  5. #5
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    I have wool armwarmers, socks, and two wool jerseys. I break em out when it gets chilly.
    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
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  6. #6
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    I mostly wear wool. Long sleeve, short sleeve, undershirts, socks ... even my knickers are wool.

    I have a pair of Icebreaker wool bib shorts too. Wish i had bought another pair of those before they quit making them.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I like wool base layers also. I think wool with some polyester is a bit more durable than wool only.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CrankyFranky's Avatar
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    I'll join the chorus - even though I'm allergic to coarse wool, merino or other fine wools are my favorite for staying warm. Now that I have a cedar chest, they last more than one season!
    69 Raleigh Sports, '72 Atala Record, '82 Stan Pike

  9. #9
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    I have used Icebreaker woollens for snow shoeing and this winter for biking, they are the cat's a**. I plan on getting a few more pieces, the Blaze jacket is rated as an excellent wind proof top, with wool lining and inserts for breathability. As far as cycling specific items, I emailed them last week asking if they will be making those items again, and they confirmed that they plan on getting back into the game, however, not until 2015...Their GT line of stuff is designed for the more active sports activities and would/will work for cycling.
    I'm so slow I met myself yesterday...

  10. #10
    www.ocrebels.com Rick@OCRR's Avatar
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    Sure, top to bottom! Wool balaclava, wool base layers and jerseys, wool glove liners, wool arm warmers, wool tights (over normal lycra shorts), Woolie Boolie socks . . . they're all good!

    Rick / OCRR

  11. #11
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    In the cooler seasons yes, I just got a Wool 1975-76 Peugeot cycling Jersey, Yes white with the checker pattern and in cooler weather it almost doesn't need a base layer. Also I picked up two Jerseys from Recycled Jerseys, one from Spain and one from Germany. The European guys must be small because I wear a medium Voler or other US jersey and I need a XXL from Germany and a XXXL from Spain. Still they are a 7 or 8 by their sizing. But I doubt if any of them will see summer use. I have been looking for wool socks that I like both in feel and looks but so far there is no joy in the search.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

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    I've got a couple of Smartwool base layer shirts. I can't say enough nice things about them, they are great. I know that there are other brands of merino wool and they are probably all equally as nice. If your family needs some ideas for Christmas gifts start dropping hints, you won't regret it.

  13. #13
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    ....... I have been looking for wool socks that I like both in feel and looks but so far there is no joy in the search.
    Stopby REI, my head was spinning with all the choices they offered:

    http://www.rei.com/search?cat=450023...%2F+wool+blend

  14. #14
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    I wear a thin merino sweater as a base layer, and a thick cotton sweater over that in the extreme cold. I find cotton is just fine for an outer layer as long as I have wool against my skin.

    That said, I was in a store selling athletic wear a couple weeks ago, and they had medium weight merino shirts going for $200. But with a bit of shopping around I found a merino sweater at The Gap for $40, pretty similar in thickness. It does nicely as a base layer.

  15. #15
    VNA
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    Senior Member VNA's Avatar
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    NO--allergic!

  16. #16
    Senior Member GeneO's Avatar
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    Have Merino wool socks and love them (REI does have a good selection albeit costly). Looking at getting a Merino wool base layer shirt as well.
    2012 Felt F55X

  17. #17
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    I had a lot of wool stuff back in the '70s, since that was about all that was available. Now that I live in the Pacific Northwest (if we don't ride in the rain, we don't ride much), I have a lot of wool stuff again. It's really gotten a lot better over the years, although the prices are sometimes a bit much.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    Picked up a wool long sleeved base layer shirt with a tall collar that zips up. I've worn it twice in cool conditions (20's) and I really like it. It seems to wick moisture much better than the synthetic stuff I've used over the years..........but breathes well and keeps me comfortable. Will look to see if I can find something in short sleeve that I can afford.
    wool is the only fabric that still keeps you warm, when wet I have a lot of wool. Number one, a 100% wool hat

  19. #19
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    I have both deFeet merino wool and Craft base layers. The Craft base layers are fine for an easier ride or one with minimal climbing since you can dial in your layering (minimal in California of course) for the temps and effort, but the wool wicks much better; I can do a climb where I'm bound to sweat, zip up on the descent and the wool will be dry if not at the bottom, then certainly when I finish the ride. I did experiment on one recent cool ride, starting temperature about 40, where I had a Craft base over the wool and that seemed like a good combination.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Wool is nice. I am not slamming wool in any way... but a good advertising campaign doesn't make it better than it really is.

    Back when I was a kid all we had was wool and cotton. Cotton was cool and wool was warm. Wool was more durable, but cotton was cheap and easy to launder. Oh sure we had nylon and silk too. Even the synthetic silk... rayon. But being a guy and a kid I can't recall anything I used having any of those.

    A little history: Nylon was invented in an attempt to replace silk used in industrial items. Silks were used for its resistance to abrasion. Turns out nylon made decent women's stocking as well as ropes and parachute fabric.

    Later we got polyester... which would take a chemist minded individual to explain the difference between the two “plastic” fabrics. Both were/are made by extruding the hot plastic liquid through a high-tech shower-head-like device. The yards would be created from the soft thread like strands that resulted as the material cooled.

    Originally the extruded fibers made clumsy yarns that had to be knitted instead of woven (hence the ever-lasting term double-knit). The fabrics would flatten and reflect light... causing shinny spots. Later (in the early 80's) the improved and tighter yarns were woven into fabrics that often were compared to plastic trash bags because they trapped moisture, didn't breath well, and were hot.

    But that is all history. Today synthetic fabrics have excellent qualities that natural fabrics do not. Often... I've read attributes credited to wool.... that only apply to certain synthetic fabrics.

    Wool will keep you warm even when wet. Because it DOESN'T wick moisture well... the moist wool will retain your body heat. If you want to wick moisture from your body (and what cyclist doesn't) a synthetic base layer designed for wicking is the first step.

    Wool stinks... too. The microorganisms that make clothing stink.... grows just fine on wool. And... IMHO silver ions have no effect on fabric... others disagree.

    Wool is currently very fashionable and that is reflected in the designs (and prices) of the items made from wool. Looking good... can mean looking fashionable. The way wool retains dyes and reacts with the sunlight is different than other fabrics. Good clothing items... are noticeably good looking.

    Wool is warm in winter. Wool is also warm in summer. The tight kinky fibers hold in moisture and helps to prevent evaporation. Cotton used to be considered the summer fabric. But the new synthetic fabrics excel at evaporative cooling. I really like a base layer of the Under Armor moisture wicking fabric... year round.

  21. #21
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^^^^
    Interesting post

    I've actually ridden most of my miles in cotton. Some of the lighter cotton fabrics aren't really that bad and sometimes I'm a little chillier riding in the synthetic fabrics when it starts to cool down.
    Cannondale cotton touring jersey.jpg
    My favorite jersey (and the only one for awhile) in the '80s was a Cannondale cotton touring jersey like this one. I actually wore a Cinelli cotton T shirt with back pockets more often though. I just hated the synthetics back then. The jersey one was too small for me anymore so I gave it away last spring. The Cinelli T shirt wore out a long time ago.
    Last edited by Zinger; 12-17-13 at 05:39 AM.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  22. #22
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Smartwool base layer and wool socks.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  23. #23
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    ...

    Wool is currently very fashionable and that is reflected in the designs (and prices) of the items made from wool. Looking good... can mean looking fashionable. The way wool retains dyes and reacts with the sunlight is different than other fabrics. Good clothing items... are noticeably good looking. ....
    I'm not sure I agree on the price issue. The high end synthetics are just as expensive as merino wool in my experience. Also, my experience r.e. retaining water doesn't track with yours. The wool base layers I've used are very thin and when I'm done riding they tend to be completely dry.

    I do like some of the synthetics in the summer. I have a summer weight Craft base that is excellent when the temperature is just below that for jersey only; would be too warm for wool.
    Rick T
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    I'm not sure I agree on the price issue. The high end synthetics are just as expensive as merino wool in my experience.
    Your absolutely correct. But in neither case are the prices a reflection of the fabric alone. The quality of design and attention to the details inflate the prices. And I don't disagree that the items many be well worth the cost... regardless of which fabric was used.

    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    Also, my experience r.e. retaining water doesn't track with yours. The wool base layers I've used are very thin and when I'm done riding they tend to be completely dry.
    Very fine wool gathered from certain areas of the animal do have less kink in the fibers and will not retain moisture and/or heat as well as the more abundant wool gathered. Being "not as good" at what wool does best.... isn't close to "being excellent" at what some synthetic specialty fabrics do.

    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    I do like some of the synthetics in the summer. I have a summer weight Craft base that is excellent when the temperature is just below that for jersey only; would be too warm for wool.
    I like all the fabrics! Wool, cotton, synthetics... they all have their best uses.

  25. #25
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    In Scotland, friends gave me a sweater for my 50th birthday, in '97.

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