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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 11-10-03, 03:19 PM   #1
TrekRider
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Silk Underwear!

Yep, this he-man, macho retired Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer wears silk underwear! All 6'3", 240 lovable lbs of him! And they are fantastic!

I rode today in 50 degree weather with a new pair of Redhead silk underwear I bought at Bass Pro for $44, including tax. I also wore knee warmers, a wind stopper vest and my rain suit and I was over dressed! When I got back after my ride, the silk was soaked. I could have gotten by without the knee warmers and the vest, and probably a jersey instead of the jacket.

The silk is worth every penny of the $44 I paid. Sometimes, 50 degrees isn't cold, but the air was cold and there was a stiff breeze blowing, giving a windchill of around 40-45.
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Old 11-15-03, 09:23 PM   #2
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No kidding. Silk is the absolute best - especially for long underwear.

I have several pair and from about the end of November to the end of March, I wear long silk underwear every day. They are so versitile and so perfect.

They are warm even in painfully cold weather, but they are not too warm when the weather warms up a bit.

Silk is truly the wonder fiber. It is better than wool or any synthetic.

If you haven't tried silk, please do yourself a favor and get some. These days, silk clothes from China are so affordable, it is crazy not to buy it.
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Old 11-15-03, 10:21 PM   #3
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Well I'm glad to hear this. I just got my silk in the mail today and I was a little worried because this things are like paper thin. Got mine on sale for $30 for both the top and bottoms (sierratradingpost.com), was hoping it was not just something cheap.

And sorry to hear about the Navy part of your post.
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Old 11-15-03, 10:38 PM   #4
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I don't know much about silk,but I bought some outasite navy blue thermal underwear that fits pretty snug and might work in a pinch situation

Regards.
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Old 11-17-03, 08:08 AM   #5
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I'm currently wearing Duo-fold brand t-shirts as my base layer. Will silk t-shirts work just as well? Here's one I've been considering.
http://www.wintersilks.com/product.a...ID=89&KEY=1300
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Old 11-17-03, 06:24 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RonH
I'm currently wearing Duo-fold brand t-shirts as my base layer. Will silk t-shirts work just as well? Here's one I've been considering.
http://www.wintersilks.com/product.a...ID=89&KEY=1300
Ron, Duofold is warmer than the single layer silk. However, Duofold is often too warm. Silk mysteriously is warm, but not too warm.

If you are riding in really cold weather (below freezing and windy), Duofold is warmer than silk.
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Old 11-17-03, 06:30 PM   #7
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Thanks.
My wife suggested I try silk but from what you said I'll stick with duo-fold.
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Old 11-17-03, 07:31 PM   #8
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I'm fortunate in that I have a Cabela's store I can get to here in Minnesota. They clearance their silk underwear out in the spring. (50% off). I have about a 1/2 dozen tops, and wear it all the time as a base layer in the winter.


http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...rue&hasJS=true
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Old 11-18-03, 06:39 PM   #9
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I hope that none of you is wearing silk undies under your padded bike shorts.

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Old 11-18-03, 06:54 PM   #10
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How would you like it if you were boiled alive before you reached maturity and were able to experience flying, just so someone could use your skin to cover their butt and nads?

O.k., O.k., you might think I'm over the edge on this one, but I'll still stick with my polys and natural non-animal fibers.
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Old 11-20-03, 07:04 PM   #11
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How would you like it if you were boiled alive before you reached maturity and were able to experience flying, just so someone could use your skin to cover their butt and nads?

O.k., O.k., you might think I'm over the edge on this one, but I'll still stick with my polys and natural non-animal fibers.
Gee, all that for a coupla' worms? Well, I gotta go now, I'm frying the flesh of a dead animal for din-din.

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Old 11-21-03, 08:38 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by trekrider
Gee, all that for a coupla' worms?
...
I have been wondering lately about just that subject. Is it "better" to use natural fibers (silk, merino wool, etc) or the man-made plastic ones (coolmax, poly-pro, lycra, etc).

I own silk and love it and I also have a ton of plastic clothing as well (wicking materials). At first glance it would seem that using natural fibers would be more "eco-friendly" because these are mostly farmed rather than manufactured; this depends on the farming techniques used of course. Polyesters are made from oil products and generate at least some toxic waste, though I'm not sure how much and exactly what the impact is.

If you decided to use all natural fibers for your clothing, could you find jerseys, socks, tights and all the other stuff you would need ? For example: What would you use for a windbreaker ? Maybe a thin vented deerskin or goatskin leather jacket ?

Dan

PS: This thread on silk underwear now has an even chance at getting moved to the Political Forum. That is really amusing to me.
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Old 12-07-08, 11:22 AM   #13
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I don't own any thin polypropelene layers, but do have silk thermals. How much better does the manmade stuff wick and dry?

I know that the silk sure dries quickly, but it can certainly get soaking wet!

I've found the silk great for riding to church choir (after dark sub freezing rides 7.5 miles each way). I remove the silk and my hi vis jacket (construction style-- not the greatest, but boy do I light up the roadside!), and find the silk completely dry after 1.5 hours.
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Old 12-07-08, 11:34 AM   #14
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I have silk longjohns and will admit that nothing feels as nice as them. I wear them to work on cold days because they keep me toasty without overheating me.

BUT, once silk is wet with sweat it is miserable. Do you silk enthusiasts actually wear it riding? I wouldn't even think of doing it from the experiences with silk I have had.

jim
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Old 12-07-08, 11:39 AM   #15
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Silk is not as suitable for riding here in cold weather... wool still rules.
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Old 12-07-08, 06:43 PM   #16
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I have silk longjohns and will admit that nothing feels as nice as them. I wear them to work on cold days because they keep me toasty without overheating me.

BUT, once silk is wet with sweat it is miserable. Do you silk enthusiasts actually wear it riding? I wouldn't even think of doing it from the experiences with silk I have had.

jim
This thread is fascinating. I have tried all fabrics: cotton, silk, polypro variants, and wool.
Cotton is terrible.
Silk is a close second. I agree that when wet with perspiration it has zero insulating properties and doesn't do wicking enough for this sweat a holic...........(interestingly in my lightweight backpacking fora, everyone eschews silk).
Man-made stuff is good but stinks. The best I believe is Hot Chilies.......they rock. My wife and kids use various formulations for skiing........
Finally, I heart wool: doesn't stink as much and when wet it insulates the best.......plus it is a renewable source in which the animal can be treated humanely......merino wool that is.........

If you think silk is so great try getting it soaked with sweat after biking and then sit around a house at 60 deg F. You will shiver..........the only fabric which will continue to insulate is wool.........
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Old 12-07-08, 08:24 PM   #17
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Cotton is terrible. Silk is a close second.
Glad to see someone else who has suffered in wet silk!

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The best I believe is Hot Chilies
Ski wear like Hot Chillys should work very well for winter cycling. In the past, I've use softshell (Schoeller dynamic) pants over light insulation or knee warmers. This season I'm trying out some xc ski pants (polypro/lycra from Sporthill) as a single layer option, so far with good results.

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the only fabric which will continue to insulate [when wet] is wool
Nonsense. There are plenty of synthetics that work reasonably well when wet. To back up my claim, I just thoroughly soaked my new pants and went for a walk on verglas covered sidewalks. Wool works fine, though I've switched to synthetics for activities where I'm likely to get wet. Also, it shouldn't be a surprise that most silk-weight clothing is cold when wet - this stuff is generally designed to be a wicking layer, and works well in cold temps when used underneath appropriate top layers.

BTW, recycled polyester fabrics like Patagonia's Capilene are an environmentally conscious option to wool. Patagonia also makes a nice looking, and chlorine-free, mid weight wool pant...
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Old 12-07-08, 08:47 PM   #18
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This thread is fascinating.
Fascinating that this five year old thread was revived.
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Old 12-07-08, 09:49 PM   #19
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Glad to see someone else who has suffered in wet silk!


Ski wear like Hot Chillys should work very well for winter cycling. In the past, I've use softshell (Schoeller dynamic) pants over light insulation or knee warmers. This season I'm trying out some xc ski pants (polypro/lycra from Sporthill) as a single layer option, so far with good results.



Nonsense. There are plenty of synthetics that work reasonably well when wet. To back up my claim, I just thoroughly soaked my new pants and went for a walk on verglas covered sidewalks. Wool works fine, though I've switched to synthetics for activities where I'm likely to get wet. Also, it shouldn't be a surprise that most silk-weight clothing is cold when wet - this stuff is generally designed to be a wicking layer, and works well in cold temps when used underneath appropriate top layers.

BTW, recycled polyester fabrics like Patagonia's Capilene are an environmentally conscious option to wool. Patagonia also makes a nice looking, and chlorine-free, mid weight wool pant...
This was my experience after years of trialing different items. I feel better, myself, with wool.
Others may feel differently. It was just my opinion. I didn't mean to imply that synthetics don't work also but, just that for me wool works the best. Yes, Patagucci does a nice job for the environment; though no cheaper than wool unless you find a good deal like their annual sale. If I were independently wealthy I would have closet full of Ibex and Icebreaker clothing..........

I just like everything about wool and often in thrift shops you can find good deals............I prefer wool in the summer too...........

I have always felt clammy in silk......it seems to hold in the moisture and not wick it away....even under another layer.

Obviously YMMV.........just as we may ride different bikes we may use different fabrics.........cotton and silk do not work for me. Synthetics are fine (they tend to stink much more than wool-my wife has a sensitive nose) and wool is the best.......but again, it is just my opinion.
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Old 12-07-08, 10:38 PM   #20
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To back up my claim, I just thoroughly soaked my new pants and went for a walk on verglas covered sidewalks.
This has to win some sort of prize for the dogged scientific spirit it shows.

Does anyone know if wool can stop throwing-stars? I say it can't, and there is no way to prove it does.

jim
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Old 12-08-08, 06:14 AM   #21
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This has to win some sort of prize for the dogged scientific spirit it shows.

Does anyone know if wool can stop throwing-stars? I say it can't, and there is no way to prove it does.

jim
word :-)
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Old 12-08-08, 09:34 AM   #22
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Fascinating that this five year old thread was revived.
Yup, that was me...

I'm more of a fan of the zombie thread than having every search-function-challenged newbie generate new threads, especially if the old thread is a good one. It can help counterbalance the hype/fad effect in gear oriented forums like this one. Wisdom of the "ages..."
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