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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 11-01-08, 12:22 PM   #1
vsopking
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soaked, even with this special underwear

Thought that these sweat shirts would not absorb but transport sweat to the outer garments.
Still, after a good ride my undershirt is soaked, as is my bibs and the top T-shirt. All bike gear. Tips?
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Old 11-01-08, 02:11 PM   #2
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Perhaps you are wearing too many layers. Try going with less on. Keep the outside layers in a bag on your bike rack in case you have a flat.
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Old 11-01-08, 03:05 PM   #3
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Shouldn't I wear someting that absorbs sweat after being "transported" off the body? It's even worse when having a windstopper over the outer shirt...

Last edited by vsopking; 11-01-08 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 11-01-08, 03:25 PM   #4
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What temperature are you riding in?
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Old 11-01-08, 03:48 PM   #5
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This morning; about 5 degrees Celcius - But this is not a thing happening when it's "cold" only - also when it's nice weather - I am soaked - this is not a real problem - but now it's getting colder I am thinking about getting dressed up a bit more - and riding that sweaty when cold -especially in the wind is not that comfortable. I was hoping to get a dry body with this special garment but it does not do the trick.
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Old 11-01-08, 04:14 PM   #6
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5C for me is:

A light x-mart long sleeve base layer
Light windbreaker
Bib and tights (or boxers and jeans if I'm not going very far)
Thinsulate gloves
Helmet

Sweat is part of the game. Either slow down or accept it. Wicking doesn't work as well when the garment is under multiple layers of clothes.
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Old 11-01-08, 07:40 PM   #7
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Thought that these sweat shirts would not absorb but transport sweat to the outer garments.
Still, after a good ride my undershirt is soaked, as is my bibs and the top T-shirt. All bike gear. Tips?
In order for wicking layers to work they must breath all the way out to the final layer. This does not work well if you have too many layers or if you are wearing any non wicking layers over the wicking layers. I recommend 3 layers max. Adjust the thickness of these layers for the warmth you need. Generally sweatshirts do to not work well. Even the poly cotton blends. You might try the 100% poly kind if you can find them for the insualtion layer but I don't think it will work as well as fleece. Fleece wicks better and traps air better for more warmth.

Layer 1 next to skin. Wicking long john with open weave so it breaths well and traps air next to skin. Like a thermal weave. If it doesn't have an open thermal type of weave don't use it for highly aerobic use.

Layer 2: Insulation layer. Should also be breathable and wicking. Polar fleece or wool or perhaps an acrylic or wool sweater. Most like polyester polar fleece here but some like wool. You can try other things but no cotton of any kind.

Layer 3: Wind/Water resistant shell. Should not be insulated. Helpful if it has a synthetic mesh liner as it creates a small barrier between the cold shell and the insulation layer.

If you are the lucky type of person that does not get cold easily you can combine layers 1 and 2 into one garment if it is of the right type and thickness.

Now, believe it or not bike wear works great when used as a single garment but does not work so well when layered under a shell on the top. This is because it is designed to dry in a stout breeze which it doesn't get when under the shell. More breathable and cheaper stuff is warmer and works better under the cycling shell than multiple bike jerseys. And even 1 layer of cotton t-shirt anywhere in the layering scheme will ruin the whole system. However, for legs use bike tights over bike shorts. The bike specific stuff does work better on the legs in my opinion.

Last edited by Hezz; 11-01-08 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 11-01-08, 07:46 PM   #8
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Shouldn't I wear someting that absorbs sweat after being "transported" off the body? It's even worse when having a windstopper over the outer shirt...
No ... you want the sweat to evaporate, not be held in anything on your body. What material is your "top T-shirt"? It's not cotton is it?

If you do wear a windbreaker, get one that's breathable, and has long pit zips so you can let some of the steam off.

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Old 11-01-08, 08:12 PM   #9
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Cotton is evil...

Also you shouldn't be warm at the start of your ride... You should be cold and then after a few block your body will warm up to a comfortable temperature. I am in the Army and I always see new troops dress so they are warm right that moment, then after they have run a few meters they are covered in sweat and wondering why they are sweating so much...
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Old 11-01-08, 08:17 PM   #10
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A base layer, in my experience, should be polypropylene or wool (good-quality merino wool is the best, in my opinion).

Pitzips are essential.

If you ride hard, you are not likely to get rid of the moisture you produce as sweat, and some will remain in the fibres of the clothing you wear. This is where wool is great (and polypropylene to a slightly lesser degree in my experience) is best, because it stays warm when wet.

I've also had good experience with lightweight polar fleece as a second layer under the wind jacket. It does tend to retain the moisture, but helps wick it away from the inner, base garment, and seems to retain its warmth at the same time.

One other question: When you are just about to get on the bike for the first time on a cold ride, do you feel warm or do you have a feeling of being slightly chilled?

Being a bit chilled is preferable, otherwise you are overdressed for the physical effort to come later and that will encourage you to sweat more than you should.
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Old 11-02-08, 06:50 AM   #11
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Thanks guys - Today I did a tour of about 2 and a half hours. temp> 8degreesC- Dressed in a light bibs, under shirt, tight shirt for riding; a shirt with a long zipper for riding and a sleeveless windstopper. A cap underneath the helmeth. Wearing gloves wihout the fingers. After an hour I had to get rid of the shirt with the zipper and the cap - Had a nice ride - but again soaked - think it's part of the game. Best is not to stop and keep on riding as the cold is not that bad, what may be useful when it's getting really cold is a winter bibs or knee warmers.
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Old 11-02-08, 12:51 PM   #12
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. . . think it's part of the game. . . .
Perhaps a way to think about it is the reality that no technology is absolute proof against a sufficiently large challenge. I'm reminded of Woody Allen in "Sleeper" where he wakes up after 200 years and is baffled that his friends aren't still living 'cause they all ate health food.
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Old 11-02-08, 01:12 PM   #13
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What materials are all your shirts?

And at +8 degrees, you should already be wearing knee warmers.
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Old 11-02-08, 02:08 PM   #14
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No cotton ;-) however, all Specialized/Craft clothing - mixed -
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Old 11-02-08, 04:14 PM   #15
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This morning; about 5 degrees Celcius - But this is not a thing happening when it's "cold" only - also when it's nice weather - I am soaked - this is not a real problem - but now it's getting colder I am thinking about getting dressed up a bit more - and riding that sweaty when cold -especially in the wind is not that comfortable. I was hoping to get a dry body with this special garment but it does not do the trick.
What i wear: Wool!!! as my shirt (I think wool is the best material-tried em all) and it keeps me warm even when I and my shirt are wet with sweat.

I wear a light windbreaker.......over my shirt

What sets apart cycling from all other sports for me (trail running, hiking/bping, and skiing) is the wind chill associated with the cycling.........so a windbreaker is a must........

That is all I use........on my torso........

Gloves, wool toque, and helmet.........booties, and long tights over my bike shorts.

I think that I am dressed appropriately when I am cold when starting out and by 5 minutes or so much more comfy. I am comfortable at the outset of the ride then I am over dressed..........

HTH
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Old 11-02-08, 04:43 PM   #16
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Tomorrow I will stay a week in Limburg The utmost southern part of Holland. I'll take my bike and ride one or more routes - including "Dutch mountains - "de zeven heuvelen route?". I'll will test drive a few new garments and report -first I will buy a winter bibs if this as available and I may try a wool shirt...
;-))
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Old 11-02-08, 05:58 PM   #17
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Some people sweat alot. I am one of them. I have not conquered the issue, but here are my modest insights:

-I just have to have access to spare clothes if I need to be at all presentable. No way around it for me.

-My body cranks out serious heat. Seemingly significantly more than the other hominids. Even in the most bitter of weather, I have to have head neck ventilation. I will roll into work on a 5 degree day like I have been at beach.

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Old 11-02-08, 06:47 PM   #18
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Thanks guys - Today I did a tour of about 2 and a half hours. temp> 8degreesC- Dressed in a light bibs, under shirt, tight shirt for riding; a shirt with a long zipper for riding and a sleeveless windstopper. A cap underneath the helmeth. Wearing gloves wihout the fingers. After an hour I had to get rid of the shirt with the zipper and the cap - Had a nice ride - but again soaked - think it's part of the game. Best is not to stop and keep on riding as the cold is not that bad, what may be useful when it's getting really cold is a winter bibs or knee warmers.
Unfortunately, even when everything is dialed in if you are sweating a large amount in cold weather you will still have some wetness in the layers and especially the middle layer. But if you do it right you will be less wet and more importantly, you will remain warm even when damp.

If you are the warm kind of rider, at +8C you should be wearing nothing more than a thick wicking long john top and a good windbreaker or cycling jacket. Have fun on your trip.

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Old 11-02-08, 07:07 PM   #19
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You might also consider lowering your riding intensity a bit.

If you ride at high intensity/high physical output, you are more likely to sweat profusely. If you are reasonably bike-fit, you might consider that lowering your intensity will mean your sweat output will decrease in proportion.
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Old 11-03-08, 04:30 AM   #20
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I may be sweating more than average - but are there people who actally stay dry, using this specific underwear or does it just help a bit? - Will check thread next week, gotta go.
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Old 11-03-08, 09:06 AM   #21
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I may be sweating more than average - but are there people who actally stay dry, using this specific underwear or does it just help a bit? - Will check thread next week, gotta go.
No layering/material combination will stop you from sweating. Many combination's will cause you to overheat and sweat more than normal. What a really good combination will do is not cause you to overheat while allowing enough moisture to evaporate so that you when you hit areas where your tempo slows some, you can clear the mini atmosphere in your clothes.

If the end of your ride is a 3 mile hill climb, your never going to arrive dry as you wont ever have time to clear and evaporate the sweat built up from the climb.

If the end of your ride is flat and your arriving soaked, id check your outter layer as being not breathable/vented enough. If its not the cause, your most likely overdressing. You should be cold the first 15 min of your ride.
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Old 11-03-08, 12:26 PM   #22
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If you sweat too much you should wear less and let the sweat evapourate more easily. You can easily overwhelm the breathability of most wind-proof materials. Sleevless jackets (Gillets) are useful items to have in your wardrobe, they bridge a gap in temperature that is tricky to handle, they keep your body warm but allow your arms to act as heat radiators.
Start a ride wearing too little so you are cold. You should be more comfortable when you warmup from riding. Carry some extra insulation in case you have to stop.
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Old 11-10-08, 08:55 AM   #23
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Hi MichaelW, Thanks for the tip - Yesterday I started a 2hour ride in my summer gear (bibs, undershirt sleeveless and sleeveless T-shirt, all polyester stuff. I carried a windbreaker jacket with me - stuffed away in a pocket. At the start it felt very fresh (not to say quite cold;-), but it quickly became warm enough. Temp. about 9-10degrees C. I did complete the ride; without unpacking the windbreaker. Had a nice ride. Still, after the ride, my body was wet as was the underwear and the shirt. The underwear "Craft" should've kept me dry or what? Or is this not possible?

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Old 11-10-08, 08:14 PM   #24
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Hi MichaelW, Thanks for the tip - Yesterday I started a 2hour ride in my summer gear (bibs, undershirt sleeveless and sleeveless T-shirt, all polyester stuff. I carried a windbreaker jacket with me - stuffed away in a pocket. At the start it felt very fresh (not to say quite cold;-), but it quickly became warm enough. Temp. about 9-10degrees C. I did complete the ride; without unpacking the windbreaker. Had a nice ride. Still, after the ride, my body was wet as was the underwear and the shirt. The underwear "Craft" should've kept me dry or what? Or is this not possible?
I think whats happening is that you sweat a lot and the two shirt method is not working very well at wicking the moisture. Wicking works best when it is done by a single garment that is snug to your skin and the outer part of the garment is exposed directly to the wind stream. So it might work better to use a single garment that is a little thicker instead of the two t-shirts.

Try this method at about the same temperature as your last ride and see if it works better. Wear only 1 upper garment. Long sleeve or short sleeve fall weight cycling jersey. This is essentially just a standard jersey made from a little heavier material. No t-shirts. That all.

Take along your windbreaker in case you get cold.

Last edited by Hezz; 11-10-08 at 08:20 PM.
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