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Thread: Merino Wool

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    Merino Wool

    Any must-haves for shirts as base layers? $35-$50 range is where I'm aiming.

    Also something for the legs might be in order. I'm sure I can find some socks as well; though keeping my core warm is paramount.

    No blends. Pure Merino wool.
    Last edited by bluefoxicy; 07-27-11 at 11:30 AM.
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    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Search. Plenty of threads.
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    long sleeve - try minus 33. Cheaper than smart wool but just as effective in my opinion - I think I paid 40 or 45
    long johns - I've got smart wool but they run around 75 bucks
    socks - smart wool - get em at REI when they are on sale - 4 pair for 3 from time to time

    best stuff you can get. warm and absolutely no stink (that may be the best part)

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    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Here's a thread on merino wool T-shirts I started a few months back, and like scroca said, there are quite a few more in the Forums:

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-shirts-anyone

    Turns out, if you are picky about how the stuff has been made (mulesing, country of manufacture), you have less options and the price will be higher. I ordered two shirts from ChocolateFish mentioned in that thread. After using those for a couple of weeks, I tossed all my old synthetic "technical" shirts in the recycling bin. Their stuff is over your price range, but if you're not particular about production details, you'll find cheaper pure merino alternatives from other manufacturers.

    --J
    Last edited by Juha; 08-16-11 at 09:20 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgriffioen View Post
    long sleeve - try minus 33. Cheaper than smart wool but just as effective in my opinion - I think I paid 40 or 45
    long johns - I've got smart wool but they run around 75 bucks
    socks - smart wool - get em at REI when they are on sale - 4 pair for 3 from time to time

    best stuff you can get. warm and absolutely no stink (that may be the best part)
    Minus33 gets constant praise except for being too big/loose but eh. I'm not looking for any blends, just 100% Merino ... isn't SmartWool a blend?

    It's getting to the point where I'm looking outside at rain and going, no, it's too cold for rain. August I went out in rain. When it's sunny I wear a wind jacket now because it's too cold. It's time to get rid of the Zensah base layers and put on something warm. 22C is too cold for biking unprotected.
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    I went to a local thrift store and came away with 8 merino sweaters for about $7 each. I found one that was size small that fits like a shirt, it had the original $85 price tag on it and priced at $15. I found another non-merino one that was like ragg wool that should make a great mid-layer.

    Last winter went I checked out the store they didn't have any wool. This would be a great time to check out the stores before people go looking for the stuff. The majority of the sweaters will be acrylic or cotton, so you'll have to spend some time label hunting. If you don't see the material label at the neck, its usually inside the waist near the bottom.

    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    22C is too cold for biking unprotected.
    Is that a typo . I was riding this morning at 13C in a short sleeve jersey and was quite comfortable.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    MEC has quite a bit of merino wool clothing. I picked up two new tops there recently.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gecho View Post
    I went to a local thrift store and came away with 8 merino sweaters for about $7 each. I found one that was size small that fits like a shirt, it had the original $85 price tag on it and priced at $15. I found another non-merino one that was like ragg wool that should make a great mid-layer.

    Last winter went I checked out the store they didn't have any wool. This would be a great time to check out the stores before people go looking for the stuff. The majority of the sweaters will be acrylic or cotton, so you'll have to spend some time label hunting. If you don't see the material label at the neck, its usually inside the waist near the bottom.
    +1

    I have picked up a few merino wool clothing items from thrift shops too. Some have been nice enough to use as dress clothing for work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gecho View Post
    Is that a typo . I was riding this morning at 13C in a short sleeve jersey and was quite comfortable.
    At 13C I will go about 2 blocks and then get off the bike because it's too cold to continue. The wind jacket helps, but I need some real protection.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    At 13C I will go about 2 blocks and then get off the bike because it's too cold to continue. The wind jacket helps, but I need some real protection.
    Really?? 13C = 55F; your earlier post said, "22C is too cold for biking unprotected." 22C = 72F.

    72F is room temperature (or will be by the middle of next month). 55F is chilly right now because I'm so used to 90-95F, but it'll be long-sleeve jersey warm for me by December.

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    baselayer top:

    http://www.backcountry.com/stoic-mer...ng-sleeve-mens

    Basically, the Backcountry.com or Stoic merino long-sleeve shirts are the same, and theyre pretty hard to beat.

    socks:

    http://www.backcountry.com/teko-midw...king-sock-mens

    Any Teko socks are GOOD.

    At 13C/55F (and DRY! - rain changes everything), you really need nothing but bike shorts on your legs. Try it.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    Really?? 13C = 55F; your earlier post said, "22C is too cold for biking unprotected." 22C = 72F.

    72F is room temperature (or will be by the middle of next month). 55F is chilly right now because I'm so used to 90-95F, but it'll be long-sleeve jersey warm for me by December.
    +1

    13C is sort of coolish, but definitely nowhere near "too cold to continue". A nice sunny 13C is actually relatively warm.

    Maybe bluefoxicy is using the wrong temperature letter ... maybe he's thinking 13F = -10C. Minus 10C would require "some real protection".

    And 22F = -5C. Minus 5C would be "too cold for biking unprotected".

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    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    I have a light rain jacket that I wear at 22F. It's pretty light weight so the start of the ride is cold, but it's not vented, so after a mile or so, you're pretty warm, maybe too warm. Great for cold and wet though with proper gloves and a helmet cover. But then I'm cheap and don't have merino base layers, just the normal synthetics. A couple of my long sleeve jerseys will take me down to that cold if I've got my balaclava and gloves on and it's dry. I really need to check out this thrift store advice. Do you mean like Goodwill stores where people drop off old clothes they don't wear or those stores where other stores try to get rid of merchandise that's out of season and can't sell? I only ask because people here always talk about their finds at thrift shops and whenever I hit the goodwill or salvation army it's always dingy and smelly stuff, not much in high quality. Maybe I'm just going the wrong times or not hunting carefully enough.
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Thrift stores =

    Op shops (here in Australia)
    Vinnies (here in Australia)
    Salvos (here in Australia)
    Salvation Army (in Canada, aka Salvos in Australia)
    Value Village (in Canada)

    Value Village in Canada is a treasure trove of clothing all in a large, bright, department store-like setting. They are huge and have racks and racks and racks of clothing. That's where I have acquired most of my thrift shop finds for both cycling wear and everyday wear.

    Salvation Army in Canada has tried to match Value Village but on a slightly smaller scale. Their stores aren't quite as huge as Value Village, but they are well laid out and clean.

    Vinnies here in Australia is set up like a dress shop and their selection is a bit sparse ... but again, clean and occasionally you can find some good stuff there.

    Salvos is often a little more crowded and it's a bit of a dig to get through everything.

    And Op shops vary, but there's one in just about every town. We've got one in a tourist town near us where well-off tourists will drop off stuff they don't want. I've picked up some nice stuff there for $2 or $3. The one in our town has phases where there is just nothing of interest for several months, and then all of a sudden there will be several items. It just depends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    Really?? 13C = 55F; your earlier post said, "22C is too cold for biking unprotected." 22C = 72F.
    I wear a light jacket below 80F degrees. It was 68F last year while I was still wearing a thick cotton jacket with a filled and lined denim jacket over top. I've had my vision shut down at -5C (because really, Farenheit is useless if discussing how cold it is relative to freezing or boiling water) on a 1/3 mile walk from my office to my car.

    22C is cold enough that I need to wear a wind jacket. Not doing that. Today it's 29C out, which is warm. Not hot, just warm. Nice weather, pretty minimal for comfort.
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    I wear a light jacket below 80F degrees. It was 68F last year while I was still wearing a thick cotton jacket with a filled and lined denim jacket over top. I've had my vision shut down at -5C (because really, Farenheit is useless if discussing how cold it is relative to freezing or boiling water) on a 1/3 mile walk from my office to my car.

    22C is cold enough that I need to wear a wind jacket. Not doing that. Today it's 29C out, which is warm. Not hot, just warm. Nice weather, pretty minimal for comfort.
    Do you have some sort of medical condition that makes you feel cold when it is really quite warm out? Or is it that you just don't spend enough time outside to allow yourself to adapt to a wider variety of temperatures than what you might experience inside?


    22C is room temperature ... in fact, it's slightly on the warmer side of room temperature, generally I prefer something around 20-21C. And for reference 68F is 20C.

    29C is quite warm, but I don't consider the temperature hot until it goes over 30C.

    And -5C is not cold enough to shut down a normal person's vision. -5C is just somewhat brisk.


    I usually feel chilly when I ride, and I'm usually the one at group rides wearing an extra layer. When everyone else is there in short-sleeved jerseys and shorts, I might be in a long-sleeved jersey, windproof vest, and shorts with knee warmers ... with the intention of removing the vest and knee warmers if I warmed up.

    However, if I were to wear a thick cotton jacket with a filled and lined denim jacket over top when cycling at 20C ... I'd melt. If I were to wear that walking or sitting around at 20C, I'd melt. You're probably sweating a lot in all of that and the wind blowing on all that sweat is probably making you feel colder than you would if you were to wear cycling-specific or exercise-specific clothing. Have you tried cycling in clothing that is not cotton?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Do you have some sort of medical condition that makes you feel cold when it is really quite warm out? Or is it that you just don't spend enough time outside to allow yourself to adapt to a wider variety of temperatures than what you might experience inside?
    I got a sunburn this year. I think I got more sun in that day than I've had in my life. I'm never outside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    And -5C is not cold enough to shut down a normal person's vision. -5C is just somewhat brisk.
    Are you ****ing kidding? Water freezes above that! I'm made of water!!!

    Before I started biking, I'd measure my normal body temperature at 94.5F or thereabout. 95F is considered a medical emergency but I run pretty cool. Mind you I also used to shower in water so hot it overloaded my heat sensors ... felt like ice water, but steamed a lot and turned my skin red. Didn't cause the pain that cold water caused either. Dad didn't like the shower at 130F so he turned the water heater down to like 105F which ... I can't shower in now because it's too cold. I can't stay immersed in a shower, so the half of my body surface being exposed to air cools off too fast at 105F... something I didn't figure out until much later.

    My current apartment can output 145F at the tap. I can't shower in it, it burns; but cold water is always readily available.

    Be mindful I'm also the guy that went biking in 106F weather and hit 30mph coming down a hill. Had a coworker the same weekend wandering around in and out of an air conditioned building, spent too much time in front of said building, drank water ad vomitum, vomited water, then went to the emergency room and got saline via IV. Nuun FTW.

    The cold is not for me.
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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    I got a sunburn this year. I think I got more sun in that day than I've had in my life. I'm never outside.
    That explains a lot. Go outside. Spend more time outside. Walk or cycle to work in the mornings and after work ... go for a walk outside at lunch. Spend time outside in the evenings and on weekends. You'll start to adjust to real temperatures rather than climate controlled temperatures.



    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    Are you ****ing kidding? Water freezes above that! I'm made of water!!!
    You're also made of salt and several other things. You won't freeze to death spending a few hours cycling or walking outside at -5C.


    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    Be mindful I'm also the guy that went biking in 106F weather and hit 30mph coming down a hill.
    So? 50 km/h isn't a particularly fast descending speed, but would help to cool you down a bit ... and I think many of us here cycle in both hot temperatures and cold temperatures. I've cycled in everything from about -40C to +48C. And I didn't freeze at -40C.

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    stupid after seven Ratchet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    Before I started biking, I'd measure my normal body temperature at 94.5F or thereabout. 95F is considered a medical emergency but I run pretty cool. The cold is not for me.
    Have you had your thyroid checked? Seriously, it sounds like you suffer from hypothyroidism, which wreaks a whole lot more havoc on your body than just making you cold all of the time. For real, see your doctor, the things you have described are not normal.

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    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post

    You're also made of salt and several other things. You won't freeze to death spending a few hours cycling or walking outside at -5C.
    bluefoxicy spends his time in a theoretical world. He doesn't let reality interfere with his thought process.
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    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    Farenheit is useless if discussing how cold it is relative to freezing or boiling water
    Good grief.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scroca View Post
    Good grief.
    I didn't really even understand his comment. I don't care if you use metric or not, but stick to one scale.

    Bluefoxicy: If you're wearing 2 jackets at 68F and any jacket at 80F there is something wrong with either you or your thermometer. Seriously, go to your doctor and tell him this, you need help.

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    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    My favourite piece of winter kit is my Canadian army (new surplus) virgin wool sweater... with a t-shirt underneath and a windproof / waterproof shell jacket I have found that I am warm and toasty at virtually any winter temperature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post

    You're also made of salt and several other things. You won't freeze to death spending a few hours cycling or walking outside at -5C.
    Sounds like the people in the Training & Nutrition forum that know about zero about biochemistry.

    95F is considered borderline hypothermia because if your core temperature sustains much lower, the activation energy of various chemical processes is no longer reached and metabolism stops. The temperature doesn't even have to hit freezing for you to freeze to death... especially not if it's windy enough. In fact, divers experience life-threatening hypothermia in above-freezing water if they stay down too long.

    -5C is not "somewhat brisk." -5C is "below freezing." As I'm made of water, I can quite easily claim I can freeze to death in those temperatures, and the dead flesh will eventually ice up. Amusingly, if the primary fluid component of my body was alcohol (with a much lower freezing point), I'd be much more vulnerable to the cold due to a much lower specific heat. I guess, without solidification of liquid component, the proper term is "stall," because the manner of death is a stall in combustion by removing activation energy (i.e. the fuel doesn't burn). But that's not really common use for "death by low temperature."
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    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Yeah, but you're not made of pure water. You're made of water with salts and other things dissolved in it that lower the freezing temperature the same way antifreeze lowers the freezing temp in your radiator. But yeah, you COULD freeze to death in 70 degree water too, but that doesn't mean being outside at -5C is going to cause your eyes to freeze solid.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


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