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  1. #1
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    Another Wool convert

    Well after just getting by last winter I finally got smart and tried out a merino wool shirt to use as a baselayer. So much better than the UnderArmour type stuff I had been using. It breathes better and certainly does stay warm while wet.

    Then I added in a long sleeve merino wool jersey and it is even better. Able to wear these two lightweight layers under my foxwear jacket in temps down to the long 20s with complete comfort.

    I will also add that I am quite sensitive to traditional wool and can't stand to wear the stuff. But these merino wool products are soft and totally itch free. And they have yet to develop any kind of odor to them and can go for days without washing. They truly do work as advertised.

    Now to save up for a wool outerlayer and I will be completely hooked up for the winter. Like many here I bike year round and know I will see temps well below zero several times this year. Quite a comfort to find products that really do hold your body heat even when wet.
    Steel is real.... cheap and comfy!
    2000 LeMond Zurich, 2003 Kona Jake The Snake, 2008 Raleigh Mojave 8.0, 2009 Scott CR1 Pro, 2011 Trek 5.9,

  2. #2
    Senior Member JeanSeb's Avatar
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    Nice.

    I've been wearing more and more wool myself and love it, it seems to be close to perfection. Although I still like to wear quick-dry pants.

  3. #3
    Soapy Goodness
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    I agree! I love my UA for running (or even long walks) but it doesn't seem to cut it for the type of cycling I do- a shortish work commute. I love wool and silk!

  4. #4
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Yup, I wear wool all year long. It's the best. Too bad the shop I work at doesn't believe in wool, I miss my old shop. The only time I wear synthetic is when I am just going out for ride and will becoming straight home to shower and when I played rugby. Even if I only plan to stop to get a bite to eat before returning home, I wear wool.

    I did a test a couple of years ago and wore my wool shirt to work everyday. I wanted to see how long before it started to stink. I only wore it during the commutes to and from work. After two weeks I washed it, not because it smelled but because I had to do laundry.

    Welcome to the wool cult. I kind of wish people wouldn't learn about merino wool. The price is high enough now without more of a demand for it.
    Learn what's a platform pedal.

  5. #5
    Senior Member consumes's Avatar
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    i've picked up several shirts in the last few months ... lamb, merino, shetland ..... merino is superior for riding in my opinion

  6. #6
    Still spinnin'..... Stealthammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by consumes View Post
    i've picked up several shirts in the last few months ... lamb, merino, shetland ..... merino is superior for riding in my opinion
    Yep, there's wool, and then there is merino wool. No itch, no oder... Merino rules!
    Just your average 'high-functioning' lunatic, capable of passing as 'normal' for short periods of time.....

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  7. #7
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    Got a midweight merino wool hoodie from REI for Christmas. It was on clearance so a decent price. Anyway, I can wear that with my minus33 baselayer and Ibex jersey and be quite comfortable on rides with temps in the 20s. Even kept my temperature even on a long mountain climb the other day. I think if I can pick up a decent vest I will be good to go for all but the wet days when I'll need to wear a shell of somekind. Nice not to have to wear the loose fitting Foxwear jacket which seems to add a lot of wind resistance.
    Steel is real.... cheap and comfy!
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  8. #8
    Grateful Tread brawny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
    Welcome to the wool cult. I kind of wish people wouldn't learn about merino wool. The price is high enough now without more of a demand for it.
    +1.

    I look for discontinued products at REI and MEC to keep the cost down. I've also had luck at thrift stores finding merino wool sweaters - typically made in Italy for just a few $$$. Not cycling specific, but I find they're comfortable to wear in the office and dressy enough for where I work - and I don't need to worry about laundering every time.
    TV Sucks. Ride Your Bike!

  9. #9
    Senior Member linear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stealthammer View Post
    Yep, there's wool, and then there is merino wool. No itch, no oder... Merino rules!
    The comfort of Merino is outstanding. Now have a good supply, hands down better than the synthetic poly stuff. Wish I had made the transition long ago, now a convert...

  10. #10
    Soapy Goodness
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    FYI, a lot of Target stores now have Merino wool sweaters on clearance. I scored a couple for myself and my husband for around $16 each.

  11. #11
    Senior Member linear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .Cricket View Post
    FYI, a lot of Target stores now have Merino wool sweaters on clearance. I scored a couple for myself and my husband for around $16 each.
    Thats a great price for at $16 for a new item. I have been riding to 5 thrift stores within the area, have picked up over 20 in the last month at about $4 each. Converted the big ones to bottoms, lots of labor with the sewing machine though. Did find a smart wool bottom for $3 once but very rare at the thrifts. I may have gone overboard on the wool thing. Some of these are so nice it seems a crime to use them for cycling clothing. Its funny seeing the shrunk ones that most likely got put in a dryer, I pass on those.

  12. #12
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Has anyone tried wool slacks from army surplus stores? Don't know how they would cut the wind.
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

  13. #13
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    Oh, wow, the wool slacks from my army days were very thick, heavy, stiff, and rough. Can't image even peddling in them. I am also sure they would rub you legs raw in just a few miles.
    Steel is real.... cheap and comfy!
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  14. #14
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesdak View Post
    Oh, wow, the wool slacks from my army days were very thick, heavy, stiff, and rough. Can't image even peddling in them. I am also sure they would rub you legs raw in just a few miles.
    Good thing I didn't drop 30 bucks. They did look nice, though. They were a pretty green with nice cargo pockets.
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Paul Y.'s Avatar
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    I'm using a light merlino sweater right on my skin now. It's great, it has a few small moth holes.
    Perfect for my base layer. A good tip from Winter Cycling.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy View Post
    Good thing I didn't drop 30 bucks. They did look nice, though. They were a pretty green with nice cargo pockets.
    My legs seem to be the easiest to keep warm in the winter. Even on the worse days last year (-7f) my legs did ok with only mid-weight tights and light-weight running pants over top. They are doing most of the work and tend to stay plenty warm in my experience.
    Steel is real.... cheap and comfy!
    2000 LeMond Zurich, 2003 Kona Jake The Snake, 2008 Raleigh Mojave 8.0, 2009 Scott CR1 Pro, 2011 Trek 5.9,

  17. #17
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    I've got snow boarding pants for the really cold days.
    more cops have been killed by donuts than guns in chicago it is a medical fact ask any doctor.

  18. #18
    Soapy Goodness
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    I usually bike to work with UnderArmour tights under regular leggings or stripey (cotton) tights, and a knee-length or shorter skirt. I wish I could find a nice tan wool skirt. (I have to wear tan pants to work) For me the UA and leggings is warm enough... down to about 5F, so far.

  19. #19
    Mrs. Hop-along redeyedtreefr0g's Avatar
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    Wow .Cricket. I've heard about wearing tights with skirts, and I couldn't imagine that ever being warm enough. But you said down to 5F... its only gotten that cold here a few times, I'd LOVE to be able to dress up nice even then. Then again, I'm a pants-wearer and haven't yet gotten any nice dresses or skirts yet. Just wishing for now.

    As for wool, I have none yet, but have also been getting by. I DO have a pair of silk long underwear by Land's End. My mom got them for me when I was getting up at 3am to go out on a windy flightline with Florida humidity eating through everything. Yes, occasionally it does get that cold in Florida, and the humidity just makes it worse. Anyway, I've worn my silk under my jeans nearly every single day this winter in Oregon and they are getting very worn for it. I need to repair a few seams. I can't wait to find something wool to try.

  20. #20
    Senior Member david58's Avatar
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    I still like Underarmor next to the skin, but....my bride got me one of the Sugoi cycling jerseys in Merino from Performance Bike for Christmas. Instant convert to Merino. That sweater might not make it on a bike ride - I would danged near wear it every day, so comfortable.

    Merino is the deal these days - watch out if you buy new. I have seen otherwise synthetic base layer garments (Costco is one place I think of) that advertise as being Merino, but are only 10-20% wool. At that point, I would just go full synthetic, or hold out for the good stuff.
    2011 BMC SR02; 2010 Fuji Cross Comp; n+1 on hold today, due to college tuition and a wedding. Some day, some where, over the rainbow, I will get that 29er....

  21. #21
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    Now in closet...
    8 merino t-shirt. (+1 I am wearing now..)
    5 merino long sleeve shirt
    4 merino short sleeve dressy shirt.
    2 merino long sleeve dressy shirt.
    2 merino short sleeve cycling jersey.
    (1 merino thin jacket I am wearing today..)
    1 merino mid layer full zip.
    dozen merino socks.
    Mix of smartwool/ibex/icebreaker/minus33.
    I probably will get smartwool cycling jersey and short when summer swings around.
    Definite convert. These helps me wearing clothes I cycle to work for 30-50f temp swing in same day. (30+ mile round trip)
    (BTW, Eucalan for washing these or Sportwash...).

  22. #22
    Soapy Goodness
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    redeyed, I have a few pairs of silk long johns and they are super nice to wear, but not really appropriate for layering under tights or leggings. I've heard good things about SmartWool tights, and I do love my Under Armour Frosty Tights- http://www.underarmour.com/shop/us/e...LAID=516573098

    The only issue I have with UA- it's not that comfortable to just sit around in. It makes me feel colder, believe it or not! But I work in a warehouse and so am walking/climbing ladders all night, so they are ok for that.

    I am no cold junkie! I moved here from SW WA about ten years ago, and discovering long johns was really the tipping point for me.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by david58 View Post
    I still like Underarmor next to the skin, but....my bride got me one of the Sugoi cycling jerseys in Merino from Performance Bike for Christmas. Instant convert to Merino. That sweater might not make it on a bike ride - I would danged near wear it every day, so comfortable.
    My issue with Underarmor was how it did in the cold once wet. If I stopped for a minute or two it gets quite cold and can take about 15 or 20 minutes of riding to get warm again. With the wool it justs stays warm and really does seem to breathe a lot better. The same 3 layer setup is comfortable from the 20s to low 50s as I have discovered in our crazy weather lately, very handy. Especially now, with the evening rides being finished in the dark I see a fairly wide range in temps.
    Steel is real.... cheap and comfy!
    2000 LeMond Zurich, 2003 Kona Jake The Snake, 2008 Raleigh Mojave 8.0, 2009 Scott CR1 Pro, 2011 Trek 5.9,

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