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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 10-03-12, 09:06 AM   #1
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Silk glove & sock liners with Wool?

Last winter was the first time I've ridden through the winter (what we consider "winter" here in Texas, anyway), but I still need to improve the warmth for my extremities.

I was looking at adding some silk glove & sock liners to my winter gear, as they insulate well and are thin enough to slip under anything else. I was at an outdoor shop last night and the salesperson told me I should NOT use silk liners with wool socks/gloves. Wondering if anyone might have some further input or explanation on that idea. Thanks.
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Old 10-03-12, 04:55 PM   #2
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I was going to answer this post until I saw you are in Texas. If you want to try winter cycling, come up here to Madison, Wisconsin. We're also one of the best microbrewery/craft brew cities in America, so if you don't lose all of your fingers to frostbite on your first ride, I'll buy you a beer.

Just kidding, I used to live in Texas for about 15 years. It was a good place to be a teenager. And it was HOT (temperature-wise). Really, really hot.

Obviously, I have to prepare for the cold a little differently up here. I tried silk long underwear at first, and although comfortable (because of the silk's softness, not for its insulation properties), it was not durable at all. This was while wearing them under jeans, cargo pants, cotton T-shirts and things like that. I don't know why the salesperson advised you not to use silk liners with wool specifically, but if you ride daily I wouldn't expect the silk liners to last very long, no matter what they are paired with.
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Old 10-04-12, 05:17 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MadCityCyclist View Post
I tried silk long underwear at first, and ... it was not durable at all. ...if you ride daily I wouldn't expect the silk liners to last very long, no matter what they are paired with.
Agreed. My silk long underwear was great for comfort, for not having cold wet cotton next to your skin, for the feel of it. (I had no wool) Mine was thin, though. It did not keep you very warm. I started riding my bike to work last year and before winter was even over the seams in the pants were failing. I tried to fix them myself and must have done it wrong- I wore the tatters of long underwear pants the rest of the year until my husband threw them away. Granted- at that time I knew nothing of silk care and they were laundered just like all my other clothes.
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Old 10-04-12, 07:44 PM   #4
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What you want is polypropylene socks under a merino wool blend sock. Perfect for those 35-55 degree F rides.

Polypropylene won't cause blisters and wool stays warm even if your feet get wet. Just don't dry your wool socks on high heat in the drier or they shrink badly. Tumble dry on low with a dry towel until the socks are just barely damp, then lay them out to air dry the rest of the way. Don't be fooled by cheap wool blends that are 70+% acrylic with just a bit of cheap wool mixed in. Get socks that are at least 50% merino wool. Merino wool shrinks less and is less itchy than most other wools. I don't recommend 100% wool socks as they don't stay up and lose their shape over time.
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Old 10-04-12, 07:51 PM   #5
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Wool socks, and wool glove liners, (in Manzella glove shells).
Socks: DeFeet or SmartWool.
Glove liners: SmartWool.
I got in from a 2 hr ride just now, using them.
It was 45F starting out; 35F at the finish.

Silk is fine...until you sweat and it gets soggy.
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