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Slightly confused about clothing

Old 03-30-10, 04:32 AM
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Slightly confused about clothing

I've always used my hiking/mountaneering stuff when cycling and it has done great, but I'm now going out more often than the washing can't keep up with so need to buy some more clothing and figure it may as well be proper cycling stuff.

So what goes with what? Do you wear a baselayer under everything? Even if it's hot and you've got a jersey on? When it's colder and you've wearing a softshell type item, do you wear base layer -> jersey -> shell, or just base layer -> shell?

I'm looking to buy suitable clothing to get me through the rest of the spring and Englands wonderfully unpredictable summer. What type of combinations should I be looking at getting?
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Old 03-30-10, 05:13 AM
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What do you normally wear to work, for a walk around the neighbourhood, at home ....??? Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable.

On a hot day, I'll wear a sleeveless jersey.
A slightly cooler day and I might want a jersey with short sleeves.
Somewhat cooler and I might dig out one of my shortsleeved wool jerseys ... or my sleeveless jersey with a shortsleeved jersey overtop.
A little cooler and I'll throw a sleeveless jersey on under my shortsleeved wool jersey.
As the ride gets cooler I'll move into longsleeved jerseys, or maybe throw a vest on overtop, or armwarmers, or a combination of it all.
By the time it gets really cool I'll have a longsleeved polypro, a longsleeved wool, a longsleeved fleece, and a jacket.
If a ride is going to start cool and get warmer I'll wear a shortsleeved jersey with a longsleeved jersey overtop and plan to take the longsleeved jersey off later on.
If it looks like it might rain, I'll bring or wear my rain jacket.

Try out some combinations and see what works for you.
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Old 03-30-10, 05:17 AM
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I'm in the UK.

At this time of year I'm wearing bib shorts and s/s jersey with arm/leg warmers and s/s base layer. I also have a gilet for when it's raining or looks like rain. Come summer, I'll ditch the warmers and take the gilet along in a back pocket just in case it rains. It might be wet now and then between now and October, but it won't be particularly cold.
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Old 03-30-10, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
What do you normally wear to work, for a walk around the neighbourhood, at home ....??? Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable.
Well I wear cotton t-shirts and hoodies... not sure that will work on the bike.

So jeserys are designed to be able to be worn as a stand alone item, not always with a base layer?
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Old 03-30-10, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Dheorl
So jeserys are designed to be able to be worn as a stand alone item, not always with a base layer?
Of course!!

And I didn't mean that you should wear what you normally wear off the bicycle, but rather to wear whatever makes you feel comfortable when you're on the bicycle. In other words, if it is a really hot day, wear a light jersey (without a baselayer) with a long zipper to unzip to get a decent airflow. If it is a cooler day, add a layer.

The only time I break out the baselayers is when it is quite chilly out there ... unless you call a sleeveless jersey worn under a shortsleeved jersey a baselayer.
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Old 03-30-10, 05:27 AM
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base layers are (almost) always a good idea.
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Old 03-30-10, 05:34 AM
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Here in Michigan, which gets pretty much everything but locusts, it's normal to have several layers made of differing materials/thicknesses.

Sunday was rainy and 38 degree. Friday will be sunny and 80.
When we shop for a new house, we look at closet space first.

Generally, with varying thicknesses, I just do a baselayer, jersey, and jacket. Too may layers, and you start losing daylight just getting dressed.

- thin baselayer - thick baselayer
- thin LS jersey - thick LS jersey - normal SS jersey
- light jacket - heavy jacket - rain jacket
And then you buy a million of each so that your laundry pile can get as big as your pool table before you have to actually wash them.
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Old 03-30-10, 09:36 AM
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top = 2 base layers one short sleeved one long sleeved
bottom = lined bike shorts or liners; baggy shorts; loose fitting pants
more top = fleece shirt and or fleece vest; windbreaker with zip off arms

its all about temperature regulation and water (perspiration) management. on 2 recent rides I went through a huge variation of temperatures and changed my layering throughout the day think base/thermal/wind. it takes a while so experiment. lined bike shorts are great even if you only wear them under other stuff like those lightweight convertible pants
https://www.rei.com/product/796167
https://www.rei.com/product/746907

if it's going to be hot like 60+ degrees then you can get by with just a single layer up top but bring another layer with you just in case.
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Old 03-30-10, 09:47 AM
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I wear a baselayer under my jersey all the time.... even when it's over 100 degrees (F).

If it's colder, I wear a long sleeve thicker baselayer/jersey between my base layer and jersey. If it's really cold, I wear two layers in addition to the short sleeved base layer, and a long sleeve jersey. And a vest.

If its just cool in the morning or on a descent, a vest and arm warmers in addition to the base layer and ss jersey.

I find that it's important to have good zippers and sleeves that I can push up, so I can shed heat on climbs. You don't want to get all sweaty on a climb and then go down a descent, you'll get chilled.

I'd recommend you buy at least one of all of those and more than one base layer and jersey. And since you're in the UK you'll need a good rain jacket too.
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Old 03-30-10, 11:25 AM
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I always wear a base layer, but I have many different kinds. Some are thicker for warmth, some are very thin (or mesh). They are all very tight against the skin and made of materials designed to wick sweat away. Some people in humid climates don't think base layers work for them, but it's relatively dry where I live and no matter how hot it is, there is a base layer that will work for me that is better than just wearing a jersey.

Edit: and echoing what Eric said, full zip jerseys are preferred. I often like to unzip on a climb and then zip it back up over the top. Of course it helps to be able to ride no-handed for a bit.
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Old 03-30-10, 11:37 AM
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Plus however many on always wearing a base layer (and definitely full zip jerseys).

And since no one else has mentioned it yet, bibs are the way to go for bottoms....
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Old 03-30-10, 12:12 PM
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What about soft shells? If your wearing a soft shell of some sort do you still wear a jersey of just a base layer.

Atm when cycling I wear a short sleeved base layer and thin-medium thickness climbing windproof and am starting to get too warm this far into the year. Does a sleeveless or short sleeved base layer, short sleeved jersey and possibly some arm warmers sound good to replace this? I don't want to buy long sleeved stuff really and then only be able to wear it for a couple of months before I need to buy new stuff again.

I already wear bib shorts, not sure if that effects top temp at all, the material certainly goes up most of the back.
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Old 03-30-10, 05:04 PM
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Botto and umd (and others, who have some experience on their side) not withstanding, I think less is best. Here in Los Angeles – and Southern California – in temperate conditions, I wear a jersey and cycling shorts, cycling shoes and socks, gloves and a helmet. That's it.

Yes, I have a base layer. However, I only wear it when it's cold (by S. CA standards). For example, I wore my base layer last weekend in NYC, where the temperatures ranged from 30 degrees F up to the low 40s, with some serious winds blasting out of the north. (At that point, I also wore leg and arm warmers, tights and a windbreaker, and a winter cycling cap.)



umd wrote: "They are all very tight against the skin and made of materials designed to wick sweat away."

My jerseys are reasonably snug and designed to wick sweat away. For me, a base layer is duplicative if it's not cold.
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Old 03-30-10, 05:11 PM
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The more rides I do in the mtns, the more I'm liking the baselayer, even on warm days. Nice protection from bees and other flying biting/stinging objects.

The more I get stung, the more I'm affected so it's helping to keep the critters away.
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Old 03-30-10, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by icyclist
umd wrote: "They are all very tight against the skin and made of materials designed to wick sweat away."

My jerseys are reasonably snug and designed to wick sweat away. For me, a base layer is duplicative if it's not cold.
Reasonably snug and so skintight so that you have to peel it off are not the same thing. It's counter-intuitive, but a well made base layer is cooler in the heat despite the extra layer. And I know we are in the same conditions.

Jerseys and base layer materials also are not constructed the same. My favorite used to be the Craft ProCool superlight mesh, but they don't seem to make the exact same model anymore. My current favorite is a Specialized "First Layer". When I wash it, I take it out of the washing machine and it is literally dry.

A base layer is also extra protection in a crash. It's not so much that there is more material, as that there are two layers to slide against each other. Let the friction be between the layers rather than your skin.
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Old 03-30-10, 05:40 PM
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I have never been on a ride with a baselayer, except for one time, when I pretty much wore two short sleeved jerseys on top of each other, hah (just to experiment). I've never really had a problem other than the occasional descent.

I cannot find any base layers that seem to fit me in that kind of snug/skin-tight fit. Have tried Craft, PI, and Specialized. I guess maybe I should look at UnderArmour Heatgear Compression shirts? or kids sizes? hah.
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Old 03-30-10, 05:54 PM
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I always wear a base layer. +1 what UMD said. I wear Patagonia . Patagonia make them in various thicknesses, sleeveless, short sleeve, longsleeve with 3/4 zippers.

I've learned time and time again raised in AL, lived in CO and TX, deployed to Iraq; bases layer keeps you cooler.
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Old 03-30-10, 06:48 PM
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"It's counter-intuitive, but a well made base layer is cooler in the heat despite the extra layer."

Maybe it is, umd - for you.

Even if true, though, "cooler" is a relative term. How much cooler? Enough to make a difference is sensation, in performance, etc?

As for full-zip jersey's they're great. But they aren't so easy to find – I have just one out of the many jersey's I own – and they are often more expensive because of that very feature. Yes, they would be cooler on a hot ride; but again, "cooler" is a relative thing. Somehow I manage to survive on 3/4 and even 1/3 zippers.

And I'm not ruling out that spending $50 on an base layer doesn't lead to some confirmation bias on the part of the purchaser.

Without hard evidence, all we are left with is anecdotes. For you and Botto and others, a base layer works in the heat. For me, it doesn't. I'd like to see some scientifically tested results of what does happen to the human body in and out of a base layer. Then I might find out that the one with confirmation bias is me!


(For now, if the guys below don't need a base layer, neither do I.)

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Old 03-30-10, 06:58 PM
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I figured it was only a matter of time before someone brought out a picture of a pro and said "if they don't need it then I don't either."

Nobody said that you need one.

They work. Wear one or not, it's your choice. I don't really care.

Edit: As for the full zip, obviously you don't need a full zip either. Of course you can survive without them.

In previous years, our team jerseys had 3/4 zips because Voler didn't make full hidden zippers, and our designer wanted hidden zippers because the asthetic of not showing a seam in the logos was more important to him than the comfort.

The year, the designer actually races his bike, and comfort was more important than having a hidden zipper. Full zippers are much nicer because you can unzip them all the way for better cooling. Not just a little better, but a lot, because it opens completely up. And you can also take the jersey off much easier, especially when the pockets are loaded.

Last edited by umd; 03-30-10 at 07:03 PM.
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Old 03-30-10, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by acaurora
I have never been on a ride with a baselayer, except for one time, when I pretty much wore two short sleeved jerseys on top of each other, hah (just to experiment). I've never really had a problem other than the occasional descent.

I cannot find any base layers that seem to fit me in that kind of snug/skin-tight fit. Have tried Craft, PI, and Specialized. I guess maybe I should look at UnderArmour Heatgear Compression shirts? or kids sizes? hah.
I've been toying with buying the UA heat gear compression sleeveless top as a base-layer. Its way cheaper than some of the cycling stuff out there. Some advice if you want one, try and see if you can fit into a kids xl (I couldn't due to my ripped physique ). Its $10 cheaper for the exact same material.

However, I'm reluctant to buy UA again because I have used UA gear for long runs (up to 18 mi) and have experienced a few issues with various equipment along the way (cold compression shirts, tights, underwear, shorts...). Anyone else have minor problems w/UA products?

Don't get me wrong UA makes some great stuff, but I think a lot of it wasn't designed for intensive use in endurance sports... aside from a few products. I'm starting to think I'd be better off buying cycling specific gear from the get-go.
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Old 03-30-10, 07:14 PM
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Haha, that is definitely something I may end up trying if this keeps up. I know a local Sports Authority nearby where I live that sells UA.
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Old 03-30-10, 07:15 PM
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I'm slightly confused about everything.
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Old 03-30-10, 08:11 PM
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"I figured it was only a matter of time before someone brought out a picture of a pro and said "if they don't need it then I don't either."

What? You knew I'd do that?!? No fair! That takes all the fun out of it. (Just kidding - I wanted an excuse to use the silly "mad" emoticon.)
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