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Jersey, base layer, t-shirt: in merino and with bibs, how to wear?

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Jersey, base layer, t-shirt: in merino and with bibs, how to wear?

Old 07-01-13, 08:21 AM
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Jersey, base layer, t-shirt: in merino and with bibs, how to wear?

Hi everybody,
Still bothering you with stupid questions...

Leaving in less than a couple weeks for a 2 month 4/5k km tour across Europe, under the burning sun of July and August.
Still tweaking things but... (ok, honestly: completely out of my planning and still tweaking MANY things, but, hey... xD).

The question I have this time is about clothing. So far, done small tours with a wicking t-shirt and low-end bike shorts. Shorts were average, synthetic t-shirt smell awfully after only half a day, so am looking at merinos tops for a more civilized behavior. Already wearing a merino pullover directly against the skin when riding, works perfectly, but too warm under hot temperatures. The question is: how to wear them best with bibs, keeping the load to a minimum.

- I will be riding from 6 am to 10 am, then from 5 pm to 9 pm, to give me time to visit, relax, and avoid riding under the strongest sun. That means that I want to ride in a short sleeved top, to benefit from a reasonable sun. Off the bike, long sleeves for sun protection and max. decency.
- Will be touring with panniers, so don't need jerseys' back pockets. Would prefer to avoid them then for their extra material, as I sweat a lot from the back.
- Will be using bib shorts (still have to receive them!). Means that cycle-specific drop-tails is not as critical, won't get a sunburn in the lower back even with a normal t-shirt.
- On-bike kit: 2 bibs, 1 merino top (to be determined/bought), 1 spare wicking tee or baselayer from my stable if/when the merino is not yet dry enough, and 3 pair of think merino socks.
- Off-bike kit: 1 compression short (light, breatheable, can swim with one), 1 pair of trousers and 1 long sleeved shirt (max decency and sun protection).
- My old merino pullover and my trusty membrane-less Patagonia softshell if things get chilly, both on and off the bike.

So, I'm looking at merino baselayers or tees, such as Endura BaaBaa baselayer, Icebreaker lightweight tee (both exist in bright colours) or On-One merino baselayer/tee (exist only in black, which makes me think I only want it under something else, brighter colored to repel sun rays).
Wondering wether the Endura "cycle-specific cut" offers any improvement over the icebreaker tee.
Wondering how much bright colored wool helps in the sun, as on-one also offers merino jerseys, and they really cost next to nothing.

All these seem quite form-fitting... I'm not really overweight, but not very sportive-loooking, and I'm concerned about the outcome looking ridiculous. More importantly, I'm wondering which one is cooler feeling in the hottest temps, form fitting or loose. All in merino.

Options on how to wear them:

a) Wear the merino baselayer over the bib instead of a bike jersey. Will this work? What would be the drawbacks? A bright colored one seems mandatory, don't you think? I'm a bit worried about nipple rash, I'm incredibly sensitive in this area...

b) Wear the merino baselayer under the bib. No nipple rash, probably very comfy. But I fear ridiculous/offending looks...

c) Wear a merino baselayer under the bib (the On-One, black but I don't care if it's under, cause it's way cheaper), the bib, and a bright colored base layer/tee to reflect the sun. Won't I be cooking in this setup? People wear base layers in warm weathers under jerseys, but air can circulate in an open jersey... Form fitting over form fitting?

d) Do as c, but not putting a merino tee as the outer layer, finding something not form fitting... But what? If I want to stay with merino for odour control and efficiency when wet...

Thank you very much,
Nicolas
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Old 07-01-13, 09:57 AM
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Not Up on specific products mentioned.. Did use Bibs Before..

What would be the drawbacks?
Re: Bibs, wear them over the T, so if you have to use the Loo, you dont have to take the T off
to take the shoulder straps down to use the WC.

since you are adapting to being in hot sun, do wear a loose long-sleeve shirt over stuff..

White ... it's the Cowboy way .

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-01-13 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 07-01-13, 10:03 AM
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Baselayer under bibs, usually, though plenty of people wear bibs next to the skin. If you're worried about nipple chafing, a dab of vaseline on the nipples will insure against that. The lightest icebreaker merinos are excellent, though not cheap, and not really any hotter than the alternatives.
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Old 07-01-13, 03:40 PM
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Okay, thanks.
Fietsbob, does the outer shirt stay relatively immune to collecting sweat and picking odors? How many days between washes? Usually, pullovers/jumpers you don't wash as frequently as t-shirt, so it would seem ok, but sweating like mad does it still holds up... Which fabric would you use, cotton, linen, poly?

So no one opts for b)? Too bad, I started to grow a moustache!
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Old 07-01-13, 03:52 PM
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My favorite shirts for hot weather riding are either Exofficio or Task both in the long sleeve version. The Task brand is a bamboo fiber, is very comfortable, doesn't seem to develop odors too quickly and dries very quickly the Exofficio has the same features but isn't made of bamboo fibers. I found both of these of while shopping at my local fly fishing store but have found them on line as well.
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Old 07-01-13, 05:28 PM
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The best Merino T is probably chocholatefish taranaki. This is the real NZ article like the original Icebreaker that made their reputation. Mine are durable, quick-drying, and good on/off the bike, riding, tourism, sleeping. You wash them by hand, gently in shampoo or washing up detergent, rinse and roll in a towel then dry on the towel to avoid stretching. Don't hang on a line.
On tour I try to wash every 3-4 days but I have gone longer with no odour.
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Old 07-03-13, 08:20 AM
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Not bib fan. Bike shorts and a poly pro shirt. I like a loose long sleeve.
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Old 07-03-13, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Leebo
Not bib fan. Bike shorts and a poly pro shirt. I like a loose long sleeve.
+1

I wear long sleeve Duofold polypropylene underwear with an outer long sleeve high-visibility yellow tee shirt. The outer shirt is for safety, it doesn't breathe well - I actually cut off the cuffs because they were tight, now air flows up sleeves easier.

Two shirts give fairly good sun protection. I usually add a small towel held under helmet to cover neck. Cheaper than sunblock, and no sticky mess later - but I still have to use sunblock on legs with shorts. I've used lightweight nylon pants (the zipper-convertible type) as an overpant for sun protection, although I've never much liked long pants for long bike rides. Std tights work better for cycling, but are about the same as light pants for sun protection.
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Old 07-03-13, 10:53 AM
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^^^ New Balance running stores make Hi vis short and long sleeve poly pro running shirts.
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Old 07-03-13, 03:13 PM
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Thanks for all your answers!

A visit to my local outdoor shop helped.

I left with a pair of nylon convertible (the classic Columbia "silver ridge" sold everywhere...) pants for stops.

And I didn't knew merino wool shirts existed. This one manufactured by Icebreaker (Seeker LS). The shop also showed me open-weave cotton, but I have a so good experience with wool... That said, the cotton one probably breathed more and felt cooler. Was roomier cut too. And I'm sad the Icebreaker shirt was not lighter colored. But it felt so soft, nice, and looked so classy I couldn't resist. It's going to look ridiculous, bike shorts with a classy shirt, but who cares that much...

I swear i heard my credit card cry.

So, I ordered an On-One cheapie merino t-shirt as a baselayer, and I have an Icebreaker merino shirt. So with these two, I have several options, including wearing the bib straps against the skin and the shirt on top, or using the baselayer, bib straps, then shirt. It might feel a bit warm, but air goes through wool nicely so it might do the trick!
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