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Fleece vs Wool for winter and fall cycling?

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Fleece vs Wool for winter and fall cycling?

Old 10-26-17, 10:08 AM
  #1  
sabado225
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Fleece vs Wool for winter and fall cycling?

i got a suggestion after asking for a windstopper fleece for a Berghaus OSS hoodie with windstopper in the front .

Feel like blocking wind is a lot more important than 'insulating' and sweating with wool. I do wear a thin wool base layer

What i have:
Men's Ben Oss Windproof Hoodie| Berghaus Official

Wool windstopper in the front open in the back. A good bit of nylon type fabrics though make me wonder if they are sweaty. Also the arms don't seem to, like the oss, have much windstopping power?

Smartwool Corbet 120.
MerinoLOFT Ellipse Long Sleeve Zip - Icebreaker (US)
https://www.rapha.cc/ca/en/shop/brev...roduct/BWB02LS
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Old 10-27-17, 10:09 AM
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Yeah, you really want to avoid sweating much in the winter - if you get wet under your clothes, you always feel cold, especially when you stop.

I don't think that the fabric choices are as important as how much insulation you are packing on, as well as the ventilation in that windproof layer you mention. Dressing in layers so that you can peel one or two off when you start to heat up is most important, IMO. And having a shell that is well ventilated is the other key (back vents, armpit zips, etc.). Personally, I prefer merino wool, especially as a base layer, but I also use a softshell jacket a lot, as well as a fleece when the wind is low.

Oh, and don't forget that you need to focus on keeping the extremities warm FIRST, then the core. If you keep the hands, feet, and head warm, the rest of the body will keep up (the core is also easy to overheat, so you have to take care of the extremities first, and then use just enough layers to keep the core warm, IMO).
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Old 10-27-17, 10:46 AM
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100% wool. Absolutely no petroleum based fleece
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Old 11-01-17, 06:34 PM
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Where are you, and what kind of temps are you going to ride at? "winter" riding in California is much different than "winter" riding in Minnesota.

If you're riding around 20f-32f, the ideal setup is:
- Windblocking material in the front (like windstopper) with a non-windblocking breathable fabric in the back (like fleece)
- Merino wool base layer worn underneath it (like smartwool long underwear)
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Old 11-02-17, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by nosloedone View Post
100% wool. Absolutely no petroleum based fleece


Honestly, do listen to this advice. Golden.
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Old 11-03-17, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by nosloedone View Post
100% wool. Absolutely no petroleum based fleece
i checked out the suggestions in store on the smartwool, i prefer the berghaus fleece to it. it is too breathable/thin. i feel like the heavier weihgt of fleece helps block out a lot of the wind
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Old 11-03-17, 10:21 PM
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For those of you in Canada, Costco has 100% Merino long sleeve top for $20 for women, $26 for men. I just bought tonight a women top which looks more like a base layer (snugger fit) than the men top, which looks more like a casual shirt. Couldn't find them online but they had them in both stores near by.
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Old 11-05-17, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikewolf View Post


Honestly, do listen to this advice. Golden.
how about if the outside is fleece windstopper/ but the inside is like a nice mesh wiking material?
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Old 11-05-17, 12:47 PM
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You can have a wool mesh (wicking) base layer yes! I like wool even more as a (insulating) mid layer in particular, FYI. Outer layer could be a shell acting as a windstopper.

OR, forgo that by wearing a windproof mid layer.

Viewing this as a commuter though.
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Old 11-06-17, 10:44 AM
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combos, combos, combos. meaning, depending on the day, changes my combo of base layer, possible mid layer & top layer. the fewer layers the better. I can not possibly decide what I will need well in advance of that particular day. in fact, I have so much trouble I will often head out for a ride (bike on car) with a duffel bag of options. then when I reach my destination, listening to the weather radio for the most up to date forecast, can I decide what to wear. I've even gone so far as to throw a layer, gloves & hat etc in my bike trunk in case something gets soaked or I miscalculate. so far this fall I've been fooled but also on avrg doing pretty good. the key for me is staying on the bike each week so I can gradually change what I wear. some ups & downs & back & forths. by the end of last winter I was a master of my clothing & had it down. but it seems like every year is a process. I think on one 17F ride I had just a thin (poly) long sleeve base layer & a thick North Face fleece jacket. never would have expected that combo to be a winner

Last edited by rumrunn6; 11-07-17 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 11-07-17, 01:04 AM
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I'm a wool layers + windstopper kinda person. I have different wools (light and medium merino baselayers, and some old Banana Republic merino sweaters) that get used separately and in different combinations depending on factors like temperature, humidity, and my mood.

It goes something like this:
Stage 1: Wool + jersey
Stage 2: Wool + jersey + light (vented) wind jacket
Stage 3: Wool + jersey + (vented) softshell (with Gore windstopper)
Stage 4: Wool + More Wool + softshell. (At this point I've generally given up on using a jersey for its storage pockets.)
More wool gets added depending on how cold it gets; things other than a jersey go over the base layer if I'm going to work rather than just riding around.

I have some poly layers as well, and they aren't bad, but they get rancid quickly. All my fleeces are like 20 years old and way thick/baggy...what I have works, so I haven't bothered to shell out for a modern fleece.
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Old 11-07-17, 01:18 AM
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I used to be a wool fan, now I'm a solid believer in fleece.
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Old 11-07-17, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SylvainG View Post
For those of you in Canada, Costco has 100% Merino long sleeve top for $20 for women, $26 for men. I just bought tonight a women top which looks more like a base layer (snugger fit) than the men top, which looks more like a casual shirt. Couldn't find them online but they had them in both stores near by.
I really wish we had those at the Costco stores here in Michigan.
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Old 11-08-17, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
I'm a wool layers + windstopper kinda person. I have different wools (light and medium merino baselayers, and some old Banana Republic merino sweaters) that get used separately and in different combinations depending on factors like temperature, humidity, and my mood.

It goes something like this:
Stage 1: Wool + jersey
Stage 2: Wool + jersey + light (vented) wind jacket
Stage 3: Wool + jersey + (vented) softshell (with Gore windstopper)
Stage 4: Wool + More Wool + softshell. (At this point I've generally given up on using a jersey for its storage pockets.)
More wool gets added depending on how cold it gets; things other than a jersey go over the base layer if I'm going to work rather than just riding around.

I have some poly layers as well, and they aren't bad, but they get rancid quickly. All my fleeces are like 20 years old and way thick/baggy...what I have works, so I haven't bothered to shell out for a modern fleece.


Smart on the double wool layer. I road in 32 F today, the coldest I've done. Wool base layer (doesn't cover under elbows) + Patagonia R3 + the Berghaus OSS hoody I mentioned above ( i like it over the gore bike wear gore windstopper I got, I am thinking of pretty much returning all my gore bike wear the $180 windstopper pants are WAY ovepriced)

I don't pla no nriding in wet conditiosn and so don't see much point of the gore
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Old 11-08-17, 07:46 AM
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Wool, wool, wool with a gilet or light jacket that I can remove and stick on my pocket if I warm up too much. If I need a little more warmth I have a wool sleeveless baselayer. My Pearl Izumi gilet and Trek super thin windproof jacket do the job fine, I've had both since the late 90's. I can ball the jacket up in my fist.
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Old 11-08-17, 08:18 AM
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I used wool cycling clothing from the mid-1960s, when wool was pretty much all there was, until lycra and polyester cycling clothing came along. I still have one long-sleeve wool jersey left from the late 1970s, but I'll take fleece over wool every time these days.
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Old 11-08-17, 12:24 PM
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Some people mention fleece as a base layer. Which are you referring to exactly, please? Curious.
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Old 11-08-17, 01:51 PM
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Wool base layers and socks for me.
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Old 11-08-17, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I used to be a wool fan, now I'm a solid believer in fleece.


I'm heading in that direction, but I'm not there quite yet.


I've had problems with wool getting soaked on long rides (longer than my normal 45 minute commute), either by rain or by sweat. Soaked wool is cold, at least as cold as soaked cotton.


OTOH, light wool layers are pretty good for those in-between temps. I haven't found any fleece that'll good for temps in the 40s (YMMV, of course). And a close-knit, thin wool still seems to have better wind resistance than any poly I've tried.


Fleece or wool? Yes, please.
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Old 11-09-17, 05:05 AM
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Also, you've got to love the incredible durability of fleece compared to wool.

I've worn the same pair of thin fleece pants for most of my cold weather riding and general walking-around use for the last 15 years. The seat of the pants is only just now beginning to wear through.

I tried a pair of thin wool track suit pants for the same use years ago. I wore them out in just a few months.
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Old 11-09-17, 06:47 AM
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I like a thin silk or poly garment against my skin before layering. Beware the poly that claim to be hot weather garments as many actually make me feel cooler even under my layered clothes (that's okay some days, but not every day). Keep smiling.
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Old 11-11-17, 07:56 PM
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Modern fleece can be dirt cheap and is a great insulator.

I have an Arc'teryx running shirt made from Polartec Power Stretch Pro - not cheap but ultra thin and unbelievably warm given the light weight of the fabric.


Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I've had problems with wool getting soaked on long rides (longer than my normal 45 minute commute), either by rain or by sweat. Soaked wool is cold, at least as cold as soaked cotton.
Agree.

Everyone seems to parrot the idea that wool insulates even when wet but water is a horrible insulator and wet wool can be as bad as wet cotton if saturated in the cold and not able to dry.


-Tim-
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Old 11-12-17, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I've had problems with wool getting soaked on long rides (longer than my normal 45 minute commute), either by rain or by sweat. Soaked wool is cold, at least as cold as soaked cotton.
I've gone over to synthetic against the skin then put wool over that when its below 32 degrees. The wool then sucks the sweat off the synthetic long johns so I do not feel soaked. Maybe a little clammy.
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Old 11-24-17, 08:06 PM
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synthetic (super thin) next to the skin here also, then base layer
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Old 11-25-17, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Everyone seems to parrot the idea that wool insulates even when wet but water is a horrible insulator and wet wool can be as bad as wet cotton if saturated in the cold and not able to dry.
You must be talking about 100% saturation?

Of course, dry is always better than wet. But my experience is that wool never gets totally wet and does keep you warmer than cotton.
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