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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 12-31-17, 08:06 PM   #1
TimothyH
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I'm becoming a real fan of gear made with Polartec fabrics - looking for suggestions

I am starting to become a big fan of Polartec fabrics and am looking for cycling specific clothing which might be manufactured using Polartec textiles. I own two of their grid type fleece garments designed for running, one of which I have used on the bike as an insulating mid-layer and they are amazing.
Polartec Fabrics | Impossible Made Possible
The CEO was interviewed by Bike Radar a few months ago and the video is below.



The company seems to understand the requirements of cyclists who output a lot more heat and sweat vs lower output activity such as hiking where most of the focus has been in the past.

I'd be interested in suggestions from those with direct experience using Polartec fabrics on the bike. The Neoshell and Power Shield Pro fabrics are of particular interest to me.

Rapha has the Pro Team softshell jacket made from Polartec Power Shield Pro. This is a $300 garment on sale for $147.50 and they have my size in stock.


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Old 12-31-17, 10:54 PM   #2
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I have a Polartec full body suit. Yesterday I discovered that there is apparently no temperature low enough to wear it on the bike. It was -14F, with a windchill of -34F, and I cooked.

It's good for less active pursuits.

My Col D'Lizard tights that I bought years ago are Polartec too, I believe. Brilliant, but I can't wear them above about about 20F.
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Old 01-01-18, 09:45 AM   #3
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I would check out Foxwear. Custom made jackets with a lot of material options. I had one made out of the retro x and itís great for winter riding. Lou is a great guy to deal with.
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Old 01-01-18, 05:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Clewis9593 View Post
I would check out Foxwear. Custom made jackets with a lot of material options. I had one made out of the retro x and itís great for winter riding. Lou is a great guy to deal with.
Man, that's nice.


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Old 01-02-18, 01:21 PM   #5
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I have some older Merell winter shoes (low) and only yesterday I’ve noticed the Polartec label inside. That may explain largely why these are so warm.

I guess they still make Polartec winter shoes (low, or mid)?
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Old 01-03-18, 08:07 AM   #6
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i work outdoors in all weather doing a relatively active/aerobic type job where i delivery thousands of pounds of food using a two wheel dolly to commercial restaurants in the new england area.

i use Cabelas polartec mid and heavy weight base layers and they work awesome for that application.

last night i went on a bike ride because i realized that this would work awesome on the bike to give it a shot - doesn't disappoint. it was -17f. i had on the heavy weight base layer, another polartec fleece type jacket and then a rain jacket over that on top and some tights on teh legs and i was toasty.
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Old 01-15-18, 03:36 PM   #7
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I was just wondering, if anyone knows the difference between Polar-Tec and Gore Wind Stopper fleece? I have a military issue Polar-Tec hat, that gets too warm, like was mentioned, and also a fleece jacket, with Gore Wind Stopper. The Gore is nice & warm, but doesn't overheat me. 🤔
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Old 01-15-18, 03:44 PM   #8
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No advice here. Just a plug for Polartec. I have known it was the real deal for over 30 years - sailing. Sailing outside San Francisco's Golden Gate. Sailing the far north Atlantic Wearing it 24/7 soaked in ocean salt water and always wet for days. I kept my dumb looking cap with the small brim and velco chin straps in the winch handle shelf when I went off watch so there was no chance I might leave/loss it below when I came back on. I'd pull it out soaking wet, squeeze excess water out if I could, put it on and in minutes it was warm.

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Old 01-16-18, 08:54 AM   #9
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this morning looked at my favorite light gloves, they're Polartec! just took another look & they are made by Manzella. they appear to be their Touchtip model



mine get a lot of use & after a cpl years the touchtip pads are wearing off. great for fall riding & even used them at 30F with Barmitts. they are not glove liners but can be worn with big roomy gloves



I got them after I wore out these others



that used to be my go-to winter riding glove setup, but this year got Barmitts & PI brand Lobster gloves

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Old 01-18-18, 08:06 PM   #10
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The Rapha Classic Winter Jacket is made from Polartec Power Shield Pro and is on sale for $192.

https://www.rapha.cc/us/en_US/shop/c...duct/SJK08XXMD


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Old 01-19-18, 10:49 AM   #11
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I've never been able to ride in fleece, unless I have a semi vapor barrier between me and it. Have these fabrics gotten significantly better (in terms of breathability) in the last few years?
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Old 01-19-18, 01:35 PM   #12
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Polartec makes a few traditional, classic fleece textiles. One is actually named "Classic" and most people would recognize a garment made of this as 'Fleece." Another is called "High Loft."

Polartec makes much more than just the fuzzy, high loft textiles we are all used to however and some of these are very far from what most people think of as fleece. An example is the Power Grid textile. A photo is below. I own two Arc'teryx garments made of this and it is impossibly warm for its weight.



Polartec also makes textiles closer to summer base layers as well as some with functionality similar to waterproof/breathable fabrics. It isn't just traditional fleece, although they make that.


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Old 01-19-18, 01:46 PM   #13
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A few photos...

This is an Arc'terxy Delta LT "fleece" garment made from Polartec Classic 100 Micro Velour Small Grid. That's a mouthful and I'm sure Polartec makes this textile exclusively for Arc'teryx. The grid is on the outside indicating that this is likely designed to be used under a shell and the inside has a velour like, lofted surface indicating to me that it is might be worn next to the skin. I use this as a mid layer on the bike when it is extremely cold. It wicks well and dries instantaneously.





I also have an Arc'teryx running shirt I got off the clearance rack at REI. I'm not sure of the model but am pretty sure it is made of Polartec Power Grid like the Orange Mud garment in the post above. It has the grid on the inside to be worn with a base layer or next to the skin and the outside is smooth indicating that this is probably your outer layer in milder weather. This is exactly how I use it.

The second photo, held up against light from a window illustrates how light this textile is. It is impossibly warm for its weight.






These are all "Fleece" but far from your typical North Face or Columbia fleece jackets everyone wears.



-Tim-

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Old 01-22-18, 09:32 AM   #14
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Wow those Rapha links are dangerous lol. I'm glad the wallet is put away.

I spent awhile looking at them though, as spring gets closer it becomes more of a challenge to dress. Quickly changing conditions within hours make high tech fabrics very appealing. It seems like for temperatures of 30 - 40įF I don't have anything specific.

I have managed using under armour and similar products that are layered, but have yet to purchase a wind stopping layer that wicks. I'll either wear a light hoodie, or place a piece of newspaper between underarmour layers in front. This leaves me planning my ride so that I don't stop and cool down.

I will be very interested to hear your opinion if you purchase that Rapha jacket.
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Old 01-22-18, 12:09 PM   #15
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Wow those Rapha links are dangerous lol. I'm glad the wallet is put away.
LoL.

Personally, I read the reviews which said that the pockets are too high and calmed right down.


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Old 01-25-18, 08:17 AM   #16
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Arc'teryx Delta LT Half Zip - XL in Vermillion - $68.93
https://www.rei.com/product/110947/a...ip-jacket-mens


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Old 01-25-18, 01:48 PM   #17
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Wet Polar fleece, the moisture, sweat, is on the surface, (unlike wool) , so I took my jacket off flung it over a railing,

shaking off a lot of sweat, put it back on , a lot dryer..
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Old 01-30-18, 10:44 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stardognine View Post
I was just wondering, if anyone knows the difference between Polar-Tec and Gore Wind Stopper fleece?
Polartec (in cooperation with Patagonia) is the original inventor of fleece fabric. They are mostly known for their insulation and technical layers.

Gore Windstopperô is derived from their Gore-Tex waterproof material and is essentially a stretched Gore-Tex membrane that is 99.9% windproof but still breathable but not waterproof.
They usually fall in the category of 'Softshell' jackets. Windproof, highly breathable but not waterproof.

One very common application is to combine Polartec fleece with Windstopper fabric to make an insulated softshell.

However, a membrane is not the only way to build a windproof jacket. A dense weave can do the same and that is what a Polartec Wind Pro does while a Polartec Windbloc has a membrane.

Generally speaking, a weave is much more breathable but blocks less wind, while a membrane is practically 100% windproof but is also less breathable. There is a use for both.

I'm a big fan of Polartec Alpha as insulation because it is almost as insulating as down but much more breathable.
The Mammut Eigerjoch jacket has been great and the Pertex quantum air fabric (weave) has been very windproof but still very breathable both as a dry weather jacket or as a layer.
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Old 01-30-18, 01:01 PM   #19
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It ought to be noted that you don’t have to use these or similar technologies.
E.g. something with nylon is also good at protecting you from most winds (in combination with your other layers) etc.

However, as JaccoW points out: there is a use for both.
E.g. I have (1) a merino wool neck gaiter for winter, which keeps a good balance between keeping you warm, but also being breathable (wicking), I have (2) a regular fleece neck gaiter for colder, freezing days, and recently I got myself (3) a Windstopper/Polartec neck gaiter for those extreme windy winter days when a regular fleece neck gaiter isn’t enough.
What can I say? I just love my neck gaiters :-)
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Old 01-30-18, 04:18 PM   #20
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It ought to be noted that you don’t have to use these or similar technologies.
E.g. something with nylon is also good at protecting you from most winds (in combination with your other layers) etc.
That's very true. I went in depth on those technologies because OP asked about them and I have personal experience with them from working in an outdoor gear store for over 10 years.

A $30 nylon windbreaker jacket can work just as well as a $150+ one when it comes to keeping out wind.
The difference is that the $150 generally is generally lighter, has a much better fit, technical bits like (arm)pit-zips and often has better breathability because of differences in material or construction.

However, that quickly runs into diminishing returns. So set a budget and try a few different items on in a range of prices and see how they feel.
The really expensive stuff isn't there to make the more affordable gear look bad but they cater to different uses.

I own $50, $150 and $250 softshell jackets and while I prefer the more expensive one, I usually turn towards the more affordable ones during the summer months. I simply don't need 100% windblocking when it's cool but not cold.

I can go on about this but I'll let OP read everything first.
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Old 01-30-18, 09:03 PM   #21
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That’s very true, indeed ;-)

And sometimes I choose not to wear my most valuable stuff (outer layer) when having maybe too much bikefun and there’s a big chance of having more tear & wear. Yes, it’s all about getting the right tool for the right job...
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Old 01-30-18, 09:52 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaccoW View Post
I can go on about this but I'll let OP read everything first.
Your expertise and experience are very much appreciated. The Mammut jacket you linked to is gorgeous.

To be clear however, I did not ask a specific question. I only said that I would welcome gear suggestions. I'm quite familiar with Polartec's product lines and own several garments made from their textiles. I would like to find more cycling specific garments made of Polartec.

Quote:
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I'd be interested in suggestions from those with direct experience using Polartec fabrics on the bike. The Neoshell and Power Shield Pro fabrics are of particular interest to me.
That's all.


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Last edited by TimothyH; 01-30-18 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 01-31-18, 01:11 PM   #23
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Cycling clothing: Polartec's got your back all year round | Cyclist
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Old 01-31-18, 02:08 PM   #24
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I saw that. Thanks.

There was a flood of similar Polartec sponsored "articles" back in the summer of 2017. That piece lists:
  • Sportful Fiandre Extreme NeoShell Jacket
  • Rapha Brevet Insulated Jacket
  • RH+ AirX Lite Jersey
  • Castelli Potenza Jersey
Are you aware of others or do you know of anything else cycling specific?


RH+ is a manufacturer I have been looking at recently. I'd like to see some of their products in person.





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Old 02-01-18, 04:07 PM   #25
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Kitsbow Origin Long Sleeve and Short Sleeve Jerseys made with Polartec Powerstretch Pro
Long Sleeve: https://www.kitsbow.com/collections/...igin-jersey-ls
Short Sleeve: https://www.kitsbow.com/collections/...igin-jersey-ss
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