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Ladies Base Layer Question

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Ladies Base Layer Question

Old 01-11-19, 12:12 PM
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Craptacular8
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Ladies Base Layer Question

I think I have an ok winter cycling clothing scheme, but always room for improvement. Perhaps due to my smaller size relative to prior years, my arse is frequently cold when riding in the low 20's and below, particularly with wind.

I have been using either thermal bicycling tights with Craft cross country ski pants over them, or bike shorts/UA cold gear tights/Craft ski pants, and done fairly well in prior years. This year, I can' seem to stay warm longer than an hour in that layering. I tried my equestrian thermal wind pants over my previous mentioned bike tights, and it's better, but still my behind gets cold. Legs stay better though.

Then, there is the damp upper body. Sports bra, base layer top (assorted, none of them wool), mid layer wool sweater, sometimes zippered running jacket with my good breathable cycling jacket over it. I stay warm enough, but when I stop moving, I can tell that I'm sweating, and going to be feeling cold if I don't get back moving again real quick. Would merino wool bra and base layer help that? With the merino bras running $60 on average, would be nice to know if they would really be the bomb.

I picked up another set of softshell cycling pants that many reviewers seem to find warm enough to just wear their shorts under....I wish, the same will be true for me, but suspect i will still need something.else. as they feel no heavier than my softshell Crafts.
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Old 01-11-19, 12:20 PM
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I've ridden in 18 degrees with wind this year. Regular cycling shorts with Athleta Polartec Power Stretch tights, and REI wind blocking pants on the bottom. Never any cold butt moments with that combination. That same combination has worked well down to zero with running or hiking or snowshoeing.

I can't address the upper body as it is rare that I ever start sweating much unless it is a ride where it started at 18 degrees and got to the upper 30s with full sun. I always make sure nearly all my layers have zippers as I can vent a lot of heat by just unzipping around my neck.
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Old 01-11-19, 12:46 PM
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Can't help you on the bra but my first thought re: cooling when you stop - yes, this happens. A really warm hat you can stuff in a pocket helps a lot. Also, I do my best to dress so that I do not have a windbreaker layer over my torso once I am warmed up. That light jacket gets stuffed in my jersey pocket and will be a real help if I have to stop. Also, with no wind barrier, I sweat less and stay a lot drier. My cold weather rides usually start off wearing the hat (I buy my helmets big enough to just manage a hat with the headband expanded) and the windshell. Early on, when I am warmed up, I stop and pull off one or both. I also nearly always wear armwarmers that come off as needed or just pushed up and down as fine tuning.

One of my best purchases ever was an early Showers Pass light rain jacket. It got pulled off and on while riding many times, tied around my waist and otherwise abused and it started flunking the rain test, It has lived on another decade + as my preferred cold and dry weather riding jacket, used as described above. (I have two more newer waterproof Showers Passes that I treat well. I live in Portland. Cold and dry isn't always.)

Before you go out and buy stuff, experiment with what you've got. We are all quite different and we can spend a lot of money chasing solutions that work for other people but not so well for us. Sometimes we find a piece of clothing we have on hand that isn't even cycling is just the ticket. (My old, tired sailing thermal underwear has found new life as riding gear. Leather mittens made for handling an ax, aka "chopper mitts" work really well as riding mitts in cold weather with wool inner mittens inside. Silk next to your skin is wonderful and on feet - REI boot socks.)

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Old 01-11-19, 05:27 PM
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I wear a normal sports bra (synthetic) and thin wool baselayer, followed by other wool layers (as needed) and a windstopper jacket with pit zips. This is my standard setup for temperatures ranging from around 40F to -5F.

I don't know that a wool bra would be worth the money. It's a pretty small area of the upper body. For me, it's the wool layer and pit zips that make a huge difference: when I get hot, I can just pull a few strings and viola! instant relief. I like to do a bit of hill training in the winter, so sweat happens.

The lower body is less of a problem for me, but I tend to go with rain pants, just because I already have them and they seem to do a fair job at blocking wind on the coldest days.
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Old 01-13-19, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by wipekitty View Post
I wear a normal sports bra (synthetic) and thin wool baselayer, followed by other wool layers (as needed) and a windstopper jacket with pit zips. This is my standard setup for temperatures ranging from around 40F to -5F.

I don't know that a wool bra would be worth the money. It's a pretty small area of the upper body. For me, it's the wool layer and pit zips that make a huge difference: when I get hot, I can just pull a few strings and viola! instant relief. I like to do a bit of hill training in the winter, so sweat happens.

The lower body is less of a problem for me, but I tend to go with rain pants, just because I already have them and they seem to do a fair job at blocking wind on the coldest days.
i suspect you’re right. It isn’t much real estate. I think I’ll go with the wool base layer instead.

I cant say that I get hot, just that I sweat regardless of how cold the weather is. I sweat plenty in -2 the other night, lol. Thanks.
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Old 01-13-19, 11:05 PM
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I did find something interesting and not horrifically expensive while searching around: https://www.icebreaker.com/en/womens...__WS_color=401

Interestingly, the Icebreaker tops seem to be only 50% merino. I'm really tempted to give this one a shot, as it might actually work well for summer riding, especially with bibs!
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Old 01-14-19, 12:12 PM
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@wipekitty, thanks for the link.

For anyone that is still shopping for the next "these are the winter pants for me" I can say that I've tried out the 4ucycling pants that seemed to be popping up on every search I did for my solution to a cold behind. Unlike my premium Craft winter riders, they don't actually allow the vapor to go anywhere....plus side, all your body heat stays trapped inside too. So, my bike shorts were soaked at the end of a 70-90 minute ride, but I didn't really notice it until I took them off? First test was 26 degrees with little wind. I only had the short on under the pants. I was comfortable, and surprised at all the moisture when I peeled them off. Second ride was 24 with wind, was a real feel of 11. I added a pair of running tights over the bike shorts under the softshell pants. Again, I was comfortable, just pretty darn damp at the end of the ride. I suspect I might not love them if I was riding for over 2 hours, but for 1 1/2 hours, they seem perfectly acceptable.

I just ordered some ski bibs to help me hopefully still get out and fatbike next weekend when our highs are projected to still be well below 0. I'm hoping they are the ticket to a warmer behind when I'm challenging the cold gods, lol.
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Old 01-14-19, 12:43 PM
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You mean Pantyhose, ? or the more popular, As Outerwear, leggings/yoga pants?..
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Old 01-14-19, 01:05 PM
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I'll wear my UA tights, then my summer padded shorts, then a UA wind pants. The summer padded shorts help keep the rear warm.
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Old 01-14-19, 02:49 PM
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Base Layer

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
You mean Pantyhose, ? or the more popular, As Outerwear, leggings/yoga pants?..
Um no. I meant base layer. No way would pantyhose do a thing for me on rides where actual temp is below 0 F. Merino "leggings" or base layer, maybe under my winter cycling over pants.
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Old 01-16-19, 11:15 AM
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When I keep cotton off my skin, then my sweat doesn't make me cold. See if you have any cotton in the garments you're wearing. Is it possible the synthetic sports bra keeps your sweat on. Crazy idea from a guy who's never worn a bra (except once while in drag), can you wear a merino shirt under the bra? At least as an experiment?

I bought a pair of those 4ucycling pants. I wore them over my pants. They were way too hot. I might use them for extreme cold, the kind we don't normally get here. Sweat wasn't a problem, and I guess it would be dumb to wear them against my skin.
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Old 01-23-19, 11:21 AM
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winter base layers

Originally Posted by noglider View Post
When I keep cotton off my skin, then my sweat doesn't make me cold. See if you have any cotton in the garments you're wearing. Is it possible the synthetic sports bra keeps your sweat on. Crazy idea from a guy who's never worn a bra (except once while in drag), can you wear a merino shirt under the bra? At least as an experiment?

I bought a pair of those 4ucycling pants. I wore them over my pants. They were way too hot. I might use them for extreme cold, the kind we don't normally get here. Sweat wasn't a problem, and I guess it would be dumb to wear them against my skin.
No cotton garments. Was wearing synthetic only. They wick for me, but I can still feel the damp. Was in Costco last weekend. Don't normally look at their clothing offerings, but low and behold, they had ladies 100% merino wool long sleeved tshirts for $16. Picked one up as a test. Already had scored some merino wool base layer leggings. So, went out in -9 actual (-27 windchill) as an hour long test ride when I got home. No damp feeling at all....success!

Last night's fat bike group ride, again, with the wool base layers. I did layer a UA cold gear top over the wool one, and that seemed to work fine as well. Apparently, wool next to the skin works better for me...synthetics over it seems to work fine. I also coincidentally used the 4ucycling pants on each of these rides, and when paired with the wool layer in between the bike shorts, and the 4ucycling top layer...no issues. Like them just fine now. They zip over the Lake boots nicely, so that's a nice touch too. Will probably need to get some lighter weight wool leggings to account for warmer weather soon...though I see highs of below 0 for several more days.....
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Old 01-23-19, 10:35 PM
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Merino is so fine that moths want to gobble it down. My wool undies are totally riddled, but I don’t care.
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Old 01-25-19, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Craptacular8 View Post
Was in Costco last weekend. Don't normally look at their clothing offerings, but low and behold, they had ladies 100% merino wool long sleeved tshirts for $16. Picked one up as a test. Already had scored some merino wool base layer leggings. So, went out in -9 actual (-27 windchill) as an hour long test ride when I got home. No damp feeling at all....success!
Awesome - glad that merino worked for ya! I wish we had Costco

I actually ended up buying that Icebreaker merino bra, lol, though I'm really more interested to see how it does in the summer.
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Old 01-26-19, 11:31 AM
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Patagonia base layer long underwear has worked for me ... their thicker poly fleece, Cool Weather tights under my rain gear
worked on my February to November Tour of the British Isles..

Ireland then late may crossing over to Scotland..





In addition to felting if too hot, There is larvae that eat wool none for polyester..
...

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-26-19 at 11:36 AM.
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