Base Layer- to wear or not to wear

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Aussie Steve, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. Aussie Steve

    Aussie Steve New Member

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    Equipment: I see folks posting about knicks, etc so base layer clothing should probably go here.
    Speaking with a fella at work this morning, I told him my personal rule of thumb is :
    anything under 15 degrees Celsius (don't know the conversion to Fahrenheit)
    i will always wear a base layer. Won't spend big $$$ on proper thermals, a cotton t-shirt has always been perfect for me, proper arm warmers of course.
    He was surprised and said 25 deg and below for him to use
    cotton t-shirt+ Arm-Warmers !!!!
    he really feels the cold he said.
    What do you other lycra loonies do normally?
     
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  2. Xsmoker

    Xsmoker New Member

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    15 deg.C times 1.8 plus 32 = 59 deg.F . There is nothing more uncomfortable than wet cotton next to the skin. 15 degs.C isn't unreasonable for a wicking base layer. I've been doing a lot of riding this week at 38 to 50 deg.s F. Under Armor base layer, breathable insulating layer and a jacket with pit zips.
    38 deg.F -32 divided by 1.8 = 3.3 deg.C


    Ride on brother........
     
  3. Aussie Steve

    Aussie Steve New Member

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    when I get to work I doscover a lot of the sweat has gone to the jersey & then swept away to the airstream...
     
  4. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    my secret, cheap winter undergarment is an old spencer I got from my mum :)

    seems they work best for getting rid of sweat when they're very old -- breathes really well.


    I wear full summer gear down to about 13 degrees, but I wear gloves under about 15. However, if I know I'm just doing a very easy recovery ride, I might rug put on 2 jerseys if it's around 14 degrees.
     
  5. matagi

    matagi Well-Known Member

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    The good news is you can still get them, the bad news is they only seem to be found in the granny section of women's underwear. The modern merino ones work from the word go, and they're great for stopping wind too. :)

    I got two for $25 each at the Myer post-Christmas sale, worked a treat over the winter months.

    And for the modern synthetic junkies out there, I have to say nothing beats wool for thermal quality and breathability.
     
  6. 531Aussie

    531Aussie Well-Known Member

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    ha, years ago I had a very old one which was FANTASTIC, but I thought I'd be clever and chuck it out and buy a new one -- big mistake. The new one was kinda greasy and thicker, and stayed damp from the sweat. :(
    I then bought a pure wool 'grandpa' undergarment, but that was too hot.

    I now have another old one, but I only wear it if it's about 10 or below. I had to cut off the frilly fringes. :) I once even stitched Giramondo tags to the sleeves of another :p
     
  7. matagi

    matagi Well-Known Member

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    The new ones are really lightweight and definitely not greasy - sounds like you got one of those mountain climber lanolin impregnated ones or sumfink.:)

    Nobody sees my woolly underwear, so I don't bother about tags or the frilly bits.:p

    I've got some legwarmers that only cost me $14 - bought a pair of woollen tights at a DJ's winter sale, cut off the feet and the panty, hemmed the edges and voila! They work a treat when it's raining. :cool:
     
  8. Bro Deal

    Bro Deal New Member

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    At 15C I like to wear sumer weight jersey and bibs, arm warmers, leg warmers, normal summer gloves, a Louis Garneau beannie with a windproof front, and a sock called a Storm Sock, which has an inner layer of pile bonded to a water resistant, wind proof outer fabric. If it looks like it might dip to 12C then I usually wear a a thin top under my jersey. These days I am using some stuff from Arc'Teryx.

    Today I rode 3+ hours in temps from 6 to 8C. The only change from above was full fingered gloves made by Black Diamond (Dry Tool glove). If it were a little colder I would have switched my headgear to Gore Windstopper and used a vest. The next step is thermal tights and a jacket. Colder than that it is freezing and not very pleasant to cycle, so I try not to.
     
  9. DZ-015

    DZ-015 New Member

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    DEFINITELY! Used a Helly Hansen base layer long sleeved top last Winter in Scotland. Best combined with a good breathable Gore jacket on top, there's no condensation build up and my rides were 100% more enjoyable.
     
  10. Bob Ross

    Bob Ross New Member

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    For one thing, we don't wear cotton: it doesn't wick but rather retains moisture, makes you even colder & clamier than if you were all nekkid.

    It also retains stink.

    I wear a polypropylene or polyester sleeveless base layer whenever the weather gets just slightly cooler than unequivocally "Warm". Arm warmers and sometimes leg warmers come out whenever the temp dips below 60F (15.5C), and as it gets below 50F (10C) the sleeveless base layer becomes a long sleeve base layer.

    When it gets below 40F (4.4C) I still wear a polypro or polyester base layer, I just change the outer layer, or go to a 3-layer system.
     
  11. rschleicher

    rschleicher New Member

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    Silk makes for a surprisingly warm, breathable, yet light-weight underlayer. When I go snowboarding I just have a lightweight silk set of long underwear under my snowboard pants, and it is all I need unless it is pretty cold (below 10F, which is about -10C). Where I normally board (Lake Tahoe area) it is usually only a few degrees above or below the freezing point, so the silks are plenty. I'm not sure, but I seem to think that silk is even lighter than synthetics.
     
  12. Aussie Steve

    Aussie Steve New Member

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    For a very long time, what I used as a base layer was:
    - a long sleeved cotton/polyester skivvy (not sure if that word is known in the USA- think Wiggles) because it's cheap, didn't want to spend any money on arm warmers.
    Problem- when it got below 60F (15C) I always felt the cold on my arms, esp when it rained, man it was freezing...
    3 months ago, decided to buy arm warmers, they have a bit of fleece inside, they are perfect. Even in the rain, they were Kool (i mean warm !)

    P.S. yet another reason why this site is in my Favourites, you guys and girls are the best:) when it comes to informed discussion...cheers dudes
     
  13. Aussie Steve

    Aussie Steve New Member

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    Rschleicher makes a very interesting point about silk !!
    I remember reading books on WW2 pilots, they flew high altitudes in freezing cold, they wore gloves in this way:
    - silk
    -next was wool (I think)
    - last layer- leather
    it would make it damned hard to manage cockpit switches and controls !!!
    Boy they did it tough, they managed to wear 3 layers without whinging
    but I used to hate wearing my motorbike gloves on my Suzuki due to loss of feel....!!!!!
     
  14. Rockslayer

    Rockslayer New Member

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    Darn isn't silk expensive? I havent had that luxury but I know it comes down to layering and keeping dry especially in the cold.
    The last couple seasons in Japan snowboarding I finally figured less is warmer, While snowboarding I only wear cheap $10 poly thermals under my pants. Top I wear a longsleeve thermal and a tshirt and a shell jacket. The Pits zips come down when riding/hiking to let moisture out. and the Zips go back up on the lifts. This works quite good at -15 deg C even with extra windchill. [​IMG] It's a matter of staying dry cotton soaks up sweat making it really cold when wet especially in freezing temps or with wind chill. Extra layers like a fleece make me too warm and sweat too much and it traps in moisture making it colder.[​IMG]
    On the bike I use a sport coolmax singlet under my jersey on colder days plus knee/arm warmers as required. Synthetics and staying dry is the way to go in hot or cold weather.
     
  15. nathanb74

    nathanb74 New Member

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    Being originally from Brisbane the temp rarely gets below 10-12c in the morning in winter and my kit was usually just a summer jersey, bibs, arm & leg warmers. If it was any colder I would wear one of those vest style base layers for summer. I moved to the UK last October and it's a totally different ball game. I've had to buy full length bib tights, long sleeve jersey, windprrof & waterproof jacket, winter gloves - you get the idea. First ride last winter was a real shock to the system.
     
  16. carbonguru

    carbonguru New Member

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    I head over to Wal-Mart or Target and buy a cheap pair of Hanes Cotton/Wool Blend Long Sleeve Undershirts. I put this under my Jersey and then follow-up with a Windtex Type Jacket. Oh so warm and comfortable for those long cold days in the saddle. :rolleyes:



     
  17. kettlewon2001

    kettlewon2001 New Member

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    Steve, not sure if Patagonia is available in your neck of the woods, but they make an undergarment made from capaline. I wear this, which takes the sweat away from the body. Next is a white tee shirt. After the capaline takes the sweat off the body, it is absorbed on the tee shirt. The capaline remains dry, while the tee gets the moisture. This very thin garments are capped with a thin top layer, and I am set and warm.
     
  18. 1id10t

    1id10t New Member

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    AussieSteve

    Have a look at the therma-dry undershirt -

    http://www.deanwoods.com.au/store/prod1545.htm

    I have a couple of pairs (one I bought from Dean Woods for $29 and the other at a Kathmandu sale for $14.95). They have excellent wicking properties and keep you warm. I've used them in the rain without wet weather gear and, although you might feel a little wet, it keeps your chest from getting cold. Washing is a breeze as well as they almost seem to dry within minutes of hanging out on the line. I find I usually only need the undershirt and a jersey in winter to get me by. By about the 5km mark I'm warm enough without being too hot and sweaty.
     
  19. Aussie Steve

    Aussie Steve New Member

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    kettlewon2001 and 1idiot....thanks for the tips folks !!! I will definitely look at capaline, it sounds like the real deal, and also that garment from DeanWoods sounds perfect as well. Not too pricey, very good value, and the fact that it is almost dry when it comes out of the wash, proves that it sheds moisture quickly. Both ideas are great :cool:
     
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