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  1. #1
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Short version: Which wool jersey?

    Long version:

    I'm doing a long, multi-day trip next month -- on my fixie -- and I want to carry as little as possible. I was thinking about getting a wool long sleeve jersey, but they're very expensive. I figured this trip was the perfect opportunity to take the plunge. My goal is warmth, dryness, and most importantly, lack of stench after wearing for a few days. I've got Helly Hansen, Capilene, and some Craft stuff, but they get stinkaaaay after a day's use. I want something that I can wear for the duration of the trip without making me gag too much.

    I've had wool jerseys before, (a few from Swobo and Performance) but they're really old (9 years?), tattered, and tight. Plus the fact that I weigh 30 pounds more than when I originally bought them makes for a wool halter top, not a sight many folks on the trail want to see. Swobo's not around any more and I wasn't overly impressed with the older Performance jerseys, so I'm looking for opinions.

    What's the your favorite of the current crop out there? A little research shows that there are some from Salsa/Surly, Boure, Spot, Ibex, Kucharik, Vintagevelos, Smartwool, Canari, etc.

    Another cheaper alternative (80-90% less!) is to just get one of the base layer offerings, such as Medima, Terramar and Hot Chilly, then throw on a regular cycling jersey or Hawaiian shirt

    Also, I've noticed that there are many made of 100% Merino, but there are some that throw other stuff into the mix, especially the "base layer" tops. Are these blends better at wicking? My uneducated guess is that they won't combat my stench as well as the 100% naturals. Anyways, thanks for opining!

    -rickyd

  2. #2
    try driving your car less
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    I vote for the halter top look.
    Wool is nice, but so freakin expensive and a pain to wash and dry.
    My kit for a similar trip was a long sleeve zip neck base layer thing, a short sleeve over it. Then a long sleeve zip neck thin fleecy thing. Then a jacket with a 'activent' back that you can unzip the sleeves for a vest. With all those zippers and stuff, I could take almost any climate.
    As for the stench, I actually WASH my clothes in the evening, and put on evening clothes for camping. That plasticky stuff dries so fast, it'll be ready by morning, especially if you wring it out really well.
    Only boring people get bored.

  3. #3
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    Spot

    Although I cannot compare this to any of the others, I have a Spot SS wool jersey and although I am ashamed to admit this, it really can be worn for multiple days without washing. It seems like the rear gets a bit stretched after a day (my tube, ID, and gel pack holder gets stored in a rear pocket).

    Good topic as I plan to buy another soon for the winter season. I was checking out the Surly version just a few hours ago.
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  4. #4
    I am the owl
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    I am getting ready to order the Norwegian Record Holder from Rivendell. Look in their latest catalog, it's not on their web site. $75, said to have been worn for 109 days straight on an Arctic expedition - hence the name.
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  5. #5
    F@CK da dumb
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    My biggest complaint with the merino wool spot/surly jerseys are that they're way too delicate. I've got rips and holes after only a few months of wearing them. Other than that there the most comfy jerseys I've worn.
    Check out the Zoic Sportwool jerseys. They're a wool/poly blend that seem more durable.

  6. #6
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    I've got an old wool swobo LS jersey and a wool Boure' LS jersey. I like the Boure' better - the wool is softer and it seems to me that it absorbs less moisture during a given ride.

    Washing/drying them is not an issue. I have a front loading washer, which I think is easier on clothes and I just air dry them out. The jerseys are good for 5 - 6 rides inbetween washes and even then I'm not sure they really need to be washed.

    Keep in mind the Boure jersey is made in Italy by Santini who make many other wool jerseys so if you want one of these but don't like the design it's likely you can find something else.

    Later
    Last edited by (Tom); 10-22-2004 at 12:06 PM.

  7. #7
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderx
    I am getting ready to order the Norwegian Record Holder from Rivendell. Look in their latest catalog, it's not on their web site. $75, said to have been worn for 109 days straight on an Arctic expedition - hence the name.
    Can you bring the catalog on Sunday? I'd like to check it out. Thanks!

  8. #8
    I am the owl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    Can you bring the catalog on Sunday? I'd like to check it out. Thanks!
    Yep. I'll wait to order in case you want to double up and save shipping. I talked to Riv. yesterday and they are in stock.
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  9. #9
    JAK
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    Wool is the Only way to go...

    Sweaters that is...

    I have two woolies that I wear for most of my winter riding...one thick and one thin. If I don't take my H20Backpack I put a regular pocketed jersey under my sweater...it works great. Also, the thick sweater is by far the most breathable mostly water proof garment I have. Plus, I have seen pictures of you on and noticed that you like shirts with a bit O'Flair eh?! You could go with a nice argyle or one them 80's Mr. Huxtable styles...anyway, you should give'er with one of your old sweaters and see if it work for you. It will also fold into a nice pillow!
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  10. #10
    all hail der Fuhrer Bush
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    wear a pack?

    Me, I like cramming my stuff in 3 rear pockets so I only wear a pack for backcountry epics. Roadie habits die hard. And I always wonder what-all somebody crams into a huge pack for a 3-hour spin on local trails.
    But if you're one of the majority these days that seems to always wear a pack, then you don't need pockets, so you don't need an overpriced cycling-specific wool jersey. There's all kinds of wool garments out there, from the under layers somebody already mentioned, to warm wool sweaters in any thickness you need from thin for aerobic efforts (XC skiiers figured this out eons ago) to something much warmer, like my old USMC wooly pully (which still fits me 25 years later, thankyouverymuch). Feel free to sew on some flashy bike logos if you're one of them folks who like to advertise for free for their favorite bike businesses. Buy a white sweater and dye it neon chartreuse if you're European.

  11. #11
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    I love wool

    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    What's the your favorite of the current crop out there?
    I've got Swobo, Bontrager, Rivendell/Woolywarm, Rivendell/Alessandro, and Kucharik.

    If you want something a little more casual I really like the woolywarm: supersoft, I wear it all week for the commute with no stinkiness. Fits fuller so if you want a cycling fit make sure you take that into account. No zipper though.

    The Riv/Alessandro/Vintagevelo is the best jersey I've ever worn. Pricy though. I imagine the other Alessandro-made jerseys (including Boure) are equally good.

    I thought the Kucharik and Bontragers were a little rougher, but I bought them several years ago and the Kuchariks may have changed.

    My Swobo was much burlier than the others and has shrunken while the others did not.

    Finally, I'm also considering getting some base layers and I think the Ibex T-shirt looks really good as well as the Riv/Ktena longsleeve black wooly. In fact, Ibex has a zip-t in their clearance section with no back pockets right now that I'm checking out.

    Wool rules!
    Last edited by 03bart; 10-22-2004 at 12:46 PM. Reason: added crucial adjective

  12. #12
    rejected
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    Woolly

    Wool at nashbar.....
    http://www.nashbar.com/results.cfm
    Or do what bulC said and search thrift stores and military surplus outlets for wool sweaters. They're usually very cheap and come in a variety of weights. I found a nice thin wool sweater, (almost base layer weight) at my local thrift store for $1.

  13. #13
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    I love wool ....

    But i would NOT go with Spot. i have 2 of them and they are prone to rip easily and they stretch like a ***** when you have stuff in the back pockets.I had a pearl izumi one before that and it was great . K Peace

  14. #14
    King Pin
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    Good job! Surly!

    Second year on my Surly Wooly.....just like new.

    I stuff lot's a stuff in the back pockets, warm and comfy. I'd like another Santa!

  15. #15
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    Pricepoint has some Zoic Headlands on Clearance!

    Quote Originally Posted by joyride1x1
    My biggest complaint with the merino wool spot/surly jerseys are that they're way too delicate. I've got rips and holes after only a few months of wearing them. Other than that there the most comfy jerseys I've worn.
    Check out the Zoic Sportwool jerseys. They're a wool/poly blend that seem more durable.

    $23. Orange only. L, XL, and XXL. Only 38% wool though.

  16. #16
    law talkin' guy
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    Ibex is good

    I've used the Ibex wool t-shirt for cycling and love it. Very comfortable even in the heat of summer, no stink, and easy to care for (just machine wash as normal t-shirt and hang dry). They have off-season sales so you pick up stuff cheap. In fact, Ibex is offering the wool t-shirts on sale right now and am ordering at least one more.

  17. #17
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    If you don't need pockets, consider www.icebreaker.co.nz. - they make the best outdoor wool gear you can buy.

    If you're not concerned about wool content, there's www.macpac.co.nz - they have some nice lookin' poly/wool blend base layer that's not as expensive as 100% merino.

    I like the Ibex stuff. Seems well made and pretty sweet, so it's worth looking at, although they know how to charge.

    The Craft socks I have are pretty average and not a patch on my Smartwools, so I make the assumption that Smartwool baselayers would be pretty good.

    I'd still opt for 100% merino though, you just can't beat the stuff. Today's merino is machine washable, soft as silk and a joy to wear. You'll dig it.
    No longer member of the bike industry nor society, so don't hassle me.

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