akmal's bike park

akmal's bike park

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Merino Wool?

merino wool jersey - have ewe tried it yet?

Latfy - a reborn cyclist (and I mean a very avid cyclist at that) - was checking up on the idea of wearing merino wool shirt for his RTW. Both of us agree that in our local climate we would surely sweat when riding the bike. I had done tests myself on my RTW journeys with cotton t-shirts and polyester jerseys. No matter how cool the weather is (post rain, gloomy sky, etc.), surely I would be sweaty whenever I'm stopping at the traffic light.

The other challenge is to not be stinky because of the sweat. One of my two Sugoi jerseys would smell a bit funny when I'm sweaty - perhaps because of the polyester. The other jersey, Brooks with X-Static material is much better, with no odor due to its anti-bacterial properties.

And then Latfy gave me this link:

http://www.outsideonline.com/blog/two-weeks-one-wool-shirt.html

Two weeks with one shirt with no odor? That's something. Anybody tried any merino wool jersey in our local climate? Especially when it's hot and humid, for any types of cycling - road, offroad, RTW, touring, etc. Please share your experience. I'd like to know what you think (feel).

So far I've got a pair of Smartwool socks from a Timberland store (and they're not a cheap pair of socks!). A bit thick, I've been wearing them with my sneakers only. No cycling yet.

Why Merino Wool?

http://www.merino.com/en/active-wear/performance-benefits

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-merino-wool.htm

image taken from here.

2 comments:

mynameiskoko said...

Doesn't make sense to buy something so expensive for RTW when you can change your clothes. It does make sense for touring scenarios though.

Compression wear is something to look into also. I heard it wicks moisture away quickly.

Might be trying this out soon. Local brand, cheaper.
http://www.breatheapparel.com/comfortably-loose-training-loose-long-sleeve-p-48.html

Akmal Hizam said...

Thanks, Riza.

Latfy's quest is to find a clothing that he would not need to change; while feeling cool, not sweaty and not smelly. He's enjoying riding to meetings. Off the bike, and into the meeting room straight away, no sweat (pun intended).
;)

I'm using baselayer (cheap one, see: http://bit.ly/KQ3e0e) underneath a loose jersey for offroad mainly for UV protection and its close-to-skin fitting.
The UV protection bit is self-explanatory.
The tight fitting bit is for the sweat wicking hence the cooling effect.
The cooling effect is evident, but only if I'm moving at speed higher than about 10km/h. Or, there's wind blowing. Otherwise, nothing. But not feeling warm/berlengas.

I'm not sure about the moisture wicking effect would work if the garment is loose. There'll be dead-air layer between the skin and the garment which would act as insulation hence making the skin feel hot/warm regardless of wind blowing or not. That said, it is best to wear the tight baselayer by itself. In my case, my loose jerseys are permitting air to circulate inside. So, I do still get the cooling benefit.