Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wool! It does a body good! And you look good in it.

If you live in a cool climate like the Pacific Northwest, you'll soon discover that there is a reason those old timers wore wool. Fortunately it's still available from a couple of great sources.
Which has a wide variety of nice stuff, that seems to be holding up very well, but the designs/fashion are boring. (boring can be good, as in it does what it's supposed to do. Just very little fashion flair to it.)

And which has some really nice jerseys, shorts etc. with classic Retro Team styles.

Of the two, ibex shak jerseys are more tightly knit, and warmer. But with a Ibex Vim coat over a VintageVelo Jersey you get the best of both worlds. The Vim coat has wind panels down the front of the chest, and on the front of the arm. That's great for the ride in from 30F, to low 50's. The long sleeve VintageVelo Jersey has the pockets in the back, and for the afternoon ride home in the mid 50's is perfect. In the summer when the afternoons warm up to the 60's and beyond, the short sleeve jersey is fine, with arm warmers for the morning. I happen to have Ibex arm warmers and leg warmers and VintageVelo shorts. But that's a matter of availability. Ibex had them when I needed them. The arm/leg warmers are made of the same thick black merino Shak wool and don't slide down. Can't say enough good things about them.

Customer service both companies are really good. Although VintageVelos will give you close to personal service if your problem warrants it.

I've also become a hipster, or rather hipsters have discovered that knickers are good for bicycling in the cool weather. And since clothes make the man, I guess we are of the same clan. I've made my own knickers from wool pants I bought at Goodwill for the last 30 years. Using the lower part of the pants for the material for the knee tabs and the crotch gusset. Cut them below the knee with enough fabric for a hem, split a couple of seems, cut the fabric, make some tabs, sew on some velcro, and you are done. Takes a good Saturday afternoon but it's not hard sewing. Recently I picked up a pair of Ibex knickers on ebay on bargin basement pricing and they work pretty well. So if you are not handy with a sewing machine it's a good alternative.

Wool boxers, for cold mornings, and the wind proof front ones for really cold morning rides. Highly recommended for keeping things that should not be cold warm.

Top off your head with a wool skull cap and you are warm enough on cold days. Or use the thin wool balaclava for those really cold days, say high 30's, or wet low 40s'.

Nice thing is even when wet you'll still be warm. And given a place to hang it while you are at work, and it will be warm and dry for the ride home.

No comments:

Post a Comment