Thursday, November 15, 2007

Good Thursday

For the first time in a while it was a good Thursday morning. I finally received some more clothing that I had ordered from Rivendell. Picked up a pair of the MUSA pants and I was excited to try them out.

What I wore today

  • Ibex Woolies Bottoms: Very thin and lightweight, amazingly comfortable. Gusset in the crotch, no fly. Good length. They pass easily for a thin weight tight. Easy to wear under a pair of pants for bottoms. Size large because I never know how to fit pants. 32" waist, 32" inseam but can seldom find pants to fit around my legs. Being that I wanted length for cycling, better to error on the larger size. Pleased with results.
  • Rivendell MUSA Pants: I have read about them and don't really know why I hadn't purchased a pair before. I wanted a pair of "regular looking" pants to wear while cycling. I subscribe more to the look like a normal-person school of thought when riding, but prefer comfort. Less is more. The pants are very thin, do an adequate job of adding warmth and somewhat wind-blocking to the aforementioned bottoms. I ordered a pair of size medium based on the description: " If you are a guy, buy the same size pants as you do skivvies, and you will be fine." Well, they fit fine in the waist and length, but are almost skin tight in the legs. Not sure how much I will be able to squeeze under them for layers and remain comfortable.
  • Ibex Woolies Zip Top: Thin weight wool. Just enough as a light layer. Good from about 55 degrees and warmer all by itself. Layered under my favorite top the Ibex Shak I am generally good down to mid 30's.
  • Ibex Clive Jacket: Soft shell. I obsessed over buying a jacket, as I have for about the last 2 years. I couldn't bring myself to buy anything. I looked at several models and have been eying up the idea of getting something like a North Face or what have-you. Like the idea of wool, so again back to Ibex. I couldn't be more pleased with this jacket. Classy enough to wear anywhere. For a while it hung in the closet as too nice to wear while cycling. Silly me... So far, I can easily regulate temperature with pit-zips and the front zipper between mid 20's to mid 30's. With multiple layers of wool underneath I am sure I can be comfortable no-matter the temp.


  • Monkey Socks: I have a couple of pair of wool socks with my Smart Wool being the favorite. Some of what I own are getting thin. Picked up a couple of these since they are made in Minnesota. Could not find anything else locally, had to order them from Rivendell.
  • Lake Winter Cycling Shoes: These are simply great. Too warm for the afternoon ride home, requires my saddle to be adjusted higher. My decision on whether or not to wear them every day is a bit tough. Looking forward to colder days just to make it a no-brainer.

Hands: My hands never seem to get cold. Today I wore just a regular pair of full-finger cycling gloves. Specifically the Fox Incline. They are the only gloves that I can find in XXL.

Head: Merino wool balaclava from Rivendell. Again, the only place where I could find something made from wool. I've looked elsewhere and can only find fleece or other space-age materials. I generally ride with about 3 different hats stuffed in a bag. Changing from one to another can make the whole body feel different. For me, it is a really easy way to regulate temperature.

I have found that by recording the temperature and what I am wearing each day it helps me significantly when it comes time to dress to go. I feel like I have dropped a boat-load of cash on clothing this fall. The Ibex stuff is expensive. Much of it is made in the USA (shorts, knickers, Shak jersey, knee warmers.) I absolutely LOVE their knee warmers and shorts.

I am sticking with wool. I have been wearing the same tops for at least a week without washing. They have yet to really smell! I have tried shopping locally for things, but have not been pleased with what I can find.

I have yet to find the perfect item for legs. Lots of motion, odd sizing, and needing to find a good combination of wind-blocking front with breathable back. I am thinking of something like the MUSA pants with more-substantial front, cut a little larger in the legs.

1 comment:

midway cyclist said...

I don't know who makes the Riv balaclava, but Smartwool makes a pretty nice one. Thin wool, but surprisingly warm. I got mine at Duluth Pack. Midwest Mountaineering might carry them too.

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