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Best fabric for athletes? Cashmere?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
I'm a road cyclist - I ride about 500 miles per month, which means an hour or so most days after work, and several hours on weekends. I work hard climbing hills, sprinting, etc, then I stop about once an hour to eat and stretch. It might be 50 F and partly sunny when I set out, and 30 F by the time I get home ... so if I work up a sweat, it'll chill me to the bone. ( I also do hike-in back country camping, and some kayaking. )

I always wear a merino base layer, and usually a goretex outer layer. Recently I discovered cashmere, as a mid layer, and fell in love. I don't sweat much in it, and when I do, I don't feel it, then it dries quickly. A merino sweat gets drenched with sweat. Polar fleece feels clammy and gross. Cotton kills.

Here's where I need advice: cashmere is made out of pure awesome, but does anything else have the same or better magic? I've been told that alpaca, angora, and qiviut ( musk ox down ) are better for my purposes than cashmere. Before I go investing in clothes, is there anything else I should try out first?

Thanks!
post #2 of 39
I would never wear something dry-clean only to exercise, but up to you.
post #3 of 39
Quote:
GEORGE: Hey, did you know that the Yankees don't wear cotton jerseys?

JERRY: Of course, they're polyester.

GEORGE: Well, what is that? That's a crime! Do you know how hot those things get? They should be wearing cotton.

JERRY: Why do they wear polyester?

GEORGE: I don't know. That's all gonna change.

JERRY: You're going to do something about it?

GEORGE: Why shouldn't I?

JERRY (doubtfully): No reason...

post #4 of 39
Seriously, stick with merino wool base and jerseys...there's nothing better for cycling, even in relatively warm weather
post #5 of 39
Hair. Lots of hair. In time, you will be less athletic and lacking hair. Flaunt it while you've got it.
post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zjpj83 View Post
I would never wear something dry-clean only to exercise, but up to you.

I heard foie gras makes a good chain lubricant, too. The thing is, I spend enough time outdoors, especially on the bike and working hard, that it's worth having good clothes if they'll keep me comfortable.

Plus, they don't that dirty cycling. I'm just letting the sweat dry out of the thrift store ones I have so far when I'm done riding; they don't stink the next day. When they get dirty, I'll throw them in the gentle cycle with some woolite, then let them air dry. I'm sure I'll baby the stuff I pay more for.

What I'm wondering is if there's anything else that does as good a job of wicking sweat, and has a wider range of temperatures it can be comfortable in, than cashmere? It's the best thing I've had, and I'm starting to see a few clearance deals ... but before I jump in, I wonder if I need to try any of the other exotic wool-ish fabrics? Because people have been telling me a few specific ones are even better, but they're hard to find in a store.
post #7 of 39
If you were really serious about biking you'd wear vicuna.
post #8 of 39
Acrylic has the same properties as cashmere for less.
post #9 of 39
You are a serious cyclist (I probably do 500 miles a year if that), and you really haven't done any investigating into technical materials/fabrics? Pretty much any jersey and bib by any respectable manufacture will work. I am really confused here. Merino, wool, any number of dry-wicking materials.
post #10 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sygyzy View Post
You are a serious cyclist (I probably do 500 miles a year if that), and you really haven't done any investigating into technical materials/fabrics? Pretty much any jersey and bib by any respectable manufacture will work. I am really confused here.

Merino, wool, any number of dry-wicking materials.

I don't like synthetics. Or bike-specific clothes. Partly the distance ( 500 miles really isn't that much at 15+ mph average ) is because I love cycling, but the other part is I'm prone to cabin fever, and being outdoors makes me happy. I also hike, camp, and kayak ... but cycling is something I can do from my front door, so it's how I spend most of my leisure time. So, I want to have clothes I can wear doing any of these, or just going for a walk around the neighborhood in the evening.
post #11 of 39
Cashmere probably isn't durable enough to be considered for a sport fabric.
post #12 of 39
It seems like the problem lies within the issue of you stopping every hour of your rides to eat and stretch. Seriously, no one does that on longer base mile rides. If you gotta eat, do it on your bike. For what it's worth, I've done riding in below 0 degree celsius, and a windproof jacket, merino baselayer and tights kept me warm throughout.
post #13 of 39
Thread Starter 
But can anyone tell me if any of the other exotic wool or wool-like fabrics are going to do a better job of wicking sweat and being comfortable under a wide range of conditions than cashmere?
post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclist View Post
But can anyone tell me if any of the other exotic wool or wool-like fabrics are going to do a better job of wicking sweat and being comfortable under a wide range of conditions than cashmere?

Let me answer your question with another question. Do you really think Style Forvm, which is about classic mens clothing, is the right place to ask a question about athletic wear?

post #15 of 39
Please allow me to pull this thread back on-topic for SF Mens Clothing.. http://www.rapha.cc/tailored-jacket
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