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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd appreciate some feedback or recommendations on winter jerseys. Tightwad that I am, I'm hoping to take advantage of sales on winter gear as the weather warms up. I've mainly layered clothes to adapt to colder winter temps -- using wicking t-shirts, long sleeve regular jerseys, and a vest to adapt to colder temps. I seldom ride in temperatures below freezing, but ride through the winter with lots of rides starting in low to mid-30s and warming up to mid-40s and low 50s.

What I am looking for is a heavier weight jersey with excellent breathability so I don't get all sweaty as temperatures (and body temp) warm up during a ride. Ideally this would be a jersey warm enough that I could wear it without a vest in 30, 40-degree weather. What got me thinking about this was a ride last weekend where it was moderately cold (around 40) but very windy, so it felt a lot colder than it was. I wore my Pearl Izumi Vagabond jacket over a longsleeve jersey and T, to stay warm at the outset, but that combination was totally lousy. The lack of breathability caused me to sweat too much, and the jacket acted like a parachute in the wind. Wearing my vest would have avoided the problems, but I'm getting kind of tired of wearing neon yellow/green all the time. Several of my friends have been wearing heavier weight jerseys with no vests or jackets all winter and seem to be comfortable. That's got me thinking that perhaps I need to update my wardrobe.
 

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LOOK lover
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You don't say whether or not you're willing to pop some bucks, but since you mention being a tightwad maybe not (in which case I don't have any good suggestions other than to keep layering a bunch of cheap crap).

If you are willing to do so, get a medium weight jersey that has wind-block built into the front panels (eg Assos Intermediate). Combine this with a high-quality long-sleeved base layer for lower temps or a shortsleeve/sleeveless base layer for warmer temps. This will provide comfort over a wide temperature range and avoid sweat buildup. I can already hear the "Assos is too expensive" screams, but check totalcycling.com - they're UK-based and ship to the US VAT-free. If they have what you're looking for, you'll pay about 60% of US retail, which brings the prices pretty well in line with what you'd pay for lesser brands.

I gave up on wind vests and jackets for the same reasons and have never regretted it.
 

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How high is your geek factor?

I posted something on this a few weeks ago, but it might be a solution for you: I was looking around some local thrift shops for furniture for my daughter's new apartment and happened to walk past a rack of sweaters. A soft wool shirt, like a long-sleeved polo shirt, caught my eye because the label said "100% Merino" and it was an XXL, which is what I wear. Except for a few minor trim details and lacking a back pocket, the thing is an almost exact duplicate of two merino jerseys I paid $75-$80 apiece for last year. Same weight, same quality as far as I can tell, no difference at all. I bought it for either $2.99 or $3.99 and I've worn it half a dozen times. It's soft enough to go next to your skin (I'm a wool wuss), plenty warm and looks OK, especially under a shell.
I've checked some other local shops, and they often have similar shirts in smaller sizes, though big ones are rare. They were sort of fashionable for casual wear eight or 10 years ago, and I assume people are cleaning out their closets now. Merino is the key if you're going to wear it next to your skin, but those places are always full of decent sweaters (L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer etc.) for $3-$5.
 

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LOOK lover
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Here's a timely review of the Assos Intermediate jersey.
 

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Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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tarwheel2 said:
I'd appreciate some feedback or recommendations on winter jerseys. Tightwad that I am, I'm hoping to take advantage of sales on winter gear as the weather warms up. I've mainly layered clothes to adapt to colder winter temps -- using wicking t-shirts, long sleeve regular jerseys, and a vest to adapt to colder temps. I seldom ride in temperatures below freezing, but ride through the winter with lots of rides starting in low to mid-30s and warming up to mid-40s and low 50s.
My wife bought me a Santini winter jersey (it's one of the Eddy-replica ones) that has been fantastic this winter. By itself, it's good down to about 40, once you get warmed up, and with a light jacket (I have a Pearl Izumi shell--may even be a Vagabond like yours) it's good down to 35 or so (as cold as I've ridden in this year). My wife has a Cannondale one for women that is even heavier, but it's very similar and very warm.

They're not real cheap, but maybe you can find one on sale. In any case, I recommend the jerseys that are a bit fleecy on the inside--my wife and I both have them now, and they're the biz.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
suggestions

Well the comment about being a tightwad should have ruled out recommendations for Assos, but I am sure they are good jerseys. My problem with most European brands is the sizing -- too small and hard to gauge without trying on.

Wool jerseys present a couple of problems for me. First, I want something with some wind-blocking, and wool is terrible at that. Second, I'm apparently slightly allergic to wool, or at least find it very itchy and uncomfortable (except for socks).

Anyone familiar with Pearl Izumi's Vector jerseys? That seems to be what I am looking for -- it has wind-blocking fabric in front, but apparently very breathable. Pockets in back like a regular jersey. On sale at Performance and other places right now.
 

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Try going to Sahalie.com. They sell a product called "men's butterfleece zip T". This is what I wear in the cold. They are extremely light-weight...not thin...just weigh surprisingly little. No back pocket & they're not wind proof, but, they wick like crazy! Under an unlined shell. you'll think you're riding in the Bahamas. Best of all, they cost around $19-20.

http://www.sahalie.com/jump.jsp?itemID=14&itemType=CATEGORY&path=1,2,4,14
 

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Not sure about their vector ones, but the Kodiak jerseys work well. Also, Castelli wind blocker is DA BOMB. You can find it sometimes at places like Sierra trading post and REI as well as Nashbar or Performance.
 

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gastarbeiter
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you're an idiot who's obviously never even tried assos.

OnTheRivet said:
Reasonably priced alternative to that ridiculous Assos posuer stuff.[/url]
 

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wicking jersey, warm jacket for me.

I like wool blend jackets with a wind breaking product in front. They work well from about 20F to about 45F by varying the weight of the jersey under it. Often I wear a long-sleeved poly propelene t-shirt under the jacket but on cold days, this morning for example, something warmer. The wool blend, unlike 100% wool, survives machine washing very well. My wife and I each got one, Systeme U and Look-La Vie Claire, many years ago. Her pregnant belly stretched hers out and I think she got tired of looking like a killer bee so now both are mine.
 

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Been going through the same thing. Went to the local Performance store and tried on the PI Vector. Might have bought one of these because they were on sale, but of course they didn't have my size. Tried on a Louis Garneau Wind Slice jersey. Really liked it, except they only had a red one (don't care for red). Seems like the right combo . Wind block front with fleece back and tight knit kinda poly/spandex like sleeves. Went home and found it on their web site for $50, went to supergo site, got the coupon code for 10% off and ordered one in yellow. Haven't got it yet, so can't attest to how well it works, but I think should be good for cool, windy rides in the 40 to 50 degree range. The PI vector front seemed to be very stiff, the LG seemed much softer and more comfy in the front.
Good luck with your search
 

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I don't think you can find anything that will do what you want to do.

If you have a jersey that is comfortable by itself in the 30s, you will be sweating your butt off when the temps go up to the high 40s or 50s.

I think what you want is a minimum number of items to fit the range from 30 to 50 degrees.

There are several ways to do that but they all require layering. I think layering is the best and cheapest solution to the problem.

Wind front vest
jersey comfortable in 50 degree temps


These two items should take you from 55 to 45 degrees. To go another 10 degrees lower you have to add another layer. Either another jersey, baselayer, or arm warmers.

I have been using a three layer system for commuting. It takes me from 30 to 60 degrees.

UnderArmour Cold Gear Mock Longsleeve shirt
Performance regular weight long sleeve jersey
Wind front Voler vest


60 degrees wear the longsleeve jersey
55 degrees wear the jersey and the vest
50 to 40 wear underarmour and vest
below 40 wear all three.
 
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