clothing advice - thin cheap merino and washing a windproof

thrope Posts: 69
edited March 2009 in Commuting chat
Hi folks,

Couple of clothing related questions - so I thought I'd put them together in the same post...

First, it's getting too warm for my merino top (icebreaker, 260) but going back to smelly polyester after all winter wearing that is a bit crap. So can anyone recommend a cheap thin merino top? The thinest icebreaker do is 150 but I wondered if it's possible to get thinner (or is that OK). Also might be doing something wrong, but I can't find any prices or buy link on the icrebreaker site - just the catalogue. Thinnest finistere do is 200 which I think would definitely still be too warm. I must admit I can't ever remember being too cold on the bike and I always end up really sweaty so the thinner the better I think.

Second, I just got a Montane Featherlight Velo top - which is something I should have done ages ago. I think it's great... but after just a week it is already starting to get a bit smelly so I suspect I will have to wash it often. The recommended thing seems to get a special wash, then a special spray to put on afterwards to keep the waterproofing (I'm in Manchester so that's quite important!). I wondered if this is really necessary? On a bit of a budget for cycling stuff, so any pragmatic advice on caring for it without expensive consumables would be great. I guess I was thinking of hand washing it with no soap and then getting the waterproof spray (any recommendations?)



  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    I have an Icebreaker 150, it really is very thin and is great for warmer months, and works on its own as a T shirt too. I can't imagine anything lighter/thinner.

    I buy mine from Itchy Feet, it is a conventional shop but they sell online too - nice people as well!
  • cee
    cee Posts: 4,553
    i have an Endura Baa-Baa Short Sleeved number that i really like.
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • thrope
    thrope Posts: 69
    cee wrote:
    i have an Endura Baa-Baa Short Sleeved number that i really like.

    Do you know what weight/thickness it is? I couldn't find any info on the site.
  • simon_e
    simon_e Posts: 1,706
    With Merino I think you get what you pay for.

    Howies NBL Light is very nice but I'd say it's a bit warm for spring/summer wear. Merino doesn't need washing as often as synthetics but the fine stuff needs careful handling. I wash mine in 30º Delicates wash (short, slow spin) using a gentle non-bio liquid at low concentration. Stretch it gently back to shape and let it dry naturally. I like Ground Effect, very happy with my green Submerino, though it's definitely too warm for summer... a good excuse to buy something else ;-)

    A pertex shell shouldn't need reproofing after every wash. The gentler the detergent the better, try a plain rinse first before the dirt cakes on. If it loses its proofing use Nikwax TX-direct, a non-aerosol spray.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • vorsprung
    vorsprung Posts: 1,953
    I got my expensive merino base for my birthday from Howies
    I got 2 cheap merino base tees from Aldi. I think this was for the ski specials
    All are nice and thin, i don't know the knit weight
  • Jay dubbleU
    Jay dubbleU Posts: 3,159
    Hang your Velo on the line inside-out in the sun - UV will kill any bugs and stop it smelling
  • gs3
    gs3 Posts: 249
    From personal experience the Velo can be washed by hand using real soap flakes - rinse then rinse again and hang to dry.
    The water repellent outer should be ok for about 2-3 washes this way before having to reproof.
    In an ideal world you would reproof every time you wash but who really lives in that world?
    Hope this helps.
  • owenlars
    owenlars Posts: 719
    Look at the Ground Effect web site they have great merino stuff. The prices are quoted in $NZ but they deliver really quickly. Follow the washing instructions that you'll find on labels inside all clothes.
  • RufusA
    RufusA Posts: 500
    I wear Ground Effects Merio stuff and it's well designed and reasonably long lasting.

    However it's worth noting it isn't pure merino but a weave of merino and nylon. So whilst comfortable and works well it isn't as stink proof as the pure stuff!

    YMMV - Rufus.