Silk vs Under Armour: which is the better base layer? - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-11-2010, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Silk vs Under Armour: which is the better base layer?

Opinions on which is the better base layer for cold weather riding: the warmest/heaviest style silk stuff, or, the warmest Under Armour (whatever it's made of?).

I have a commute of 30-45 minutes one way, I ride with temperatures as low as mid to upper 20's, on a Honda 919 with Barkbuster Storms for the hands and winter touring gauntlets, and the small oem fairing for the headlight, with a Tourmaster Sabre Series 2 jacket with liner. DragginJeans for my lower body, and insulated RedWing boots (yup, pointy, plain cowboy style).

I'm good for 30 degrees and up without a base layer, but I'm thinking the base will help me comfortably ride and withstand temps another 10 degrees colder.

Anyone with comparo info or experience on these style base layers?

Silk vs Under Armour?


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post #2 of 23 Old 11-11-2010, 01:13 PM
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Under armour (coldgear grade) and tall snowboarding socks worked for me with regular (not insulated) Astar riding pants and Joe Rocket leather jacket with a sweat shirt. It handled 30-38F with 13mph wind and 49% humidity well.
Now I can't say the same about my gloves.

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post #3 of 23 Old 11-11-2010, 01:47 PM
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Heated grips are one of the best investments I've made for my 919. As for undergarments, my Olympia pants have a thermal liner if it's going to be in the 20's and 30's, other than that I wear a light underarmor copy for the mid 30's into the 40's, then just the pants after that.

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post #4 of 23 Old 11-11-2010, 02:03 PM
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hey stamperman, I just noticed you are a vet. Happy veterans day and thank you for your service

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post #5 of 23 Old 11-11-2010, 02:49 PM
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hey stamperman, I just noticed you are a vet. Happy veterans day and thank you for your service
+1, thank you!

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post #6 of 23 Old 11-11-2010, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Back atcha' ZAQ123, enjoy your Veteran's Day as well!

When I lived close to the Great White North, I used to take Veteran's Day off to mount the snow blower on my lawn tractor. It was amazing to me how many times the first light snowfall of the season would begin while I was doing the install.

I'd usually winterize my ride on the same day.

Now I live where I just need to figure out the best way to ride year round. Life's rough!

I'm going to be traveling by an Under Armour outlet store in a day or two, and, as luck would have it, I received one of those silk garment catalogs yesterday. Wondering if there's much of a difference. Either way I'll probably be spending 80-100 bucks for a set, which isn't chump change by my standards.

My son plays rugby in Under Armour and loves 'em.

The silk thing pushes my "Corithian leather" button somehow. Wonder if it works as well?


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post #7 of 23 Old 11-11-2010, 03:02 PM
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Heated grips - the best $30 anyone could invest on their bike who rides in months that don't rhyme with Muly.

I highly recommend looking at Schampa gear.
I bought one of their Ninja-like "Skinny" undergears and it is awesome.
If you want to use the built in balaclava, it's excellent. Otherwise, you can just wore it tuck down like a high turtle neck or flat turtle neck.

The material is slightly thicker than the photo makes it out to be.

Schampa Thermal Gear

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post #8 of 23 Old 11-11-2010, 03:42 PM
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I like "Icebreaker" products in Merino wool. They don't get stanky in the summer heat like poly materials. They're toasty warm in the cold, too. Won't be flying nekkid for awhile, tho. Traded the 919 up for a ZX14 just in time to realize the CB1000R is coming. No worries ..... original owner called the other day sort of wanting his baby back, so who knows?

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post #9 of 23 Old 11-11-2010, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the service recognition. Very cool, and appreciated.

Now if the CEO of my company, an ex-general, would just come thru with the day off for us guys & gals! (off soapbox now).

Anyway, I'll check out the Schampa gear, CuriousMike. I unfortunately wear glasses, and haven't yet figured out how to keep from fogging them up *badly* while wearing a balaclava. But the top looks great, and I'm guessing they have long john bottoms as well.

And as for heated grips, I've had them on several bikes, tho' a long time ago, and what I found was the underside of my hand was warm, while the top and fingertips still got cold. I'm liking the setup I have now. I don't like the hassle of running the cord for my Gerber heated gloves, so I hold them in reserve for the very coldest days. BTW the Gerber gloves are a class act otherwise: quality made.

So far, the Barkbuster Storms keep the wind off my hands well enough that I can use my unheated winter touring gauntlets, instead of the Gerbers.

I'm surprised no one seems to have done the silk thing.....


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post #10 of 23 Old 11-11-2010, 06:46 PM
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Look up "Turtle Fur" balaclava, I have one and my glasses don't fog, keeps the neck nice and toasty warm.

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post #11 of 23 Old 11-11-2010, 06:52 PM
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visit Dicks sporting goods snow boarding section, they have a lot of cool winter stuff which can be useful for the riding.
I have Under Armour outlet store 10 min from my house, they have a lot of nice deals there too.

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post #12 of 23 Old 11-12-2010, 04:57 AM Thread Starter
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RMB, thanks for the balaclava tip. I have a nice thin one I bought from the Mototrcycle Superstore, but I was literally blind for the first 1/2 mile of my ride when I used it.......kinda scary. I finally broke down and put my visor up in the 20 degree weather at speed! Needless to say, I retired *that* piece of equipment.


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post #13 of 23 Old 11-12-2010, 05:19 AM
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Hey Stamper, for what you are looking for the underarmor would be a good buy. I wear the shirts on duty and they are worth every penny in the desert, but for the cold, we get issued 5 layers now and the base layer is a "silk weight" poly propylene. Because of government contracts, the manufacturer varies, but the ones I have now are polartec. They work very well and has the same wicking properties as underarmor. Basically any poly pro material will do the same. I would go with synthetic just for the rugged durability. Wash it, wear it, stuff it in a bag, forget it. Most silk requires more care.

It's already in the 20's here in the morning, so I've basically signed off for the year. Soon the snow will come and all the motorcycles find a nice cave and hibernate until spring.

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post #14 of 23 Old 11-12-2010, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stamperman View Post
RMB, thanks for the balaclava tip. I have a nice thin one I bought from the Mototrcycle Superstore, but I was literally blind for the first 1/2 mile of my ride when I used it.......kinda scary. I finally broke down and put my visor up in the 20 degree weather at speed! Needless to say, I retired *that* piece of equipment.
The one I have has a thin poly hood that you could pull up over your mouth if you want, from the jaw/ears down is a thick fleece, it'll keep your neck nice and warm.

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post #15 of 23 Old 11-12-2010, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
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Flycatcher, I've heard some grousing about silk garment care. You've confirmed it. The less time I spend handling laundry the better. Think I'll hit the Under Armour outlet tomorrow......
The irony of this is when I lived in Wisconsin, the bike got hibernated before I really needed lots of cold gear.
Now that I live in Carolina, I'm buying "base layers"!:001_smile:

RMB, the balaclava I had covered from the nose down, but my glasses fogged immediately, and did not want to clear. I've heard there are anti-fogging products for eyeglasses that work with varying degrees of effectiveness and convenience, but I just don't like applying stuff to prescription lenses. Part of the problem may be my helmet.....I have condensation not fogging, but *rolling* down my visor on some very cold mornings, even if my helmet vents are open. This I can at least *see* thru...


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post #16 of 23 Old 11-12-2010, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stamperman View Post
Flycatcher, I've heard some grousing about silk garment care. You've confirmed it. The less time I spend handling laundry the better. Think I'll hit the Under Armour outlet tomorrow......
The irony of this is when I lived in Wisconsin, the bike got hibernated before I really needed lots of cold gear.
Now that I live in Carolina, I'm buying "base layers"!:001_smile:

RMB, the balaclava I had covered from the nose down, but my glasses fogged immediately, and did not want to clear. I've heard there are anti-fogging products for eyeglasses that work with varying degrees of effectiveness and convenience, but I just don't like applying stuff to prescription lenses. Part of the problem may be my helmet.....I have condensation not fogging, but *rolling* down my visor on some very cold mornings, even if my helmet vents are open. This I can at least *see* thru...
On the one I have, your whole face is open, I could see having a problem with something that covers your nose. I'm with you, I don't want to put anything on my expensive lenses no matter how "safe" they tell you it is.

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post #17 of 23 Old 11-12-2010, 08:46 AM
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Dirtbike type shin/knee guards between under armour and your riding pants, do a great job of keeping knees warm.

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post #18 of 23 Old 11-12-2010, 11:37 AM
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Winter cycling tights with a shell front or some magic wind stopper do an awesome job as long underwear.
I also have zip on/off membrane hiking over pants that serve double duty.
Three layers works well.

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post #19 of 23 Old 11-12-2010, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Guess I'm lucky when it comes to my lower body comfort....I've never had issues with legs or feet, under the coldest conditions, usually with just one layer on my legs.

Thought I'd boost the warmth factor with a base layer under the DragginJeans, which I've found to be warm. Warmer than I'd prefer in the southern heat, but that's a trade off for protection from road rash that I'm willing to make.

I figured I'd have some Canuck riders chime in with their favorite approach. An outer shell is an interesting approach, Mcromo. Do you put your machine on the road with snow?

I've ridden a roadbike on snow once. Not talking flurries, either. And that was enough!


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post #20 of 23 Old 11-12-2010, 02:33 PM
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This was not one of your choices but my favorite long underwear is Patagonia - super comfortable and warm. It comes in 3 weights : light, medium, heavy. This is top notch stuff and wicks moisture really well if you use it for for more active activities.

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post #21 of 23 Old 11-12-2010, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stamperman View Post
Guess I'm lucky when it comes to my lower body comfort....I've never had issues with legs or feet, under the coldest conditions, usually with just one layer on my legs.

Thought I'd boost the warmth factor with a base layer under the DragginJeans, which I've found to be warm. Warmer than I'd prefer in the southern heat, but that's a trade off for protection from road rash that I'm willing to make.

I figured I'd have some Canuck riders chime in with their favorite approach. An outer shell is an interesting approach, Mcromo. Do you put your machine on the road with snow?

I've ridden a roadbike on snow once. Not talking flurries, either. And that was enough!
I try to avoid it.
But having had it snow in July and August while riding, rather underscores certain challenges that we "North of The 49th" types have to be ready for and contend with.
I make sure the bike is in hibernation before the first salting and does not wake up again until after the last salting and the winter's worth of gravel and sand is removed. I have a short riding season because of that approach !

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post #22 of 23 Old 11-14-2010, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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I was doing a Vermont to Indiana ride Labor Day Weekend (first weekend in September) and skirted Buffalo, NY, and damn if it didn't start snowing! I knew about lake effect from living close to Cleveland, but this was ridiculous. Of course the roads were still too warm for anything to stick, but mentally, I guess, I wasn't ready for it!


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post #23 of 23 Old 11-18-2010, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Pulled the trigger on the Under Armour for a base layer. Rode the 9'er to work in the upper 30's with a new base layer for my upper body, and could definitely notice a positive difference.
I like feeling comfortable enough that normal physical movement (such as the all important look over the shoulder before a lane change) isn't discouraged because I'm freezing my 'nads off.
The next test will be riding in the upper 20's, which I may get tomorrow morning before sunrise!


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