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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this may be a stupid question, but I'm still very new to bike-specific clothing. As I ride more, I realize the need for more comfortable bike clothing and thus have begun buying wicking jerseys. My first one was a cheap long sleeve Starter brand from Wal-Mart. Then today I was at Marshall's and happened upon a short sleeve Under Armour ColdGear for $20. I was tempted but didn't like the color or the fact that it was a tee and not long sleeve. I decided to look around thinking there must be more. Yep, found a long sleeve UA ColdGear in my size; the color was a faded blue or something like that, prefer black but the color wasn't so bad. Cost was $25, tried it on and decided to buy it.

Now, I'm not a buff, ripped guy--actually quite scrawny :p With my first Starter jersey, I've been wearing it under a cotton long sleeve because the jersey is really tight (as it should be, I guess) and looks wimpy :p on my skinny body. Now with the UA shirt, I must admit that the ads of seeing guys wearing them and their abs and pecs being accentuated by the shirt sorta sold me on wanting to get a UA shirt (I know, I know). Well, I was sorta hoping that putting the UA shirt I got would give my body some definition. It doesn't look so bad on me that I feel a need to wear another shirt over it, but in a way I might anyway if riding to work.

Anyway, I've been thinking that I may be wearing compression shirts all wrong. Are they supposed to be work as a shirt only, like the UA? The starter, to be honest, is super thin and loks really weird on me when worn by itself. Does wearing a cotton shirt over a compression shirt defeat the purpose of its wicking/cooling properties?

Ah, need to work on my abs so that I can ride to work in my UA shirt as a second skin :D
 

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the whole point of synthetic and wool clothing, is that it wicks away moisture, and drys fast. If you wear cotton over your synthetic, the cotton will still stay soaking wet once it gets wet. If you aren't gonna get wet or sweat to much, it's not really a big deal, but if your shirt is gonna get wet for any reason, cotton is gonna suck, and could be dangerous.

P.S. you can find looser fitting synthetic shirts. I routinely were a short sleeve synthetic over my long sleeve when it's cold while backpacking or mtbing. And I wouldn't worry too much how you look, it's better to be scrawny in a compression shirt than a big fatty stuffed in a compression shirt.
 

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Don't use them with cotton, but those shirts work great as a base layer during the winter to keep you warm. I have a few, this time of year I tend to wear them under a jersey and a soft shell jacket, then I have plenty of layers to peel off as I warm up.

I really don't care what people think about the way I look. I probably look pretty goofy in my winter gear with calf length base layer bottoms, long wool socks, bike shorts or running tights depending on how cold it is. Then there's the layers on the upper part of my body.
 

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UnderArmor sorta defies explanation in a lot of ways.

Understanding its origins might help you understand it now. The first place I ever saw it was when it was worn by pro football players under their pads. Worn that way, the wicking properties are beneficial without bunching, and the undershirt helps keep the pads from chafing your skin. Fair enough.

Applying that same stuff to cycling just doesn't work out right.

While it's true that wicking synthetics (and wools) are important on the bike, also, the entire application needs some work. On the bike, they need to fit without a lot of extra fabric, but they don't necessarily need to be skin tight. Racers might be concerned about that part, but I'm not. I don't want extra fabric flapping in the wind, but I don't need to peel my biking clothes off when I'm done.

You also have the ability to layer on the bike that you may not have while playing football or whatever else UA is designed for these days. For a long sleeved shirt, I like my Duofold long-sleeved T. It cost me less than $10 several years ago. I got mine at Campmor, but I'm told Campmor is getting rid of its Duofold stocks. Another brand works just fine, and I'm sure you can find Duofold elsewhere, too.

I find that general outdoor/hiking gear serves a better crossover for the bike than 'sports' gear. And most compression gear fits that category. Bike shorts serve a compression duty, but they're really the only body part that becomes useful for on a bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bikinfoolferlife said:
Compression shirts? Really? Cycling? Why?
Isn't that what roadies wear? I thought all wicking bike jerseys were compression or whatever it's called.
 

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djork said:
Isn't that what roadies wear? I thought all wicking bike jerseys were compression or whatever it's called.
None of my road jerseys are compression except for the ones that are too small for my now larger gut these days...road jerseys are just cut close to the body for primarily wicking and aerodynamics afaik. I do remember some lycra shorts being marketed a while back with the compression angle but can't say I've seen that angle recently from any cycling short brand that I can think of (maybe it's more a given now with that style of short?).
 

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I wear a compression style Underarmor tanktop when its cold out, its for colder temps, helps me keep warm. I wear a loose fitting synthetic Fox shirt over it, it is long sleeve as well.
 

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Doesn't Underarmor contain spandex/lycra? Lycra just isn't the best choice available for wicking as it inherently retains moisture compared to polyester. Lycra is used where you need to keep a garment skin tight (like in roadie shorts to avoid chafing) but for a biking top the material is just inherently inferior.

I've tried loads of wicking shirts since the early 90s. I've consistently found that pure polyester weaves outperform lycra, which retains a slight soggy feeling for longer. I've also tried the UA compression shirts, and have found them to be particularly poor for wicking- I don't believe they use directional weaves for moisture flow like many other high tech outdoor clothing brands.

I have the sneaking suspicion that UA is more marketing over substance, or that it's designed for sports with very different requirements than extended riding.
 

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Bikinfoolferlife said:
Compression shirts? Really? Cycling? Why?
Because there is a lot of good athletic clothing out there for a lot less money if you aren't looking for something cycling specific, and some of the great deals happen to be compression. I have one decent bike jersey now and I can appreciate the differences in how it is designed for cycling, but I can also appreciate that I got some long sleeve compression shirts that perform great for cooler weather for dirt cheap
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Looked at the tag and ithere's 12% spandex, 63% nylon, and 25% poly. So far I'm hearing that the ColdGear UA shirts are very good for cold weather. I was actually skeptical because it's pretty thin. It still has the tags, so I've not had a chance to test it out.
 

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boomn said:
Because there is a lot of good athletic clothing out there for a lot less money if you aren't looking for something cycling specific, and some of the great deals happen to be compression. I have one decent bike jersey now and I can appreciate the differences in how it is designed for cycling, but I can also appreciate that I got some long sleeve compression shirts that perform great for cooler weather for dirt cheap
I was more commenting on the need for compression, or that compression was typical in a cycling jersey. I like zips on the front of my jerseys for summer wear, and the longer cut in the back of cycling specific jerseys; the pockets I don't care so much about since I only use those on the road bike. If I found something with these features I could care less if it's marketed as cycling specific. I looked around at what they call compression shirts and some would probably work fine for me as a base layer in cooler weather....
 

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I wear Champions brand of compression shirts as a base layer on cold days with a loose fitting long sleeve UA wicking shirt over it. They are cheap and work well in 45-50 weather.

I think compression or tight fitting is the way to go as a base layer so it won't bunch up under the outer layers of clothing or camelbak straps which would be annoying.

What would be ideal would be a long sleeve, loose fitting, wicking shirt that is windproof in the front.
 

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bloodyknee said:
I wear Champions brand of compression shirts as a base layer on cold days with a loose fitting long sleeve UA wicking shirt over it. They are cheap and work well in 45-50 weather.

I think compression or tight fitting is the way to go as a base layer so it won't bunch up under the outer layers of clothing or camelbak straps which would be annoying.

What would be ideal would be a long sleeve, loose fitting, wicking shirt that is windproof in the front.
I have one word for you. Craft http://www.craft-usa.com/

You can thank me later.
 

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Craft is great , be carefull of the WS or windstopper versions, they will trap moisture and feel clammy . I would rather have the windstopping on my outer layer
 

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I use the UA compression shirts as rash guards when grappling but don't find them useful for anything else. When riding, I prefer a shirt that wicks but isn't skin-tight like that. They may be nice in the cold as a base layer as others have mentioned, but I've never needed that in the cold, usually wear regular cheap wicking shirt under something that offers wind protection and maybe a fleece if it is really cold out.
 
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