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endura xtract roubaix long-sleeve jersey

endura xtract l/s jersey

the article that fostered my recent baselayer interlocution of james lamont, recommended acquiring just such a garment, but as close-fitting as possible. the two-fold reason, according to the narrative, was to aid the wicking properties of the fabric, and to trap warm air between skin and this first of layers, ensuring an appropriate level of warmth in the heat of battle. there's every likelihood that such advice is highly pertinent for the fastest amongst us, and possibly even for the slowest, but it's maybe not for everyone.

endura xtract l/s jersey

if i might once again, refer to the fastest amongst us, the enemy of those is undoubtedly 'flappage', where garmentage slightly larger than it needs to be, irritates the heck out of everyone by following robert zimmerman's advice and 'blowing in the wind'. for that reason, the majority of performance clothing offers a skin-tight fit, even on those who could perhaps afford to lose a pound or two. from a layering point of view, it makes perfect sense, but not all of us have performance in mind when heading out on the bike. and there's little doubt that many cycling aspirants are put off purchasing bona-fide cycle clothing for that very reason. race-fit is certainly not for everyone.

endura xtract l/s jersey

so, you might ask, why do the apparel purveyors, keen to attract our business, not sell decent kit, occasionally offer a more relaxed fit? well, actually they do. or at least, endura do. their xtract roubaix long-sleeve jersey is described either as a relaxed or athletic fit, meaning you can still breathe normally while cycling. since day one, i have worn medium-size jerseys from pretty much every cycle clothing purveyor on the planet. i am sufficiently slim to allow small sizes to fit ok, but they're rarely long enough in the torso, or, in the case of long-sleeve jerseys/jackets, the arms seem to be missing a centimetre or two. however, the medium size in the xtract jersey seemed a tad larger than the medium-size i own in other endura jerseys, most notably, bruichladdich's port charlotte single malt s/s jersey. maybe it's all down to perception?

endura xtract l/s jersey

in the case of the xtract jersey under review, i could probably have opted for the small size after all, but there's always the chance i'd have lost the benefit of the relaxed fit. however, the general fit of this bright, fluorescent jersey was remarkably comfortable. fastening the full-length zip at the waist involved no effort whatsoever, and the sleeves are perfection personified. in keeping with all endura's jerseys, the rear pockets are amongst the most generous on the planet, probably capable of swallowing a spare gravel bike, and the fleecy roubaix lining was utterly essential on two rides, where windchill and rain threatened to make me cool (and not in a good way).

endura xtract l/s jersey

in the current spate of weather, riding al fresco, solely in a long-sleeve jersey, would be largely inadvisable, so i topped the xtract jersey with an endura softshell jacket, principally for waterproofing, but also for additional warmth. one of the sunday morning peloton advised that my saturday ride had taken place in minus-five degree windchill. in wet weather, that's a smidgeon more than this particular jersey was built for. however, it kept me mostly cosy while i pretended not to suffer.

for those who neither need nor want race-fit clothing, this is precisely the jersey you want, at a more than attractive price. there's no need, however, to emulate my brightness; the jersey is also available in black, navy or red, in sizes ranging from small to xxl. i'd advise taking a look at the size chart, for if you're normally of a pelotonic persuasion, you may benefit from moving down a size. as it states on endura's website: "simple, versatile insulation"

endura's xtract roubaix, long-sleeve jersey retails at a remarkably modest £59.99.

endura xtract roubaix l/s jersey

sunday 14 march 2021

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never in the way

never in the way

escapism, particularly under the current covid restrictions, is a somewhat lofty ideal, in which only a few of us have the luxury of indulging. and i'm not falling for it. of course, from the point of view of my own lofty ideals, that sort of statement smacks of privilege, even if the latter is bestowed rather than earned. while all of the scottish mainland sits at level four, with all the baggage that brings with it, at least the southern hebrides have the luxury of sitting one level lower. and while governmental advice on exercising continues to prefer the immediate locality, on an island that measures around 32km north to south and east to west, there's a lot of local in which to ride.

never in the way

and as if to add insult to injury, during yesterday's solo bike ride, including an afternoon's perambulation of loch gorm, i met one vehicle, and that was a tractor. escapism, for me, is pretty much on tap, seven days a week. however, for those who live in cities, or populated urban areas, escapism is a harder objective to achieve. i constantly thank my lucky stars that i don't live in a tower block with a balcony and a window box. i'm really not sure i'd survive. it's no great wonder that the subject of mental health has surfaced over the past few months.

never in the way

but the aspect of escapism for which i'm not falling, is the ever-present bikepacking, a seemingly compulsory augmentation for the gravel bike genre. let's face it, after the persistent conversations comparing cyclocross with gravel, it appears that further justification for the almost imperceptible differences had to be found and pretty darned quick. which is pretty much where bikepacking enters the room. for here arrives a wide range of bags of all shapes and sizes, apparently designed to obviate the need for blackburn low riders and the ubiquitous panniers beloved of the former cycle tourists club.

never in the way

combine any selection of those with your choice of gravel bike, and you're immediately ready to head off into the hinterlands, far from civilisation and able to indulge in whatever level of escapism takes your fancy. nowhere is this better illustrated than in the short movie, 'never in the way' from anthill films, made for trek bikes, and following the efforts of colourfully named, chicago bike-messenger, nico deportago-cabrera. the movie (link below) compares his daily grind through the congested streets of the windy city, with a 400km solo gravel trip leading from flagstaff to phoenix, arizona, via the arizona desert.

never in the way

i cannot deny, the superb filming is cleverly designed to suck you into the possibilities, despite the fact that there's not a lot in the way of cactus plants, wide-open gravel trails or towering sandstone cliffs within riding distance of bowmore. and believe me, you'd scarcely consider sleeping in the open, under hailstone infested skies on islay at present. watching nico sitting cross-legged in front of a campfire and a cloudless night sky, is a form of escapism that simply doesn't exist on islay in the middle of march. boy am i glad i hadn't just purchased a new gravel bike. in the words of the movie's star, "If you're never in the way, then you’re always right where you need to be."

sadly, i have no idea what that means.

never in the way

north america is blessed with hundreds if not thousands of kilometres of gravel trails, criss-crossing large swathes of empty space, the majority of which lends itself to bike rides such as that undertaken by nico deportago-cabrera and filmed by anthill films. if you live in north america, this is (almost) right on your doorstep. if you live on this side of the atlantic, it is indeed, escapism personified, but several stretches too far. my concern is that you all fall for this delightful piece of marketing (obviously i am far too perspicacious to be sucked in) and start perusing websites, looking for gravel bikes (ok, so i had a quick peek at the ritchey-logic sitet, but if you tell anyone, i'll deny it), firmly in the belief that gravel bikepacking is exactly the same as nico's. these people are fibbing to you.

but it does look like great fun.

never in the way movie

photos: ©sterling lorence.

sunday 14 march 2021

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improve your fitness

improve your fitness

readers of 'the comic', officially known as cycling weekly, could legitimately level a charge of plagiarism regarding my use of today's heading. for there, on the cover of this week's comic, are (as far as i recall) remarkably similar words with similar intent. in the case of britain's only weekly cycling magazine, that is hardly of any great note; i'm pretty sure they've used the same heading on several previous occasions. however, i will grant you that i cannot recall ever having done so on the post.

there is, of course, a perfectly good reason for that, one that is securely based on the fact that, personally, it's a subject about which i have scarcely a clue. not one to have succumbed to the alleged pleasures of zwifting, riding my bicycle is an activity in which fitness is essentially a by-product. i love riding my bicycle, and i like doing so in the great outdoors. though i can comprehend why some have become attracted to the indoor milieu, the publication of zwift race results in the selfsame issue of the comic, leads me to wonder if certain members of the world peloton are not in danger of mistaking the pointing finger, for the moon.

so far as i am aware, nowhere in the united kingdom, have current covid restrictions outlawed the act of riding a bicycle out of doors. in which case, what's with the indoor racing nonsense?

and once again, a reasoned argument could also be made concerning the disparaging of either indoor training for training's sake, or indoor training for competition's sake. however, i rest my shaky logic on the knowledge that, of british cycling's 150,000 members, a mere sliver are concerned with the mores of competition. that leads me to query why it would be necessary for the majority to eschew outdoor riding in favour of a cosy garage or sitting room in front of an ipad?

i have also refrained from pointing out that, as one who has successfully negotiated three score years and a few more, without ever having pinned a number to those back pockets, i'm scarcely in a position where training of any kind is a necessary occupation. however, i would readily agree that training is not the same thing as fitness. it is possible to get fitter without resorting to any form of training regime. in that manner, i may be considered one of life's prime examples.

but if we assume that an entreaty to 'improve your fitness' will incur specific exercises, routes or pre-prepared plans, it also seems prudent to assume there is an end product in mind. that totally negates the efforts of those of us who are content to become fitter by simply riding, without any specific target in mind. however, that last statement may be somewhat disingenuous even for me. it's possible that i may have been hoist by my own petard.

riding to debbie's on a friday afternoon, delivering fresh copies of islay's fortnightly newspaper, could be categorised as a tactical necessity. in fact, nowadays, little could be further from the truth, given that there is currently a member of staff driving homeward in the same direction. "why could they not deliver the papers?" has queried mrs washingmachinepost, completely, or deliberately, missing the point that the cycle has more to do with coffee than delivery and distribution. but, as we proceeded in a south-westerly direction yesterday afternoon, a rather sturdy headwind pointed out the inequity of spending too many hours sat in front of apple's computer products.

the situation was hardly assisted by the obvious fact that the windspeed appeared a tad greater than advised by the weather forecast. the hebrides and western isles have suffered over the previous few days from diverted and cancelled ferries, the reason for which had yet to blow itself out. thus, what had promised to be a relaxing afternoon ride in the general direction of froth-supping, turned into a battle of the elements, one in which we ultimately proved victorious, but only just. then to read the aforementioned heading on the cover the current issue of cycling weekly was what i believe is technically known as 'the last straw'.

however, in order to fulfil the promise offered by the starkness of the headline above, i feel duty bound to offer salient advice to those who fell hook, line and sinker for that apparent promise. you will, i hope forgive any paraphrasing of robert millar's apocryphal advice to a young chris boardman, when asking the 1984 king of the mountains, how best to tackle the climbs on the tour. in which case, to improve your fitness, find a galeforce headwind and ride into it as hard as your present fortitude will allow.

you're welcome.

saturday 13 march 2021

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the road book 2020 - edited by ned boulting. road book publishing hardback 649pp illus. £50

the road book - ned boulting

'for four months, nothing moved. the racing had stopped.'

it is the football commentating cliché of the century, and probably last century too. "it's a game of two halves". given the wide variation in stops and starts involved in american football, i can only but presume the comment is more readily associated with soccer. initial impressions would suggest that american football is a game of nigh on 27 halves. and though i mean no disrespect to those who follow what is unironically referred to as 'the beautiful game', i'm also making the assumption that description of a soccer game as consisting of two halves (essentially a tautological statement), is not intended to hold some hidden meaning.

the road book 2020 - ned boulting

cycling, even taking into account the genres of cyclocross and track racing, could never assume the mantle of 'two halves'. granted, in events such as paris-roubaix, there are cobbled sections and then there are not; or, as happened in 2020, no sections whatsoever. and rather obviously, when it comes to three-week grand tours, those beg to be described as games of somewhere around 19 actual stages, an observation that is highly unlikely ever to enter the lexicon as 'cliche'. for which we should be forever grateful, in my opinion.

so it may seem confusing that i have the temerity to describe this monolith of a book - the road book 2020 - as a book of two halves. and having said that, i cannot but admit that i am far more in favour of one half than the other. (not that the lesser of the two should be in any way demeaned). and it will perhaps surprise you not that i have actually attempted to employ the book as a doorstop, a function in which its substantial heft proved highly efficacious.

aside from the endpapers featuring a double-page spread of pavé, placing the reader in precisely the correct frame of mind to read wout van aert's opening essay about the art of winning in 2020's decidedly out of sync racing season, there is a great deal to admire over the course of well over 600 pages. and to maintain parity, van aert's eloquence is followed by that of anna van der breggen. buoyed by their respective success in the season from hell, the reader is now ready and willing to experience the race season according to road book editor, ned boulting. i fervently hope, for ned's sake, that the position of editor did not entail checking the veracity of the race results that follow. and as i consider that scary thought, it dawns on me that my contention that here is a book of two halves may be seen from an alternative viewpoint; the racing that took place pre-covid-19 and those taking place in its midst.

the road book 2020 - ned boulting

for clarity, allow me to make my case.

i am making the supposition that the true purpose and raison d'etre of this second edition of the road book, is to present the results of each and every uci world tour sanctioned race that took place from one end of the season to the other. when i was still at school and undertaking my sixth year studies art certificate, spending my time drawing aeroplanes at the nearby airport, i was regularly petitioned by the school's plane spotters, to take down any registration numbers seen on my visits. i have no idea why, but i would imagine that, if any of those spotters now share my obsessiveness with the velocipedinal world, they would be the very individuals who examine every last placing in any race you care to mention.

the road book 2020 - ned boulting

i claim no superiority of intellect in stating that it's the book's other half that intrigues and entertains me more. essays by rob hatch, richard williams, lukas knofler, matt rendell, max leonard and the inestimable, will fotheringham, amongst others, including giro winner, tao geoghegan hart, are as manna for the soul: words rather than numbers. but, at the risk of undermining the immense amount of work that has obviously gone into tabulating more race results than at which you can shake a disc brake, i am besotted with the woodcut-like illustrations that top each of the essays. sadly, i could find no reference to the artist amongst the myriad of credits that abound front and rear of this book, but mr boulting kindly offered a link to the artist's online presence (matthew green). now i can rest, a happy blogger.

the road book 2020 - ned boulting

but aside from unique illustrations, the balance of eye candy versus numerical supremacy, is beautifully addressed in the form of a colour picture gallery from the lens of photographer russ ellis. and, of course, it's not all results that remain. each and every professional male and female team is dealt with in great detail, while the ascendancy of indoor competition is addressed for the first time, a form of racing that we must thank our lucky stars, did not end up informing every last page of the 2020 road book.

however, despite my reticence to engage with the numerical half of the road book, there's a certain fascination in discovering just who crossed the finish line in 130th place in milan sanremo (albasini, 15.05 minutes behind opening essayist, wout van aert), or that m. delage stood 141 places behind primoz roglic in the vuelta espana. as one who has never participated in a pub quiz, i'm unsure whether questions to which those provide the answers, are ever asked, surrounded by several pints of lager and a packet of crisps.

but, as an object, in and of itself, it is so high in the desirability stakes, that it takes on the persona of being every bit as essential as a saddle, pedals or a shiny chain. you can peruse the road book website, read reviews such as this, or even ignore it completely. but when its substantial presence rests aside your leather armchair, you just know you had to have it, and to ensure that everyone in your peloton well knows that a copy sits proudly upon your bookshelf. this is indeed luxury that you have to afford. surely that front tyre will surely last a few hundred kilometres more?

thanks to the generosity of the road book publishers, any readers who purchase a copy via the link below, will receive a ten percent discount when entering the code WMP10. even in the middle of a pandemic, isn't life great sometimes? | buy the road book 2020 | illustrator, matthew green

friday 12 march 2021

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new stripes

endura l/s roubaix debbies jersey

the phrase, 'being in the wrong gear', is something of a double-entendre for cyclists, one definition of which was well illustrated by a christmas card i received from mick and andy at prendas several years ago. the late, lord carlos of mercian was almost always to be found in the wrong gear, in both senses of that phrase. on the lengthy approach to the less than pristine hill passing the rspb reserve at aoraidh farm, while the rest of the velo club peloton had already made their initial gear selection which would be subtly modified on the climb as gravity took its toll, all that could be heard from the arriere de peloton, was a crashing of gears while lord carlos scrabbled to find any gear at all that would allow for strained forward motion.

and for more years than i care to mention, he remained determined to be simply 'a bloke with a bike', rather than admit that he was, in fact, a fully-fledged cyclist. however, entry into the etape caledonia had prompted him to purchase the polyester and lycra kit on offer. at which point it all became clearer as to why the rest of us had been persuading him to take the plunge years earlier. though he'd never have admitted it, he was a cyclist to the last, joining us all in wearing the original 'welcome to great coffee' debbie's jersey.

endura l/s roubaix debbies jersey

sadly, lord carlos didn't make it as far as the second iteration of debbie's jersey, sourced for that particular time from shutt. the problem with jerseys one and two was nothing to do with the design, quality or manufacture, but more simply, their constitution. as i have related to the point of boredom, hebridean weather is more likely to leave a tide-mark than a tan-line, fostering a need for rust inhibitor more than sun tan lotion. and while we largely avoid heavy frosts and snowdrifts, it cannot be denied that those galeforce winds are often bitingly cold.

that would surely have you query why on earth the velo club would opt for jerseys with short sleeves insted of duvets with sleeves? which is why we have now opted for duvets with sleeves, in the shape of long-sleeve pro-sl winter jerseys originating from endura's custom-kit in livingston. though these have now past the supply of vector graphics and sample print stage, it would perpetrate a falsehood to imply that the peloton now has a jersey hanging in the cycling apparel wardrobe. basically, we have retained the design of the last s/s jersey, but modified the colours just a smidgeon.

endura l/s roubaix debbies jersey

the illustrations accompanying these words are simply that, illustrations, gleaned from endura's online visualisation tool, but we look forward to the real thing landing in the hebrides sooner, rather than later. and in recognition of the fact that there was once a (sadly unfulfilled) order list sitting under the counter at debbie's, garnered from scattered members of the velo club peloton across the world. and in the spirit of that recollection, we're happy for anyone watching from the velocipedinal cosmos to join our sartorial move to longer sleeves and cosier corners.

each jersey will cost £83, along with postage where applicable. should you wish to avail yourself of guaranteed hebridean obscurity, feel free to e-mail me your details (brian@twmp.net) and we'll add you to the online purchase list. as far as we have understood, this ought to allow you to purchase direct from endura, though we may have to clarify just a tad that at some future point. either way, it's unlikely there will be any immediate financial commitment until you click purchase.

you can let me know.

thursday 11 march 2021

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wearing change on your sleeve

sleeve

in 2009, i was paying my first visit to the cycling mecca that was portland, oregon. you could scarcely open a cycling website or magazine at the time without reading something about the city's import within the velocipedinal sphere, reputedly singlehandedly responsible for the resurrection of handbuilt, steel frames. when the north american handbuilt bicycle show was in its heyday, the city was sure it would take place within the city walls in perpetuity. whether its own sense of importance persists to this day, i have my doubts, having lost track or contact with many of the folks i knew in the pacific north west.

however, one of the stalwarts with whom i was acquainted, was the person responsible for having named shimano's 2009 foray into electronic gear shifting with di2. this arguably redundant technological leap forward was soon followed by a similar system developed by campagnolo, their's appearing under the less star wars nomenclature of e.p.s.

shimano, i believe, made no definitive statement as to why you would wish to move from pushing levers to pressing buttons, when the former was hardly the most physically arduous undertaking with which the intrepid velocipedinist was required to engage. however, it was inferred that, towards the end of a lengthy single-day race or stage of a grand tour, even the strongest of riders could find themselves weakening, potentially saving their finish-line placing by electronic means. in other words, a solution looking for a problem.

two members of the sunday morning peloton were frequently to be seen aboard shimano variations of the di2 system. one, however, ultimately replaced electronica with good old reliable mechanical shifting, following endless electrically related troubles. while the other might still be pressing switches (he moved away several years past), but even he would admit that the system was not without its foibles and replacements. i'd agree that witnessing the front mech shifting across two chainrings is the sort of sight that would likely have me crash into the back of parked cars, but that's hardly a convincing reason to pay double the outlay of a mechanical groupset.

of course, recent history has taught us that groupset usurpers, sram, stole the thunder of both the above, by bringing wireless to the peloton, something both shimano and campagnolo are said to be working on, but neither of which has yet surfaced in the wild. however, it seems that vicenza may have had its eye on that particular pie since late last decade, when it filed a us patent for a bicycle control device, a one piece widget that would allow the rider to control gear changing without resort to cycle-mounted levers. yet once again, they trailed in behind sram, who were looking to a similar means of control as far back as 2013, when they were still developing their e-tap wireless system.

these theoretical (or are they?) devices, according to the patent illustrations, connect a small control box to finger actuated buttons, presumably meaning that any rider could change gear while throwing his/her bottle to an eager roadside fan, or summoning the team car for a portion of duck a l'orange. however, it may be harder to control just how sensitive a system such as this has to be, potentially leading to inadvertent gear changes while scratching an itchy nose, or tightening shoe straps.

of course, there is the forecast possibility that both campagnolo and sram are simply attempting to head them off at the pass. if it is actually relatively simple to piggy-back on the work done by either, probably including shimano, it means that a third-party could possibly intervene by offering gear control via a wearable device, and gain considerable commercial traction without the need to spend thousands, if not millions, developing their own cycle groupset. the submission of the above mentioned patents could make it very hard for that to happen. even if it is still a case of yet another solution looking for a problem.

does anyone know how long it takes to learn to solder?

wednesday 10 march 2021

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apparently apparel

training cyclist

along with many, i still recall my early appointments with cycling apparel. even through the mists of time, those days were hardly what might be termed my finest. for which newbie to the way of the velocipede has inherent knowledge of how garmentage with such sporting pretensions ought to be sized? for instance, ought one to choose bibshorts on the basis of one's height, or waist size? and when choice turns to jackets or jerseys, does medium relate to normal folks like you and me, or those skinny little runts we watch on telly? after all, if it transpired that nairo quintana wore medium-sized jerseys, what hope would there be for the rest of us?

i figure i was the very last of the generation that experienced the transition between real chamois inserts and the synthetic version that we all take for granted today. there have been arguments against the need for chamois cream in the face of soft and cossetting pads in our contemporary shorts and tights. but let me assure you, you would not have worn a washed and dried pair of real chamois shorts without first inflicting almost an entire tub of the stuff on the dried, crinkly, abrasive leather sourced from an actual chamois. and which self-respecting naiveté was initially comfortable with bib straps in the first place?

these particular waters were further muddied by those far longer in the tooth; those for whom tradition was everything, even if they themselves were the originators of those traditions. for instance, a former cycling companion of mine, far better versed in road cycling custom, eschewed any contact with the archetypal baselayer, preferring instead, to begin his layering with the ubiquitous cotton t-shirt. having said that, i see a few hands raised at the back of the hall, querying what kind of problem do i have with wearing a cotton t-shirt on the sunday ride?

sadly, i am merely a commentator on such matters, utterly devoid of the technical know-how as to the pros and cons of certain sartorial choices. however, thankfully, i know a man who does. james lamont, who describes himself as a sports product engineer and designer, with a special personal interest in cycling and outdoor sports. he has made occasional appearance in these pixels on previous occasions, if not always specifically by name. what james doesn't know about the technological aspects of cycling apparel, probably isn't worth knowing. he has undertaken specialist work for the likes of assos, rapha, endura and many others in his career and has now been arm wrestled into providing thewashingmachinepost with the benefit of his expertise in an occasional and itinerant series, making sense of my daft questions.

so, about that cotton t-shirt?

"We all seem to have our favourite solutions, but it's worth keeping two things in mind. In summer, sweat is your friend. In winter, sweat is your enemy. For this reason, your next to skin layer is really important."

i should point out that this conversation originated from private correspondence during which james was pointing out one or two home-truths about an online article published elsewhere. at the time, mr lamont was keen to point out how the author of said article seemed a mite unclear on several similar, but separate concepts, germain to any discussion on the subject of cycling apparel. it was at this point that i may have suggested he undertake our own education in such matters.

but back to the tee-shirt... "Research shows there are about three million sweat glands on a human body. Perhaps 1.5 million on the back and front of our torsos. This sweat gland distribution, however, is uneven, as is the amount of sweat these glands produce. We all produce sweat slightly differently. that's all very well and good, but it only tells us that we're sweaty folks when we're cycling, which i would imagine, most of us already knew. anyone who has worn a cotton t-shirt while undertaking any form of belligerent excercise, will know that it seems to absorb sweat rather well.

"The value of any base layer for cycling, is to move sweat from areas of high production to those of lower levels. Think what you do if you spill liquid on a worktop or a floor. To clean up, you can absorb the liquid, but you can also spread it across a larger surface area, allowing it to dry faster.
"A cotton tee-shirt is great at absorbing sweat. But, we know they hold onto this, and certainly don't move the liquid across the body. If you can start to create what is technically referred to as moisture wicking, you can get quicker and greater evaporation of sweat, or, better still, transfer to the next layer up, and so on. That's the principal advantage of a synthetic fibre base layer, with the right fibres and fabric construction, over a cotton tee-shirt.

that, from a pragmatic and technical point of view, would appear to place the argument in the proverbial nutshell. however, even in the light of such knowledge, many of us will still cheerfully pay over-the-odds for a merino wool molteni jersey, despite its relative ineffectiveness by comparison to the modern-day, panel-mapped polyester variant. james, continued... "So, in summer, when sweat is your friend, you get more evaporation of liquid sweat, thus more cooling functionality, over a cotton tee shirt. In winter, you have more chance of keeping the next to skin layer dryer, which keeps you warmer, by breaking the link (or the 'thermal bridge') between a cold, sweat-soaked base layer, and the cold air outside."

that argument, to me at least, seems quite logical. though i might prefer to wear my red, logo emblazoned ritchey t-shirt purely for reasons of marketable ostentation, i must remind myself not only of the benefits of a 'proper', sweat-wicking baselayer, but also the fact that, under a cycle jersey, no-one can see the ritchey logo anyway. in wrapping up, james told me, " Your friend probably liked the fit, shape and skin feel of their cotton tee. Those are all factors which can also be optimised in the best functional base layer."

this, of course, does not deny your right to wear a tee-shirt as your baselayer of choice, logo'd or otherwise, but you can no longer say that i (and by implication, james) didn't tell you.

tuesday 9 march 2021

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