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Thread: Softshells

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    Default Softshells

    We have bib and knicker threads, so I present to you a thread for softshells.

    What are people using for breezy, maybe a little moist conditions in the low 50's down to let's say 40 degree temperatures?

    I was "upstate" NY this weekend, ride started at 42 degrees, very breezy, finished at about 50 degrees. I had wool Rapha long sleeve jersey, wool s/s base layer, and a flimsy wind vest and the breeze basically went right through the wool. Even my arms were chilled, and that's uncommon. Nothing dangerous but got me wondering about soft shells. I have a 5+ year old Assos Bonka that I generally don't wear until it hits the 30's; otherwise, I start to overheat and perspire.

    I keep getting drawn to the Velocio offerings, maybe because I get three advertising emails a day from them! I have limited experience with softshells so I'm looking for input as whether they work, do you size them to fit over multiple layers or just a base.

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    Default Re: Softshells

    Gabba long sleeve jersey.
     

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    Default Re: Softshells

    Quote Originally Posted by Lionel View Post
    Gabba long sleeve jersey.
    A good choice for wet weather, but not breathable enough if there's no precipitation. An alternative for windy, drier weather is Rapha's approach to jackets which is an insulated windproof front and breathable stretch back to let excess heat and moisture escape. I went from Castelli to Rapha and no longer have the "boil-in-the-bag" experience.
     

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    Default Re: Softshells

    The S&S S1-J (Schoeller C-Change Fabric) is a great option. Paired with the appropriate base layer/s makes it pretty versatile.

    S1-J Riding Jacket – Search and State
     

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    Default Re: Softshells

    Quote Originally Posted by dfischer1 View Post
    A good choice for wet weather, but not breathable enough if there's no precipitation. An alternative for windy, drier weather is Rapha's approach to jackets which is an insulated windproof front and breathable stretch back to let excess heat and moisture escape. I went from Castelli to Rapha and no longer have the "boil-in-the-bag" experience.
    Looks like the Gabba has been replaced with the PERFETTO ROS LONG SLEEVE, which adopts the Rapha-style features. Can't go wrong with either - pick by fit.
    PERFETTO RoS LONG SLEEVE | Castelli
     

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    Default Re: Softshells

    Castelli lost the rights to "Gabba" on everything except the short sleeve jersey evidently.

    Personally, I think you just had the wrong mix of layers. Under the wool long sleeved jersey, I would have worn a regular short-sleeved lycra jersey. And then the flimsy wind vest.

    Or keep the wool underlayer and wear something like a Rapha Core long sleeved jersey and the vest. Then toss the vest in a back pocket at the first sign of sweat, put it back on towards the end of the ride when you feel a chill.

    The problem with wool on wool is that - as you found - the weaves are exactly the same and thus no wind blocking ability. By sticking another fabric on top or underneath, you at least break up the flow of cold air.

    You don't need much. You might even get away with something like Velocio's ultralight jacket. Or Rapha's Brevet Flyweight jacket. Again, off with sweat, on with chill.

    Were you wearing fingerless or fingered gloves? I have a glove fetish because they make all the difference between being cold and overheating. Something like Castelli's Cross Glove or Lightness Glove might help too.

    I think the soft shells and Gabbas come in one notch down on the temp range. Like 39-45. 39 for me is the division between brisk and cold.
    Last edited by j44ke; 11-05-2019 at 05:55 PM.
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    Default Re: Softshells

    40s to low 50s is the sweet spot of Miami winter mornings. For me it's all about layering in that range. 40 degrees with clouds and wind can feel very cold and 50 degrees with clear sunny skies can feel fairly mild. And rides easily start with one and end with the other. So layers make it easy to adjust mid-ride. Some of my go tos (upper body since this is a softshell thread) for that range are Defeet wool s/s baselayers, Rapha Pro Team Insulated vest or jacket (mentioned above), and whichever jersey is the appropriate weight for balancing not being too cold at the start or too warm at the end. Sometimes that's a wool Search and State long sleeve (warm), sometimes a Rapha Classic long sleeve (medium), sometimes a Velocio long sleeve jersey (light), or even a heavier weight s/s jersey like the Rapha midweight paired with arm warmers. The good thing about this approach is that any of these pieces can be used in warmer temperatures with a wide range, especially once you start subbing that wool baselayer for a summer baselayer. My buddies down here make fun of my vast "winter" gear collection, but when it hits 40 degrees almost every single one of them stays home. So, for me, the key is about having some variety and dialing it in with layers.

    And, to the more specific question of softshells, I have the Velocio Softshell as well and it's great. But I wouldn't wear it unless the temps are staying in the low 40s or into the 30s. It's not a jersey/jacket. It's a jacket. So you can't pull it off and pack it in a jersey pocket if the sun comes out the way you can the Rapha PT insulated. So it's only for days that will start and end cold.
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    Default Re: Softshells

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Personally, I think you just had the wrong mix of layers. Under the wool long sleeved jersey, I would have worn a regular short-sleeved lycra jersey. And then the flimsy wind vest.....

    The problem with wool on wool is that - as you found - the weaves are exactly the same and thus no wind blocking ability. By sticking another fabric on top or underneath, you at least break up the flow of cold air......

    Were you wearing fingerless or fingered gloves? I have a glove fetish because they make all the difference between being cold and overheating. Something like Castelli's Cross Glove or Lightness Glove might help too.
    I hadn't thought about the wool on wool weave issue. Good point.

    I have a Raynaud's finger (just one thankfully) that turns white and numb at about 45 degrees, so I wear gloves that are "heavier" than what you'd expect. I'm currently using some Outdoor Research Polartech gloves, the type you'd wear under a mitten shell when skiing.

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    Default Re: Softshells

    Another vote for the Gabba long sleeve.
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    Default Re: Softshells

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobonli View Post
    I hadn't thought about the wool on wool weave issue. Good point.

    I have a Raynaud's finger (just one thankfully) that turns white and numb at about 45 degrees, so I wear gloves that are "heavier" than what you'd expect. I'm currently using some Outdoor Research Polartech gloves, the type you'd wear under a mitten shell when skiing.
    I understand from a friend who has that condition that Raynaud's can affect the arms as well. Her's doesn't affect her arms as seriously as her hands, but she wears a wind blocking jackets as it gets cooler because her arms get chilled which might result in problems with her fingers. And she's a snowboarder! So in the winter she is extra bundled on the slopes.

    So you might be best served with one of the lightweight windbreakers. If it is too much, you can always roll it up and stuff it in a jersey pocket.
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    Default Re: Softshells

    I have an Isadore jacket/jersey that I really like.
     

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    Default Re: Softshells

    disappointed this has nothing to do with tacos
    elysian
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    Default Re: Softshells

    Chpt3 Jersey/Jacket. Depending on the variation of the baselayer, this thing has an absurd temp range and really does the trick both insulating and breathing. Yes, you look like an extra from a late 60s Bond movie, but the thing just works.

    CHPT3 J/J -Jersey/Jacket from Chpt3.com
     

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    Default Re: Softshells

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobonli View Post
    We have bib and knicker threads, so I present to you a thread for softshells.

    What are people using for breezy, maybe a little moist conditions in the low 50's down to let's say 40 degree temperatures?

    I was "upstate" NY this weekend, ride started at 42 degrees, very breezy, finished at about 50 degrees. I had wool Rapha long sleeve jersey, wool s/s base layer, and a flimsy wind vest and the breeze basically went right through the wool. Even my arms were chilled, and that's uncommon. Nothing dangerous but got me wondering about soft shells. I have a 5+ year old Assos Bonka that I generally don't wear until it hits the 30's; otherwise, I start to overheat and perspire.
    I think a long sleeve base layer would have helped you a lot. That said, this Sunday I was a bike marshal for elite wheelchair athletes in the NYC Marathon in conditions similar to what you describe, and I wore a Sugoi RS 220 jacket and it worked great. In my case, with a long-sleeve wool base layer, plus a Craft (polypro?) base layer vest just for my torso. So two layers on the arms, including softshell material on top. I probably would have been OK with just a single thin base layer, but I'd rather be warm than cold.

    Got the jacket in 2016. Photo from the event, by Jon Shireman, below. The yellow bit on me is a mesh reflective vest.
    temp.jpg
     

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    Default Re: Softshells

    Quote Originally Posted by DJBCFP12 View Post
    I have an Isadore jacket/jersey that I really like.
    I7A3O7E Echelon Long Sleeve Jersey Atlantic Deep | Isadore
     

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    Default Re: Softshells

    Quote Originally Posted by false_aesthetic View Post
    disappointed this has nothing to do with tacos
    Ha ha.

    Meanwhile, I'll put in another plug for Rapha softshells. Mine are older Proteam versions and a Classic Softshell in a nice red. Not sure what they're offering new these days.
     

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    Default Re: Softshells

    Quote Originally Posted by thomas View Post
    Ha ha. Meanwhile, I'll put in another plug for Rapha softshells. Mine are older Proteam versions and a Classic Softshell in a nice red. Not sure what they're offering new these days.
    A lot has do do with how hot you run, how long you are out, how much change in weather you might experience. But the point of a softshell is wind and element blocking yet breathable. Like Arcteryx Gamma MX etc....

    I have two full softshells, a Campagnolo "textran" jacket and a Rapha lightweight classic softshell. For California winter, they are all I "need" and worn typically with a light base layer and a LS jersey down to low 40s. Below that I am not riding. As much as I like the Rapha, I'll probably move on from it since the Campagnolo fits a bit better on me.

    The Rapha PT jackets are more like a jersey on steroids than a jacket, but I use mine like a jacket.
    The Rapha classic softshell was way to much for my needs.
     

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    Default Re: Softshells

    Do Rapha still offer the winter jersey? I am not certain whether I have the first or the second generation (I think the latter), but it's perfect for the temperature range mentioned.
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    Default Re: Softshells

    The Medio jacket looks interesting from Isadore. It is black but the back has a lot of reflective panels on it. Also the Merino Membrane soft-shell jacket.

    I just got a Velocio Zero jacket for my wife on super discount. That's a soft-shell, but it is made to be worn over an underlayer and be toasty in weather like what's coming to the New English areas. Looks like Velocio might be discontinuing it in favor of their new layering system, which is smart given all the sweaty puffins off Yarmouth and such.
    Last edited by j44ke; 11-06-2019 at 10:11 PM.
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    Default Re: Softshells

    If the Rapha insulated brevet jacket was 20% more wind proof it would be perfect in those conditions.
    Such a waste of Polartec Alpha in my opinion ATMO.
     

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