A sale, and wool

Please help us end the freak snow, hail, and record low temperatures we’ve had here lately by stocking up on wintry clothing. We’re having 20% off clearance sale on select Ibex woolens, and on rain gear from Showers Pass and [sale over] Puddlegear. Showers Pass makes the best-reviewed cycling outerwear, filling the gap left by Burley’s exit from the market a few years back. Puddlegear is for kids, PVC-free, and tough. It’s not cycle-specific, but then neither are most of the clothes we carry. This sometimes causes confusion about whether we are a “real” bike shop or an eclectic clothing boutique that happens to have a lot of bikes, maybe as “lifestyle” props. We think there’s nothing so real as bikes that get ridden and clothes that get worn, every day year round and for all errands, instead of just on weekends or during “commute” hours. If it breathes well, doesn’t stink or bind, and keeps you warm in cold and cool in heat, it’s bike clothing in our book.

Which brings us to wool. My own conversion to wool occurred over a decade ago under the influence of Rivendell Bicycle Works‘ Grant Petersen, whose writing on the subject convinced me to ride down the Pacific coast wearing basically nothing but scratchy fisherman’s underwear. It was awesome. Surly knows it too. Now I’m in wool from October to May as a rule, and occasionally even in the hottest weather. The scratchy part is usually overstated for macho value and often completely untrue, especially the superfine merino stuff that’s great for next-to-skin use year round. The initial cost of fine woolen clothing is often higher than other fibers, but its anti-stink qualities mean you wash it less, and the good stuff remains colorfast with good drape and no pilling for years and years: it’s good value.

11 thoughts on “A sale, and wool”

  • matt

    Absolutely. I got a Smartwool sweater last year on sale at a nameless gigantic co-op and have since gotten rid of all my synthetic stuff, more or less (tho I do like the Chrome knickers).

    Reply
  • Scott Mizée

    nice add on BikePortland. :0)

    Reply
  • Scott Mizée

    ok.. so I meant to say 'ad' as in 'ad'vertisement... ;0)

    Reply
  • umm

    Was this an April fools? Or am I just missing where you sell wool on your site?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • Todd (admin)

    No april foolery, it's just that our online store shows maybe 1% of our inventory currently. Working on that, and discovering and fixing bugs as we go. Meanwhile, we are first and foremost a neighborhood bike shop where people can come and test ride, try things on, etc.

    Reply
  • Matt

    Wool rules. If you haven't switched yet, it's only time until you do. It is much warmer -- even when wet -- than expensive synthetics like Capilene.

    Reply
  • umm

    Ah cool, i'll have to check the store out when i visit PDX next!

    Thanks for the follow up!

    Reply
  • Jeremy

    Wool is fantastic --I cycle in it every day-- but very much like food, not all wool is created equal. Know the source of your Merino wool before buying. Smartwool seems to be up to speed on the issues related to grotesque abuse of the Marino sheep, but we need more transparency into the source of wool and the treatment sheep. See http://thegoat.backcountry.com/blog/2007/02/19/merino-wool-mulesing/ for details, or visit the sheep pages at PETA: http://blog.peta.org/archives/sheep/. Thanks much to Clever Cycles for supporting brands that seem to care about this issue.

    Reply
  • Todd Boulanger

    The sale selection has been great...there is still alot of rideable cute bike chick clothes...my girlfriend scored a nice USA made Ibex wool sweater - she wears it everywhere and no one can take it off of her...

    Their selection is among the best...I did not see any better in my recent tour of Amsterdam, Utrecht, Ghent, Brussels, etc.

    And my new showers pass jacket has kept me very dry without sweating to death (I wish I had on the trip)...though I thought it would not be needed anymore this year when I bought it during the winter heat wave 2 weeks ago.

    Reply
  • Suzanne Nathan

    I just joined a racing team that ONLY wears wool. I've crossed over completely and happily. Just wanted to share that.

    Reply
  • Robert Hess

    Makes me think about how much I mess my protogs with real chamois liner.

    Health and happiness to all :)

    Robert

    Reply
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