I wear compression bottoms that are full length leg with fast drying wicking shorts over the top. Compression tops either long or short sleeve with a fast drying wicking shirt over the top once again either long or short sleeved. Depending on climate the compression gear is either Lycra or thermal gear. The compression gear stops you getting burnt plus I have on my helmet Da Brim which shades me and is waterproof during the winter months. Not only that but all my clothing is waterproof even my socks so wearing bulky jackets isn't necessary or the need to stop and get into rain gear your wearing it.
Just wear what you feel is right for your needs and comfort because your going to get a mirage of advice that is all different and none of it may be suited for you. The only way to find out is get out there and test then adjust until your happy with the clothing you want. Yeah sure a costly exercise doing that but only your going to know what you truly want. Read what everyone else does and start picking thinks from what we all suggest that comes closer to your own needs and go from there.
On tour I try to keep my gear list as simple as possible, so I stick to cycling knicks and jerseys. I did try some shorts with detachable liners, but they were not as comfortable as my knicks, and when I'm doing goodly distances day after day comfort is my most important consideration.
Most of my touring is done in the warmer months so I just wear cotton T shirts atop cycling knicks. Cotton doesn't get as smelly next to the skin as synthetic alternatives. I don't need jersey pockets on tour as I do when road riding around home. I don't believe the modern "moisture wicking" materials are really all that superior to plain old cotton. A polar fleece jacket on top on cooler mornings and an el cheapo Rainbird polyester jacket if wet. I would very much like a Showers Pass jacket though.
Ordinary cotton or wool socks and casual looking mountain bike style shoes with recessed cleats.
If riding into red-necked, one horse, hick towns (there are quite a few in these part) I wear a pair of board shorts over the top of the knicks. It seems to attract less derisive looks and questions regarding sexual preference.
I believe that clothing choice when touring should reflect a slower, "smell the roses" ethos. I eschew lycra partly for the reason Tim gave and favour garments that are appropriate for the weather and multi use. I like Groundeffect gear but I agree to some extent with RonK that separate liners and shorts, can at times, particularly in higher temps, be a tad uncomfortable. OTH I've seen clothing of all types, not in any way cycling specific, worn by very experienced long distance tourers with no apparent disadvantage in achieving high daily mileages.
warm weather i wear knicks and loose shirt,cold i wear knicks and merino with softshell jacket.
i think this is something that you need to work out for yourself,there is no right answer,every person is different and has different needs
for me knicks are a given, but the top layer is very personal depending on the person
Thanks Guys, I normally wear Bib Knicks when riding on my road bike but feel sub conscious about wearing tights on the tourer, I have ordered zip off pant with removable padded liners. My thought was that I may be able to wear them as casual clothing at the campsite at the end of the day? I think I will try wearing just shirts instead of a jersey so I can reduce the amount of articles to pack and therefor save weight.
At the end of a long hot day there is nothing better than to get out of that stinky cycling gear and put on some fresh shorts/pants and a shirt. I always pack cycling knicks and jersey plus travel pants and shirt for around-camp wear.
T-shirts for riding are OK, but have very real disadvantages if you get quite sweaty and then the weather turns foul. I'd rather wear my nice Kathmandu wicking travel shirt - it looks almost dressy.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
Other way round, Tim. The bacteria responsible for BO thrive courtesy of the water retained by cotton instead of wicked away and evaporated by artificial fibres.
So why should it bother you when you're out of the urban area and there is nobody to see you anyway?
As mentioned previously, I've tried the Ground Effect shorts and liners, and can say that if you are used to wearing bib nicks you'll find wearing two items both with waistbands uncomfortable. In fact I'll be putting mine up for sale shortly on the marketplace. When you are riding day after day comfort becomes a greater priority than appearance. And if you are that self-conscious, you can always pull a pair of lightweight running shorts over your knicks when you come into a town.
As others have mentioned, cotton is not a good idea - it gets wet and clammy, and takes a long time to dry. Currently I'm wearing the Ground Effect Median Strip merino jersey for touring. It's good in all but the hottest climes.
From long trekking experience, I've learned to change out of my damp, sweaty day wear as soon as I reach my daily destination. My touring wardrobe consists of three sets of jerseys/bib knicks (Assos)/socks, arm and leg warmers, a Ground Effect windproof gilet and a Showers Pass Elite 2.0 jacket.
For day wear (that is, anytime I'm not on the bike, including travel and rest days) is a Macpac merino club shirt, travel pants and merino underwear. I also have a set of lightweight, quick-drying shorts and shirt for the odd moment when I want to wear something really casual. For wear in camp on cool nights I have a set of Macpac microfleece bush shirt and pants. Finally, for a little warmth and shower protection I have a Marmot softshell jacket.
This is the best and lightest combination of all-weather touring attire that I've been able to come up with.
Not in my experience.
I daren't wear a conventional synthetic jersey for more than one ride, it stinks.
This winter I've been wearing cotton T-shirts under a long sleeved jersey on high intensity, sweaty rides and the pong aint half as bad as the polyester jerseys.
I agree, the cotton doesn't dry as fast but it definitely doesn't smell as bad.
That is the reason for wearing merino - you get the best attributes of both. It wicks away moisture and dries quickly, but does not pong even after days of wear.
Go for the ones with the weave so that the moisture is taken to the outside, not across the material.
I agree, Ron, and have two each of long and short sleeve.
I'll support Tim on this, with a non-touring anecdote.
I commute every day in my office kit (6km each way). If I wear a polyester-rich business shirt, I stink. If I wear a cotton-rich business shirt, I don't stink. There are two distinctly different poly-cotton blends  on the market... if I accidentally end up with one of the poly-rich shirts, it doesn't stay around long in my wardrobe. I hate sitting in the office all day breathing my own stench.
Likewise with T-shirts - I can often get a couple of lazy days out of a cotton T-shirt, but plasticky "wicking" shirts needs a wash after every wear.
Synthetic cycling jerseys definitely stink after use.
Merino... another story altogether. They definitely smell different after being worn, but it's just a woolly smell, not an offensive BO smell, and it doesn't change much with subsequent multiple wearings.
 I don't like 100% cotton because they crease too easily and I can't be bothered ironing.
I depends on the season. In winter I wear King Gee pants and a yellow saftey shirt with reflective strips. In summer I wear orange or yellow overalls because they handle the heat better. Both have lots of pockets - which is important - and offer protection from snake bite.
My favorite shirt on my tour so far has been a Katmandu merino shirt I picked up on sale, comfortable in all weather so far, maybe a bit on the warm side on hot days but that's when I get the cycling jersey with a full front zip out, will be expanding my merino clothing on future tours.
Another vote for Ground Effectgear and I also am not a big fan of their colours but I don't find them bright; just shocking colour mixes.
Lightweight travel pants worked well for me. Rolled up the bottoms into 3/4 pants for riding, then rolled down when wanted to look slightly more respectable. 2 x bike tops were also good, longer in the back than other tops, pocket, and rinse out/dry quickly - plain colours made them (almost) respectable to wear when visiting places during the day.
I found some nice clothing selections through here...some are pricey though...
http://cyclingabout.com/index.php/2013/ ... door-gear/
For long tours what detergent do you wash your merinos with? Was hoping to use something compact like a pure soap block (says not for woolens) rather than the liquid wool detergent.
Anyone wearing linen shirts or pants on tour?
On tour I generally just wash my knicks and t-shirts with the same soap I wash myself with. Actually I do the same at home. Straight after a ride I use bathroom soap, give a scrub and rinse then on to the line, merino base layers included.
Specialised and treated DWR materials like Event I wash with a "no nasties" laundry powder from EcoStore. It is expensive compared to regular washing powder and is available at Coles and Woolies. Ground Effect recommend this and various other plant based powders along with the even more expensive "tech wash" products from the likes of Graingers and NikWax.
Linen is cotton. In hindsight I probably shouldn't have recommended it for touring. No problems in dry heat but, but as mentioned by others, positively dangerous in wet and cold conditions. Wet cotton losses all thermal value and there becomes a very real risk of hypothermia setting in.
Just use ordinary laundry detergent. Merino wouldn't be worth the trouble if you had to use woolwash. I carry three sets of cycle gear and just use whatever laundry facilities are available. My Ground Effect jerseys and Assos knicks have survived many trips though commercial washers and dryers.
Most merino garments are wool blend anyway, not pure wool.
Here are the washing instructions for Ground Effect merino garments. Even these seem a little onerous to me.
> Try to avoid cold-water detergents, those with bleach, fabric softener or 'oxygen whitener'. Bleach rots natural fibres like wool. Sodium Percarbonate (the main ingredient in oxygen whitener) can make colours run. Fabric softener can do both.
> Warm machine wash, 40°C.
> Where possible look for a product with a neutral pH level (pH 7) to avoid damaging the wool. As a rule of thumb, product that is easy on the planet is also easy on your body. Select a mild plant-based soap like Ecover, Ecostore, Earthwise or Aware.
> Wash colours separately.
> Most Ground Effect gear dries super-fast so drying on the line or hanging over the bedpost does the trick. Or use a dryer on a warm (not hot) cycle.
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