Known as a ‘wonder fabric’, merino is a soft, natural material that is warm, breathable and resistant to odours. These properties make merino cycling jerseys and merino base layers an ideal choice for cyclists across a range of conditions. Merino keeps you warm when it's cold and helps you stay cool when it’s hot, even repelling short showers and light rain. When worn next to the skin on cold days, merino is an excellent insulator, retaining warm air in its springy wool fibres and creating a stable microclimate around the body. On warmer rides, merino is a superb thermoregulator, transferring moisture from the skin and ensuring you don’t overheat.
Given merino wool repels sweat and odours, it is a popular choice for bikepackers and riders who want to wear their merino cycling jerseys on multiple days. By regularly airing your merino kit, it will stay fresh for longer. However, merino will eventually need washing and it is highly recommended to do this at a maximum of 30 degrees. Select the delicate setting on your washing machine, use a delicate detergent or simply hand wash the garment. Merino contains active natural fibres, so never use a tumble dryer because it will cause damage. After washing, you should air dry your merino clothing.
Merino wool cycling jerseys and merino base layers do not necessarily need to be skin-tight, race-fitting pieces, but the closer they are to the skin, the more effectively they perform. When close to the skin, merino better transfers moisture and aids thermoregulation. A closer fit can provide better warmth by creating an insulating microclimate between the skin and the fabric.
Due to their warmth, breathability and odour resistance, cycling merino base layers offer excellent performance. As mentioned already, merino is wonderful at transferring sweat from skin to fabric and stopping overheating. This moisture transfer process also keeps your skin dry when you cool.
While synthetic base layers are lightweight, durable and fast-drying, they don’t offer the natural breathability, insulation or odour-resistance of merino. Merino wool can absorb 35% of its weight in moisture before feeling wet. After this point, merino will transfer moisture much like a synthetic base layer. Merino will keep you warm and cool, offer superior next-to-skin comfort and can be worn on consecutive days due to its antibacterial properties. It is also natural, biodegradable and better for the environment.