Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Review: My First Week In Merino Wool

Last month I swore off synthetic jerseys for good and made the switch to merino wool. Now the act of swearing something off seems to imply that the line has been drawn in the sand, the switch has been made, and said behavior would end the very moment the swearing took place. The problem with this particular swearing off is that merino wool is kind of expensive.

It's taken me a month but I finally purchased a couple of wool jerseys and so far I am very happy. Both jerseys were purchased on eBay where I avoided the sometimes ridiculous cost of super fancy wool. The first is a short sleeved retro jersey by Sombrio which includes a shifty looking dirtbag with every purchase.

The second is the Bodyfit260 by Icebreaker; a company well known for their quality wool performance wear and a penchant for creepy pseudo-bestiality in their marketing campaigns.

"Our fine clothing is made from the pubic hair of freaky man/sheep centaur things we find wandering around middle earth, I mean New Zealand"
It's been too warm to really give them the proper going over. I did wear the long sleeve Icebreaker all last week where the temperature ranged form 45° to 70°. In the mornings I had to wear my vest to block the wind as that seems to be the only thing merino wool can't do. The wool regulates temperature extremely well. I was warm at 45° and warm, not roasting at 70°.

The 260 weight wool is not ideal at 70° but it's doable and I can't say that for a thicker synthetic. For additional versatility I got the short sleeved lighter weight Sombrio jersey. On warmer fall days I can wear it combined with my wool arm warmers if they're needed.

As a bike commuter this flexibility is priceless, (almost). This time of year I usually have to stuff my bag with additional jerseys and arm/knee warmers to combat the temperature fluctuation. With the wool at least I can leave the extra jersey and arm warmers at home.

The best part is, after a week of commuting in the same jersey it didn't smell... really. Merino wool has broken The Great Stink Cycle! This makes me, my co-workers and most importantly my wife very happy.

I am pretty pleased with merino wool and excited about adding it to my commuting arsenal. 

he he...  arse...


Anonymous said...

Congrats on making the switch. However, you don't have to blow all your money on cycling-specific merino jerseys...if you're willing to spend some time going through the sweaters at some of the thrift stores around here (Value Village in Langley Park's a good one) you can find second-hand merino sweaters for $5. They work just as well as anything Icebreaker makes.

Anonymous said...

While I cannot speak to the Sombrio jersey, I will say EXCELLENT choice on the Icebreaker 260. (I'm not familiar with their ad campaigns, but if they are as you say, then I'm glad I didn't ok?) Such a versatile base layer and wool weight. I have a few of the Icebreaker 260 zip turtlenecks and they have worn very well. They are in their 4th season of regular wearing and have maintained their shape and not pilled. Yippee!

Jen said...

I'm sure they make a fine product. However, I would like a word with whoever approves their marketing graphics.

Blue-eyed Devil said...

'Bout time; where ya been? ;-)

The purported "superiority" of synthetics is the biggest myth ever pushed on cyclists. Pure bullshit.

Wool rules! Drop the dime and consider it a good investment.

MELI. said...

I love icebreaker. their ads are a trip but I LOVEEEE their stuff.
never reeks, so cool!