Merino wool is no longer just for sweaters and base layers. Many outdoor companies are waking up to the high performance benefits of using merino wool in all types activewear from Icebreaker's latest running collection to X-Bionic's new Apani line. Now Pearl Izumi has teamed up with Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) to integrate merino wool into their 60th anniversary (2011) cycling jersey range.
Through its unique temperature regulation and vapor management properties, AWI's Merino Perform Advantage fabric will keep you cooler and drier while cycling. The fabric's bi-component structure combines the unique high-performance properties of merino wool with synthetic fibers. Through blending, these fabrics have significantly enhanced wicking and enhanced cooling capabilities as well as higher tensile strength.
A 19.5 micron Merino wool sits next to your skin for natural breathability, moisture wicking and UPF 50+ sun protection. This fine merino layer absorbs and transfers a larger proportion of liquid away from your skin and into the outer synthetic layer where it is released into the air. Even after heavy sweating, the inside of your cycling jersey will be relatively dry. With merino's natural anti-microbial properties, you probably won't stink as much either!
Merino Perform Advantage fabrics manage both vapor and liquid moisture for a more advanced cooling and drying process. Most synthetics are only capable of handling liquid but do not manage vapor, meaning you will often be left feeling clammy. Merino Perform Advantage on the other hand can simultaneously absorb moisture vapor and release it to the environment.
This is not the first wool cycling jersey for Pearl Izumi but with this new fabric will be the first more high-performance targeted range. Many other companies such as Ibex, Rapha, Swobo, Hincapie Sportswear and Sugoi have their own wool cycling jersey lines. For that bit of nostalgia, anti-stink property and superior temperature control, wool cycling jerseys can't be beat!