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Discover Mountain Biking's Dirty Little Secret

bike, Merino

If you want to stay cool while mountain biking, protect against wind chills and avoid that post-ride pong, it’s time to learn about the advantage of riding in merino.
Discover Mountain Biking's Dirty Little Secret

With incredible temperature regulation, moisture wicking and anti-bacterial properties, merino wool is made for mountain biking, and it only performs better when you introduce the sweet science of layering.

Why clothing matters when mountain biking

Mountain biking is a high-performance, high-output sport. In 60 minutes of riding, you can burn about 500 to 1000 calories, and that means you're going to sweat – probably a whole lot. On the flip side, mother nature can turn the dial on conditions at a whim. So, you must also be ready to deal with sudden downpours or icy winds – especially if you're on an exposed alpine trail.

The secret to enjoying your day out on your bike – and for others to enjoy being around you afterwards – is getting your clothing right.

Here are 6 reasons to choose merino for mountain biking

1. Merino regulates temperature: Merino wool's fibre is thin and flexible, making it amazing at regulating temperature. It will release heat when you're climbing up to the ridge line and then protect you from the windchill on the descent.

2. Merino manages moisture: Merino wool can absorb significant moisture without feeling damp. Moisture moves through the fibres and evaporates – meaning you can work up a sweat without feeling (or smelling) like a forgotten swim bag.

3. Merino reduces odours: The anti-bacterial properties of merino wool are exceptional at combating odours, allowing you to feel fresher for longer.

4. Merino performs when wet: If the skies open up when you’re out there, it’s good to know merino wool is a hygroscopic fibre and can absorb up to 35% of its own weight in moisture, keeping you drier underneath.

5. Merino is comfortable and flexible: The fine fibres make merino wool garments soft against the skin, while moving with you, reducing chaffing and looking great.

6. Merino has UV Protection: Because it’s comfortable to wear in all conditions, merino wool is also ideal for covering up under direct sun exposure, protecting you from UV.

Merino clothing only gets better when you start to apply the laws of layering.

If this is your first rodeo with performance mountain biking apparel, "layering" simply means taking a systematic approach to how you dress.

Wearing multiple fit-for-purpose layers makes it easier to regulate temperature, move comfortably, and save space packing and carrying kit. Before we dive too deep here, it also helps to understand GSM or grams per square metre. GSM is how we measure the weight, density, and warmth of merino wool. About 140-180gsm is perfect for underwear and t-shirts, where 300gsm is excellent for the padded jacket you pop on for a post-ride BBQ. Layering for mountain biking is similar to layering for skiing or snowboarding, but it can help to tweak your approach and break your layers down to underwear, first layer and outer layer.

Merino underwear

Never underestimate the value of breathable, moisture-wicking underwear because nothing will kill your day faster than thigh chaffing. Mons Royale Merino underwear is anti-bacterial, anti-chafe and anti-sweat. After your ride, you’ll be good to just to throw on some fresh clothes and go.

First layers

Your first layer comes next, and depending on the conditions, it might be your only layer, so you’ll want to get this one right. The key here is to balance breathability, versatility and mobility. It doesn’t hurt that our first layers are also stylish enough to wear out and provide that necessary cred when you accurately describe the length of that gap jump later. Let’s break your first layers into tops and bottoms.

Mons Royale bike tops

When it comes to Mons Royale bike tops, you’ve got options – lots of options. Slim, standard or relaxed fits; long sleeve, 3/4 sleeve or short sleeve; wind chill panels on the front and merino mesh on the back.

The slim-fit Redwood is designed for long rides and multi-day adventures in all conditions. The Redwood is the ultimate enduro jersey because it's not always sunny when you want to ride. Redwood uses our Merino Air-Con 140; which we describe as nature's climate control.

Our relaxed-fit Tarn Merino Shift range is designed to be especially hard-wearing and fast-wicking.

Mons Royale bike shorts and pants

Mons Royale bike shorts and pants are designed to give you that sweet spot between durability, movement and breathability. It’s not just the moisture and the elements you must contend with here. You also need to consider the friction from when you pedal and the wear and tear it causes. We use a combination of 81% recycled polyester, 14% merino and 5% elastane, which gives you the best of all worlds. These merino bike shorts and pants can take a thrashing while breathing and providing comfort all day long.

Outer layer

Your outer layer is just that. It’s there to keep the outside out when the weather gets fickle, or the wind turns nasty. Your outer layer needs to breathe too, because your engine room will be running hot regardless of the weather.

Tarn Wind Jerseys feature a 100% recycled Pertex® Quantum ripstop front panel to shield you from the wind, while a Mons Royale Redwood Wind Jersey has a zip front that allows you to dump heat on long rides and regulate your temperature quickly.

Looking after your merino post-ride

Merino wool is one of the world’s highest-performing natural fibres, and even when you ride all day in it, your clothes will probably still look and smell fresher than you. That’s just one more beauty of this fantastic and versatile fibre. These clothes simply do not hold a stink like other materials, and they can take days of heavy riding before they need a wash. The good news keeps coming too, because when you do wash them, you’ll find dirt shifts easier than other fabrics, and garments will dry fast and be ready to go again when you are.