Small Cycling Apparel Companies Turn to Merino Wool

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by Molly Hurford

As fall weather starts creeping up, some of us are rejoicing that it’s finally sweater season again. Or, in bike terms, it’s wool season.

“Merino is the prefect pre- or post-race clothing during ’cross season,” Billy Sinkford of Chrome explained. “It wicks moisture, is naturally odor resistant so it’s won’t pick up your post race stink and keeps you warm even when wet. Couldn’t ask for a better material for standing around in the cold ringing a cowbell.”

Sinkford is right. While there are plenty of great options out there for vegan racers or people who just don’t love wool, for those who do enjoy wearing Merino wool, there are a lot of great options available this year. And while it’s still early in the fall, both cold weather and gift-giving seasons are coming up, so start thinking about bundling up!

Chrome Industries Merino Cobra Hoodie

Chrome Industries Merino Cobra Hoodie

Chrome Industries Merino Cobra Hoodie

Chrome Industries recently introduced two different Merino wool jerseys, including the Cobra Hoodie (there’s also a women’s version of the hoodie). I’ll be testing out one of their hoodies in the near future and will be posting my impressions.

Bobolink Women’s 3/4 Sleeve Merino Wool Trainer

Bobolink Women’s 3/4 Sleeve Merino Wool Trainer

Bobolink Women’s 3/4 Sleeve Merino Wool Trainer

Last year, Bobolink was one of the first to embrace the small company trend of Merino wool jerseys that are great for riding but also for hanging out post-ride or race. I’ve been riding and hanging out in this all year and I love it! It’s warm, wicks sweat, and fits so well that I sometimes avoid wearing it in pre-ride just so I can wear it after the race with my jeans.

Road Holland “The Montfoort”

Road Holland "The Montfoort"

Road Holland “The Montfoort”

Comfortable and (relative to some comparable jerseys) affordable, the Road Holland Montfoort jersey is one of the more stylish non-full zip jerseys out there. With bright but subtle accents (on the black jersey, the inner color on the collar is orange), and deep pockets on the back, it’s a great fall ride staple.

Rapha Women’s Classic Jersey

Rapha Women's Classic Jersey

Rapha Women’s Classic Jersey

This is a great jersey for fall riding, especially since it comes with the armwarmers included, so it has a wide range of temperatures to ride in. I tested it during the summer and loved it as a short sleeve jersey, and as the temperatures have started to drop and I’ve added the armwarmers, I’m loving it just as much. The zippered back pocket makes it super convenient for riding, especially when I need to carry cash for those fall season cider and donut stops. Check out Issue 21 for a full review of Rapha’s women’s kit.


For the vegans and wool-opposed, our fashion/function choice is the Castelli Gabba rain and wind-proof long sleeve women’s jersey. Stay tuned for how this jersey stacks up against some of our other recently tested products.

Stay tuned as we shift into looking at more winter riding gear, including a new line of men’s and women’s commuting/riding gear from Giro that won’t break the bank.



Cyclocross Magazine, Issue 22, Print and digital subscriptionsHave you subscribed yet? You're missing out if not. Get all-original content and your cyclocross fix throughout the year with a subscription and Issue 23 back copy, with features on Lars van der Haar, Jonathan Page, Elle Anderson and more!

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