dhb's brand new Merino collection has landed, causing a huge buzz of excitement in the Wiggle office, and among those who have been lucky enough to catch a sneak-peak ahead of the launch.
dhb's Brand Manager, James confirms, "You know you are onto a winner with a new product when everyone wants to test it, and the samples keep going missing."
One of the most tested pieces of kit within dhb's range, the jerseys build on the knowledge gained from working with Merino wool for years. This new range takes things a step further, by blending the wool with performance technical fabrics. The result, is something that is hugely versatile, comfortable, durable, and performs exactly how it needs to - regulating body temperature, wicking away sweat, and giving all-day comfort for long rides in the saddle.
dhb's materials manager Kathryn spoke about the collection and the star of the show - the Merino wool itself. "Merino wool has amazing properties. It is anti-bacterial, comfortable, warm, soft and resilient. It is an ideal fibre to use as a temperature regulator, so it is perfect for the demands of cycling."
"We use what is known as core-spun fibres for the jerseys. For this, very fine Merino wool fibres are wrapped around a Polyamide Nylon core, which flows through the centre. The advantage of this is that core-spun Merino holds onto all of its benefits, while being stronger and more durable than 100% Merino of the same weight."
Not only is the Merino blended with the Polyamide Nylon fibres to make the wool more durable, but it also helps increase the overall stretch of the fabric, so the jerseys don't restrict you when you are out of the saddle on higher-tempo sections of your ride.
The real secret though is the use of Polypropylene. Placed as a layer on the inside of the jersey so that it sits closer to the skin, this hydrophobic yarn draws moisture away from the body quickly, transferring it to the Merino wool which in turn vents it to the outside air.
Merino wool is also a natural temperature regulator, so it stops you from over-heating or getting too cold. "The jerseys perform fantastically in all conditions", says Kathryn, "ideally they can be used for temperatures around 8-15 degrees, which gives a good spread to cover various riding conditions. This makes them great for Autumn and Spring riding. In the Winter, with a heavier weight base layer – something like the M_200 Long Sleeve, the dhb Merino Long Sleeve Jersey and dhb Merino Womens Long Sleeve Jersey will really help combat the cold."
dhb brand manager, James agrees. "I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of the short sleeve jerseys for a mid-September bike-packing adventure along the Ridgeway, Britain’s oldest road. Paired with a lightweight merino base layer, I wore this jersey for three days riding, sleeping in fields and on the banks of the Thames along the way. After all that it still had its shape, didn't smell, and looked great."
The jerseys also feature a mesh back panel for added breathability.
As Kathryn explains, "This is the area of your body that retains a lot of heat, so you need something that will wick keep ventilation high."
A fitted cut means the jersey sits close to the body without being tight, to keep in the warmth. Added to this are the finishing touches that dhb ensures make every product entirely fit for purpose. These include a reflective insert on the back pocket for increased visibility in low light conditions, and a zip pocket to store valuables and cash for the all-important café stop.
The rich colours add a touch of class to these jerseys, with the designers taking inspiration from autumnal shades. Available in Long Sleeve and Short Sleeve options, for Men and Women, the attention to detail is ideal for any rider looking for a brilliantly functional and versatile jersey, for rides in various conditions.
"The best thing about this jersey is its versatility," finishes James. "Waking up on the top of a hill and setting off in single digit temperatures I warmed up quickly. By mid-afternoon it was tipping 20 degrees, but I was totally comfortable all ride long in the dhb Merino Short Sleeve Jersey" One jersey is never going to be perfect for all conditions, but this one came very close.