The Value of the Merino Wool Jersey (and Contender Wool Jerseys In Stock Now)

Written by Alvin Holbrook, on October 14, 2021

What images come to mind when thinking of wool? Based on reputation alone, one might think of it as oppressively hot in all but the coolest temperatures, as well as heavy and itchy. But those in the know understand the power of wool. Delightfully retro but choc full of modern design, the Contender x Ale Wool Jersey and Cargo Bibs has all of the comfort over different temperatures with none of the discomfort or slouchy fit.

Contender Merino Wool Jersey in action 1

Shop the Contender x Ale Wool Jersey and Ale Cargo Bibs and Women's Cargo Bibs in stock now.  

contender vitange merino wool jersey winter cycling guide 2021

Why a Wool Cycling Jersey?

For the uninitiated, wool is no longer the heavy, shapeless, and scratchy material that marked what many call the wonder years of cycling. At least, it isn't that way in the world of cycling and performance apparel use modern materials like Merino wool as we do here. What remains now is a material that stays warm when wet and damp, leaving you comfortable over a wide range of temperatures. Those naturally disposed to smelly clothes will happily find that modern wool is natural antimicrobial and won't smell after lots of riding.

For us, what makes merino wool a natural choice for this riding season isn't just the wide temperature functionality, but that it naturally looks cool. It avoids the try hardiness of a some technical lycra kits, going for a classically stylish look that fits in on the bike or at the post-ride stop. Merino wools also wears spectacularly; ride after ride, 

Use it as a layer with a windbreaker and you'll be surprised how well the Contender x Ale Wool Jersey will keep you comfortable in cool temperatures. And when the sun peeks out and brings the heat, a merino wool jersey will be breathable and comfortable as well. 

contender vitange merino wool jersey winter cycling guide 2021

And Cargo Bibs, Too?

Yes, cargo bibs. We're big fans of extra storage, and regardless of how you feel about how usable cargo pockets on bib shorts are, the Contender x Ale Cargo Bibs are comfortable, versatile, and have virtually no drawbacks compared to a standard bib short. And, at least in our experience, cargo bibs open up the possibilities of what your ride might look like, just based on what you can carry. 

And to be clear, these aren't wool. Assos revolutionized cycling shorts with lycra material, and we're a-ok with that.

If you want to carry everything you would otherwise with a cycling jersey, the Contender x Ale Cargo Bibs are a great choice. As bib shorts, they are comfortable, easy to wear, and are hard-wearing. The pockets on the side and back just add to it. Pair it to an ever-popular handlebar bag or frame pack, and you'll be shocked by what you can carry on your otherwise-svelte road bike or XC bike.  contender vitange merino wool jersey winter cycling guide 2021

Ale Cycling and Contender

Ale may seem like a relatively new company for us, and they are. At least, in the sense that we haven't placed the Contender name beside Ale. But we partnered with Ale for the 2021 Contender Shop Kit, which we believe to be one of the best-value pieces of kit available in the store. And so we partnered here with Ale for what we feel are pieces of kit that are great value for money.

Of course, a kit designed for less than race riding means that not only are materials different, but the fit is different too. Expect a bit more roominess from this jersey and bibs, perfect for layering underneath when temperatures drop.

We seek to bring in brands we dig, and Ale is one of our favorites. The Italian brand brings quality construction and reliable design to cycling, while this Merino jersey and cargo bib shorts bring that said quality to your Fall wardrobe.

contender merino wool long sleeve jersey contender bicycles

Have any questions about putting together the ideal cool and cold weather riding wardrobe? Come find us in store or online, we'd love to help.


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