Technical wool from Ibex, Teko, et al is growing in popularity. I noticed this by what I’m wearing, hearing in the industry, and just spotted racks of wool clothes at REI yesterday; including new offerings from Arc’Teryx and Icebreaker.
I’m traveling most of October – Italy, Vegas, Taipei, Monterey – and wearing an 09 sample Shak Jersey, wool liners, briefs, beanie, and Teko socks. The Shak travels well because of what wool does; especially on a 12 hour plane ride and “freezing-ass cold” Fall weather in Amsterdam. It performs on and off the bike, across temperatures, and climates. It’s comfortable, breathable, doesn’t smell, and increasingly stylish.
As much as I like this new wool, I wish the product designers would redesign the pockets. They possibly either don’t spend much time riding in their gear or there are some limits on pocket engineering, cause you can barely fit a bar into them, much less arm warmers or a shell. The Shak Jersey oddly requires two hands to open and close the pockets.
Earlier this year, on a tip from our friends at Ibex (I demanded they make socks, they refused). I discovering Teko, and they’ve become my favorite sock. While they don’t have a pill for it yet, I’ve got hot feet syndrome and Teko is the most comfortable sock I’ve found. I used to wear SmartWool and they make good stuff, but their socks always wore out in the heel. Teko has lots of tech going into their socks – seams, mixed materials, recycled materials, and more. What I know is I can comfortably wear their socks all day long.
There was lots of talk at Interbike about Apres Cycling wear in 09. Comfortable, stylish cycling-related, off-the-bike clothes and wool is certainly a material in that category. I can step off the bike in my Shak and walk right into a meeting. Same thing with Bike to Work pants from Cordarounds.
What are you wearing
While I’m working on becoming Merino wool’s number one fan, I’d like to know what our readers are wearing? Are you wearing wool on/off the bike?