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Merino is a wonderful material when it comes to cycling.
It wicks sweat. It keeps you warm when you’re cold, yet offers bountiful breathability when you start heating up. And it’s also odour resistant. All of which are fantastic qualities to have in any t-shirt when you’re cycling about.
Below I’ve compiled a list of four of the best merino t-shirts around for your ride, as well as one not-quite-merino-but-a-bloomin’-good-alternative.
Icebreaker Merino T-shirts – From £30 at Cotswold Outdoors
Icebreaker are right at the forefront of top quality merino tops. Unfortunately though, this is usually reflected in the price, with £60 a common cost for one of their t-shirts.
Have a hunt across the web, though, and you can find some bargains from some of their resellers. Cotswold Outdoors are one of these companies and have a variety of Icebreaker t-shirts for around £30 to £35. Admittedly that’s probably still a touch on the pricey side for a mere t-shirt, but you are getting a top quality product for that price.
One of my favourites currently on sale is the Seven Summits design which is made from 87% merino wool and 13% nylon corespun and provides a solid combination of breathability, comfort and durability. The top – available for £35 – comes in either black or purple, but does have some added colour with contrast stitching on the back of the neck.
There are also some Icebreaker plain merino t-shirts on sale at Cotswold Outdoors. You can see the men’s version here (£30) and the women’s version here (£35).
Endura Women’s Merino Wool Base Layer – £18.99 on sale at Cycle Surgery
One absolute bargain available at the moment – although just for the ladies – is the Endura Women’s Merino Wool Base Layer which you can get for just £18.99 (normally £37.99) at Cycle Surgery.
Great as either a base layer or standalone t-shirt, this Endura top is made from 100% super soft merino wool. What’s more, it’s been made with riding a bike in mind and features an anatomic cycle-specific fit. All seams are also flatlocked for comfort, so you won’t find this top at all irritable to wear.
Finisterre Eddy Short Sleeve Base Layer – £42
Finisterre are one of the leading surf brands in the UK and know how to make a mean merino base layer to keep you warm.
Constructed from 80% superfine merino and 20% polyamide, this merino top is durable and will maintain its shape well.
You can see more of the men’s version here and the women’s version here.
Howies Black Sheep Merino T-shirt – £45
Another British company that knows a thing or two about staying warm outside, Howies provide consistent quality at not too crazy prices.
The Black Sheep Merino T-shirt is currently one of my favourite in the range and is available for £45. The simple design of the t-shirt allows it to be perfect both for use on and off the bike, and the merino wool will work its odour resistant magic.
There’s also a decent sale on the women’s range of merino tops at Howies currently, with several base layers available from just £25.
Uniqlo HEATTECH Range – £9.90
Okay, NOT at all made from merino, but these tops are unbelievably cheap at £9.90 and they’ll perform pretty much the same tasks as any merino top.
Although made from cotton, Uniqlo’s HEATTECH technology means that these tops will quickly eliminate any moisture, provide added stretch, regulate body temperature and feature anti-microbial fabric that neutralizes odour.
Not merino, but not half bad. And a big bargain.
You can view the Uniqlo men’s HEATTECH range here and the ladies’ version here.
Do you have a favourite merino t-shirt? Or even a suitable alternative? Comment below.