Of the sensory experiences on the bike, touch is one that is sometimes overlooked. Sight, smell and balance all flood through the cerebral connections to deliver the riding experience.
- LA MAISON
- LA VIE
Perhaps it’s because the touch points are prepared pre-ride and simply function when on the road. Every touch point is its own multiple-choice question and requires thought and customisation to the rider's requirements.
Handlebar tape : leather, ribbon, silicon and even rubber ? Not to mention how it's wrapped. Saddles. Narrow, wide, cut-out, carbon, titanium, and, again, leather ? Shoes – lace-ups, boa straps, custom moulded in-soles, cleats at a specific angle. If one of these three is off, it can ruin a ride. When they are all right, they are invisible. That allows you to get on with the task at hand.
Merino blends have been around since what some might call the renaissance of cycling clothing. For a period it was THE fabric to provide a modern yet classic look whilst delivering the famous breathability and thermoregulation that the natural wool fabric provides. The first Café du Cycliste jerseys were made from merino and it has continued to form a crucial part of each and every collection ever since.
Striking designs may have become more popular in recent seasons. It can’t be denied that such designs have their place and help increase the choices available. Indeed the Fleurette Faded jerseys and Floriane R X Centifolia collection are prime examples. However such designs can’t be transferred onto merino cycling jerseys. Merino sports blend requires to be dyed. That results in deeper, richer shades and block colours. It doesn’t mean style decisions are reduced : mono-colour jerseys can provide a timeless look or, they can be combined with coloured bib-shorts and socks to make a statement.
But. The real rider experience is in the touch. Hold a merino jersey in your hands and there is a distinct impression of a premium fabric. Because that’s what it is. Put in on and feel the difference. Ride in it, sweat in it, climb in it, descend in it, drink espresso in it, fix a puncture in it. Maybe you won’t notice it. That would be a good thing. A great cycling garment disappears during the ride and merino cycling jerseys are a fine example.