SmartWool Betasso Jersey
The Betasso mountain bike jersey is understated, but it has great functional aspects. The main body of the jersey uses their excellent SmartWool Merino Wool, while the underarms, side panels and outer shoulder use a mesh polyester for venting. There is a small zippered pocket of the left side, which is easy to use when wearing a hydration pack.
The jersey was very comfortable and soft, and it had a lot of stretchiness, so it was conformable, with useful give while moving around on the bike. The wool offered excellent moisture management, doing a thorough job of wicking and transpiring the perspiration, and I tended not to feel like I was soaked, even on the back underneath the hydration pack. Those great properties, meant it had low odors (no stink), which is always a nice attribute.
“Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges.”
Even with the great temperature regulation that wool provides, I got a toasty sometimes, and the lack of a front zipper for additional venting purposes, made it tough to make minor adjustments. I liked the relaxed fit, the long cut, the side vents, and the soft, itch free and warm Merino wool. The jersey was comfortable, with some nice features, all combined with the pleasant wool attributes.
SmartWool Betasso Jersey – Overall Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
- Raglan short-sleeve mountain jersey with drop tail cycling fit
- Mesh panels at underarms, sideseams, and over shoulders for venting
- 75% SmartWool, 25% polyester
- Fabric weight 170gm/m2
- Color – Orange
- MSRP: $95
SmartWool PhD Cycling Socks
The PhD Cycling Ultra Light 3/4 Crew Socks, use a SmartWool, and nylon blend, and are loaded with features, like WOW Technology (Wool on Wool), which has an additional layer of SmartWool in the high impact Zones, 4-Degree Fit System, which provides a four-point compression system for a secure and comfortable fit, and the usual SmartWool moisture and temperature regulation and odor control. The socks also come in two other shorter height versions, the Micro and the Mini.
I love these socks, and they totally rule, as they are comfortable, durable, breathe well and offer lots of cushioning for a thin sock. I tested their silver color, which is a bummer, since they tend to show dirt stains quite easily, and I think for mountain biking a slightly darker color would suffice? They are very durable, and have always kept their shape, even after repeated washings and tough mountain bike usage, and the 4-Degree Fit system is still going strong. One of the best parts of the socks, is that you don’t get stinky feet? One day I switched to a normal non wool sock, and I about gagged taking my shoes off, mostly because I had gotten so used to the amazing odor free properties of their wool blend. They are a pretty sweet smelling feature filled sock!
Overall Rating: 4.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers
- 68% Wool, 29% Nylon, 3% Elastic
- 4-Degree Fit System for all day performance fit
- WOW Technology™ in High Density Impact Zones to reduce shock & abrasion
- SmartWool inside for moisture, temperature, and odor control
- Duroyarn reinforcement for added comfort and durability
- Strategic mesh zones for maximum ventilation
- Cushioing: Ultra Light Cushioned
- Height: 3/4 Crew
- MSRP: $17.95
SmartWool Knee and Arm Warmers
I use the knee warmers pretty regularly, but I use them in a sort of strange setup. Except during cold days (below freezing), I wear shorts, along with knee pads, and use the knee warmers as shin warmers. I use them for warmth, and for scratch and ding protection, though the later is sort of worthless, since they are thin. I might look like a total geek head, but the system works well. As all the wool products, it has great temperature regulation, though I didn’t really test the moisture management, since I don’t sweat nor build up many odors on my shins?
It was nice to use the Arm and Knee warmers in their normal fashion, as they are easy to slip on, are comfortable, breathable and stretchy, and provide great warmth for those cusp days or temperature conditions which don’t warrant a jacket or tights.
Knee Warmers Specs:
- 1×1 rib welts at top and bottom keep kneewarmers in place
- Seamless construction for easy positioning and comfort
- Fabric: 64% merino wool, 31% nylon, 5% spandex
- $MSRP: 30
Arm Warmers Specs:
- 55% SmartWool Merino wool, 42% nylon, 3% elastic.
- Seamless construction for warmth with max freedom of movement.
- Non-binding 1×1 rib welt at wrist and bicep openings keep warmers in place.
- MSRP: $25