The Foundation of Fabric perfecting the Mountain bike jersey

by Zach May 29, 2013

What should mountain bike clothing be? Depending on who you ask, it’s not exactly an easy question to answer. To us, it was a matter of looking at what was already available and seeing just how far we could take it. In doing this, we ultimately kept our goal simple: make the very best kit possible. We believe that to do this, you have to use great fabrics which will improve the overall experience for the end-user. We think the fabric used on our SASTAN and Long Sleeve All-Mountain jerseys is proof of this.

Before our manufacturing partners in Vancouver could bring our goals to fruition, we had to first go about finding the right fabric that could do what every mountain bike jersey is expected to do: keep the wearer comfortable by breathing and wicking away moisture. But we also needed our jerseys to do what all the others jerseys don’t: survive repeated entanglements with branches, thorns, rocks, and everything else we encounter along the trail, season after season. Our search for that special fabric which would marry these contradictions ended with a highly technical yet sustainable Cordura/Merino wool blend from Australia.

Both of our feature-rich A/M  mountain bike jerseys use a fabric blend that is 27% New Zealand Merino Wool, and 73% Cordura nylon. These two yarns are knit into a uniquely two-sided piqué that puts the soft, moisture-wicking merino on the inside against your skin, and the tough Cordura facing the elements. Yes, it’s the same Cordura weave relied upon by military forces, outdoor pioneers, and gear connoisseurs around the world — the same fabric owning a legacy synonymous with unabashed durability and toughness. We love the all-natural, soft hand of merino wool, but always struggled with how most wool blends fail to retain their shape after repeated washings or survive even light abrasion. Acting as a retaining face fabric ‘shield’ of sorts, the Cordura addresses both of these issues in spades, while also adding in a subtle degree of warmth and water resistance. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that the merino lining components of the fabric let you ride without a baselayer if you so choose, as each jersey performs exceptionally well on its own in cool, to mild conditions. And for those colder, late fall rides or off-season snowbike tours, either jersey excels as a baselayer of its own when worn in conjunction with a robust shell, like our Mixed Shell Jacket. This is inherently the beauty of great fabric; it regulates your body temperature and keeps you comfortable and dry by wicking away moisture, while also protecting you (and itself) from damage after brushes with outstretched branches or an occasional fall.

With this incredibly durable and breathable fabric being perfectly tailored for riding and working hard, we knew that two versions with two feature sets made the most sense. Think of the SASTAN as our no-frills, fully-featured cold weather jersey. Quarter-zip for ventilation if needed, padding for added protection and wear resistance, and stretch cuffs in the sleeves to provide a comfortable seal with your gloves. Whether you wear it with or without a jacket, the idea is that it won’t be coming off until the end of the ride. Conversely with the Long Sleeve A/M (or “LSAM”) Jersey, you’ll find that we’ve optimized it for the more variable conditions you might expect with Spring and Fall riding. We removed the pads in the shoulders and sleeves to ensure a feathery overall weight and gave it a full-length zipper to allow you the choice of wearing it as a lightweight long-sleeve jersey or a baselayer.

So whether you choose to rip singletrack, bikepack, build trails, or simply relax around the campfire, we’re confident that you’ll quickly find that the immense versatility of our All Mountain jersey collection lends itself to a multitude of outdoor uses that extend beyond just riding. How you choose to wear yours should be limited only by how often you choose to wash off the mud.

You can shop the SASTAN Jersey here, or the Long Sleeve All-Mountain Jersey here.

[zp]

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