I remember walking in to a local bakery after a morning ride to sit down for a cup of coffee and some baked goods. They were pretty busy, leaving me few choices of places to sit. I chose the one of the remaining seats next to an older gentleman. Right as I sat down he said “young man you should take a shower before you come have breakfast next time, you won't pick up any ladies smelling like that.” Referring to my probably rather pungent B.O. smell that was greatly exaggerated thanks to my synthetic cycling jersey. After this encounter I have been on the search for other options to the traditional cycling garb.
Smartwool has always been a company I have been thoroughly impressed with, their socks and base layers have gotten me through numerous epic days in the mountains both in summer and in winter. For 2010, Smartwool has refocused their vision, cutting back on lifestyle pieces and refocusing once again on the active mountain lifestyle. This shift has brought about many new cycling related products that have been greatly redesigned from past models.
I got my hands on one of Smartwool’s new Betasso mountain bike jersey earlier this season and have had a chance to put it through its paces, both on and off the bike. With its 75% merino wool/ 25% polyester blend fabric it feels soft to the touch, but not fragile like many older style merino products. The jersey has a very nice casual fit to it, allowing for after ride socializing in style. Because of its fabric, it is also very resistant to smell absorption, keeping you smelling fresh or atleast not as bad.
Another brillant feature the Betasso offers is a zippered side pocket, positioned discretely in the left side panel, for a multi-tool or cell phone. I have used the pocket a bit but find it a little cumbersome if you have a larger phone. But the idea is that you have access to the pocket while wearing a pack, which is a nice usable feature.
Over the course of the season, the Betasso jersey has become my go to jersey no matter the ride. It’s a great piece if you find yourself hanging out after a ride without getting a chance to change clothes. You won’t be that guy everyone stares at if you wear it in to the grocery store, unlike traditional flashy cycling jerseys. With a variety of colors you can find one to match almost any personality. I would recommend the Betasso for any type of rider looking to add a functional yet stylish jersey to their collection. Because you don’t want to be referred to as that “stinky bike rider”.
For more info check out: Smartwool.com