by Lars Hundley
- A new twist on merino wool, blended with 37.5 high tech fabric
- A wool jersey that fits like a regular jersey.
- UPF 50+ sun protection
- Reflective dots on the front and rear of jersey
- 168 gram claimed weight
- Might be too warm on rides over 85 degrees
- This high end jersey has a high end price to match
Price: $179 MSRP
Colors: 2 color choices
How obtained: Sample from company
RBR Sponsor: No
A classic cycling fabric gets a modern, high tech update and jersey design with the Ashmei Merino Wool KOM cycling jersey.
I’m a big fan of merino wool as a fabric. I regularly use socks, gloves, a long sleeved base layer and a helmet liner that are all made of merino wool. And that’s just my cycling gear! I love the way merino wool doesn’t pick up odors and does a great job in a wide variety of temperatures. It will generally keep me warm even when my helmet liner, gloves or base layer gets sweaty, but also doesn’t cause me to overheat when the temperatures go up.
When Ashmei offered to send me their KOM jersey to test, I was curious how a short sleeved jersey wool jersey would work out. Would it be too hot?
The answer is that up to maybe around 85 degrees, the jersey is perfectly acceptable. The wool blend is a little bit warmer than a typical high tech jersey fabric, but it has a very nice UPF rating of 50+, which keeps the sun from penetrating. If you live someplace that has hot summers, it probably wouldn’t make a good July or August jersey, but would be suitable for other seasons.
The fabric blend of the jersey is 65% merino wool and 35% 37.5 polyester. Wait, which is it!? To be clear, 37.5 polyester is a specific, high tech fabric, that uses particles made from volcanic sand to increase the surface area of the material and help move moisture away when you sweat. It’s a fabric that is generally only available in high end apparel like this jersey. The blend of of the two fabrics is claimed to wick 10 times faster than regular merino wool and to dry twice as fast.
If you’ve ever ridden a wool jersey that’s baggy and heavy feeling and looks like an antique reproduction, then you’ll be happy to hear that this jersey is nothing like that (unless you were planning to ride an eroica ride in it). The fabric is thin like a typical cycling jersey and it fits tight like you’d expect from a modern cycling jersey.
The KOM jersey has reflective dots printed on the front and back, which light up when a car shines its headlights on you and makes you easier to see in the dark, or at dawn or dusk. When testing the reflectivity with bike headlights, the dots were visible, but I would not describe them as super reflective. Still, I feel that any reflectivity at all makes a big difference with visibility from cars and found them a very welcome addition to the jersey. I generally ride early in the morning before daylight where reflective apparel and gear really plays a role.
You can wash the KOM jersey in cool water, but don’t use fabric softeners on it and don’t put it in the dryer.
The jersey features the standard three pockets in the rear, with an additional zippered pocket integrated into the right hand rear pocket that helps you keep something like your wallet or keys more secure.
If you like high end jerseys and are a fan of merino, you’ll be pleased with the KOM.