Mons Royale Introduce New Standards in Merino Apparel

Jul 15, 2020
by Mons Royale  

Press Release: Mons Royale

There’s nothing like a new so-called “standard” to get a Pinkbike forum-dwelling mountain biker interested. New steerer diameters, hub widths, wheel sizes, freehubs, chains, cassettes and bar/stem interfaces - We know you love them, so here goes – we’re gonna give you two.

Introducing Merino Air-Con and Merino Shift. Enhanced natural wool fabrics that make everything that you’ve been riding your bike in ‘til now more dated than last season’s effective seat tube angle. You simply won’t be able to ride without them.

The FDA banned Triclosan from soap in 2016 because of its effect on your mitochondria. So the question in 2020 is why would you wear a fabric that contains something like that next to your skin?
Why? Put simply, because mountain bikers stink. Well maybe you don’t but that polypropylene riding top you’ve been sporting for the last couple of seasons does. Made from some sort of “technical” fabric, it’s actually just crude oil in woven form with a moto inspired print on it. Wear it during high output activity (like pushing up that hill you can’t clean because you haven’t upgraded to that new 53 tooth bottom gear) and it’s eventually going to develop some fairly unpleasant odours.

It’s not your sweat per-se, it’s what happens when the microbes on your skin react with your sweat. Soak up that microbial soup with a polypro fibre and you’ve got a recipe for some robust olfactory sensations. To try to prevent this plenty of companies have integrated anti-odour treatments into their fabrics, like Triclosan or silver, but here’s a PSA: the FDA banned Triclosan from soap in 2016 because of its effect on your mitochondria (cell components that play a role in reproduction and other functions) So the question in 2020 is why would you wear a fabric that contains something like that next to your skin?

We know that natural is better. (Bamboo frames excepted).

New Zealands Finest Merino Wool
Microscopic View of Merino Wool Fibres

Why does merino wool resist those odours? Well, it’s because it has a natural structure that prevents bacteria from attaching in the way it does to man-made fibres. Man-made fibres are smooth. Merino fibres have a microscopic scaled surface, like the bark of a tree, that helps lock away the problem and keep you fresh.

But that’s not all...

Merino regulates temperature. There’s nothing worse than feeling the heat start to climb up your back quarter of the way into a massive climb…knowing that when you reach the alpine, you’re going to turn into an ice block after losing all that heat you’ve built up, to the sweat-soaked sponge that is now your shirt.

It’s like a natural climate-control system.

How? Merino sheep originated in mountainous areas of the Iberian peninsula, and they thrive in extreme summer and winter climates. Their wool has evolved to keep them warm and dry in the cold, while simultaneously helping to regulate their temperature when it gets hot.

Photo: ZQ Merino

So when the merino sheep was introduced to the mountains of New Zealand, where the summers are warm and the winters icy cold, they were like “This is sick bro! What a great place to progress the species and shred grass with our flock.” (Srsly). Perfectly adapted to the mountain environment, these sheep are able to lend us their excess coat each spring to aid our own adaptation to activity at altitude.
bigquotesThis is sick bro! What a great place to progress the species and shred grass with our flock.Merino Sheep

No, we’re not trying to fleece you. And we’d never attempt to pull the wool over your eyes with a marketing stunt. It really works.

And the best bit?

Our wool is ethical. We work with ZQ Merino to source all of our fibres. The ZQ supply chain means we can be certain that the farmers we purchase from ensure their sheep live by the Five Freedoms. It also means that the wool in every Mons Royale garment is traceable to the exact farm from which it came and each of the farms they live on are consistently audited. Happy sheep produce better, stronger fibres, which means ZQ Merino represents the highest standards in quality too.

Rider: FreeRads Photo: Jay French

So, let’s cut to the chase: We’ve got you covered for high performance riding apparel.

Whether you’re a lift-riding park rat or a downcountry stravista; enduro bro or charged-up e-biker, our new standards in merino apparel will keep you cool on the hottest days, warm on the cool ones and comfortable on everything in between. Oh yeah – and we’ve even got garments in the new collection that don’t have billboard size logos on the front. In case that’s not your thing.

Rider: Paula Zibasa Photo: Jay French
Merino Air-Con
“New standard” #1 is Merino Air-Con for all-weather performance. We’re eternal optimists here at Mons, but time in the saddle has taught us that it ain’t sunny every day and that glorious mornings sometimes turn into hellish afternoons. But that shouldn’t inhibit your riding, which is why we created Merino Air-Con, our go-to fabric for any condition. Developed for all-weather versatility, Air-Con ensures you remain comfortable through variations of altitude, humidity and temperature.

How?” you ask? Well, we wrapped a core of nylon and elastane in a tight, but tough hug of fine merino wool. This enabled us to retain all the inherent benefits of merino in a yarn that’s significantly stronger than wool alone. Merino Air-Con is a super-light fabric that is soft, highly breathable and dries quickly. So, whatever the trail or the weather throws your way, all you’ll have to worry about is making your line.

Rider: FreeRads Photo: Jay French
Merino Shift
“New standard” #2 is Merino Shift. Are you that person that runs a little hot? Get 5 minutes into a ride and look like you’ve taken a detour off-trail for a fully-clothed dip in a nearby river? Then this one’s for you. We developed Merino Shift to offer even faster wicking performance for high output activities. Merino Shift is a blended yarn that combines the next-to-skin comfort and temperature regulation of merino, with the fast wicking properties of polyester.

Working with team riders (like Conor Macfarlane) has taught us a thing or two about durability. Boy knows his gnar, so our Merino Shift yarn has been blended to be tough enough to cope with the demands of heavy hitting riders.

Find out more on our website.

MENTIONS: @monsroyale @jayfrench @PaulaZibasa


  • 34 8
 Gotta chill with the BRANDING. I'm not paying that kind of money to be your billboard.
  • 4 0
 The bottom blue T shirt isn't too bad
  • 3 1
 Have to agree here. Like there stuff, hate that people ask what MONS means.
  • 2 1
 Yeah! Mountain biking is in this weird moment where it's the en vogue casual lifestyle cycling sport, and it means the branding has to be so brash.
  • 9 1
 Hey SirNotAppearing - duly noted, we know heavily branded kit's not for everyone. But hey, if you don't dig it there's probably something less branded that might suit you in our new collection.
  • 2 2
 This is wear e.g., Ice Breaker really shines (if you can find it on sale). Plain 100% merino t-shirt with no graphics.
  • 3 0
 @tlilly: The reason behind the name is because we are from the mountains, and we make apparel for the mountains. In latin, Mons means Mountain and Royale is a nod towards 'King of the mountain' if you will - or the premium quality of our product.

The other sub story is Mons actually started with Base Layer/Underwear with our roots in snow - the vision was to inspire a life of action and adventure, and shake up the base layer industry, bringing performance and style to an other wise stale space. We've also always been about duality or equal action between women and men - hence Mons relating the feminine side (Mons Pubis) the Royale the masculine side.. (Mans Jewels...)

Side note - Mons backwards and upside down reads SNOW - thanks @brookscurran Wink
  • 17 1
 Mons is excellent. if it's on sale..
  • 2 0
 That was my first thought, if there's new gear coming in then the older clothing will be discounted to something more sensible Smile
  • 5 0
 Very true, it's crazy expensive here but when I was in Queenstown NZ it was on sale for a great price, I bought a jersey and that wool malarky is legit. Nice and cool and wicks moisture well. I'm a fan when it's 50% off Smile
  • 13 0
 Some of the best and most comfortable clothing I have, whether for skiing or biking!
  • 3 0
 Hey @geoffcalv - Stoked to hear that!
  • 7 0
 I have always been a bit of a troy lee tart but find myself lately changing out to Mons and think there image is growing and don't mind the branding on the garments as find it high quality and much better feel wearing it with changing conditions we have in NZ at the momment and always feel proud to be a Kiwi Brand. Keep it up team
  • 5 0
 Pretty sure “just crude oil in woven form with a moto inspired print on it” is actually a selling point for a significant number of mountain bikers, sadly. If you haven’t tried Mons Royale stuff, you owe it to yourself to grab a jersey and feel the difference. It’s nice.
  • 4 0
 Bought a shirt of them some years ago and loved the material.. and got hooked. Now my closet consists of more Mons than other stuff (yes.. invested a small fortune.. never regret it).
Wash them with wool/merino detergent (Nikwax) and protect them with a washing bag.. And you‘ll be stunned about how long they are going strong.

@Mons: New Materials are fine, but if the prints stick together after washing, that‘s uncool!! Please solve that some day.
  • 3 0
 @Shaggey - Stoked to hear from such a fan! What prints have you had issues with? A few years ago we had an issue with the print on the original Redwood V T's - since then we've changed how we're printing it and this should now be solved for you!
  • 4 0
 “mitochondria (cell components that play a role in reproduction and other functions)”?
Reproduction is not the first thing that springs to mind, when I think of mitochondria. They form a central hub in cellular metabolism and probably best known For their role in aerobic respiration, i.e. Making ATP.
  • 4 0
 Love Mons Royale redwood Enduro Jersey’s.
Been rocking them for awhile and it is true, you can wear it all day and don’t stink at the bar after a day of shredding.
Highly recommend!
  • 2 0
 Cheers @ryandodgeshaw, it's been a crowd favorite for a while now - and actually our OG bike T.
  • 3 0
 @monsroyale have you done anything in regards to the longevity of your products? The gear looks and feels great but then slowly starts to develop holes in the fabric. I had a base layer and a 3/4 Jersey and both did the same thing after approx 6 months.
  • 2 0
 Hey @instarrdan - What products are you referring to that you've had? I'm assuming the 3/4 jersey was a merino/tencel blend - which was awesome for hot days, but unfortunately lacked durability. Potentially the other fabric was our old 170gsm, which we had that issue with.

As the article reads, we've moved to Merino Air-Con and Merino Shift for longer lasting durability here. We've been using merino Air-Con for a few years now, whereas Merino Shift is new this year.
  • 2 0
 I bought some Icebreaker merino clothing (hoodies) 10 years ago. Uber Yeti prices but my god its great! Wears well, extremely well made and doesn't smell when left unwashed for 3 months of backpacking around South America!

@monsroyale My only concern about this stuff is how would wearing a pack for 3-4 hours rides affect the contact / rub points? I'd hate to see it 'bobble' and wear through after a season.
  • 3 0
 @Mfro - it's hard to go back once you've gone to wool, stoked to hear your experience with it!

Both our Air-Con and Shift fabrics have been developed with long rides and wear in mind, we haven't had any issues with packs or hip packs rubbing and causing pilling or holes. The merino shift is more durable, so if you are at all concerned that would be the route to go down.

We also have a one year warranty, so any issues that shouldn't have occurred are covered.
  • 2 0

Thank you
  • 2 0
 I love Mons Royale's gear & due to the price, it's taken me a while to buy myself a couple of jerseys. I own two women's raglan jerseys. This is a really silly and minor issue to raise, but I can't get over it. The modelling of the gear on the website puts me off a bit. Somehow makes the images feel a bit dated in contrast with Mons Royale's imagery in other marketing material e.g. instagram or even this article.
  • 2 0
 Bought my first Mons long sleeve 7 years ago and it's still going strong! I wear it pretty much every time I ride can't rate mons enough! P.S @monsroyale do you have anymore green and yellow Conner caps floating round?
  • 3 0
 Hey @as-capture - rad to hear that, we may have one or two in samples in NZ, where are you based?
  • 1 0
 @monsroyale: that would be sweet! based in chch
  • 1 0
 I have the air con Temple Tech hoody, and it is great. Great fit, great feel, thin fabric with part synthetic so it dries fast. Mesh back, and a hood that actually works! Best baselayer ever. Defintely want to try some of the bike jerseys.
  • 4 0
 Wouldn't air-con make more sense for the one intended for max cooling?
  • 4 0
 Hey @bigbrett - By definition Air Conditioning is "a system for controlling the humidity, ventilation, and temperature in a building or vehicle, typically to maintain a cool atmosphere in warm conditions."

This isn't just controlling 'heat', rather keep you cool when its hot and warm when it's not. Granted it lends itself to a more common understanding of 'Air-Con keeps you cool' - when really what it's doing is controlling your body's ecosystem through a variety of temperatures
  • 4 0
 @monsroyale: ah. I see. Well either way, love your stuff....especially for skiing. interested in trying it for mountain biking.

Your Yotei Powder hoodie is one of my favorite pieces of gear. Only complaint is that the sleeves could be a hair longer and the thumb loops aren't reinforced that strongly so I always break them! Otherwise one of my favorite pieces of kit.
  • 3 0
 @bigbrett: Thanks! Give it a go... you won't go back Wink

And noted on the thumb loops, it's and issue we've been aware of for a while. It's such a hard wear and tear area - and the 190gsm 100% merino wool in the Yotei is strong, but it's just about impossible to reinforce that area to keep it bombproof.

We're working on a little fix for this... keep your eyes peeled!
  • 3 3
 What technical riding apparel brand uses polypropylene for jerseys? That's like 30 year old Helly Hansen base layer stuff that stinks. It's almost all polyester these days, which is what's blended with Merino in the Shift stuff Mons is launching. Hard to hate on something they themselves are using.
Also most anti-odor treatments these days that are in use are silver based (Polygene, HeiQ), not much out there from premium brands that use Triclosan.
Nice with the ZQ cert though, also stuff that's certified by Woolmark is good as well. Both make sure the animals are not harmed when the wool is harvested.
  • 1 0
 Sorry, meant to upvote, thick finger ended up down voting you.
  • 2 0
 Thanks for the info. Might have to try a higher quality wool. Do like your socks quite a bit. Friend has your liners and swears by them.
  • 4 1
 My problem is when I see the word Mons i go straight to mons pubis...NRB!
  • 5 0
 Hey @nwtoney55 - Your right, that's definitely related to our roots.

That said - the real reason behind the name is because we are from the mountains, and we make apparel for the mountains. In latin, Mons means Mountain, Royale is a nod towards 'King of the mountain' if you will - or the premium quality of our product.

But back to Mons Pubis and an underlying back story for you. Mons actually started with Base Layer/Underwear - with a purpose to shake up the base layer industry, bringing performance and style to an other wise stale space. We've also always been about duality or equal action between women and men - hence Mons relating the feminine side (Mons Pubis) the Royale the masculine side.. (Mans Jewels...)
  • 3 0
 certified for no mulesing, props to that
  • 2 0
 Do you guys have a distributor in Norway?
  • 2 0
 Hi @anyexcusetoride - We sure do, best way to find a local retailer is to head over to and use the store locator
  • 7 10
 How can a company sell its self as having morals, your gear is made in Chinese sweatshops. A country that's presently caused the world so much harm. Neither mind the human atrocities that happen daily to Tibetans and Uighurs. Plus the inhumane treatment of animals. Ivory trade, I could go on. But its kind to your skin, boy you must have thick skin to wear modern slave trade clothes.
  • 5 0
 You don’t own anything made in China?
  • 5 0
 Because all Chinese people are the same and are therefore all 1.3 billion people are complicit in the actions of their government which they have little power to elect?

Tackle these atrocities of what's happening at present, but painting with such a broad brush is plain ignorance and hypocritical at best (you don't own anything made in China? Yeah make me luxury items I can afford, but you're still scum).

Don't know how you sleep at night, must be riddled with guilt knowing how your First Nations people are being treated at present.
  • 3 0
 Hi @Skerr - It's a shame that you have a preconceived idea about what factories are like in China. China is home to some of the worlds leading manufactures in the textiles industry.

Our factories in China are at the forefront of merino garment quality and production with the best technology we have found. Our factories are held to an extremely high ethical and sustainability standard and are audited regularly, our Mons Royale product team visit the factories 3-4 times a year and we have 3rd party contractors based on the ground doing regular audits and check-ins to make sure our manufacturing partners keep to the standards they promise.

Mons Royale is proud to partner with Shanghai Challenge Textiles, an innovative world-class manufacturer specialising in merino wool. It's about as far as your can get from a 'sweatshop'.

The state-of-the-art facility is located on the outskirts of Shanghai and employs 2500 workers who operate a vertical factory system to knit, dye and finish a variety of merino wool fabrics. The garment production utilises the most modern, automated technology to produce premium product for their brand partners.

Solar powered offices, top working conditions and workers' rights plus a new high tech, on site water treatment and recycling system, have all resulted in an impressive list of certifications: Oeko-Tex 100 - Confidence in Textiles, ISO 9001 and 14001. All dyes used are bluesign® resulting in superior colourfastness while guaranteeing the application of sustainable ingredients. BlueSign is one of the highest globally recognised standards in responsible and sustainable manufacturing of textile consumer products. There is also an in-house certified testing lab with a team of full-time colour and fabric testing experts.

They have a very strict quality control process in the company. Their quality assurance team of over 200 people report directly to the CEO and they have one unified inspection center where 100% of the garments are checked. In regards to their employees their turnover rate is less than 5%. They put an emphasis on a green and comfortable environment in the factory.

SCT is also the first manufacturer in Shanghai to be awarded the new Chinese Environmental Certification and also holds certification from Woolmark and Responsible Wool Standard.

I hope this gives you more context not only on where our morals stand, but also into the textiles industry in China.
  • 1 2
Yep, thick skin and transparent
  • 1 1
Very little, sometimes there's no choice, but other than phone, laptop and the odd pair of shoes. I don't .
  • 1 3
 Looks nice but gotta pass. Merino makes me want to peel my skin off with a carrot peeler.
  • 7 0
 Hey @oldfut - Interesting, what Merino Wool have you tried? Merino can be very different between brands and their products - depending on where they source there wool from and what micron they're using - plus what they blend it with.

As explained above, our wool comes from ZQ merino and is an 18.5 micron. Wool is measured in microns and is available from 12 microns to 35 microns. For no-itch next-to-skin, the merino wool needs to be below 20 micron, and 23 micron for socks. If you were to make a next-to-skin out of 21 micron wool, the fibres will cause the wearer to feel itchy, as they do not bend when they hit the skin. This is your itchy next-to-skin wool.
  • 2 0
 @monsroyale: I can wear merino/cashmere socks with no problem. In fact I have a couple pairs of yours. Unfortunately anything above mid calf and I have issues. Tried some merino from backcountrys house brand and just couldn’t do it. Also have the same issue with certain synthetics, has to return an arcteryx button down and gifted a friend two TLD t-shirt riding jerseys because of the itch. I just have sensitive skin. ????
  • 2 0
 @oldfut: Rad to hear you have a couple pairs of our socks, hope they're working well for you! While we can't speak for Backcountrys wool, perhaps it was certain blend of merino with synthetic that caused the irritation? Sounds like the Arc and TLD jerseys are doing the same thing, which suggests that synthetic could be a cause of irritation.

Typically, if you have merino wool against the skin (like Merino Air-Con) you'll experience that super soft feel of the small micron. It's also known to be non allergenic, doing miracles for style-lovers with sensitive skin. Research shows that wearing merino wool T-shirts or sweaters reduces adult and infant eczema symptoms impressively compared to other fabrics. This hypoallergenic fiber treats your skin softly and with great care.

That said, while it's very rare some people can have a wool allergy which is caused from lanolin — a protective, waxy layer that covers every strand of sheep hair. This is very rare though - A review in 2001 of more than 24,000 people with high risk for allergies showed only 1.7% of them actually reacted to lanolin.
  • 1 0
And regarding Lanolin, remover that’s what most nursing mothers use as ointment against chapping.

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