It was an unseasonably cold winter in Miami. My pre dawn rides regularly saw temperatures in the 40’s. But no worries, my Ground Effect Baked Alaska jersey made cold and cool weather riding a pleasure. Good in temperatures up to 68F and when paired with the right weight base layer good right down to freezing.
The Baked Alaska is similar in concept to the Assos Intermediate Evo jersey but in natural blend fiber and at a fraction of the price. A wind stopper WindFoil™ fleece front panel keeps the chill from penetrating your core while Ground Effect’s soft breathable Heatwave Merino blend keeps you from overheating.
New Zealand based Ground Effect describes their Heatwave Merino as: A bi-component knit combining 62% merino wool and 38% polyester. The unrivalled properties of superfine 18.5 micron New Zealand merino wicks sweat away from your skin while the polyester provides a durable, non-pill outer. The polyester also repels moisture which avoids total saturation of the fabric – helping it to dry faster than 100% merino.
The combination works brilliantly in a wide range of temperatures. The jersey has two back pockets with zippers that have easy to grab tabs. The long sleeves are long enough to come over my gloves even with my long arms and have a loop that when pulled over your gloved thumb will keep the wind from blowing up your sleeves. Finally Ground Effect sews a tire patch into the back pocket for emergencies. A cute touch that didn’t survive the first wash. The jersey however looks like new after a season of hard use. Fit is closer to US then Euro cycling apparel.
A proper base layer extends the temperature range of the Baked Alaska right down to freezing. Icebreaker (another NZ apparel company) makes merino wool base layers in 3 weights (150g/m2, 200g/m2, 260g/m2) that are a perfect complement to your Baked Alaska, allowing you to tune your kit to match the weather.
At about $94. USD the Baked Alaska gets my vote as cycling kit bargain of the year.