- Sizes: S, M, L, XL (see chart)
Arm and cuff
Zipped rear security pocket with "backpack friendly" zip garage.
Front zip and collar
3 rear pocket configuation
Heatwave Merino — Mountain Biking Australia, Jul 10
Ground Effect has gone through a few incarnations of their 'Heatwave Merino' fabric over the past couple of years. To begin with, this summer weight fabric was quite cool indeed but very stretchy and saggy once you chucked a tube and a few gels in the back pockets.
The next generation was more supportive but a little too warm to be considered a warm weather garment. In its latest guise, Ground Effect has blended the merino with polyester; 50% New Zealand merino against your skin with the polyester on the outside (it was previously a merino/nylon blend). While you still can't overload the pockets in the same way as you can with a study full synthetic jersey, the new fabric is a lot more supportive and you can pack a reasonable amount of stuff into the rear pockets - a handy thing if you don't always ride with a pack. As with the earlier incarnations, the Merino fabric remains relatively odour free and remained comfortable in warmer conditions - say up to 25 degrees.
By John Hardwick, Editor of Mountain Bike Australia magazine.
Median Strip — Bicycles.net.au, Aug 10
If there's one thing New Zealanders do well, it's woollen things.
The Ground Effect Median Strip is a "Heatwave Merino" jersey. Heatwave Merino is part Merino wool and part polyester. The theory is that the material combines the comfort, warmth and low-odour properties of merino wool with the durability and moisture wicking ability of polyester.
The result is a material that feels significantly different to traditional lycra jerseys. It's much more comfortable, not in the "never-go-back-to-lycra" way, rather that the retro-grouches will love it (their words, not ours).
On that note, while the material is nice, the way it's constructed is incredible. The seams and shapes of the panels clearly identify this as a well-designed item. We wouldn't normally consider making note of it unless it was exceptionally poor. But in this case, it's one of the first things you notice. We would expect it to last very well.
Other notable features are zippered pockets and a repair patch sewn into the jersey - further evidence of the considerable thought that has gone into it.
While it may have been stitched together with a lot of forethought, the overall look doesn't give the impression of being a time consuming design masterpiece. You have the choice of silver with black zip and trimmings or orange with a white zip and trimmings. This style is characteristic thoughout most of Ground Effects' range and will either suit your taste or you may consider it boring. In any case, it's not a design that will "date" and this means it as a jersey that you will still be wearing in 5 or 10 years' time.
One thing that we ought to mention is the size. It's very large. The "Medium" feels at least the same size as a "Large". If you want a tight Euro-fit, you'll need to go almost two sizes smaller than usual. Though if you don't mind a looser, T-Shirt-style fit, then the larger size may suit you.
The jersey is an adequate performer. It removes sweat fine and there's not much more to say. It doesn't perform noticeably better or worse than traditional jerseys and shouldn't be a problem on hot summer days, though it does provide slightly more warmth in winter.
A fine jersey that, while rather plain, is very well built and comfortable.
You prefer a conservative look
You want your clothing to last for years
You appreciate quality; and
You are a retro-grouch
By Danny Beveridge, Bicycles.net.au
Median Strip — Cycling Plus (UK), Jul 10
If you find that you struggle with odour issues wearing jerseys made from man-made materials, then it might be worth considering Ground Effect's New Zealand-made Median top, which combines a merino inner for breathability and polyester for quick drying. It has two very large rear zipped pockets and a hem free of any elastic. It's a loose fitting, comfortable top, with a three-quarter length zip to further help keep you cool. Do check Ground Effect's sizing though, as Kiwi chaps are obviously big - its large is designed for 42-44in chests.
Well made and loose-fitting top for all but the hottest days. 8/10
Median Strip — What Mountain Bike (UK), Sep 09
New Zealand- based Ground Effect produces award- winning Merino wool bike gear mostly for its own market, which has weather much like ours.
This 215g short sleeve Merino number uses Heatwave fabric which blends a soft Merino inner with a hard wearing outer layer. This two-layer technology works well, not getting sweaty as we'd feared when we read 'polyester' in the spec. The jersey cut is on the athletic side and there are twin rear pockets with zip closure. It's easy to forget there are two not three rear pockets , and we amused our fellow riders by trying to find a third pocket mid- ride. A neat touch, the lower hem is left unelasticated which helps the jersey sit flat over shorts - a small detail that others could do well to copy. It comes in blue, white or stealthy black.
When you hear riders harp on about the great performance of Merino wool, it's easy to say "it's just a jersey". But when you finally try a Merino jersey like the Median Strip we think you'll probably change your tune and become a convert.
"Cosy warm or chilled out, Merino wool can do it all." Rating: 4.5/5
Median Strip — Mountain Biking Australia, Feb 07
New Zealand has had long had a love affair with sheep - in a healthy way that is. They have a strong outdoors culture and often use high quality natural fibres, such as merino wool in their clothing. Ground Effect uses merino wool in a number of their winter garments and has recently introduced a merino jersey for summer use. Given the nature of their climate I am not surprised! But seriously, this new 'Median Strip' merino jersey is genuinely intended for warm weather riding.
They call the material 'Heatwave Merino' and it is made from 55% merino wool and 45% polyester. It is very fine and you can see through it when it is held up to the light. The cut is a little looser than a 'race oriented' jersey but it is not super baggy either. It has two angled pockets in the back with a zippered pocket between them. Don't load the pockets up too much as the material is quite soft and the jersey will sag down over your bum.
The merino blend feels nice and soft to touch - it is not scratchy in any way. I found that it was cool and pleasant to wear on all but the hottest days. The 3/4 length zip helps by allowing plenty of airflow when required. I used the Median Strip in the Highland Fling where it was close to 30 degrees with cloud cover and it felt fine. The only occasion where I felt that an ultra - light synthetic would have been cooler was under the beating sun on the Stromlo course in Canberra. While it may feel a little hot on a 30 plus degree day, it felt better than a light synthetic across a broader temperature range. The merino wool was more comforting if there was a light chill in the air.
Its best feature would have to be its odour resistance. I normally wash my cycling jerseys after each ride. The Median Strip went for multiple rides with no noticeable stink - at least I couldn't smell it! The odour resistance combined with its ability to feel comfortable across a broad temperature range would have to make this my jersey of choice on a multi - day ride or Polaris. At around $105 is not that expensive for a merino garment. As the catalogue suggests, the Median Strip is a good choice for all but the hottest days.
Article by John Hardwick
A bi-component thermal fabric combining 51% merino wool and 49% polyester. Superfine 18.5 micron New Zealand merino wicks sweat away from your skin while the polyester provides a durable, non-pill outer. Lightweight at just 160gm/m2 and machine washable. Developed by Ground Effect and knitted for us in New Zealand.
- Composition: 51% merino; 49% polyester
Man vs Wild
Merino is unrivalled for comfort as a body layer. It absorbs more moisture than synthetic fibres, mopping up excess sweat rather than letting it settle and cool on your skin. However high-aerobic activities like cycling will often overload ordinary merino. Heatwave's polyester component repels moisture to avoid total saturation of the fabric - so it dries faster to keep you toasty.
Heatwave™ Merino tops are intended to hug your body, ensuring the fabric sits against your skin to wick sweat away - keeping you dry and not chilling out.
Hot 'n' Cold
As a single garment Heatwave™ Merino regulates your temperature through a wide range of conditions. Delivering comfort in all but the hottest climes. Yet it is versatile enough to layer under a WindFoil™, Vortex™ or HydroFoil™ shell in winter.
This chart is a guide only – if you fall in-between sizes, the right size for you will depend on your body shape and how loose or tight you like to wear your clothes. It's no hassle to swap it, if your first choice is not the best fit.
169 - 178 cm
175 - 185 cm
183 - 191 cm
98 - 104 cm
105 - 111 cm
112 - 118 cm
73 - 79 cm
80 - 86 cm
87 - 93 cm
94 - 100 cm
87 - 95 cm
96 - 103 cm
104 - 111 cm
112 - 120 cm
Unisex vs Women's Sizes
Most Ground Effect designs are unisex. The jackets, tights and baggy tops generally fit both men and women equally well. Fitted garments like cycle shorts and some tops are more gender specific so there is generally a women's version in the Outskirts range.
Some Ground Effect designs have an additional 'fit' description to help guide your sizing choice.
Closer fitting tops and jackets with less flap. Typically favoured by disciples of the tarmac, intent on travelling hard and fast. Size up if you need more room.
Also describes the Snug-as-a-Bug fit of Heatwave™ Merino bodywear. These tops are intended to hug your body, ensuring the fabric sits against your skin to wick sweat away — keeping you dry and not chilling out.
Middle-of-the-road comfort for all-purpose riding. Not too tight or too loose — just right for most cyclists in most conditions.
Big and breezy to match your attitude. Lets the breeze blow up your kilt and helps ease the transition from singletrack to café. The default choice when matching with baggy shorts.
Middle-of-the-road luxury for backcountry warriors, tarmac heroes and retro-grouches. Odour resistant Heatwave™ Merino is cool enough to wear on all but the hottest summer days. Walk the line.
> Heatwave™ hi-performance bodywear combines a merino inner layer with a fast-drying polyester outer.
> Long front zip for venting.
> Raglan sleeves.
> Rear security pocket and twin elasticised angle-pockets.
> 'Backpack-friendly' rear zip slider garage.
> WhaleTail™ covers your back.
> No-elastic hem.
> Sewn in emergency tube repair patch, because you can never be too well-prepared.
> Weight: 220 gm.
> Made by us in New Zealand.
What is the difference between the Median Strip, Road Rage and Stingray?
> All share similar design features: long zips, high collars, rear pockets and short sleeves. The main difference is in the fabric.
> The Heatwave merino used in the Median Strip is used extensively in our clothing range, for use in both hot and cold climes, and is versatile enough to wear as an insulation layer in winter.
> The Road Rage and Stingray are summer specific designs. Their lightweight HyperActive fabric is packed with technology to keep you cool and dry as. The bi-component knit backs a sharp-looking polyester outer with a smooth layer of nano-charcoal polyester against your skin. Nano-charcoal disperses sweat to accelerate evaporation and is naturally anti-microbial to fight nasty smells. The fabric dries at the speed of light - great when reduced to hand washing on tour - and even performs its quick-drying magic in the wet under a rain jacket.
> With these summer-weight tops, the Road Rage has a slim, 'performance' fit, while the Stingray is a standard, relaxed fit. The Road Rage has an additional rear centre stretch pocket for stashing heavy or bulky stuff - letting you keep your payload in balance.
Why is Heatwave Merino so comfortable next-to-skin?
> Heatwave combines the comfort, warmth and low-odour properties of merino wool with the durability of polyester. Merino wool absorbs more moisture than synthetic fibres like polyester or polypropylene. This makes it very effective in dealing with excess sweat - it is absorbed into the fabric rather than settling (and cooling) on your skin. The polyester component repels moisture which avoids total saturation of the fabric - helping it to dry faster. The strength of the polyester also maintains the shape of the garment and minimises wear 'n' tear and pilling.
> The Baked Alaska and Popsicle are intended to be used as a stand alone cycle top in cool, as opposed to cold, conditions.
> The Ristretto, Model T, Robin Hood, Submerino and Hot Toddy are all base layers - best worn directly against your skin.
> The Median Strip, Berglar and Flying Nun are riding jerseys, with additional features including three rear pockets and long front zips. For use in both hot and cold climes and versatile enough to wear as an insulation layer in winter.
> Try to avoid cold-water detergents, those with bleach, fabric softener or 'oxygen whitener'. Bleach rots natural fibres like wool. Sodium Percarbonate (the main ingredient in oxygen whitener) can make colours run. Fabric softener can do both.
> Warm machine wash, 40°C.
> Where possible look for a product with a neutral pH level (pH 7) to avoid damaging the wool. As a rule of thumb, product that is easy on the planet is also easy on your body. Select a mild plant-based soap like Ecover, Ecostore, Earthwise or Aware.
> Wash colours separately.
> Most Ground Effect gear dries super-fast so drying on the line or hanging over the bedpost does the trick. Or use a dryer on a warm (not hot) cycle.