Ibex has been a company I’ve been watching for a while. I love their clean style and handsome clothing. Over the past few months I’ve put to the test their Indie Full Zip Short Sleeve Jersey, Giro Short Sleeve Mountain Jersey, Giro Neo Long Sleeve Jersey and the Duo Short. Riding them around all of Southern California, I’ve discovered the pros and cons of each item. Read on to find my thoughts of each item of clothing.
There are some general comments that apply to all of the clothing that I would first like to mention. I wanted to highlight this in each review but that would have been very repetitive. So here they are in summary:
The Ibex clothing have all the advantages of wool namely: breath-ability, wicking and odor resistance. I have not had to spray any of the clothing (except for the pad on the Duo Short) with my Isopropyl/Water mixture like I do with all of my synthetic clothing blends. I love that even when I’m sweating, I don’t stink. Because good wool clothing will exhibit these traits, I will not mention these attributes in the article.
I am extremely impressed with the construction of Ibex’s cycling gear. I have found the seams to be impressive and the material has been of very high quality. After months of riding, I thoroughly examined each article of clothing and I have not found a loose thread or any issues with the durability of the clothing at all. This is definitely high quality stuff.
Indie Full Zip SS Jersey
Indie Full Zip Short Sleeve Jersey: lightweight jersey
The Indie Full Zip Short Sleeve Jersey is a very good light weight jersey. I wore this jersey throughout most of the summer and into the early fall. It is comfortable and the wool material is very breathable. The Indie is definitely on the lightweight side. This is not described in the website material but it is akin to riding a normal lightweight jersey.
Pros: the Indie is lightweight material is great for the hotter days. I’ve worn this jersey in 90+ degree weather and I am quite comfortable in it. The full zip front was useful on those warmer days. I liked that the jersey never looked worn even after many washes. The 3 rear pockets are useful for very light items such as keys, gels a couple of granola bars.
lack of elastic waistband made it difficult to carry heavier objects comfortably
Cons: no elastic waistband. This missing ingredient renders the Indie useless to hold water bottles in the rear pockets which is a necessity in a jersey of this design. The times I did put a water bottle in the rear pocket, I could only put it in the center pocket and after a short time, without the elastic waist, the weight of the water bottle would drag the rear of my shirt down rendering it both saggy and uncomfortable. Not exactly a good look for me, or anyone else for that matter. I ended up never being comfortable with a water bottle in the back of the Indie.
The Indie’s lightweight material and good looks made this jersey great for warm weather riding. The lack of elastic in the waist area made it difficult and uncomfortable to carry a full water bottle. When I finished my water bottle and stuffed an empty bottle in the back pocket, the lack of elastic in the waist area was a non-factor.
Giro SS Mountain Jersey
Giro Short Sleeve Mountain jersey, half zip, very comfortable
The Giro Short Sleeve Mountain jersey is a heavier weight short sleeve half zip jersey. It does not rock the deep pockets found on the Indie, but instead has a small pocket in the rear offset from the center for keys, although my wallet fit comfortably as well.
Pros: Without deep rear pockets, I used this jersey on longer rides when I would carry a hydration pack. As you can see in the picture below, the rear pocket was not in the way of my hydration pack. I also used it on shorter rides when I could carry enough hydration on the bike. The Giro shines with or without a hydration pack. The breathability of the jersey is key for this and the wool material does a great job feeling comfortable even with a full hydration pack on. The lack of pockets does not really bother me, rather it helps me define when to go with the Giro jersey: when I want to wear a hydration pack. I did get to crash test this jersey and it held up fine during a mild tumbler.
One small offset pocket in the rear made wearing hydration bags very comfortable
Cons: The offset rear pocket is only useful for very light items. Heavier items will be felt and since it is offset from the center (back right), you shirt will definitely feel a little off-balance. I originally stuck my wallet in the back pocket. My wallet is always heavy with at least a few dozen Benjamin’s and about the same number of credit/id cards. This immediately felt awkward and unbalanced. It pulled on the jersey a tad bit which, after a few miles, became annoying. I found a better spot for the wallet, the side of the trail (j/k!), and tossed just my car keys – which I always trim down to just the key + keyring for rides – into the rear pocket for the remainder of the ride. This worked out a lot better and I kept that in mind for rides in the Giro sans hydration pack.
The soft but heavier wool of the Giro made for a versatile jersey that could be worn in a larger temperature range than the Indie. The high quality material was resistant to my fall and the design made it easy to know when to choose this jersey to wear: when I need a hydration pack. The lone offset pocket made for a comfortable hydration pack to back interface but when in use, the offset pocket could really only hold VERY light objects.
Giro Neo Full Zip LS Jersey
Giro Neo Full Zip Long Sleeve Jersey. Easily, my favorite wool jersey
The Giro Neo Full Zip Long Sleeve Jersey is a looker. In fact the first thing I asked my wife when I got the clothing from Ibex was: can I wear this instead of my jacket out to dinner tonight? She promptly said “no” and probably mumbled under her breath about my lunacy. Understandable response but the Giro Neo was and is a handsome jersey.
Pros: sharing the same thickness of wool as the Giro Short Sleeve Mountain jersey, the Giro Neo’s long sleeves meant that I was riding with this into much colder weather (down to the upper 40’s) without issue. On a day that started in the thirties and hit the upper 60’s, I started off with the Giro Neo and a jacket, then switched to the Giro Neo solo and was able to stuff my cycling jacket into one of the generous back pockets. With the full zipper down the front I was really able to stretch the usefulness of this jersey into the upper 60’s before the long sleeves became too warm. The Giro Neo does have a well functioning elastic waistband so I was able to stick water bottles in the rear pocket.
A little bit of pilling action due to sending it through the dryer. Ibex clearly states not to send it through the dryer… doh.
Cons: not suitable for the dryer. OK, I’ll admit it: I don’t wash my own clothes. For the most part, the wifie does it for me and for that I am very grateful. However, because she washes my clothes for me, she does tend to forget that certain clothing should not go in the dryer, namely my wool. What happens, it tends to pill a little and not look as smooth. Does it affect the functionality of the clothing? No but the pilling detracts from the finish. I admit it, I am vain. I still rock the Giro Neo and will continue to do so because it is an awesome jersey otherwise.
The Giro Neo has been my favorite item of clothing from Ibex. It is versatile and the rear pockets are much more useful than the Indie Full Zip SS jersey. The pilling is really my fault but I still like the Giro Neo anyway.
Duo Short: comfortable and versatile, can be warn in hot or cold weather
The Duo Short is not all wool. It has some lycra in certain panels to give it some stretch which was surprising but welcome. As a mountain biker I tended to wear these Duo Shorts with a shell.
Pro: I was admittedly apprehensive wearing these shorts when the weather was warm. I should not have been. This short works well in both cold and warm weather. Over the past few months I’ve ridden them in 80 degree+ weather as well as down to the mid-30’s. They work great in all situations in between. I really liked the pad too. The pad is extremely comfortable and has held its shape/design well after many uses and many washes.
Its not all wool: left side of picture is lycra, right side is wool. This allows for a certain amount of stretch in the right places
Cons: I would make the leg elastic slightly more grippy. I don’t even know if this is a worthy con since I never felt it to lack in grippiness. When wearing knee or leg warmers, the leg elastic held my warmers in place. I only noticed this when I pull on the shorts and make a mental comment that the grip around my muscular thighs is not as tight as found on my other shorts.
The Duo Short has moved to the top of my list of shorts I wear. I still haven’t tested it in 90degree + weather yet but I will do so this summer and I have no doubt that the Duo Short will perform with flying colors. I always feel good in these shorts, never muggy, no matter the late summer/fall/winter So. Cal temps we have had. The pad is excellent, comfortable and not showing any wear from my riding. The mixture of wool and lycra panels works perfectly and save for a slightly less grippy leg elastic, which has not detracted from my riding, it is pretty much perfect.
Thanks to Ibex for allowing me to review their clothing. For more information on Ibex Outdoor Clothing, click here.