Ibex Wool Bike Clothing

30 04 2011

A wooly LHT ride...

Although I am not a total convert to the wonders of wool I have been warming up to it the last few years. My wool gear comes from two sources: 1) Ibex & 2) MEC. Although MEC briefly flirted with wool cycling gear that was short lived and there is no sign it will be coming back. I do like their general outdoors wool garments and they also sell Patagonia wool gear. Ibex sells all sorts of wool clothing and quite a few cycling specific designs.

Ibex will sell to Canadians, but shipping is quite costly as they won’t use US Postal Service. So I had someone in the US recieve a shipment for me a few years ago and then send it to me. I was happy with all my Ibex gear and luckily everything fit pretty well so I had a good handle on their sizing. I have been interested in getting more of their stuff, but the cost & hassle of shipping has been an effective money saving deterrent!

The combination of a 6 month long cool damp riding season and some longer rides in the forecast has motivated me to have at least two complete wool based bike outfits. That way I can have a full change of kit on a long ride in a drop bag and even for everyday rides I’ve got enough gear to last a week between washes with some tactical reuse of clothing.

Ibex El Fito 3/4 wool knickers...

I love these wool knickers from Ibex. They’ve been on me on every ride this spring. I layer a set of Ibex wool leg warmers under them for cooler conditions and a pair of Rain Legs chaps on top for rain or simply for more warmth. Although the wool doesn’t smell after just one ride I don’t like to wear anything against my butt multiple times without washing to prevent any saddle related problems. That makes for a lot of washing so I figured it was time for a second pair.

Ibex Duo wool bike shorts...

To make the order worthwhile from a shipping cost perspective I added a pair or wool bike shorts to the mix and a second set of wool leg warmers. Mixing and matching that should give me at least three sets of bottoms for cool weather riding. It will also let me see how I like wool shorts in warmer weather.

Ibex Coppi wool cycling hat...

I really like the two wool MEC long sleeve jerseys I have and I’d like to get a couple wool rando club jerseys so I didn’t buy anything from Ibex. 4 long sleeve jerseys is all I can really use. I have loads of short sleeve lycra jerseys so I’m solid for warm weather cycling.

Investing in high quality cycling clothing is expensive and frankly I only wear cycle specific clothing for performance road riding and for mountain biking. The rest of the time I wear my regular street clothes. So while I spend a lot of money on this gear and it is only used for a portion of my riding it makes a big difference when I use it and the rides I use it for are very demanding so I appreciate being comfortable. Also by using street clothes for most of my riding the cycle specific gear I own lasts a very long time.

One last Ibex item I bought was a wool cycling cap. Totally unnecessary, but I wanted to feel the luxury of wool on my head!…=-)


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11 responses

30 04 2011
mike

Ibex does make some great stuff. I’ve gone through several shorts and knickers, and am working through 2 jerseys. I have a half dozen base layers that are going on 3 and 4 years of regular use.

My only gripe – and this is something that I’ve been in touch with them about – is that if you have the habit of loading up the pockets on their cycling jerseys they stretch out. My first jersey needed repair as over time the stitching @ the pockets pulled through the thin wool. A newer version is holding up better – but I already have pinholes forming @ the pocket seams.

They are a great company to do business with though. Our household is awash in their wool – jackets, softshells, a vest or two, some non sport specific tops, and lots of base layers.

And they are headquartered here in my great state of VT… ;)

2 05 2011
Katherine

I’ve just discovered your blog through web searches, as I’m planning to start touring before life shoots by. Although I live in Vancouver now, I grew up on the Prairies so I’ve been a proponent of wool and layer-dressing for a long while. We’ve had a very cool spring up until now, so I’ve been wearing an MEC merino LS v-neck top on all my longer rides, layered under a synthetic 3/4 zip cycling vest, a Descente thermal jersey and a waterproof/breathable layer on top of that. Under my helmet, I also wear a merino tuque made by Icebreaker, it’s a very versatile, 2-layered reversible piece that I actually found at the local Nordic ski store. Icebreaker has just opened up a retail location on West 4th, thought I’d mention them in this comment, as I’ve also seen their clothing carried at cycling retailers like On The Rivet …

2 05 2011
MTBMaven

I have some Ibex bibs and love them. Living in southern California we rarely see temps that require the extra warms of wool; however, wool has such a wide comfort range the bibs work great in temps approaching 70F (21C). These are my go to bibs for all day winter rides for me.

2 05 2011
Katie

I have the 3/4 El Fito knickers. My only complaint about them is that the chamois isn’t big enough in the front. Very low. :-(

2 05 2011
Philboyd

I bought some inexpensive Merino tights from Rivendell this winter. They are the most comfortable thing I’ve worn on a bike. They have no chamois, but thats part of the reason I like them so much.

2 05 2011
thelazyrando

In the past Riv has had some wool garments I kind of liked, but I wasn’t highly motivated to buy wool. Now that I am interested when I checked their site a month back they didn’t have much that caught my attention. I’ll keep checking back their stock seems to change regularly.

2 05 2011
Dolan Halbrook

Love the Ibex Skimmer as an under-helmet hat and the Meru as a normal beanie. Their gloves are pretty decent as well.

3 05 2011
chris

As a long-time Ibex wearer I’ve been disappointed by their latest work, so much of it’s now coming from China and it’s evident in the declining quality of their garments, and I’m not happy with a pair of Arrivee bib shorts for several personal reasons and the stitching sucks. I’m in favor of wearing Merino first before synthetics and have a few custom order Ibex cycling garments drying from yesterday’s ride, but I’ll look elsewhere for my next garment purchases. I’m 6’7” so a tough fit but Ibex will be lower on my list from here on…

A few friends rave about Kucharik wool clothes but I can’t find their products locally in PDX. I have two Capo wool blend sweaters made in Italy my girlfriends just want to stroke (although the tags are a PITN – literally) and are of great quality. I’ll look at Boure and Smartwool too.

5 07 2011
I love Denmark

It is fair to say that Ibex does make some great clothing for cycling. I cycled coast to coast the other year from Blackpool to Bridlington and was wearing this style of biking wear. It certainly kept the air circulating and prevented lots of sores.

24 07 2012
xfour

There are shops here in Vancouver and Victoria that carry Ibex
like Robinsons Outdoor Store (notice you’re in Vic)

24 07 2012
thelazyrando

Xfour – Thanks for the tip :)

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