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.
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.
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.
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!…=-)