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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ibex Giro Full Zip Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey

Ibex Merino Wool Cycling Apparel

Wool is a traditional cycling fabric that was widely used until the advent of Lycra.  The form fitting synthetic fabrics offered unlimited style and promises of functionally to fit every need.  The spandex era began and the days of itchy wool were marked, but now wool is regaining its place with high-performance and legendary benefits all in one fabric.  Enter Ibex's New Zealand Merino Wool.

Ibex wool is harvested from Ibex sheep in New Zealand and provides the highest quality wool available, offering superior breathability, temperature regulation, moisture control, and anti-microbial properties. Unlike traditional wool, merino is finer, softer and non- itchy, giving you superior next-to-the skin comfort.

Part of the magic of the merino wool fibers is it moves moisture from the skin more quickly than other fibers.  Sweat leaves the skin as vapor and condense.  Synthetics transfer liquid, but wool is able to transfer the vapor as well as wick the liquid directly through its porous fibers.  This keeps you drier and warmer in the cold, but in the heat has a cooling effect. It regulates temperature well.  Wool fibers also contain thousands of air pockets which insulate against both heat and cold.  These air pockets work even when wet giving wool the ability to insulate in any condition.

  • Form-fit  in green, blue, gray & black
  • Full front zip with locking zipper pull 
  • Rib collar & cuffs 
  • Reflective logo center back 
  • Three pocket back 
  • Elastic hem 
  • Machine washable
  • Mid-weight ponte knit 
  • 18.5 micron 
  • 100% Zque™ New Zealand Merino wool 
  • 240 g/m2

This tight-knit wool fabric feels like a cotton/poly blend jersey, which is a nice change from the itchy fabric expected, thanks to the fine fibers; wearing it next to the skin is very comfortable.  The raglan cut is specific for cycling, so the sleeves are long enough as is the back side when in a low cycling stance.  

The small diameter of thread used for the base layer give the wool its soft texture.  Cut from New Zealand's Ibex sheep, this wool is the highest quality available.  

 The Ibex Giro long sleeve jersey is a Base Layer 2 fabric for next-to-skin use.

Ibex offers a very wide range of clothing for year-round comfort.

The temp regulating and moisture managing properties of Merino give you superior comfort.

Ibex garments are assembled in the USA

In Use
On a cool morning with temps barely warming from the over-night lows this wool jersey kept me toasty.  On the climb, a 7-mile south-facing gravel climb, the temps began to rise, but the wool kept me comfortable; unzipping the front was enough. At the top I waited ten minutes on friends as the wind blew, and the cooler temps that usually made me shiver felt refreshing.  Even damp the Ibex jersey was keeping me warm.  The painfully cold downhill I was expecting was enjoyably warm.   In just one ride this wool, this simple fabric that has been around for ages, had outperformed all my technical garments.

OK, I was convinced, so I did the research that revealed the science above.  Wool is amazing!  Why would we use anything else?  The fine fibers of merino wool are even better as they feel comfortable against the skin.  This jersey transfers moisture better, regulates my body temps better, never stinks, and is breathable. It is now my go-to base layer for chilly outdoor activities.

I also tried it as a second layer on top of my lycra base layer and noticed it worked better than a typical long sleeve jersey.  Actually, to be more accurate, I did not notice it!  I just felt comfortable as I watch my friends deal with over-heating on the climbs, and chills on the descents as they made adjustments to their layered clothing.

In the Wash
I hand washed the jersey for the first few times, but in the interest of the article felt I needed to toss it in the machine.  It did fine, not like my wool sweaters that are prone to stretching and shrinking.

The Ibex Giro full zip long sleeve jersey, $155.   A bargain at twice the price!  This is an item that is at the forefront of your enjoyment of your favorite activity, time and time again.  I am enjoying my Ibex jersey a lot.

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