I recently converted to all wool base layers for winter sports and even for rock climbing, but I have held off on cycling, as I was really worried about overheating in the baking California sun. That is until I tried the merino wool cycling jerseys from Ibex. I am now a four season, all sport, merino wool convert.
I was sent the Ibex Indie Mountain Jersey to test out and have since gone Ibex crazy, ordering a couple more cycling jerseys as well as merino wool T-shirts for summer. The Indie Mountain Jersey is made from machine washable 18.5 micron New Zealand Merino at 195 g/m2. This cycling jersey is meant to be worn either on it's own for summer or as a base layer for those colder or rainy days where you need an extra outer layer.
The Indie Mountain Jersey is form fitting, with a longer length and some extra room in the hips to prevent the jersey from riding up as you bend over your bike. The vibrant colored lightweight merino wool is extremely comfortable and doesn't itch, as can sometimes happen with wool.
As summer cycling in California can be brutally hot, I was worried about overheating with a merino wool cycling jersey. To my surprise, I found the wool was actually great at keeping me warm on the cool downhills or foggy coastal sections, then helping me cool off while on those baking hot uphills and ridgelines. The added benefit of no stink is a major plus, one of the main reasons I have moved away from polyester base layers.
The cycling jersey features a small zippered envelope pocket in the back that will fit your cell phone and keys in case you head out for a short ride or don't want to bring your hydration backpack. I am not so keen on the owl and tree sketch on the back of the jersey, as it reminds me a bit of the "Put A Bird On It" sketch from Portlandia.
For those of you that are primarily road riders, I would recommend choosing one of the other Ibex cycling jerseys, such as the standard Indie Jersey. With the other jerseys, you get the full three back pockets for your snacks, rain jacket, phone, tools, etc.
The Ibex cycling jerseys are true to size, which is actually a breath of fresh air when it comes to cycling apparel. With other cycling brands such as Pearl Izumi, I almost always have to order an X-Large. With Ibex, I am my normal size Medium.
Bottom Line: The Ibex Indie Mountain Jersey and all of the Ibex merino wool cycling jerseys will make a great addition to your spring and summer riding wardrobe. Who knows, you may become a full wool convert like me.
The Ibex Indie Mountain Jersey retails for $115 (but you can currently find it on sale for $75 at RealCyclist) and is available now.