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May

30

2012

Tested: Ibex Indie Freeride

ibex-indie-freerideThe Claim: Ibex promises its women’s Indie Freeride jersey (part of the merino wool Ride collection) fights odor and pulls moisture away from your skin.

The Trial: I wore the Freeride this spring for bike commuting, longer road rides, and mountain biking around the Front Range in temperatures ranging from 50 to 83 degrees.

The Verdict: Wool clothing sounds itchy and uncomfortable, but the Freeride jersey is anything but. Ibex starts with New Zealand merino wool fibers at a small diameter (18.5 microns) to create yarn that is soft against the skin. For chilly mornings and inclement weather, the wool offers cozy insulation under a jacket. And the Freeride performs solo in warm weather because wool wicks moisture away from skin. I stayed comfortable when the mercury approached 65 degrees. But I hit an upper limit during a mountain bike ride at a parched 83 degrees. My sweat saturated the fibers as I worked hard in the heat. Wool continues to insulate when it’s wet, but at more than 75 degrees that leads to overheating. Still, the merino shines due to its natural antimicrobial traits, which helps it stay fresh, not funky, through a week’s worth of bike commuting. Design and style contribute to the jersey’s appeal. It fits well, offering an attractive alternative to head-to-toe spandex with a graphic print instead of bike-team logos. A back stash pocket carries cash, credit card, and keys. $120; ibex.com  —Olivia Dwyer

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