You know which direction you’ll ride. The weather, that’s unpredictable. Thankfully there’s the Indie Short Sleeve, made from Ibex wool that adapts to extremes both hot and cold. Includes locking pull zipper and three back pockets.
- Form fit
- 12’’ center front zipper with locking pull
- Raglan sleeves
- Gripper back hem
- Three back pockets
- Self-fabric collar and cuffs
- Reflective logo on back pocket
- Machine washable
- Mid-weight jersey
- 18.5 micron
- 100% Zque New Zealand Merino wool
- 195 g/m2
- Measured size medium
- Pit to Pit – 48 cm (18.9 in)
- Center Back – 70.5 cm (27.8 in)
- Sleeve Length – 45.4 cm (17.9 in)
- Weight – 208 g (7.3 oz)
- Retail – $120
I have been a wool convert for some time now. Not that I only wear wool clothing, but I appreciate them quite a bit. From wool’s performance benefits to its sustainability, it is a wonder material. I have now reviewed several Ibex pieces for the site. Ibex is one of the big three when I think of wool brands. Others might think of different brands but my big three are Ibex, Icebreaker, and Smartwool. They each have a different target audience and feel to the brand. I would say that Ibex has a more alternative feel. The Indie SS Jersey in which I tested here is the first cycling piece of theirs that I have reviewed. Ibex has been expanding this line over the years, and I was excited to try the jersey.
The Indie Jersey is not as from fitting on me as a typical road jersey. Since that is the case, I tried to test it for some road cycling but more often used it for commuting. My rides ranged from 15 miles to 35 miles.
The Ibex Indie SS Jersey is made of 100% Merino wool. The wool has been sourced from the Southern Alps of New Zealand where much of the top Merino wool comes from. The wool used to make the Indie is Ibex’s 18.5 micron 195 g/m2 wool. At 18.5 microns this is fairly thin wool, which will feel soft against the skin. Its thickness will feel similar to a t-shirt. This is not the thinnest fabric that Ibex uses, but it is not too thick either. The Indie is made to be a good all around weight. Wool has several properties that make it good for cycling jerseys. It is breathable, good at moisture management, odor inhibiting, and has natural sun protection. The Merino Wool is also Zque certified. If you would like to learn more about wool and it properties, click on the banner link below.
The Indie is made of several different pieces of fabric that have been stitched together. Ibex has done this to give a better fit and unrestricted movement. I tested the grass-green color, and a majority of the stitching is a contrasting grey color for a cool look. Most of the seams are flatlock stitched for increased comfort and there is no raised seams in the important areas. The Indie has a small collar and half zipper in the front for adjusting breathability. There is a drop tail hem in the back for better coverage while in the cycling position. There is also a gripper hem on the back to help keep the jersey down when riding. Like a traditional jersey, there are three drop in pockets on the back for carrying gear and nutrition. These pockets have a piece of reinforcement sewn in at the top to help them not sag when heavier objects are carried. Furthermore, on the back center pocket is a reflective Ibex logo, this is the only reflective on the jersey. Both the bottom hem and the cuffs on the arms do not have any elastic to give it a smoother fit.
One of my favorite features of wool is that it is sustainable. It takes much fewer resources to produce a wool garment as compared to a synthetic one. The Indie is also made in the US which is another plus in my book. While the fabric is sourced from new Zealand, Ibex is working on getting some US sourced wool in the future. Ibex itself is a very down to Earth company that is very involved in their community and doing the activities their products are for. They are a company that I really like from their build practices to their culture.
Comfort Next to Skin (35%)
Ease of Movement (25%)
Torso Sizing (40%)
I tested the size medium in the Indie Jersey.
Up to this point the medium was my standard size for testing, and I am now beginning to realize that I may, in fact, be better suited to a small. This is a whole new realization that started when I wanted to begin to dress nicer. Now that I look at the size chart from Ibex, I have noticedI am at the top of the range for a size small so my review will take it into account. Ibex states that the Indie is form-fitting. Since I tested the medium, I found it to be semi form fitting. On me, there was some room underneath, and it was by no means as form fitting as some of my other cycling jerseys which really hug my body. That being said I would consider this jersey true to size based on the Ibex size chart. I do not think that it will be as form fitting as a race jersey but should fit like most recreational jerseys do. I did, however, like the fact that it was not quite form fitting as I wanted to use it more often for my commute. There is enough room to layer underneath but not so tight that I feel like a racer on my commute bike.
I felt like the jersey was very comfortable next the skin. The 18.5 micron wool is very soft and should not irritate the skin like coarser wool would. I never had any comfort issues with the Indie Jersey. Most of the time I use panniers on my commutes, but I did occasionally wear a backpack and did not have any chafing. The backpack did make it more difficult to use the rear pockets but had nothing to do with the jersey. Both the top collar and arm cuffs are 1 ½ inches wide and very comfortable. They are not constricting but do a good job holding the jersey in place. I never felt like the jersey was restricting in any way. This might have been due slightly to the looser fit, but the wool also has good stretch.
Moisture Transport (15%)
Weather Resistance (5%)
The Ibex Indie is a perfect commuting jersey. While it is good for road riding, I think as a commuter (or touring) jersey is where wool can really shine. Since the wool can be worn several times in a row without developing a funk, it is good for multi day riding adventures or commutes where you need to wear the same jersey home as you did to work. Do not get me wrong, wool can have a smell to it when it gets wet, or if you stick your nose in the arm pits, but you have to try to smell it, unlike some synthetics which you do not have to try to smell it. While the jersey is breathable, it still does a good job keeping the chill off. It is not windproof or even truly wind resistant but rather is a balance between warmth and breathability. Wool in theory should be just as good in hot climates as it is in cold climates for the same reasoning, it can trap air next to the skin.
The Indie fabric does move moisture well, but it is possible to overwhelm it much like synthetics. It will absorb sweat (or rain) but does take slightly longer to dry than a synthetic will. Fortunately, wool feels dry next to the skin even when wet. Like I mentioned above, the wool can have a funny smell when it gets wet, but this goes away as soon as it dries. The front zipper is a good length and easy to use. I could operate it with one hand whole riding with no issues. It allows you to vent on hotter days if needed. The entire length of the zipper has protection behind it for increased comfort. I do wish this protection continued over the top to protect the chin from the top of the zipper. While this did not cause any scratching, I tended to unzip the zipper by a ½ inch to make sure.
The bottom hem gripper works well. Since the jersey was slightly loose on me, it was not super snug to my shorts, but I never felt like it rode up. I do normally wear bib shorts so it is hard to notice. The three pockets are good for carrying gear and essentials. If you carry something heavy in there like a full water bottle, it will stretch them out a little. It was not bad by any means. I do not do that very often and had no issues with my normal mix of nutrition, pump, and cell phone that I stuff in there. I wish there was an audio port, so I could run my earphone wires up the inside of the jersey. While this is by no means a required thing, it would have been nice to have the option. There is an Ibex logo on the center pocket that is reflective. I am surprised that this is the only reflective piece on the whole jersey. I feel like there should be more as you need to be seen from all sides. While it is not up to the manufacturer to make sure this happens, it is nice when all my gear is helping to achieve this.
Overall, I like the Ibex Indie Jersey. I love the fact that it is wool and is a sustainable material. The Indie looks good and has a classic feel to it. The jersey has many of the standard features you expect to find in a jersey and for me was semi form fitting. I found it to be a great jersey for commuting and think it would also be excellent for bike touring. Being able to wear it a couple of times in a row is what sets wool apart from synthetics. Use the Ibex size chart to make sure you get your appropriate size and if you like a looser fit, just size up. The Ibex Indie SS retails for $120. There are also other styles in the Ibex line similar to this jersey with different designs and fabric weights. Take a look, you will not be sorry. As always, your mileage may vary.
Pros [field name=iFrame]
- Made of 100% Merino wool
- Semi form fit for me
- Soft next to the skin
- Good balance between warmth and breathability
- Can be worn multiple times without stinking
- Dries slightly slower than synthetics if it gets wet
- Not many reflective elements
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