For many people cycling is a three-season sport. After what seems like an eternity winter is over, and then comes the spring riding season full of big miles and bigger smiles. Next comes the heat of summer and racing or bike vacations, followed by the mellow fall season complete with friends and post ride brews.
The Ibex El Fito Bib is here to change that. Welcome to the year round cycling season. I have been putting in the miles on both road and mountain for the last seven years in the Blue Ridge, so I am all too familiar with the chill of winter. I have always dreaded the cold and the accompanying layer upon layer of clothing to fight the chill. We all know that feeling of trying to find the right amount of layers to keep us warm, but not too warm, and what always seems to be the outcome of not being all that comfortable.
I have not had the opportunity to try wool cycling clothing before, so I was eager to saddle up and put the El Fito’s through their paces. Friends had always touted the wicking and temperature regulation properties of wool as top notch, and who can argue with nature right? The opportunity arose to test the knickers out a few weekends ago, and I left the house on my faithful steed to conquer some road miles.
Three hours later I was back at the house after a wonderful ride. I looked down at my lower half and asked myself “how have I ever ridden in the cold without these bibs?” The fit of the Ibex knickers has some thought behind it. They were comfortable throughout the ride, didn’t bunch up in any areas, and the legs are long enough to completely cover the knee (a problem I have found in other bibs due to my longer legs). The attention to detail was also incredible with wind blocking material over the knee, excellent stitching, top-notch chamois, and a perfect mix of wool, nylon, and lycra to give it an unparalleled fit.
Since that weekend ride I have put in miles on both my road and mountain bike ranging from quick hour spins to four-hour adventures. Each time I go to pack my gear I find myself reaching for the El Fito’s. I have other bib shorts, tights, knee warmers, and the like but they just don’t compare to the fit and quality of the Ibex.
The attention to detail, such as the wind proofing on the knee, set the El Fito’s apart from other options.
At 6’ 1” and 165 pounds I went with a size large, and it fits quite well. I know for some of you out there the $160 price tag may seem a touch high. I did a bit of research and many other company’s options are right around this price point. Also the El Fito’s are made with New Zealand Merino Wool and not synthetics, so there’s that.
Final thought: If you want to tackle winter riding, buy yourself a pair of Ibex El Fito Bib shorts and kiss cold legs goodbye.