Ion first made their mark by manufacturing wind- and kitesurfing apparel, but in recent years they've expanded their reach to the mountain biking world. The Vertex short and the Helix long-sleeve jersey are part of the German company's Traze series, aimed at trail and all-mountain riders.
The Vertex shorts are constructed from CoolMax, a moisture wicking polyester, and use a stretchy back panel to help keeps them in place no matter the wearer's position on or off the bike. There's a zippered pocket on the outside of each leg, and the right pocket has a built in neoprene pouch designed to hold a phone and keep it protected from rain or sweat. Two velcro straps on the waistband provide a wide range of size adjustment to fine tune the fit, just in case all those miles on the bike melt away the pounds, or if you decide to stop for a mid-ride feast.
Ion are well known for their flashy surf-inspired color choices, and in addition to the basic black option shown, the Vertex short comes in blue, olive green, or crimson red in sizes 30, 32, 34,36, and 38. MSRP: $96 USD.
Vertex Shorts Details
• 2-way stretch CoolMax material
• Regular fit
• Colors: black, blue, olive green, crimson red
• Size: 30, 32, 34, 36, 38
• Price: $96 USD
Helix Jersey Details
• Nano-tech bamboo charcoal fabric
• Colors: black, crimson red
• Size: S, M, L, XL, XXL
• Price: $90 USD
The Helix looks like your standard-issue long sleeve jersey, with a fit that's relaxed but not overly baggy fit, but it's made from a mix of high-tech fabrics, including polyester mixed with nano-particles of bamboo charcoal that's claimed to offer improved moisture wicking over standard polyester. The jersey's side panels have also undergone an antibacterial treatment in order to keep those funky smells at bay. Along with the fancy fabric, there's a glasses wipe on the inside of the front right side, a small zippered pocket on the lower left side, and reflective highlights for those times when your ride extends past sunset. Available in black or crimson red in sizes S, M, L, XL, and XXL, the Helix jersey retails for $90 USD. Performance
I've been wearing the Vertex shorts and the Helix jersey on a regular basis for the better part of a year now, and over that time they've been through everything from hot and sunny summer conditions to the muck and mire of winter. They've held up impressively well, although the jersey does have some stubborn stains on the white shoulder fabric, visual reminders of those sloppy rides – there's a reason I usually avoid white jerseys or shorts at any cost. The fabric is nice and light, and breathes well - I tend to overheat pretty easily when climbing, but it seemed to take longer for me to reach my boiling point when wearing the Helix than with other jerseys, which meant I didn't need to constantly take it on and off. I appreciated the triangular swatch of fabric sewn on the inside of the jersey (provided I remembered it was there); it proved its worth on multiple occasions when I needed to wipe fog, sweat, or mud from my goggles or glasses.
The Vertex shorts are very comfortable, if a little on the short side for my liking. I wear knee pads on most of my rides, and the 13” inseam had the bottom seam sitting a little higher than I prefer, just above rather than just below my knee cap. On rides sans-pads the length wasn't an issue, and I have absolutely no complaints about the overall fit or construction. The fabric has the perfect amount of stretch to keep the shorts matched to my movements on a ride without snagging on seats or shift levers. The zippered side pockets are located right where you'd want them to be, and the neoprene inner phone pocket is a nice touch – I regularly used it for those quick rides without a pack, times when I wanted to carry my phone without worrying about it bouncing around or falling out. Pinkbike's Take:
|For riders in search of well thought out trail riding apparel that's available in styles as subdued or as flashy as you'd like, Ion's Helix jersey and Vertex shorts are excellent options. - Mike Kazimer|
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