By Lynne Fitzsimmons
The Ibex Balance sports bra is made of very fine, seamless Merino wool knit with a bit of nylon and Lycra. It’s recommended for A-C cups and fits comfortably without the uni-boob aspect of many sports bras.
A good sports bra “disappears.” Personally, I don’t like to know I’m wearing one. The Ibex works for me because it’s supportive but doesn’t feel restrictive and it doesn’t itch. It also runs true to size. I dubiously requested a size S, as directed by the size chart, and it fit perfectly.
I wore this bra casually during off-bike hours and in a wide 60F-degree temperature range on rides. It didn’t feel sticky in 90-degree heat, nor was it soggy and cold after a long, hard ride in much cooler temperatures, followed by an extended coffee-shop stop and errand run.
A big challenge for the Ibex Balance came in California’s Chico Velo Wildflower Century in late April. I wore the bra under a wool jersey and was completely amazed to be comfortable all day — climbing, descending and pounding the flats at the end in temps that also neared the century mark. The bra wicked perspiration from my skin and ventilated wonderfully.
My longest ride in this bra was 24 hours (230 miles) with temps in the low 50s (12C). It was very wet at times, testing wool’s ability to insulate. Again, the Ibex Balance remained exceptionally comfortable throughout.
The bra is machine washable (delicate cycle) but should be air dried. I’ve washed mine 6 times and it still looks new — no stretching, shrinking or loss of shape.
I’ve looked a long time for a sports bra that did not get soggy with sweat or rain, a bra that would remain comfortable through a ride and social time afterward. This is that bra.