Ion, a successful brand in the surf scene, have branched into MTB clothing and protection with what looks a well conceived and developed range.
There are technical shorts and tops for various types of riding and climates, short liners with flexible hip protection, and both waterproof and lightweight windproof jackets. Also new from Ion are knee and elbow pads, gloves and underwear – but let’s look at the clothing for now.
Substantial time and testing have been invested in the design process, along with a determination to source and use the best materials.
A material called Drirelease combines 85 percent synthetic and 15 percent natural fibres to promote wicking and quick drying. But, on the hanger at least, the T-shirts look and feel like causal cotton tops. The fabric is embedded with an odour neutraliser called FreshGuard.
Sanitised antibacterial treatment is featured on all tops, and in other products such as short liners and protective mesh.
The use of neoprene, in the protective gear but also in other neat features such as in-built smartphone protection pockets, is a nod to the company’s watersports background.
With the close-cut Helio jerseys you get a choice: long-sleeved with a full-length zip (£74.95) or short-sleeved with a short zip (£58.95). Both feature an integrated soft glasses-wipe section.
The Traze Vertex shorts (£74.95) aren’t cut as close as the jerseys - they’re more like board shorts. Four-way stretch material and a breathable rear rib section are among the features.
The women’s-specific versions of the Traze kit go by the name Graze.
The Roam kit is intended for trail and enduro-style events but looks casual enough for a post-ride drink.
The long and short-sleeved T-shirts (£58.95 and £49.95 respectively) both feature urban graphics and colourways, along with odour-busting underarm inserts, a glasses wipe, plenty of stretch and a long cut back.
Scrub: freeride options
Scrub is Ion’s trail/freeride-orientated range, and includes some surf-inspired Avid shorts (£90.95). The long-, short- and no-sleeve Helium tops have a loose fit but the same sanitisation and glasses-wipe features as the other clothing. They cost £66.95, £58.95 and £49.95 respectively.
The shorts are loose fit, super stretchy and quick to dry, and have a drawstring waist. This has a ‘garage’ to tuck the ends into so they don’t get caught on your bars or branches.
Feel the force? It’s all blue and white for the Slash DH kit. The smallest of the four riding outfit ranges, this comprises shorts (£123.95), long pants (£165.95) and a long-sleeved jersey (£66.95).
The top is cut to accommodate protective areas, while the bottoms have neoprene hip pads and the long pants get inner knee protectors.
The Ion clothing will be available in the UK, across continental Europe and in South Africa from February/March 2013.