The Iris Ipomoea - £119 inc. P&P; model is wearing a size Small Long Sleeve Jersey and Medium Bib tight; she is 1,78 m and weighs 65 kg
This is the time of year when the VeloVixen warehouse becomes an Aladdin's cave, groaning with covetable new gear. Every big brand - including VeloVixen ourselves - launch new collections. We're truly spoilt for choice.
However, since day one we've had a soft spot for smaller brands. Iris - named after former Dutch champion cyclist Iris Slappendel - takes all the good bits of a small business and combines them with the levels of quality you'd expect from a global brand.
Now several years into her post-cycling design career, Iris leads the field when it comes to blending extraordinary quality with truly unique designs - and then applying the riding know-how of a pro cyclist.
In short: it's special stuff.
The Ipomoea typifies what Iris create: the first thing you notice - inevitably - is that graphic. It's a limited edition print illustrated and designed by Chiara Terraneo.
Chiara, an Italian artist and visual storyteller, brings it to life, saying:
"Ipomoea, Blue Dawn, Morning Glory or Moonflower, call it as you wish, whatever poetry works for you. For me it means late summertime. Ipomoea is a stubborn flower with thin, climbing tendrils that enthusiastically cling to the walls of houses, to the web of countryside fences and twirls and twists around other plants transforming the flower bed, the facades and the balcony into a luscious flower paradise. Blossoming in many colour combinations of white, pink, blue and purple, it grows abundantly and spectacularly and then it disappears.”
Beautiful it may be, but there's real substance to this punchy floral look.
Fran Whyte, our head product tester, with a lifetime of experience with cycling jerseys, was blown away, saying:
The Ipomoea seems to take Iris yet another step forward. I adore the look - it's super pretty - but it's the way it feels when you're riding that really wins me over.
It's incredibly forgiving and stretchy, and this slightly-warmer-than-average material is perfect for so many conditions: I would wear it on milder Spring and Autumn days, perhaps with an optional gilet, and it would be equally perfect to layer up with a base layer and jacket for colder winter outings.
I'm not especially tall and it fits beautifully, but I can feel that it would also work for taller figures - I know Iris has worked hard to ensure it works for the maximum number of physiques.
True to form, Iris has brought her experience of riding at the top level to the Ipomoea: the gripper on the inside of the hem line ensures it doesn't ride up and has reflective details to keep you seen in darker conditions.
The jersey is constructed from a high wicking blend of fabrics and fits snugly but flatteringly, offering a mix of warmth and breathability.
Other key features of the Ipomoea include:
- Tailored race fit intended to be worn close to the body
- High collar with a soft fleece lining
- Super soft and comfortable Italian polyester allows for perfect freedom of movement
- Full-length YKK zip with camlock puller and internal zipper flap
- Triple back pockets plus water resistant ziped pocket for valuables
- Elastic waistband with gripper inside, reflective stripes outside
- Integrated reflective details on the arms
- 80%PL multifilament / 20% EA
It's a stunning addition to Iris' already burgeoning collection of winners. And it's strictly limited edition, so we suspect it won't be around for long...