Funkier Ixara Gents Elite Short Sleeve Jersey
The Funkier Ixara Gents Elite Short Sleeve Jersey in Navy/White promises the best of everything. Part of their elite line, it’s an aero model designed to be lightweight, fast wicking, while still offering endurance friendly practicalities-including deep pockets and UV protection. Overall performance has been reassuringly good, its nicely made, comfortable over long distances and the sizing guide accurate. However, A fourth, zippered pocket for valuables/rubbish was a missed opportunity in my book.
Pros: Lightweight, temperate, well designed and made.
Cons: No zippered pockets for valuables, or indeed rubbish.
Ok, so looking at the label, its 100% polyester but polyesters, like all materials are not created equal and have different properties. Panels are perforated and very thin, and the upper back and is a lightweight mesh, reminiscent of some summer weight/turbo trainer specific, vest type base layers.
The three rear pockets also feature mesh linings for improved ventilation and though less generous than some, will swallow the usual suspects - bottle, keys, tube, phone and energy bars.
Do not confuse thin with fragile. The weave is very stretchy and seemingly durable.
Sleeves are “set in” for unrestricted movement and in keeping with most modern summer jerseys, there’s a full-length zipper for additional, tuneable airflow.
The yarn is reckoned to offer 50% protection from harmful UV rays. Lazer cut silicone is designed to keep the sleeves and hem, in check, although the rear also features some elastic reinforcement. In terms of colours, there’s a choice of two- Navy/White, as supplied, or Teal/white should you prefer.
Traditionally Funkier garments have always come up on the small side. (I’ve even needed XL!). However, our medium was bang on, given the elite racer, second skin narrative. That said, I’m a slim build and while there was plenty of give, even around the arms, riders with a sprinter’s physique might want to try a couple for size.
Since we’re on the subject and before some of you click away, the Racer Elite is designed for those looking for every performance gain, the Racer Pro is described as a slim fit and the Rider range “regular” fit. Considerations aside, I’ve been able to layer up on some very chill April dawn rides.
Just enough scope for a performance orientated long sleeve base layer and, in these contexts, the Oxford Venture Jacket provided insulation from piercing winds and light rains. There’s sufficient space in the pockets for the venture, or indeed micro jackets/gilets. Arm warmers, such as these Primal Comic Book Thermal Arm Warmers were a happy marriage.
The Ixara has lived up to and in some respects, exceeded my expectations. Being a thinner fabric, moisture management is excellent and in temperatures around the 20- degree mark-I've been extremely comfortable. There’s been some very faint misting around the chest, pits and lower back but I do mean faint and from then on, wicking is close to seamless. I don’t do much indoor trainer slavery these days, but these qualities certainly lend it well to these duties.
At the other extreme, layered up i.e. with short sleeve base layer, arm warmers and Oxford Venture Jacket atop, I’ve felt similarly temperate when the mercury’s struggled to hit 4 degrees. With the warmer, more spring-like weather, I’ve worn it atop a short sleeve base layer and alternated between Holdsworth and Teenage Dream for some nose against the stem blasts, there’s been no hint of flutter, or similar impairment-I've had no problems maintaining a 20mph average speed over distances of 16-20 miles. If you are fond of parking an LED on the pocket cuffs, go for a lighter model, with a tight clothing clip, since the tops are comparatively thin. Ravemen TR30M Rear Light worked well, as did its CLO5 cousin but both are 39g apiece.
Comfort/Moisture Management 3.75/5
At the higher temperatures, I’ve dropped the zipper a little to encourage greater airflow but conditions have never called for lower than half mast.
The tag could be bigger, improving grip - say wearing full finger gloves, such as these Specialized when the weather’s a little changeable.
As I’ve said earlier, the pockets will swallow a reasonable amount-tubes, keys, smartphone and compact camera, without feeling overburdened, our bouncing around annoyingly. They’ve also stayed put when tackling unmade roads and more moderate trails/bridlepath. Mind you, unlike models with a zippered pocket, carrying change, or indeed stashing rubbish is a little riskier.
I’d not go bigger than a 600/650ml bottle either - the Back Bottle is also great if you fancied a little additional cooling relief. Caught in a rogue shower, forgotten your gilet/micro jacket? Bargain on 20 minutes with a break in the cloud and moderate breeze.
Even when fully laden and hunkered low on the drops, there’s been no gathering around the back. Not that I was expecting any but it's always nice when silicone grippers do their thing. Flat seams and those grippers conspire to ensure comfort and subvert unwanted branding, come time to hit the shower.
The UV repelling component though welcome is less potent than some at this price point, possibly due to the paler upper fabric. I’ve had no issues but having the sun’s dangers drilled into me, from a young age, I’d be inclined to apply a decent quality sunscreen on long, hot days.
Though not my usual practice, in the interests of testing the yarn’s odour taming properties, I’ve worn our jersey for a week, straight. By that point, there was a low-level funk, particularly around the pits but nowhere near wallpaper stripping territory.
Ours has gone in with the civilian wash at 40 degrees, on a couple of occasions, with no ill effect but by and large, I’d stick to 30 degrees and minimal detergent. This has been sufficient to lift any grimy patina-sticky chocolate bars, chain lube etc. Bargain on 20 minutes line drying, with a gentle breeze, 30-40 minutes indoors, on the clothes horse.
First and foremost, the Ixara is a road garment, but I’ve wandered from the beaten path aboard Ursula and occasional frisking from prickly, overhanging foliage hasn’t caused bobbling, or worse, thus far. No obvious weak spots at the zipper either and I've not always been so patient when bringing it up/down.
Specification and performance are reassuringly good, but this remains a competitive price point. Van Rysel Racer Short Sleeve Summer Jersey Yellow Team comes in at £44.99 and offers a very similar fit, three traditional pockets and a further two, for rubbish-or indeed, one for valuables. However, it doesn’t offer a UV repelling component.
Galibier Regale Ultralight Jersey (£46.99) is intended for temperatures between 20 and 40 degrees and medium is claimed to weigh less than 90g. Any colour you like so long as it’s orange, but the fabric boasts SPF30 skin protection and three rear pockets.
Dhb Aeron Short Sleeve Jersey 2.0 comes in a penny dearer at £60.00, is available in 7 colours and features four pockets-the traditional three terrace and a zippered security design.
I would’ve preferred a fourth, zippered pocket for valuables/rubbish and a bigger zipper tag would’ve been welcomed. Nonetheless, the Ixara has lots to offer those seeking a jersey for speed that will also earn its keep on the indoor trainer.
Verdict: 3.5/5 Likeable lightweight jersey for competitive riding and physiques.
PUBLISHED MAY 2022