Leaving aside the argument about whether you actually need specific kit for it, if you spend a lot of time riding indoors and want to do it in a well-performing, nice-looking jersey rather than an old T-shirt or base layer, I can recommend the Ido.
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The Ido jersey was created to be, according to the new British company, a highly technical jersey that is “light and breathable, that helps you perform and is comfortable with no concession to elegance. Looking good is feeling good.” Ido also makes a pair of indoor-specific bib shorts and for the moment those two garments (in men's and women's sizes) are all that's in the range.
Before we look at whether or not Ido succeeds in its aims, I’m just going to head off the ‘do you need indoor-specific clothing?’ debate and link to this feature, which looks at the pros and cons and leaves you to make up your own mind. Just like helmets, disc brakes, shaving your legs or going vegan it’s your decision.
So, if you’re still with me, that means you must be interested in finding out what the Ido jersey has to offer indoor riding, and the answer is plenty.
Ido jersey: construction
Ido uses a very lightweight fabric called Shoji that has a fine ribbed texture with a sheer, see-through mesh between the ribs. Ido says this is to promote optimum wicking. It also preserves modesty effectively – one of the obvious reasons for indoor clothing if you train in the vicinity of other people. Ido clothing is made in Belgium – kudos for that.
The cut is very standard summer cycling jersey-like: close fitting and stretchy with a low neck, raw-cut sleeves and flatlock seams. However, there are no rear pockets – Ido doesn't hedge its bets, unlike other brands who say their indoor jerseys will double up as lightweight climbing jerseys, and you have to respect that.
There is one phone-sized side pocket, which is a good idea if you want to turn music up or down, use a companion app or need a screen break in between intervals from staring at your avatar or watching the seconds count down agonisingly slowly.
Ido’s design for me is nice and understated – again, make up your own mind – except for an unusual external label that apparently isn’t supposed to be removed, but you could unpick the stitching if you really objected.
It just comes in the one colour scheme. Dark colours are a sensible choice for an indoor jersey: it can get completely sweat soaked without looking like Rocky's grey tracksuit.
The sizing is accurate. I’m 178cm and 69kg and the size guide puts me on the cusp of small and medium, and this is a medium in the photos.
The Ido has a nice, even fit like a good jersey, contrasting with the Castelli Insider, which we found was disproportionately tight around the waist.
Ido doesn’t say this anywhere on its website because it assumes that everybody does it already, but you have to use a fan when you’re wearing the jersey, otherwise it will be harder for the sweat to evaporate and cool you down no matter how light the fabric.
With the fan blasting, I found the Ido jersey worked well. I did 40 minutes of sweetspot the first time I wore the jersey, and although I’m not convinced an indoor jersey is going to keep you cooler than bare skin – and Ido doesn’t claim it does – I didn’t feel as though I was overheating any more than when bare skinned, my heart rate was comparable to other efforts at this particular session with bare skin, telling me my core temperature was unaffected by wearing the Ido jersey, and I could feel the fan cutting through the mesh of the jersey.
The Ido jersey did wick sweat away from the skin effectively. It absorbed more sweat than the fan was able to evaporate, partly because this is a tough and sweaty session and I challenge any garment to stay dry, but it kept its shape, still felt completely comfortable and felt cool to the touch once I’d finished.
I’m doing my sessions on tri-bars, and I found the Ido had enough stretch to be unrestrictive in the TT position. In truth I forgot it was there.
The indoor clothing scene is getting crowded now, so there's competition out there. The Ido is up against the cheaper Castelli Insider at £75, and the more expensive Le Col x Wahoo at £120. The Madison Turbo undercuts it considerably at £54.99, and of course if you were happy to wear a simple base layer there are many that are cheaper.
So yes, it's more expensive than most of its competitors, but it's a good-quality, well designed and nicely made (in Belgium) jersey.
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