IXS said they hadn’t changed much on their helmets this year, but have made some major revisions to their kneepads, including a new zipped model. For that, and some of their new body armour, they’ve added what they’re calling FlexZips, developed in partnership with YKK and made to have 20% stretch. The idea is that’ll let things sit flatter, bunch up less, and not ride up so easily either. Inwardly, their padding retains the Xmatter foam protection they’ve developed and put in their previous pads. Aesthtically, the pads move from black to grey.
(You can read how close a previous IXS model came to the top spot in our recent kneepad grouptest).
As a British mountain biker, you’re probably well familiar with the sensation of really wanting to take wet kneepads off after a ride, but frustrated at having to deal with shoes first. Or perhaps you just want to take them off quickly at the bottom of a climb. IXS haven’t gone for zips before, because of the unpleasant way they can bunch up, producing spots of discomfort. The FlexZip is one they’ve developed in partnership with YKK, and has a good amount of stretch in it. It’s not impossible to get it to bulge outward, but as is visible above, it can sit flat on a curve without going in a million other directions too. Despite that compliance, playing with it on the stand the zip had no stickiness or difficulty in either direction. We’re looking forward to testing some in real world conditions.
As well as kneepads, IXS are this year introducing their new Trigger body armour, which like the pad range is softer and lighter than full stormtrooper gear, but offers enough protection to be permissible for many races. Previous armour suits they’ve made have lacked integrated elbow pads, which meant for some British races riders had to wear some separate pads on top. The Trigger integrates it all in the from of Xmatter, but makes most of it removable too.
Sustainability was on a lot of people’s lips at Eurobike this year, with more companies talking about how their products are made, what they’re made from, and also not rushing headlong into a cycle of new everything for every year. In that vein, IXS have started thinking through and revising their entire supply chain to be more sustainable. They’re making much of their apparel from recycled PET bottles for a start, and also in their approach to design and seasons, they’re trying to not create overstock situations for dealers. Instead of redesigning and relaunching their clothing line each year, they’re going to be keeping designs around for 2 – 3 seasons, perhaps introducing new colours each year, but overall gradually shifting things onward in a slower cycle.