Your friend has taken up cycling and you’re thrilled. They’re getting stronger, riding for longer and after the initial shock that you’re not wearing any undies wears off - they’re asking your advice on a pair of bib shorts.
They know the ones – they’ve got that funny suspender look about them, all their cycling friends are wearing them and those mates seem to know what they’re on about. The criteria required includes comfort, quality and a price tag that won’t make their eyes water. The Pearl Izumi Women’s Elite Pursuit Bib Short will certainly meet their needs.
Peal Izumi produce some of the best selling cycling shorts in the nation. It’s easy to see why. Stocked at a wide range of online and shop front stores, their products hold up and meet the needs of the everyday cyclist.
Founded in Japan in 1950, Pearl Izumi has been crafting cycling shorts, jerseys, outerwear, essentials and footwear for years. The original Japanese designer started by making cycling gear for his son, who was nuts about riding and racing. The company is now owned by Shimano and still caters for the cycling nutter, the commuter and the all-round athlete.
These bib short have a lot going for them.
Fabric – The tag says “ELITE Transfer In-R-Cool® fabric powered by coldblack® provides superior cooling and reflective sun protection.” Basically the fabric is black, thick and smooth with 66% nylon and 34% LYCRA® elastane. Rated UPF 50+, and despite multiple washes it’s unlikely to fade and continues to feel good against your skin. The upper material on the bib is white and a mesh fabric with 80% polyester and 20% elastane.
Chamois – “Women’s ELITE Pursuit 1:1™ Chamois” – this is a women’s specific fitting chamois that has a high-density foam. It doesn’t feel too thick but provides ample cushioning so you avoid getting a sore toosh. It’s moisture wicking, great for hot and sweaty riding and has a smooth 4-way stretch top sheet. The colour of the chamois is orange and looks discreet.
Leg grippers – These are firm but don’t cut in. Made of silicone they stayed in place and kept my leg warmers from sliding around.
Colour – I particularly like the fact that these shorts are predominately black and are not over branded. There is a small reflective logo on the left butt cheek and right leg.
Hidden extras – There are two really good things about these bibs I’ve not had on other shorts. Firstly there is a small clip that sits on the front of the bibs across the chest. This means there is no slipping or bunching of the bibs at any point. But most importantly...
“DROP TAIL FOR CONVENIENCE” oh my, oh my golly gosh. Ladies, gone are the days when you have to peel off all your layers to go for a wee. These bib shorts have an opening across the rear where the white meshy bits would normally be stitched into the top of the shorts. You now can answer nature’s call whenever it arises without being in the cold loo in just your sports bra. Pure genius Pearl Izumi!!
These are all-round bib shorts that would be suited for rides under 100kms. The fit is really good, and the comfort level was just as good as shorts twice as expensive. I’ve been wearing them in the Melbourne winter and they are warm enough in the brisk mornings when teamed with a pair of leg warmers, yet they would also be suitable for summer riding.
Just the usual “gentle machine wash (in cold water) with like colours”. Gentle cycle, drip dry. Please refrain from ironing and dry cleaning if you want any of your Lycra to go the distance.
Sizes range from XS to XXL. I’m 166cm and 58kgs so I wore a size small, which fitted really well.
WHERE TO BUY
A quick look at their website revealed 22 shops that stock Peal Izumi riding gear in Melbourne alone. The stock seems to be featured on all the big cycling online websites too.
I liked the overall product and at A$150 I think they show that a comfortable pair of quality bib shorts is well within most budgets. If you’re not looking to be full-on-matchy-matchy then these Pearl Izumi bib shorts will work in well with your existing cycling wardrobe.