Fabric provides cooling and moisture management
Wind tunnel tested Speed Sleeve reduces drag
New hem design with rear grippers
Full-length zipper for easy venting
V-strap drop-tail make nature breaks fast and easy
Amazingly comfortable P.R.O. Escape 1:1® Chamois
Minimal seaming and raw edge hems for added comfort
Lower profile collar provides less protection from sun
8” inseam too short for my 6’ frame
Sizes: XS – 2XL
Availability: Online, retail
How Obtained: Company sample
RBR sponsor: No
Tested: 20+ hours (indoor/outdoor)
Jersey Colors: Aqua Blue, Screaming Pink, Fiery Coral and Black
Review continues below photos.
Spring 2018 collection shows where the company is headed
When a package arrived from Pearl Izumi with their new Elite Pursuit Speed Jersey and P.R.O. Escape bib shorts, I was tickled pink. The new thoughtful features and design elements in their Spring 2018 collection was exciting to see. Pearl Izumi is making great strides in bringing to market some innovative high-end apparel that won’t break the bank.
New V-strap Drop-Tail Simplifies Nature Breaks!!!
For this review I’m starting from the bottom up. Literally. Several companies, including Pearl Izumi, have made attempts to design a women’s bib that makes nature breaks easier. That means no need to remove your jersey or do contortions in the port-a-potty to go to the bathroom.
I’m so excited about PI’s new P.R.O. Escape bib short. They figured it out. YES. YES. YES. Sixty second dance party. Can you tell I’m excited?
Using an ingenious v-strap drop-tail design you just pull down your shorts, the bib straps stay on so no need to remove your jersey. Now I’ll admit my first attempt didn’t go so well. But then I was told to squat first, then pull down the shorts. It worked like a charm. I didn’t even have to undo the center bib clip.
How does it work? The rear straps overlap making a V shape and combine with the stretch and recovery of their P.R.O. Transfer fabric. This provides enough fabric stretch to lower you shorts. But there’s no sacrifice in fit or support when the shorts are in place. BRAVO!!!
All Around Comfort
These bibs use the P.R.O. Escape 1:1™ chamois which I find extremely comfortable. For most of my rides I tested on the trainer, which as most of us know can be tough on your rear end. You are pretty much glued to that saddle for 90+ minutes.
The chamois fabric is smooth next to the skin. A free-floating dynamic stretch top sheet and 3-layer suspension core work together for extreme comfort. I was very comfortable and never had an issue with chaffing. My longest ride was 45 miles outside and just under 2 hours indoors on the trainer.
PI also minimizes the amount of seaming and uses raw-edge hems for better fit and feel. The leg openings have silicone grippers that holds the short in place and doesn’t ride up. Besides the added comfort and fit, it provides a nice clean leg line without the dreaded sausage look.
The bibs are part of the Spring line and have a temperature rating of 60-100 degrees F. I took this kit on my recent trip to Tucson where temps were in the 80s. The fabric wicked away moisture and I was quite comfortable.
These bibs would get a perfect 5-star rating if it wasn’t for the 8” inseam length. This is totally personal preference, but I like a little longer inseam of at least a 9”.
Aero Jerseys Aren’t Just for Racers
This Spring, PI expanded their Aero apparel collection for both men and women. Even if you aren’t racing, being a little more aero on your bike is always nice. I tested the women’s ELITE Pursuit Speed Short Sleeve Jersey for this review.
The first thing you’ll notice is how soft the fabric is against your skin. The patented Speed Sleeve construction creates an optimal close to the body fit through the shoulders, eliminating wrinkles and smoothing airflow to reduce drag while in the cycling position. The sleeves run a little longer and have raw edge hems, thus wrapping the upper arm in textured aerodynamic fabric.
I tested this jersey both on the trainer and in Tucson. The ELITE Transfer In-R-Cool® fabric powered by Ice-fil® provided excellent cooling and moisture management. The addition of DirectVent panels also provided ventilation to help keep me cool when the temps were in the 80s (rated for 70-100 degrees F). A full-length zipper provided added ventilation when needed.
Other features include three back pockets for plenty of storage. The printed-on silicon gripper on the back hem holds the jersey in place even when in the drops. I really like the bottom hem finish of this jersey with the grippers only on the back. The jersey lays nicer than those with elastic around the whole bottom hem.
For added visibility, you’ll find reflective elements designed into both the jersey and bibs. This includes front and back on the bibs as well as the front, back and shoulder of the jersey.
If you are a woman who has wanted to try bibs for the first time, but were turned off by the inconvenience of nature breaks, here’s your chance. As part of their Spring 2018 collection, Pearl Izumi has launched a P.R.O. Escape bib short with a new v-strap drop tail. You no longer need to remove your jersey to use the restroom. It’s fast…just squat, pull down the shorts and go. And to help you be faster on the bike, try the new Elites Pursuit Speed Jersey. This aero design lets you cut through the wind in style. I really like the direction Pearl Izumi is going with their Spring 2018 line for both men and women. Definitely worth a look.
Next – Overinflation Explosion
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.