By Brandon Bilyeu
Quest Bib Short: $75
Interval Jersey: $125
How obtained: review sample from company
Available: online, retail
Quest Bib Short: Black
Interval Jersey: Dark Ink, Solar Flare Hatch Palm, Pale Pine Scrib
RBR Sponsor: no
Tested: 20+ hours
Bib Short: S – XXL
Interval Jersey: S-XXXL
Reviewer Measurements and Fit Comments: 5’10” (178cm), 150 lbs (68 kgs), 33″ (84cm) waist, 38” (96.5cm) hips, 33″ (84cm) inseam, 39″ (99cm) chest. I tested size Medium for the bibs and jersey. The bib shorts fit great. The jersey was loose and I’ll talk more about that in the review below.
Quest Bib Short – Affordable Comfort
- New Levitate chamois is comfortable
- Good fit with lots of stretch
- Fabric wicks well and stays dry
- Price is right
- No women’s version
- Limited perineum relief in chamois
A while back I reviewed the very comfortable Pearl Izumi Expedition PRO Bib Short. But that high-end short comes with a high price tag, so I also requested to test out the entry level Quest Bib Short for comparison. In hand, the two are clearly made with different materials, construction, and chamois, but out on the bike things didn’t feel so different.
The biggest difference was in the chamois. The Expedition uses the new Levitate PRO with dual density foam and impressive thickness for a cushy ride. The Quest also gets the new Levitate chamois, but not the PRO version. The standard Levitate only has a single density pad that is much thinner than the PRO, but comfort and support remain quite good. Though less cushy, you do get a more planted ride with a direct connection to the saddle. The perineum relief channel is much less pronounced than on the PRO and there was a little more pressure on the soft tissue. I found that the Levitate was great for my 2-3 hour weeknight rides, but on longer 5+ hour weekend rides I was starting to want a little more cushion. I run a very hard saddle, so a softer saddle would mitigate this somewhat.
The material of the Quest is not as silky smooth as the Expedition, but perfectly comfortable. It breaths and wicks well, staying quite dry even on hot rides. The fit is good with mild compression and good stretch. The front is cut quite high but easy enough to pull down for comfort breaks. The leg length is classic mid-thigh instead of the current knee length trend. The leg openings are folded over and sewn for a clean look with consistent compression to avoid sausage leg. Grippers keep everything in place nicely. Up top the bib straps are mesh with a fabric hem sewn on the edges. Like any good bib short, once you put then on you forget about them as there is nothing uncomfortable that draws your attention.
Bottom line – Is the more expensive Expedition PRO Bib Short more comfortable? Yes, but the Quest Bib Short still falls into the ‘very comfortable’ end of the spectrum. The Quest Bib Short is an excellent choice for an everyday workhorse piece of kit, but maybe use some of the money you saved to get a cushier chamois for those epic weekend rides.
Interval Jersey – Sleek Summer Weight Jersey, Sizing Seems Off
- Fun patterns and colors
- Soft, lightweight, perforated fabric
- Form fit with good stretch
- Reflective logo on rear
- Full zip and 3 rear pockets
- Fit is critical, but sizing chart seems off
- No extra/zippered pockets
The Interval Jersey has been great for the current hot summer riding. The Transfer fabric is very thin and light, is perforated for air movement, and wicks/dries quickly. The styling is excellent too, with fun patterns available instead of just solid colors and moderately long sleeve length. The Solar Flare color definitely counts as high visibility for extra safety.
The build sticks to the standard full-zip front and three pockets out back. The zipper is nicely hidden behind the jersey material for a very uniform look and is easy to operate one handed. The pockets are bellowed at the bottom to allow expansion without pulling the waistband off your back and the top edges are bonded for a very minimalist look. There are silicone grippers at the rear waist but none on the sleeves so they ride up a little bit.
My only real complaint is the sizing. Based on my measurements I fall right in the middle of size Medium on Pearl’s size chart, but it is clearly too big for me. The jersey is designed with a ‘Form Fit’ cut meaning “snug to body, engages stretch.” The jersey does sit very close to my skin but stretch is not engaged. The front waist is much too long and bunches up badly on the bike. The biggest problem is the loose waist. The lightweight and high stretch material means an engaged waistband is critical for pocket support. When riding I can feel the loose rear waistband flapping in the breeze and the pocket contents pulling the whole jersey down. Empty pockets are fine, but filled with gear the saggy feeling is not great. One size down for me and I expect the fit would have been great, so consider sizing down. The good news is that Pearl Izumi is one of the few brands still readily available at retail stores so you can try everything on at a local bike shop before you buy!
Bottom line – a comfortable and lightweight jersey if you get the right size. Great for summer riding and stylish too.
Brandon Bilyeu is an avid recreational roadie who lives in Regensburg, Germany. He’s a year-round bike commuter and is a mechanical design engineer by trade. Click to read Brandon’s full bio.