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Review of Pearl Izumi Biking Gear With Technical Fabrics

Pearl Izumi Gets Technical

Pearl Izumi ruffled some feathers with its ad campaign pitting runner against joggers, but regardless they make amazing biking gear. Recently, the company released clothing made with four technical fabrics designed to reduce drag, regulate body temperature, and address the problems of moisture. They sent me a few items to check out, which meant a couple of bike rides and a spin class over the course of a few days — any excuse to hop on my bike.

The fabric used to construct P.R.O. Octane Shorts ($225) feels more luxurious than anything I have ever worn for a workout. These lightweight shorts feel great on as well. The technical fabric used in their construction is designed to keep a rider cool during a hot competition. In the hot spin I took wearing them, they did just that. Honestly, the price of these shorts indicates they are truly made for elite high mileage riders or serious competitors. I hope to wear them soon for a distance ride, but don't think I would ever drop that much dough on shorts.

To read about the other two more affordable items, just


The W's Transfer Short Sleeve Baselayer ($50) worked well on a cold, yet sweaty ride. My core stayed warm and dry as I powered up hills and sped down the descents. It's made with Pearl Izumi trademarked Minerale fabric, a polyester fortified with carbon based minerals to improve wicking and keep the stink out of the shirt. After a three hour, sweaty ride the smelled only a little bit and the small amount of smell washed out easily. A short sleeve base layer for Autumn biking worked well for me. This shirt is seriously lightweight and tailored to fit the female form.


My favorite piece is the P.R.O. Barrier Lite Jacket ($95.00). A solid windbreaker can save you on a cold and blustery ride, and this windbreaker did just that. Should the sun come out and the wind dies down, this jacket packs down small to easily fit in a the back pocket of a biking jersey. I am impressed with how thin the material was yet how much wind protection it offered. This jacket might be pricey, but as long as it is not raining I think I can wear it all year long. I would wear it to run too.

All three items are available at the Pearl Izumi website. Look for them at your local bike shop too.

Join The Conversation
ekstor ekstor 7 years
I'm a half-marathoner... been running for a few years and I certainly swear by their shoes. I've gone through two SyncroPace shoes and just bought two more... plus a trail shoe. They make great gear.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
spacekat, you can get the length/ fit of cycling shorts WITHOUT the pad! trust me, you don't want to run in bike shorts !
Fitness Fitness 7 years
spacekatgal — when it comes to bike shorts it is the fit (which equals comfort), the quality (ie can handle being washed and wicks well), the chamois (the padding — poorly designed padding can make you look like you're packing), and elastic around the thighs (it should hold the shorts in place without giving your sausage rolls). The jacket above fits really well and is just super duper light weight, so you don't even know it's there. And the base layer same thing. They even put the washing instruction tag on the outside of the shirt so it won't bug you while riding. There arm warmer and leg warmers (I borrow my hubbie's) also stay put. Cheaper ones that I have worn slide down. iheartkerning — Good tip on the end of season sales!
iheartkerning iheartkerning 7 years
I have a pair of 2008 Pearl Izumi Pro series bib shorts that I absolutely love...the fit is better than other shorts I've owned, and they keep me dryer too. I could LIVE in those shorts. Tip: buy last year's shorts on clearance...I got mine for 40% off.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
$225 is a ridiculous amount of money for bike shorts, IMO. I just spent $120 on the DeSoto 400 mi shorts and that pained me (and my wallet!). I do need a cycling jacket but I'm not ready to fork over the cash yet. ... also need to buy toe covers.. le sigh, my poor wallet ! (and then there's the couple hundred I'm budgeting for my IM Cozy finsher gear :P)
dd-sugar dd-sugar 7 years
I have a few of their bike shirts but didn't pay that much for them. I'm not a serious biker, just love the fabric and how it feels. I like my pink Pearl Izumi trail running shoes I bought this year too. Their stuff just fits great.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
Whoooaaa....for $225, those shorts better be made of gold or something. I don't bike enough to need the specialized equipment for it, so I usually just wear whatever workout clothes are clean and are appropriate for the weather.
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