Review: Pearl Izumi Elite Shorts
I have been a roadie for about 10 years. In that time, I have come to appreciate the importance of chamois cream, the correct bike seat and a good pair of bike shorts. As I am sure that you know, a good pair of bike shorts is a pretty substantial investment. Unfortunately unlike your stylish and sophisticated CYCLEBUTTCRACK jerseys, your bike shorts are a high wear item. It is best to own several pair and sadly they will wear out.
Over the years, I have owned Canari shorts and unfortunately the chamois separated from the short. I have also owned Nike shorts, which had a painfully thin chamois and the material became threadbare far too soon. CYCLEBUTTCRACK was created in part to remind people to cover their CRACK. Obviously wearing sheer bike shorts is unacceptable!
Over the years, the most reliable brand of bike shorts for me has been Pearl Izumi. They last a long time, they are comfortable and are less expensive than some other brand. Last year prior to RAGBRAI, I splurged and bought a pair of Pearl Izumi Elite Series bike shorts. I have been riding with these shorts for nearly a year now and I continued to be impressed. These are my favorite bike shorts.
The Pearl Izumi Elite Shorts with In-R-Cool feel very well made. The shorts themselves are composed of at
least three different fabrics arranged in a quite complex pattern of interlocking panels. Seams as a rule are pushed away from the inner thigh towards lower friction areas of the shorts. Strangely there are see through mesh panels on the upper outer hip. I refer to these are the stripper panels and must be part of the In-R-Cool system. Thankfully they are not very noticeable. The most important part of any cycling short is the Chamois. The Pearl Izumi Elite’s chamois is substantial being both large and thick. I would say that the chamois is the highlight of the shorts. After nearly a year of use, I feel I can give a good rundown of the Pearl Izumi Elite Shorts.
The fit of the Elite shorts is quite nice. There is very little bunching or shifting of the shorts as you move. There are no places where I feel friction from the shorts. They are all day comfortable. I will say that the most important thing about any cycling short is the Chamois. The chamois in the Pearl Izumi Elites is fantastic. It is large and thick, but does not feel bulky. It provides very effective padding. You are still sitting on a hard narrow bike seat. It will never be as nice as your sofa, but the Elite Chamois definitely takes the bite out. I generally feel less sore during and after longs rides when I wear these sorts. I also find that the many chamois thin and become less effective with age. The Pearl Izumi Elite chamois is holding up very well.
I do not know what is up with the mesh panels on the side of the Pearl Izumi Elites. I usually throw bike shorts away when they become see through. These come partially see through. Luckily it is not noticeable. The chamois it very comfortable, however at times it rubs strangely on my ‘man-stuff.’ It has never been an issue, but it disconcerting. These shorts like most cycling shorts I have owned are starting to show wear on the inner thigh. If there is a way to stop this, I would love to know what it is.
Your BUTT is like a snowflake. It is unique and special in its own individual way. What may work great for me in a bike short may not work for everyone. However, I really do feel that the Pearl Izumi Elites are great shorts. These are the first bike shorts I have owned that I would go out of my way to buy another pair. I got mine for $110 at REI, but they are available cheaper at Amazon.