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 read more.
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.