Reviewed by Laurel-Lea Shannon
Judging by the number of hits we get on our articles that cover saddle issues, genital discomfort on the bike is clearly the big issue for many women cyclists. After checking your bike fit, and experimenting with different saddles, all that may be standing (or sitting) between you and a comfortable ride is the shorts you wear, making cycling shorts one of the most important investments you make each summer. The adage, “you get what you pay for” couldn’t be truer of cycling shorts. The good ones are expensive but the comfort they deliver is worth every penny. Always buy the best shorts you can afford. If you find a winning pair, buy two.
Pearl Izumi’s Elite In-R-Cool Short Cuts fall into the winning category. The moment I slipped them on my first impression was total comfort. They fit me perfectly. I always size up with Pearl Izumi products, and ordered a medium.
I was almost scared off by the “short cut.” But with a 7-inch inseam they are a measly two inches shorter than Pearl Izumi’s regular size short. And the silicone leg gripper ensures they don’t ride up any shorter.
The waistband is just 1 inch at the back and sides but expands into a 2-inch wide stretch, mesh panel at the front, providing extra comfort and ventilation. The shorts have the same winning Elite 3D Chamois—a breathable, four-way stretch, pressure-relief technology— that I wrote about when I reviewed PI’s drop-tail bib shorts last summer. The 3D chamois has three layers of variable-density padding, adding up to 13 millimeters of total-bottom comfort.
Reflective decals on each leg of the shorts and on the back panel add an element of safety. A fabric technology Pearl iZUMi uses called In-R-Cool ® reflects the sun, and transfers moisture to the surface of the short where it can evaporate, keeping you cool and dry. The cycling shorts have a UPF rating of 50+.
How did they perform on the bike? I did a fast and hilly 40 km (24 miles) ride in them, and a 60 km (36 miles) ride and they were completely comfortable. Can’t wait to try them on a longer route!
We want to know what you think! Scroll down to leave a comment.
Like this article? You’ll love getting our free newsletter!