Pearl Izumi doesn’t build bikes. They specialize in performance sportswear, so all of their creative energy can go into innovations that make their clothing different, and noticeably better than that of manufacturers who sell both bikes and clothing.
And you don’t have to purchase their top-of the-line P.R.O. gear to see the difference. Take the Women’s Elite short-sleeved jersey for example. The moment I put it on I noticed that the fabric is softer than my other jerseys and lighter too, exactly what I want to wear on hot summer rides. The jersey wicks amazingly well, keeping me dry and cool, and the 50+ UPF protects me from the sun—perfect for all-day adventures on the bike or shorter training rides.
I’ve worn jerseys that you have to yank down every time you get off the bike. I’ve never had that happen with a Pearl Izumi product. The form-fitting jersey is comfortable, not tight. An elastic gripper on the back keeps it in place when you’re on the bike and holds it in place when you stop for a post-ride espresso break.
The design uses attractive multi-coloured panels that are bright enough to be seen at a distance by motorists, but still stylish. Three back pockets provide plenty of room for cargo such as energy bars, gels, and sun sleeves (or arm warmers). The middle pocket has a fourth sweat-proof pocket sewn into it for items that you want to keep dry, a cell phone for example. But the sweat-proof pocket is fairly small. If you own one of the larger smart phones, it probably won’t fit.
The jersey comes in a variety of colours: Scuba Blue (pictured), Paradise pink, Orchid, True Red and Black.
Price: $100 US.
Bottom line: My favourite jersey this year. Highly recommended! (Note: I size up with Pearl Izumi.)