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Pearl Izumi Pro Pursuit bibtights review

28 Feb 2020

Well designed cold weather tights, although I didn’t find the chamois very comfortable

Cyclist Rating: 
Good • Zoned weather protection
Pad is not as comfortable as some competitors’ offerings

Pearl Izumi uses a range of different fabrics in the Pro Pursuit bibtights, to provide good weather protection in the places where it most matters.

It’s the tops of the thighs that take the brunt of the weather once the heavens open. They tend to stay wet and cold once the rain stops too. That’s also where the muscles are working hardest when cycling and are most in need of protection. So Pearl Izumi has used a thick, water-resistant softshell fabric here and in the upper rear of the tights to keep you warm and dry.

It’s not super-stretchy, so I found that I needed to prise myself into the Pearl Izumi Pro Pursuit bibtights a bit more than some. But once you’ve got them on and sorted out any rucks in the legs, they feel comfortable and supportive.

There are panels of much more stretchy fabric on the sides of the upper leg and buttocks and behind the knees to help with fit and articulation.

There’s a pre-shaped bend to the knees. Below this, Pearl Izumi uses a lighter weight water-resistant softshell fabric that copes well with wheelspray. It’s also more stretchy, which helps with getting the tights on and off. You don’t get leg zippers, the leg ends just finishing with a wide elastic gripper.

Buy from the Cyclestore for £143.99

The upper section of the Pearl Izumi Pro Pursuit bibtights is well designed. There’s a high, insulated back to ensure excellent overlap with upper half clothing. The yoke of the tights is stretchy and has wide, raw edged straps, so there’s no sensation of pressure over the shoulders and no tendency to ruck either.

The Pearl Izumi Pro Pursuit bibtights use a Pursuit 1:1 seat pad, which Pear Izumi describes as premium. There’s more structure to the chamois than appears from the even red surface. You can feel the thicker sections under the sitbones.

But the pad doesn’t feel as sophisticated or as dense as that in other makers’ tights at this price point. It’s not as nice to ride on either. It’s fine for mid-length rides, but I’d choose different tights to stay more comfortable on an all day ride.

There’s yet another fabric used under the pad, that’s less slippery than the softshell fabric used elsewhere in the upper legs and lower abdomen and so keeps you well positioned on the saddle without slipping about.

Buy from the Cyclestore for £143.99

The large number of panels and different fabrics used lead to a lot of seams in the Pearl Izumi Pro Pursuit bibtights. That provides a good fit and tailored weather protection. I did not find the seams intrusive, although most are not flatlocked.

So if your aim is to get out for a shorter ride in nasty weather, the Pearl Izumi Pro Pursuit bibtights would be a good choice. But for a longer, less inclement winter ride, they’d not be my first choice. At this price point there are better options out there.


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