Well-made shorts for the hot weather with a decent mid-level seatpad.
Pearl Izumi In-R-Cool bib short
7 10

The Pearl Izumi Elite In-R-Cool bib shorts are really well made with a decent-quality seat pad to keep you comfortable in the saddle.

That pad is deep enough, at 13mm, to provide a good level of protection, and channels down the centre help it to flex and breathe, although I could have done with a little more density to the padding underneath the sit-bones on long rides; I'm talking about three hours or so.

The shorts are well-shaped from multiple panels with the double needle seams looking like they'll stand up to all sorts of abuse. The main fabric is pretty rugged stuff and there are no signs of wear so far, not even in the seat section.

Rather than having a elastic leg gripper, these have a doubled-over cuff of the same fabric. It works fine... or, at least, it worked fine for me, with silicone print inside the hem helping to keep the legs from shimmying up over time. In terms of length, each leg is about 24cm. When stretched on, the size medium covered my quads almost completely rather than reaching halfway down like some.

The fabric features In-R-Cool Coldblack fabric technology, the idea being to reflect heat away from you rather than absorbing it. This is something that we're seeing on quite a lot of shorts these days. This sort of claim usually sets off my BS detector but it does actually work to keep you just a touch cooler when the sun is shining. If you really want to stay cool, though, wearing white clothing would make more of an impact.

The bib section and a couple of small panels on the hips are made from a highly breathable mesh and the shoulder straps are wide enough never to dig in.

You get quite a lot of reflective transfers that are all still in place several washes in, although Dave has a pair of these shorts from last year and they did start to peel over time. They always do.


Well-made shorts for the hot weather with a decent mid-level seatpad.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Pearl izumi ELITE In-R-Cool Bib Short

Size tested: Size: M

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Here's the info from Pearl Izumi:

- Pearl Izumi's best selling bib short now features the reflective In-R-Cool® coldblack® fabric technology providing optimal cooling and UPF 50+ sun protection

- The Elite In-R-Cool bib short combines an anatomic multi-panel design with flatlock and double needle seams for durability and comfort

- Silicone leg gripper with welded construction

- The dense Elite 3D Chamois® offers maximum support and comfort for extended hours in the saddle thanks to a 13mm 3-layers padding and active carbon yarns to improve thermoregulation

- Reflective elements for low-light visibility

- 9' inseam [size medium]Form Fit

- Weather forecast: Hot and sunny

- Temperature rating: +/- 25 degrees

- Main fabrics: 80% nylon 12% elastane 8% polyester (Weight 258 g/m2), Mesh fabrics: 80% polyester 20% elastane, Lower Panels: 80% nylon 12% elastane 8% polyester

Essentially, these are a general riding/performance shorts for the summer.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

For more info on Coldblack, follow this link http://www.coldblack.ch/uploads/media/coldblack_Product_Info_Sheet_Engli...

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
Rate the product for value:

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Leg length is good and the leg grippers work well. The seams look set to last.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? I'd prefer more density to the seatpad.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 41  Height: 190cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,


Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.


WolfieSmith [1397 posts] 6 years ago

'we live in a world of incremental gains'. Wise words Dave. More like inconsequential gains - but how would cycle product marketing survive without a healthy dollop of fear inducing, must have prompting BS?  4

pedalpowerDC [375 posts] 6 years ago

One of my fav chamois is the Pearl Izumi 4d, but I'm done with them after repeated quality problems with construction. Stitches failing and embarrassingly bad customer service.