The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Ltd bib shorts are well constructed and feel great for two to three-hour rides but at this price I would expect a seat pad to keep you comfortable all day.
The pad in these shorts has Pearl Izumi's Anatomic 1:1 Chamois technology. They say "The 1:1 chamois features a completely smooth surface next to your skin, for the most comfortable interface between body and pad." The first thing that struck me about these shorts was the thinness of the pad which varies between 4 and 13mm thick. However I was immediately surprised by how comfortable it was given the thin construction. It was great for turbo sessions, crit racing and shorter training rides, but on longer rides after about 2.5 hours I found myself wanting a thicker, denser pad.
On a plus point, the pad absorbs sweat well and has good breathability so stays dry on hot and high exertion rides.
The shorts are made from Pearl Izumi's P.R.O. Transfer In-R-Cool fabric and claim to provide cooling and sun protection up to a UPF of 50 in the leg panels. The fabric has good wicking qualities and shifts moisture quickly, which was noticeable on hot days and during high intensity rides. Unfortunately the British summer didn't allow me to fully test the factor 50 sun protection.
Pearl Izumi say that in their P.R.O. Ltd bib shorts they have "developed an anatomic multi panel construction and strategically placed flatlock seams with improved leg structured design for maximum comfort." What is clearly evident is that this works. These shorts achieve a superb fit with no tight or baggy areas, are extremely comfortable next to the skin and feel light. They're very well made and I couldn't feel any evidence of the internal seams and stitching when wearing them. This level of comfort is where they stand apart from shorts at a lower price point.
To give you an idea of sizing, the large was a great fit for me. I am 6ft tall and 78kg. [And in his spare time, Nick enjoys mixing measurement systems - Ed]
The bib straps are made of a lightweight mesh that is 65mm wide providing a good fit and stretch so you barely notice them. Unlike cheaper bib shorts I own, the straps leave no temporary indents on your skin.
The shorts are held in place on your legs by an elasticated hem which is about 80mm deep and does a great job of keeping the legs where they need to be, with no slippage even after several washes. Like the straps you don't notice them and they sit comfortably on your skin without digging in.
I have worn these shorts 25 to 30 times and each time they have gone through the wash at 30 or 40 degrees. There are no visible signs of wear, they have kept their shape well and have not faded. Most importantly, the composition of the fabric and the snug comfortable fit has not deteriorated.
I loved riding these shorts due to the comfort and function of the fabric but wish the seat pad was up to longer rides. They have been my go to choice for rides of up to about 40 miles, but I have cheaper pairs with a more comfortable seat pad for longer adventures, such as the Sunday club run.
The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Ltd bib shorts are £120; with a bit of shopping around you can find them for £89.99. The question you need to ask yourself is, are you prepared to part with that amount of money for a very comfortable pair of shorts that may be restricted to shorter rides?
Very comfortable, light shorts ideal for shorter summer rides but the seat pad lets them down on longer rides
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Make and model: Pearl Izumi PRO Ltd Bib Shorts
Size tested: Large
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?
- Developed for speed, tested in the wind tunnel and approved by Project 1t4i
- The New PRO Ltd Bib Short combines the dimpled Aero fabric on the thigh panels combined with Pearl Izumi's anatomic multi-panel construction and strategically placed flatlock seams for minimum wind resistance with improved leg structured design for maximum comfort
- PRO Transfer In-R-Cool® fabric powered by coldblack® provides optimal cooling and reflective sun protection
- PRO Transfer Aero with In-R-Cool® fabric provides aerodynamic benefits and optimal cooling with reflective sun protection
- Direct-Vent panels provide superior ventilation
- Anatomic multi-panel design
- Flatlock seams for smooth interior construction
- Featuring the lighter anatomic PRO Seamless 4D Chamois® which uses 4 different levels of density and a breathable 4-way stretch carbon yarn fabric to deliver ultimate comfort and thermoregulation
Incredibly comfortable but you start to want a thicker seat pad on rides over 2.5 hours.
After numerous rides and washes the shorts still look and feel great with minimal signs of wear.
These are really comfortable and well put together, I just wish the pad was thicker for longer rides.
At this price point I would expect a pad to keep me comfortable for longer than 2.5 hours.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I was really impressed with the comfort and fit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The pad was too thin for me on longer rides over 2.5 hours.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, but not at rrp.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, but not at rrp.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
If you want a good fitting, lightweight pair of shorts for shorter rides these are an incredibly comfortable option. However for longer rides I would go for shorts with a thicker, more dense pad.
Age: 39 Height: 6 foot Weight: 12st 2
I usually ride: Giant TCR Advanced My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding,