The Pearl Izumi Men's Elite Pursuit Graphic Jersey is a top-notch garment that brings a mixture of great material choice and fit to provide pretty much everything you need for a short sleeve top to get you from spring through to autumn.
The Elite Transfer fabric that Pearl Izumi has used for the Pursuit jersey is real quality. Its 100 per cent polyester construction is thicker than many summer jerseys but that doesn't seem to hamper it – even when the temperature rises to the mid-20s centigrade breathability and airflow is pretty impressive. And should you get overwhelmed on a climb, for instance, then you can always drop the full length zip.
It's warm enough from about 15°C which gives it a pretty good operating range.
The Pursuit is definitely a racer's jersey, having quite a slim, form-fitting cut, but that Elite fabric gives you a bit of room for manoeuvre if you are fit but not as lean as an elite-level pro. The shape is kept in check by the material used for the shoulders and side panels – a lighter weight polyester (83%) and Lycra (17%) blend which keeps things taut where it needs to be, with no fabric being left to flap about in the wind.
The arms come to about mid-bicep and are held in place with a comfortable lightweight cuff.
Round the back, the hem has a decent drop to it which keeps your lower back covered when you're crouched in the drops, and it's held in place by little silicone tabs.
It's quite rare to see a jersey these days with just the three traditional pockets, as in there's no zipped one for valuables. It's no biggy but something I missed for when I wanted to shove my house key somewhere – especially on a £100 jersey.
Things shouldn't fall out of the pockets anyway, as they are deep and the fabric remains taut when full. I like the fact the pockets have been stitched in a 'bellows' construction, where the fabric is folded underneath before being sewn. It means that when full, the pockets come away from the jersey at the bottom with the extra fabric almost giving them a base. It allows whatever you have in your pocket to sit more naturally.
Money-wise, a penny shy of £100 is quite an outlay for a lightweight short-sleeved jersey, but on the plus side it is excellently made with neat stitching and finish.
However, the Sweet Protection Crossfire jersey offers very similar attributes and costs just £69.99, and there are plenty of others we've tested around that price.
The Pearl Izumi does fair well against the likes of the Giro Chrono Pro jersey, though, which will set you back £129.99.
Overall, the Pursuit Graphic jersey is a very good all-round package, even if you do have to pay a little extra for it.
Top-end price but saved by a great fit, plenty of breathability and deep, secure pockets
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pearl Izumi Elite Pursuit Graphic Jersey
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Pearl Izumi says, "The Men's ELITE Pursuit Graphic Jersey is a high-performance cycling jersey designed to complement our Pursuit bib shorts. The raglan sleeves provide a close and comfortable fit and ELITE Transfer fabric delivers the breathability and moisture management necessary to keep you comfortable during hard efforts."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
ELITE Transfer fabric provides superior moisture transfer
Sleeve and side panels are a polyester and LYCRA® blend for form-fitting freedom of movement
Full-length zipper for venting
Three back pockets with bellows construction for optimal storage
Body: 100% polyester; Shoulders/Sides: 83% polyester 17% LYCRA®/UPF 50+; Garment Weight (Size M): 166 g; Made in China
Although form fitting there is a bit of give here and there so you don't need to be super-lean to look good in it.
Sizing is correct to the chart on the website.
Pretty pricey compared with very similar out there (though others are more expensive).
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Pearl Izumi recommends a cool 30 degree wash and I had no issues. It's had countless washes and come through unscathed.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It's a very comfortable jersey that works well across a broad range of temperatures.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Price is top end.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
There are a lot of good quality jerseys out there for around the £65-£70 mark, but there are a few around £130 offering similar features.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A really nice jersey to wear thanks to the great fabric and cut, and it offers plenty of performance – at a price.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!