The Pearl Izumi Pro Bib Shorts perform exceptionally well, from cool to warm weather. Made from Italian PRO Transfer fabric, with the PRO Escape 1:1 chamois, these shorts are impressively comfortable even during the longest training rides.
They're a performance-orientated pair of shorts, designed to fit closely to your body and give the shorts a very professional, sleek look. I'm 6ft 2in and 73kg and I found a size medium fitted me perfectly with no bagginess.
They're made from seven individually cut panels with minimal seaming and are exceedingly comfortable. There's no irritation around the leg, and silicone gripper holds them in place effectively during even the longest rides.
Adding to the comfort is the material the shorts are made from. The Italian PRO Transfer fabric is incredibly soft and luxurious, unlike anything I have worn before.
Up top, the bib straps are hardly noticeable, while down below, although chamois comfort is very personal, I really got on with the PRO Escape 1:1 pad.
If you haven't got the message yet... in terms of comfort, these shorts aced it.
I tested the shorts in weather ranging from 7 to 20°C, as well as indoors on the turbo. They were able to handle anything thrown at them, offering a high level of breathability while wicking away sweat.
Some people reckon you should wear only plain black shorts, but I really like this black cosmic design; I think the contrast helps you stand out a little better than plain black kit. If the cosmic design isn't to your liking, though, Pearl Izumi offers these shorts in a variety of colourways, including plain black.
Helping to keep you visible at night, dawn or dusk are reflective logos at the back of the shorts.
The only drawback with these shorts is their premium price. Retailing at £189.99, they're in direct competition with the Castelli Superleggera bib shorts at £190 and the Assos Equipe RS Spring Fall S9 bib shorts at £200, right at the top end of the market. However, these shorts do perform flawlessly and are well worth considering – especially when paired with the Pearl Izumi Pro Mesh Jersey (full review to come).
Faultless, high-performing, comfortable shorts with a healthy price tag...
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Pearl Izumi Pro Bib Short Black Cosmic
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Pearl Izumi says: "Crafted with long ride comfort at the top of the list, we have paired our most supportive and breathable PRO Escape 1:1® Chamois with luxurious Italian PRO Transfer fabric, to create a bib short that you will choose for your most important rides. Just seven carefully engineered panels are used to minimize seaming for a perfect contour to your body. Wide, laser cut bib straps eliminate the need for additional binding for a barely there, yet supportive fit. The raw edge hems create a smooth transition from short to skin for a sleek, high performance look and feel, with a printed silicone gripper to hold it securely in place even during hard efforts."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Pearl Izumi lists:
Luxurious Italian PRO Transfer fabric provides balanced compression for ultimate comfort
PRO Escape 1:1® Chamois with floating top sheet design delivers unmatched comfort
Seven panel design minimizes seams and maximizes body contouring fit
Laser cut leg openings with silicone leg grippers for a seamless transition to skin
Laser cut bib straps provide superior next to skin comfort and a low profile feel
BioViz® reflective elements for low-light visibility
Really well made with no stray fibres.
Performed very well throughout the testing period in a variety of different temperatures.
The shorts are in the same condition now as they were at the start of the testing period.
Fit really well, with no bagginess.
A lightweight pair that you don't notice while riding.
Supremely comfortable, even on the longest of rides.
They're at the top end of the market, really good quality and supremely comfortable, and still a little cheaper than Assos.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
I have washed the shorts many times over the testing period and can confirm that their properties remain constant after washing, and the colour hasn't faded.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They performed really well over a variety of temperatures during springtime in the UK. Their main appeal is the fit and comfort on longer training rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Aside from the comfort, I really like the black cosmic pattern – black shorts look cool but aren't very exciting. This pattern looks really sleek while still being unique and interesting.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are in the same price bracket as the Assos Equipe RS Spring Fall S9 bib shorts, which come in at £200.
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
These are some of the best cycling shorts I have ever used. I absolutely love riding in these, and think they are a fantastic offering from Pearl Izumi. The only reason they don't receive full marks is because of their price. Otherwise, they are a sublime pair of shorts.
About the tester
I usually ride: Giant TCR My best bike is: Giant Trinty
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, club rides, the occasional bit of track