2011 Pearl Izumi Apparel

Apparel Pro Reviews

Launch Short – Plaid
The two-piece Launch Shorts are comprised of an outer short made from a Cotton and Polyester blend with an UPF 50+ rating, with a long cut, and a removable inner chamois liner. The extra length works well and extends to the top of my knees, and they have two-hand pockets and two back pockets, and a small zippered stash pocket by the lower-right thigh (perfect for car remote or small tool). I find that zippered pockets are a functional necessity on a pair of rugged bike shorts, offering security for pocketed items. It has one small elastic side panel by the hip for additional comfort and stretch. The front closure uses Velcro, and two robust snaps, and a nice long zipper for natures calls.

These have turned out to be a great pair of shorts, that are durable, cool looking, and well made. When I first started to test them, I didn’t like them much, since I found the material thick and somewhat stiff. Fortunately, they softened up and became more comfortable, and it just took some washing, and a lot of rides to break them in. They are still not the softest material around, but they are incredibly durable and tough. You don’t feel like you might tear them, or have to be careful when you sit down on something, they are robust and built like a tank. They also are smooth on the saddle, and never snag on the nose or rear section, which makes maneuvering around on a bike effortless.

It uses the same waistband closure system, and chamois as the Launch Kicker Short, refer to it for further information.

Final Thoughts
Make sure you like plaid, since there is only a color variation, but I like them, and you don’t look like a geek when not biking, and they can be used sans-liners. I like Plaid Launch Shorts, as they are durable, snag resistant on the saddle, have an excellent chamois and are fun to wear. The materials thickness and stiffness make them less comfortable initially, but long term life is increased.

Pros

  • Durable and tough
  • Superb 3D Chamois liner
  • Snag resistant on the saddle

Cons

  • It takes some time to break in
  • Material is thick and stiff (good and bad)

Overall Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

Specs:

  • MSRP: $90.00
  • Visit Pearl Izumi Launch Short Plaid website
  • Elite Style no. 11111130
  • Snap and Hook and Loop front closure with zip fly
  • Adjustable interior waistband
  • Two hand pockets and two back pockets
  • Detachable liner with MTB 3D Chamois
  • Screen print on Solid
  • 11″ inseam [size medium]
  • Plaid Body: 48% cotton 52% polyester UPF 50+
  • Weight: 181 g/m2
  • Liner: 80% polyester 20% elastane
  • Sizes: S-XXL
  • Colors: Black Plaid, Coffee Plaid


Rev Jersey
The Rev Jersey is a simple comfortable jersey, with a nice loose cut, and is made from 100% Polyester. It has a small zippered pocket on the right hip, and a cool pattern on the back, which of course will be hidden if you wear a pack. Like all of Pearl Izumi’s jerseys, their transfer fabric provides excellent moisture wicking capabilities, keeping you comfortable without a clammy feeling. It has a 10-inch zipper for venting, although I would prefer a 3/4 to full length one for maximum effectiveness. The loose cut, along with the stretchy material, offer great comfort and wearability, making it very functional for off-road performance.

Final Thoughts
The Rev Jersey is comfortable and stretchy, with a nice loose cut, and has great wicking properties, and offers a great value. Simple is as simple does.

Pro

  • Comfortable
  • Transfer fabric
  • Good value

Cons

  • Needs full length front zipper

Overall Rating: 4 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

Specs:

  • MSRP: $65
  • Visit the Pearl Izumi Rev Jersey website
  • Select Style no. 11121118
  • Transfer fabric provides superior moisture transfer
  • 10″ zipper for venting
  • One zippered side pocket
  • Screen print
  • Loose fit
  • Body: 100% polyester
  • Colors: White/Black, OJ/Black, Green Flash/Black, Black/White


About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • bicol_express says:

    any reviews/thoughts on the x-alp elite shoes you’re wearing

  • Brian Mullin says:

    They are a pretty sweet shoes, comfortable, excellent for hike-a-bike, bombproof, durable and they really protect the feet, although they lose a bit of pedaling power due to flexible sole, but they make up for it in walking and maneuverability (on and off the bike) and protection. There is a reason that Brian Lopes is using it. A review will be forthcoming.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    I should have a review out today!

  • Veda says:

    The last time I used a black Veer jersey was in a hot broiling sun with no cloud on a hellish insanely climbing track. It was so hot I wanted to rip open my gloves. In conclusion, I sold my jersey right away after returning home. Regardless of fabric technology wearing black is still hotter than lighter colors when you’re going slow with no winds around.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Material colors have a couple of properties, darker colors usually absorb more heat, but they’re more effective than lighter colors at blocking out the sun, which is damaging to the body. The In-R-Cool uses Schoeller’s Cold Black technology, which is a fabric coating that is a Sun reflector and UV protector, so it offers better heat management and reduces heat absorption. The mumbo jumbo actually works in the real world. They had a demo at Interbike in which a heat lamp was right next to a set of shorts that had this technology, and you could check the temperature (by touch and a digital gauge) at the fabric surface, and it was not hot.

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