Another Colorado-based company, Pearl Izumi has one of the broadest cycling apparel collections of any manufacturer. From pro-level road racing, to triathloin, to enduro shredding they have you covered.
For XC/trail riding, the Summit Short ($80) has been one of our summer go-to pieces. We dig the pop of the yellow, of the cut is trim enough to not hook your saddle, but not so slim or short that you can’t slide on a pair of kneepads for a gnarly descent.
Waist closure is secure thanks to a zipper combined with Velcro tab and snap. Waist adjustment is done via an interior Velcro belt that has a very firm hold.
Two zippered hand pockets provide storage, while the DWR-treated 4-way stretch fabric is water resistant (but not waterproof). The look is casual enough to wear off the trail, but like most light colored MTB shorts, it’s hard to keep the butt area clean if you ride in wet conditions. More info at www.pearlizumi.com.
If you ride mostly in hot weather, Pearl also offers the lighter weight Divide Short ($85, more info here). The cut isn’t quite as long legged as the Summit Short, but you could still get away with a pair of kneepads. Waist closure is a sturdy zipper plus dual snap. An interior Velcro belt handles waist adjustment. One padded center back and two front leg pockets provide ample storage for essentials.
The Pearl Izumi Launch Jersey ($60) pairs well with either of these shorts. It’s essentially a simple tech tee with vented fabric on its lower half and underarms. It also has a handy built-in sunglasses wipe.
Fit, as you can see in the photos, is very relaxed, and it has no pockets. Just be careful near tree branches. We snagged a sleeve and cut a hole in it. Available in six colors and five sizes. More info here.
We already reviewed the Pearl Izumi WRX Jacket, but it remains one of our favorites foul weather items, thus the shout out here.
The $175 jacket is wind and water resistant, packs down fairly small, and best of all, has a hood that easily fits over most mountain bike helmets. Other features include abrasion resistant sleeves, vents at the armpits and hood, and hey, it looks good, too. More info at www.pearlizumi.com.
And like we said before, Pearl Izumi (whose parent company is Shimano) makes almost everything, including shoes. Lately, we’ve been rocking the X-Alp Launch II ($160) for some trail rides. They have a carbon fiber injected composite shank to enhance power transfer. But they’re also plenty comfortable when off the bike and hoofing it. Best of all is the BOA dial, which is placed out of harms way and allows for a even (and micro-adjustable) fit. More info here.