Pearl Izumi Divide MTB Shorts Review
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I have been itching to take these out, but trail conditions have been less than ideal. Trail veterans are telling me this is as wet as it has ever been on the High Dessert plains of Colorado. It usually dries up pretty fast here on the Front Range near Denver, but 3 to 4 weeks of consistent rain have created a lush landscape worthy of Oregon’s misty forests.
First Thought on the Pearl Izumi Divide MTB Shorts
Comfort, breathability, style, and performance are definitely visible when first examining these shorts. The length is a bit longer to fit into what I would call a traditional mountain bike pair of shorts. They look good without too much flair to keep the focus on the quality, comfort, and ride-ability.
- Transfer Dry fabric provides optimal moisture transfer with superior hand feel
- Direct Vent panels provide superior ventilation
- Snap front closure with zip fly and back waist adjustment One zippered front pocket
- Detachable liner with 3D Tour Chamois®
- 14″ inseam (size medium)
- Shell: 100% Polyester
- Liner: 84% Polyester, 16% Spandex
True to size I’d say is about right for the Pearl Izumi Divide MTB Shorts. My medium’s fit comfortable, allowed me to go through the full range of motion out on the trail, and didn’t require a whole lot of cinching with the Velcro tightening system on either side.
Spring Performance with the Pearl Izumi Divide MTB Shorts
I know the Denver area isn’t known as a MTB cycling Mecca like Durango or Moab, Utah. With that said, a couple million people with fairly easy access to thousands of miles of trails have put us on the map as a cycling hub. There is a social media or blogging group for just about any cycling niche you can imagine. Front Range Trail Conditions on Facebook is one of my favorite, and it has been full of activity lately. Many anxious riders looking for a chance to find a dry window and a ride-able trail has been the #1 topic.
Many trails have had some washouts, and many have simply been closed. I have been able to get out a handful of times when conditions allowed, and have made it a point to dive into and out every single water hole to avoid widening it by going around. The first one is always the roughest as the mud and water soak you pretty good. After that it’s just a lot of woot woot single track fun. The Pearl Izumi Divide shorts got wet and muddy, but the polyester shell has proven quite adequate to shed some water. The Transfer Dry Fabric is pretty cool because these are the first pair of shorts that did not weigh heavy on my legs. Not waterproof by any means, but the Pearl Izumi Divide MTB dried fairly quickly.
I have managed to find some more Cyclo Cross style terrain near my home to ride when time permits. No real hot conditions yet to test these shorts, but the humidity along with effort have given the Direct Vent panels a chance to provide breathability and ventilation.
These Pearl Izumi Divide MTB Shorts are slightly longer which is alright with me. I either go with full on spandex kit when racing to “feel” fast, or more of the traditional MTB look when going for casual and fun. With that added length, however, did not come any of the extra weight or fabric that could get in the way. If anything, it added more protection from any unforeseen trail objects in the form of branches, rocks, and dare I say a tumble?
As the weather is finally heating up, these Pearl Izumi Divide MTB Shorts are starting to show their breathability features. The black stripes on my shorts (the yellow stripes on the main photo) are constructed of tiny little breathing holes. On the outside you can’t really tell as they just look like a design feature. On the inside, however, you can see these little breathing holes. Cool air in the front, and hot air releasing in the back. That’s a good thing.
The separate inner and outer linings are becoming more mainstream these days. You can move independently, they can be washed separately, but can still function as a unit. The simple 2 snap button attachment is quick and easy. The liner in this case does provide the proper amount of compression, I think. Despite the loose baggy outer appearance, the inside important parts are definitely properly contained. This also helps with that heat transfer thing as the sweat is immediately pulled away from the body, and the airflow from the bagginess gives you that AC effect.
One pocket on the right side is all you get. I don’t like having things in my pockets anyway as I usually carry a pack of some sort. I did use this pocket for my iPhone 5 a few times when we were into a photo shooting session. Quick and easy access with the zipper, but I did fear for my phone if heaven forbid I’d take a tumble. That phone got put away more securely afterwards, and once again I was riding without a thing in my pockets. I suppose it’s good for some mid ride snack. The waist tightening system are these 2 elastic straps that Velcro to your size. I like this as there’s no more belts to deal with, or more complex buckle sliding systems.
Available colors: Belgian Block and Black. And comes in the full size range to fit pretty much anyone wanting to get out on the trail.
Final Thoughts on the Pearl Izumi Divide MTB Shorts
These shorts are a simple yet stylish look for out on the trail. The inner lining is a lightweight compression style tight that breathes really well. The outer layer is very thin and lightweight as well with breathability through the ‘racing’ stripes, and a quick and easy tightening system. I put these shorts through the ringer over the course of Mountain bike camping weekend, and after 4 straight 3+ hr. rides they worked great.
For more information and purchase please visit: www.pearlizumi.com