Pearl Izumi Adds to MTB Apparel Collection
Cycling and mountain biking is no longer just a sport or an activity, but it’s a culture and a way of life for many. The designers over at Pearl Izumi know that Lycra and Spandex is no longer the only thing cyclist and riders want to wear. We also want cycling clothing that we wear when heading over to the local brewery after our ride. I’ve had the chance to test out a few of PI’s more recent cross over MTB clothing, testing it for both trail use and casual use.
Pearl Izumi Boardwalk Short – $80
The PI Boardwalk short is a pretty simple short, but has a great look and feel to it. The material is a breathable polyester that feels soft next to skin and moves and stretches with you when you’re on the trail. I’ve primarily worn the Boardwalk short for after work rides ranging from 1-2 hours. To date, I haven’t taken any big diggers in these shorts, so I can’t yet say how they’ll hold up when you eat it. The material isn’t as heavy duty as a true MTB short, so keep that in mind if you’re expecting to get after it.
The Boardwalk shorts have two front pockets and two rear pockets(one has velcro) for stashing your goods. While they blend casual and performance, I would have liked to see at least one zippered front pocket in these shorts to secure my phone. The shorts have a reflective strip above the back pocket on the left hip and a smaller vertical reflective stripe on the back of the left thigh.
I find the fit of these short to be in line with the average to skinny cyclist. I’m 6’0 tall and 168 lbs which I consider to be average build and find the size 32 waist to be perfect. For those who need to tighten the shorts up around the waist the Boardwalk shorts come with belt loops.
Pearl Izumi Short Sleeve Button Up – $85
Plaid shirts and mountain biking together like peanut butter and jelly. Plaid shirts are all the rage for MTB riders these days, and nearly every brand wants in. The short sleeve button up by Pearl Izumi has a 68% cotton 32% polyester blend. The shirt has a small amount of stretch to it for when your muscling through technical trails, but not to the extend of a tee shirt.
This button up is has a more slender profile to it, so if your average to skinny the fit won’t be an issue. I tend to have a little broader shoulders and find to top of the shirt to be a tad restrictive. I am still comfortable riding with the button up on, but I prefer button ups that are a little roomier. To keep the sun from burning the lower back, this button up has a drop tail in the back to keep your back covered when in a forward lean position. To stay visible on the roads, there is reflective stripes on both arms that blend in well with the color of the black and grey color combo, but can still be seen when light shines on them.
On those hot days, the snaps make this shirt a breeze to open up close snap close.
Pearl Izumi continues to remain a player in the MTB category, but with the growing popularity of the sport, they can’t let their guard down. I’d like to see a few more MTB short and shirt offerings from the brand as the selection is somewhat limited for the time being. As mentioned above, the quality and design is good, I’d just like to see more of it.