Summary : The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Pursuit Cycling Bib Tights provide warmth, comfort, wind protection, and stretch in all the right places. They make my time out on the bike much more enjoyable.
Initial Thoughts Of The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Pursuit Cycling Bib Tights
First thing that came to mind, was “No Excuses.” And by that, I mean that I really don’t have any other excuses to get out to meet my morning group rides twice a week. No matter the weather, there will be riders out there looking to get whipped into shape. Face masks, lobster gloves, shoe covers, these bib pants, and the Pearl Izumi Elite Softshell Jacket (see review here). These Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Pursuit Cycling Bib Tights should allow me to be able to tackle some seriously cold temperatures.
The Scotchlite Reflective Material are highlights and logos that light up when hit with a vehicle’s headlights. These Bibs are black, but the highlights do allow for some extra visibility. I have started riding with DRL (Daytime Running Lights) most of the time now, because it blinks and gets motorists to pay attention or away from their cell phones (hopefully). So please don’t use the reflective material to substitute for visibility. It is merely another layer of defense to be seen and to stay safe.
The Lycra components are integral in these pants. They allow for proper fit and freedom of movement. And as a bonus, you get to enjoy some recovery compression during your ride.
The chamois always plays a critical part in anyone’s ride experience. Saddle time is important to be able to build a solid base (pun intended). At face value, the chamois appears to be rather simple. In fact, it has a four layer system in place to provide targeted support and as much comfort as possible. Pearl Izumi touts this chamois as “Optimized for dynamic movement and maximum ride feel”. As long as it doesn’t bunch up, and provides a comfortable tushy, I am OK with the fancy way to promote this. My rides in the winter are going to be in the 20-40 mile range. I do wish they had provided these with some more oomph in the thickness department for a bit more comfort. So take my review at face value in that I was comfortable and without any soreness for most of my “shorter” rides.
The Fit Of The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Pursuit Cycling Bib Tights
I am 6’-1” and 160-170 pounds depending on where I am in my training cycle. My go-to size for much of my apparel is usually a size Medium. When it comes to cycling and running tights, I tend to go for the Large, as my legs are a bit larger in proportion to my upper body (that happens when you bike and run a lot). If you are a little taller or bigger, I still think this is a good size for you as there is lots of stretch and lycra for a good fit.
I do the occasional triathlon, so putting Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Pursuit Cycling Bib Tights on and taking it off felt a little like a wetsuit. It definitely takes a few extra tugs and pulls to get it all situated, but not bad overall.
And let’s not forget the looks of these Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Pursuit Cycling Bib Tights are clean and simple. They do have a patchwork of different materials to allow for stretch, warmth, wind protection, comfort, etc. In the end, if I am able to stay warm, perform without having to think about my gear, it works!
Putting the Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Pursuit Cycling Bib Tights To The Test
First cold morning ride with temperatures right around 30. Definitely below freezing, and once you add in 15-25 mph of head wind speed, having the right gear makes all the difference. As mentioned before, there are numerous panels in different areas addressing certain needs. The lower back panel has a softer and warmer fleece lining which is awesome! When I would get into the drop bars or stood for a sprint, the riding up of top layers did not cause that opening for a cold draft to shoot up my back.
The waist or crotch region also had a protective layer and warmer fleece which was definitely a positive. The only area I noticed a bit of a chill for a good part of my warm up was the quad region. The wind and cold seemed to manage to penetrate through a little. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but I did take notice of it. Keep in mind that this was for my personal cold tolerance (I get cold easily), and in the mid to upper 20 degree mark. I would not hesitate to wear these down to about 20 degrees. Any colder, and I may have to add another layer underneath.
I think at one ride thus far, we’ve seen 18 degrees. It wasn’t pleasant, so I may call 20 degrees my limit, but I really shouldn’t have anymore excuses to get out and ride. Colorado is unique, in that the sun usually comes out, and it warms up into the 50’s for much more pleasurable riding. That said, I wouldn’t get the comradery and workout when riding with others.
A Holiday mountain trip allowed me to play a little on the Colorado Trail on a borrowed Fat Bike. The temperatures were in the 30’s with a bit of sun to go along with it. Not bad, and a fresh layer of snow added for some fun and challenging terrain. The pants performed well, and were able to shed the snow and subsequent moisture up the pant legs.
I know the flexibility needs to be there for the knees up to the quads. Again, I tell you, the wind did penetrate slightly and was noticeable on the upper leg. I may try adding a regular pair of cycling shorts underneath to just try and see if that makes a difference with another layer. I know that probably breaks all sorts of Velominati Rules about 2 pairs of shorts and chamois, blah blah, blah. It’s all about comfort!
Speaking of Chamois; here’s a few thoughts on that. The padding doesn’t appear to be the thickest and most cushioned I’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing. You could certainly also buy a big old plush granny seat to grace your Pinarello. Hence, thick and comfy isn’t always the answer either. With that said, they have performed admirably for my 20 to 50 mile rides up to this point.
Final Thoughts On The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Pursuit Cycling Bib Tights
These bad boys will run you a pretty penny at $195. What it comes down to is if it will perform and keep you warm? I do think it’s pricey, but like anything in the bike world, and especially with winter riding, it’s about having the proper gear. It’s hard to put a price on staying warm. Worth it, sure! The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Pursuit Cycling Bib Tights are a very worthy addition to the myriad of clothing and gear I have assembled. With warmth, comfort, wind protection, and stretch in all the right places, they make my time out on the bike much more enjoyable. Everyone will have their own temperature and weather tolerance, but I have no problem wearing these in 20 degree temperatures.
For more information and options, please visit www.PearlIzumi.com