Being right down the street from the shiny new Pearl Izumi world headquarters, I get to test all the new goodies before they hit retail shelves. That means I’m vetting this stuff in real conditions for miles and miles, and I only write about what I use and recommend to my readers and friends.
Of the dozens of items Pearl releases each season, sometimes it’s too much to wrap my head around. With its latest iteration of Fall/Winter riding apparel however, I eagerly gobbled up everything I could get my paws on and put it through the ringer up on the gravel roads, trails and windy highways around my house at 8,400 feet above Boulder.
Pearl Izumi, for those who don’t know, is a performance cycling and triathlon footwear and apparel brand with a Japanese heritage dating back more than 60 years. Its beloved trail running shoes and running apparel is being discontinued so that they can focus solely on cycling beginning in 2017. Its new Fall/Winter 2016 Pursuit and Escape Ride collections, in retailers and online at PearlIzumi.com now, is a group of purpose built layering pieces, head to toe, for every kind of riding and weather condition, from gravel grinding and fat biking, to winter road riding, adventure touring and commuting.
Images courtesy of Pearl Izumi
The collection is made up of new Pursuit apparel options for goal-focused riders, and Escape apparel options for the adventure rider. For those on the road and in urban environments, the collection includes BioViz, which combines fluorescent colors, reflective materials and “biomotion” design to catch drivers’ eyes more quickly and effectively.
“If you start with how the rider will be using it, you can prioritize ventilation in warmth for riders training through the winter, and more all around protection for riders who need versatility for adventure riding,” said Andrew Hammond, Pearl Izumi Global Brand Manager. “We’ve taken a hybrid approach to several styles combining fabrics in different ways to deliver on specific rider expectations.”
Here are some highlights from the men’s and women’s Pursuit and Escape Ride collections for Fall/Winter 2016:
The P.R.O. Pursuit Softshell Jacket ($200) provides warmth and weather protection combining thermal fabric with a three-layer membrane softshell in key splash zones. The zipper garage keeps cold metal away from the skin and thermal panels wick sweat. Pairs with the P.R.O. Pursuit Bib Tight. Features include: 3-layer softshell panels for wind and water protection; new softshell lite fabric on back pockets for breathable wind and water protection with stretch; reflective elastic below pockets holds the jacket in place with maximum visibility; contoured fit in body and sleeves; large open back pocket for storage with two-sided zippered security pockets; and reflective elements for maximum visibility.
The P.R.O. Pursuit Thermal Jersey ($150) offers premium thermal insulation in a contoured fit. Soft-shell lite back pockets provide wind and splash protection with stretch to carry more gear, and the zipper draft flap aides ventilation during climbs. Features include: soft P.R.O. Thermal fabric in main body for insulation and comfort; new Softshell Lite fabric on back pockets for breathable wind and water protection with stretch; full-length zipper with draft flap for venting; elastic at center bottom holds the jersey in position; three back pockets; reflective elements placed for maximum visibility.
The P.R.O. Barrier Lite Jacket ($110) features light DWR coated ripstop materials and packs down smaller than a soda can. Expanded stretch panels create a svelte fit and the tall collar adds neck protection, ideal for unpredictable weather and chilly descents. Features include: full-length, two- way zipper for venting with zipper garage; reflective elements for low-light visibility; elastic waistband holds the jacket in position.
The ELITE Escape Thermal LS Jersey ($125) provides cozy warmth with lofted thermal fabric that breathes well and wicks moisture; and extended back pockets provide a range of storage options. Made for layering, the zipper features internal flap construction to protect jerseys or base layers from snagging. Features include: internal welted zipper design for wind and chafe protection; external logo elastic with silicone grip on back to hold jersey in place while riding; three back pockets plus additional external storage; Softshell Lite center back pocket for splash protection; reflective elements for low-light visibility.
The P.R.O. Pursuit Bib Tight ($150) layers over your favorite shorts with contoured styling. Lightweight softshell protects key zones from the elements while thermal fabric aids airflow. Features include: 3-layer softshell panels for wind and water protection; lighter weight softshell on lower legs for splash protection; thermal panels on back of legs and upper for comfort; Non-zippered, elasticized cuffs for comfort under shoe covers; Minimal raw edge straps on bib upper for layering comfort; reflective elements for low light visibility.