By the time you read this, Pearl Izumi will have most likely pulled the MicroSensor MP3 Bib Short from the market. So, I’ll have to fill you in on some recent cycling apparel history…
This was a model of Pearl Izumi bib shorts with a MP3 player embedded into the shorts. I won’t take up your time describing the whole product in detail, but the $500 pair of bib shorts didn’t gain much momentum in the free market.
It did have 16 hours of storage for MP3 files and was blue tooth compatible. It didn’t have a TV, or even a high speed internet connection. Thus it met its demise.
The Pearl Izumi brand began 50 years ago when a father in Japan produced Japan’s first cycling apparel for his bike-racing son. In Japanese, the name Pearl Izumi means “fountain of pearls”. In the Canadian language it means “pretty high priced, pretty good cycling stuff, eh?”
Of course you’ve come to this page looking for information about Pearl Izumi bib shorts, so I’ll try not to disappoint.
get over 50% off on bib shorts at Bike Nashbar.
Levels of Quality in Pearl Izumi Bib Shorts
There are three and a quarter levels of quality in the line.
The ‘one quarter’ consists of one entry level model called the Quest Bib Short. It sells for $65.00 and is described as a ‘comfortable and hardworking bib short for everyday cycling’. Whew, now we’ve got that one out of the way.
How About The Other Three Levels Of Pearl Izumi Bib Shorts?
1.) At the top of the line is the P.R.O. level. These range in cost from $155.00 to $275.00, with the $275.00 model being handmade in Italy. As you’d expect, this line has the best fabrics, the ‘Anatomic P.R.O. Seamless 4D Chamois’, and a few other bells and whistles.
Speaking of bells and whistles, I get the impression (which wasn’t helped by the introduction and prompt removal of the gimmicky MicroSensor MP3 bib short) that Pearl Izumi bib shorts are big on trying to get attention with fluff and aren’t nearly as well engineered as Assos bib shorts.
Of course they aren’t as expensive as the Assos line-up, either.
Here’s the line-up of Pearl Izumi P.R.O. bib shorts-
* P.R.O. Octane Bib Short
* P.R.O. Thermal Bib Short
* P.R.O. LTD Bib Short
2.) The mid-level Slice UltraSensor Bib Shorts seem to rely heavily on the ‘sensor’ nomenclature. There’s the UltraSensor cross-dyed fabric for the bulk of the short and the MicroSensor mesh bib upper.
What do you (the faithful reader) think of the Pearl Izumi description of the Slice bib shorts?
“UltraSensor cross-dyed fabric, MicroSensor mesh bib upper, elite Chamois, 8-panel construction, flatlocked stitching, spandex leg grippers”
To me it just gets lost in the crowd of cycling bib shorts. They need to insert a shortwave radio into the chamois to get some attention.
This model sells for $125.00
3.) The no-nonsense Pearl Izumi Attack Bib Shorts sell for under $100.00 and present an unremarkable description. I don’t necessarily mean anything bad about ‘unremarkable’, its just hard to remark about them.
That’s about it for Pearl Izumi bib shorts. I’m told that the brand has its devout followers, including Team Garmin Slipstream.
Of course, Garmin Slipstream may get intensely enthusiastic about another line of clothing, should they get more sponsorship money elsewhere. Oh, the fickleness of enthusiasm.
And to see the greatest of all selections of Pearl Izumi bib shorts…look no further than Amazon.
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