Prepare to be surprised by a standout kit from Pearl Izumi’s pinnacle Black line: the Pursuit Black Speed jersey and bib short. Developed to satisfy the demands of professional racers, this kit far exceeds what you’ve come to expect from Pearl Izumi’s more mainstream offerings.
Andy Clark reviewed the Pearl Izumi Pursuit Black Speed jersey and bib; here are his findings:
So, I’ll be honest here: when I heard I was gonna take a swing at a Pearl Izumi kit, I was underwhelmed. After years of rolling in great stuff from Italy and Switzerland, I’d relegated them to back-of-the-shop clearance-box status.
Which was really dumb, because while the brand may feel a little commoditized, Pearl never stopped innovating, and over the course of the last ten or so years they’ve had their threads on the backs of some of the fastest teams on the road.
And with the advent of their skunk works, The Speed Shop, they’ve also worked very closely with the top US amateur, pro, and Olympic cyclists on the planet to create apparel that’s as comfortable as it is functional and fast. They’ve learned a lot, and they’ve poured it all into this kit. Let’s start with the Jersey.
It’s centered around their patented Speed sleeve, which is contoured to match the rider, and provide a wrinkle-free, close to body fit that smooths out airflow and reduces drag. In addition, the ultra cool P.R.O. Transfer fabric is transparently thin, but surprisingly substantial and massively comfortable, especially on really hot days.
The bibs fall right in line with the jersey, light, comfortable, and substantial. Pearl uses the ultra light and super cool P.R.O. transfer fabric again, and folds in the highest level of compression of any bib in their arsenal. The inseam is ten inches, the hem is laser cut with a nice minimal silicone gripper, and you also get the top tier Team 1:1 chamois, which has a floating top layer to reduce friction.
It’s rare that I come away with an overwhelmingly positive take on a kit after only one ride. Even more rare to know it’s going to be good the moment I put it on. And that is exactly what happened with the Pursuit Black Speed kit. The bib pulled on without any fussing over straps or chamois positioning, and the jersey practically melted onto my body. It got even better when I hopped on the bike because no matter which way I moved, there was no binding, pinching, or discomfort. It was as comfortable as a second skin and, even in 100+ degree heat at max effort I never felt overheated. What’s more, I found myself wanting to wear the kit on damn near every ride, it’s just that comfortable. We’ll done, Pearl Izumi. You’ve gained a new fan.
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