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Jackson McNeal

Jackson McNeal

Jackson McNeal

Jackson McNealwrote a review of on June 17, 2019

Solid, thoughtful design
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This jersey is now part of my new favorite kit. As stated in my review of the Men's Pro Bib Shorts from Pearl Izumi, I have had a strong bias when it has come to biking bibs and jerseys. I've been biased to ride in other brands that I have always thought as superior to Pearl Izumi. Brands that have been in the business for longer, brands that are european, brands that are typically more expensive, etc. etc. The jersey, matched with the Pro Bibs, have torn that bias to shreds (and is probably starting to form a new bias)

I wouldn't necessarily say that the jersey is what makes the kit, but it definitely does its job. It looks good, matches the shorts well, and has a good design. The tail is longer than the front, the pocket size isn't too big but not too small, and the material is super breathable. I think thats the most important part for me, is how well the jersey breathes. Ive found that the mesh material along with the tight sleeves make it a super comfy jersey, that isn't outgunned in the technical run of things.

My one gripe with the jersey is the bottom part, with the elastic/rubber around to keep the jersey from bunching on your body. I have to go with a medium because of my height, but it turned out to be a little loose around the waist. I am a pretty skinny, lanky guy however, so I don't feel like it necessitates having a full star taken off for the overall review.

This jersey is a nice addition to the Pro Bibs and will get people turning heads to check out your sweet kit. It has happened to me plenty of times already and I don't see it changing. I will definitely be buying more kits from Pearl Izumi in the future.

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Jackson McNeal

Jackson McNealwrote a review of on June 17, 2019

New Favorite Bibs
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I'll be honest, I've been biased to ride in other brands that I have always thought as superior to Pearl Izumi. Brands that have been in the business for longer, brands that are European, brands that are typically more expensive, etc. etc. I will say, however, that I am more than just pleasantly surprised with how awesome these bibs are. I have found that most bibs (at least on me) have tight spots that can be uncomfortable after about an hour and a half of riding. After doing about 3 and a half hours of riding the past weekend in these bibs, I was more than comfortable and didn't find any of those weird tight or hot spots.

The materials used and build quality are top notch. If I were to pin an adjective to these bibs in order to describe them, it would be "supple". The material is soft to the touch but will definitely hold up to thousands of miles of riding. That brings me to the build quality. I love the little details in these bibs. The bottom of the legs don't have the sewn in panels with the rubber grip to keep it on your leg, but rather is one panel all the way down the sides and front. This minimizes the amount of seams against your body leaving you with less "rubbage" all over. It still has the rubber on the end to keep it on your leg and keep it from riding up, but it isn't in the way or uncomfortable. I also really like the bib part of the shorts, the straps are the same soft material, stretch well, but have no real apparent seams so it sits really well against the skin.

Overall, Pearl Izumi killed it with the bib design and to top it all off, put a nice, comfortable chamois in it that isn't overly large, but has the right padding in the right places. I paired the blue shorts with their Pro Mesh yellow paisley jersey, and have gotten more compliments wearing it than with any of my other kits. Definitely going to be buying Pearl Izumi kits in the future.

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Jackson McNeal

Jackson McNealwrote a review of on June 7, 2019

Is it a bird?  Is it a plane?
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I wouldn't say that it is either of those, but it sure does climb like a billy goat and descends like... well... something that eats up the downhills as fast as the cookie monster himself devours those chocolate chip cookies. At first, I couldn't describe this bike. In fact, I am still having a hard time putting my finger on it. I'll throw in the pros and cons that I have found so far below.

Pros:

-Traditionally, this bike wouldn't climb super well due to the linkage set up, but with that switch infinity system thrown in, it does fantastic on the steep, punchy climbs. I havent found a climb that I couldn't take this bike up that my full on XC race hardtail could ride.
-The fit has been great, I haven't had any doubts on sizing. I am 6'1" and decided to stick with a Large. I haven't felt cramped, and haven't felt stretched out either. Its a pretty simple fix with stem length among a few other things, but I have been happy in that category.
-Descends like a monster. I've set new records on almost all of my previous descents. The amount of suspension is perfect for me, and I haven't felt outgunned yet even on steeper, rocky, more technical trails.
-The switch infinity system, although it may be a bit heavier, definitely helps with the climbing and makes it feel like there is more suspension in the back than there actually is.
-Fits a water bottle inside of the front triangle
-More of a boutique brand, meaning you won't see as many out on the trails as other popular bike brands

Cons:

-Black color is a bit tough to keep clean. If you want your bike to look pristine more often than not, the turquoise color doesn't show dust nearly as much.
-Cable routing goes outside of the bike underneath the bottom bracket to make room for travel. I haven't found that it has been a problem, as a lot of other companies do it as well, but I worry about it getting cut or damaged when rocks are kicked up onto the frame.

One real quick caveat. Although this thing descends fast and eats up most things that you throw at it, there are longer travel bikes out there that will handle stuff like that better. Granted, it is still considered an XC bike, but still performs on the downhills more similar to trail bikes which is spectacular. That being said, if you are looking for something that will handle better on the descents and you aren't as concerned about the uphill performance as I am, the SB 130 may be a better bet.

Overall however, this bike has been my favorite so far and is the perfect bike for my everyday rides. I am planning on riding it in some big endurance races, and I think its going to be the perfect bike for that. If you have any questions or concerns about picking this bike as your next rig, shoot me an email at jmcneal@backcountry.com and I will be happy to answer any of your questions about it.

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Jackson McNeal

Jackson McNealwrote a review of on May 19, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love this lever. The action on it is smooth, and the grippy thumb pad makes it feel extra nice. The teal color looks super good with the yeti color so it adds a nice little touch to the bike. I replaced my fox lever with this and it is by far superior, and looks way better too. Definitely will be getting the same lever for my future bikes!

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Jackson McNeal

Jackson McNealwrote a review of on May 19, 2019

5 5

Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share

Got these for my girlfriend and she loves them. She is a beginner rider, and needed a pair of gloves. The half cut makes it a little more comfortable and easier to feel the brakes and shifters, plus the back of it is thinner so they breathe well. Overall a solid half glove, would definitely recommend them.

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