In Boulder, CO last week, Pearl Izumi gathered a few women’s running, tri, and cycling editors for a first look at the Spring 2015 run and ride lines. We had a great time meeting, riding, and running with the actual developers and brand managers, while getting a behind the scenes look at how the products are made and tested. One thing is for certain—it’s nice to see so many women on the team designing the women’s gear.
Below you will find highlights from each of the different collections. Pearl Izumi has so much great gear coming out next spring, but these are just a few of my favorite new pieces.
Fly Singlet ($30): The semi-form fit, racerback design of this tank is extremely flattering to any shape—pair it with your favorite sports bra for fun color combinations. The Transfer Dry fabric is lightweight for those hot summers days while offering up UPF 50+ sun protection.
Flash 3/4 Tight ($65): Printed Transfer Dry fabric is combined with lacy mesh for maximum moisture wicking and breathability. The extra wide waistband ensures you remain muffin top free.
EM Trail N2 ($120): For Spring 2015, Pearl Izumi updated their award winning E:Motion footwear line with a one piece seamless upper made using 3D-printing. The E:Motion rolling midsole creates an incredibly smooth ride, while the aggressive, multi-directional carbon rubber outsole delivers bomber traction on the trails. Don’t forget the “sausage” laces that never come untied. I love trail running in these shoes.
Pearl Izumi goes to great lengths to design their own comfortable and anatomically correct fitting chamois for their bike shorts and bibs. Based on actual saddle mapping pressure data, high-density foam is placed in areas of high pressure to ensure you get the support you need without unnecessary bulk.
Ultrastar Short ($70): A modest 7 1/2 inch inseam can be folded up to 4 inches in order to reveal the big pop of color beneath. A wide waistband offers comfort when leaning over the bike.
Elite Road IV ($200): Similar to the P.R.O. Series but at a lower price point, the Elite Series features the same 1:1 Adaptive Fit system that conforms to your foot shape for blister free riding. The bi-direction Boa closure dials in the custom fit—Pearl Izumi is the only bike shoe manufacturer that places the Boa lacing system on the tongue versus the upper, securing your foot equally from both sides.
Probably the line I am most excited about is the new mountain bike collection. Gone are the days of plain black shorts—instead you now have tons of color and fun, feminine styles for every type of mountain biker, from city cruiser to downhill badass.
Summit ($70) and Canyon ($80) Short: Made from DWR treated lightweight stretch fabric, these shorts are nicely tailored for a more feminine fit. Elastic at the back of the waist and adjusters on each side keep your backside covered when bombing downhill. Similar in style, the Canyon features an 8-inch versus 11-inch inseam and also comes with a liner.
Launch Jersey ($55): A V-neck, non-zippered jersey with cool sublimated graphics (computer printed then heat-dyed on fabric) down the front. There is even a hidden cloth for wiping the mud off your glasses.
X-Project 2.0 ($240): After years of development, the much-anticipated X-Project is finally available. This mountain bike/cross shoe is updated for Spring 2015 with the Boa lacing system. Modeled after a soccer cleat, the carbon plate provides great power transfer while being flexible enough for your hike-a-bike sessions. A foam heel absorbs impact when hiking or running the cross course, while rubber tips on aggressive TPU lugs give you plenty of traction over rocky or rooty surfaces.
Just a note a Pearl Izumi sizing. In addition to hiring a colorist to plan the colorways across the entire Pearl Izumi line, the company seems to have dialed in their women’s fit model as well. I have been everything from an XL to a M in PI gear over the years, but it now it seems I have settled in on size L. I could fit in a M but prefer the extra room of a L, especially with the P.R.O. cycling collection. The company states that a Medium fits a size 8 for women, so you can let that be your guide.