Review: Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Octane jersey.
First things first: what’s your body fat percentage?
The Pro level Octane jersey has a form fit icon which means it’s made to tightly wrap professional cyclists racing across Spain, Italy and France. If that description doesn’t have your name attached, you better be hyper fit and no more than a pound or kilo over race weight. Otherwise you’re a human sausage on wheels.
This jersey is technical gear that either confirms your talents or exposes you as an under-trained wannabe. It will flatter your power output or mock your half assed commitment to the sport of cycling. It’s as much a judge as a jersey.
Like we said, what’s your body fat percentage?
The high quality, minimalist design would make Apple’s Steve Jobs and a zen monk proud. Every possible non-essential element has been cut and what remains is the lightest, tightest, most beautiful jersey you’ll ever do a hill interval in.
The fabric is so sheer and light you can feel every contour of your multi-tool just touching the outside of the back pocket. A see-thru mesh panel goes from armpit down the side and also provides extra venting on the center back panel. We’re already looking forward to riding in the blazing summer heat.
The Octane is more evidence of the lingerie-zation of cycling apparel and we’re not complaining. Short sleeves are cut high, the extended tail seems to caress your lower back. Pearl Izumi calls the microfiber Meryl and it will definitely transfer moisture. You’re sexy, you’re dry and your cool factor is up significantly.
Pockets are good sized and include a center zip pocket for cash and valuables. That’s the end of the soggy $5 bill you pull out at the convenience store for gatorade. You’re a pro now, for god-sakes, act like one.
The Garmin pro cycling team was the prize guinea pig for all this innovation and it certainly shows. The garment is hand made in Italy with a price tag that says you win races so why haggle on the high price.
Pearl Izumi is now engaged in an ugly legal battle with Italian cycling apparel company Castelli — Garmin’s new kit sponsor. You can see why Castelli would want their hands on the Pearl Izumi patents.
It all comes down to the form fit. The P.R.O Octane jersey is technical gear that draws sharp lines and makes demands. You don’t choose it, it chooses you.