Speed, style, sexiness. If we had to pick three words to elevator pitch Pearl’s P.R.O. Pursuit bib short, those would be the descriptors.
The Pursuit sits at the top of the Pearl performance hierarchy of P.R.O., Elite and Select. At $195, it’s made for bike racing and a racer’s lean physique. The attitude is high-end and minimalist, lightweight and aero. You’re buying pro gear drop a few pounds or go up a size.
Let’s start inside with the Pursuit 1:1® Chamois. At first glance, we were a little surprised at the thinness and the smoothness of the pad. It turns out that all the variation in dimension — the foam layers — are stacked underneath the top sheet of the pad. Basically, you have four layers that go from smooth top sheet to high density suspension foam to a more breathable surround foam and finally a perforated backing fabric.
Pearl states that the reason behind this construction is the increased dynamic movement provided by the stretch in the top sheet. We have to say that’s absolutely true and we’re liking the concept and execution.
The chamois seats itself into your riding position without you having to adjust it even once. It’s a noticeable difference when riding because it feels like you can move smoothly around on the saddle. Take a chamois with the multi-density foam on top and there’s just more to impede your motion. It’s almost like they flipped the pad upside down and you wonder why more bib shorts don’t take this approach.
The chamois feels like it’s on the thin side in terms of thickness, so we wondered how it would feel after a few hours on the road. Turns out, just dandy. We found it just as comfy as some thicker pads and you should be good for 3-4 hours in the saddle. Now, would we grab this bib for a six hour, all day endurance ride? Perhaps not but to be honest we didn’t test it for that time length. All we know is, the chamois molds well to our anatomy and makes us feel fast.
We said sexy and that’s a function of the overall fit (excellent and true to size), fabric selections and styling. The mesh upper is Pearl’s Transfer Direct-Vent mesh. They’re rating that excellent on moisture transfer and we’re not going to disagree.
The straps also fit perfect — not too tight standing up, not too loose bent over the handle bars. These bibs extend the inseam to 10 inches for extra muscle support. Those of us with longer legs will also appreciate the extra length.
Th eTransfer In-R-Cool® fabric is also sleek and that contributes to the overall racer attitude and performance. The lower part of the short is laser cut with silicone leg grippers on the inside. Not the old school, drips-of-glue style silicone but a pattern of horizontal silicone lines.
While not designed as a full-on aero kit, there’s definitely the sense that the Pursuit could help you slice the wind. Slip these on and you feel like you’re styled up for a stage in the Giro or Tour.
The wrap: The P.R.O Pursuit bib is peloton-level performance that features a smooth chamois with great in-saddle ergonomics and surprising comfort. Ride fast, go in style, feel sexy.