Pearl Izumi PRO Thermal Bib Short
As cyclocross has continued to grow, the so-called thermal bib short has become popular with cyclists and clothing manufacturers alike. If you are a Pearl Izumi fan, you know the Colorado-based company has been offering one for years, and while has been cherished by the cross racers of the Front Range, it really grew out of road riding in the mountains around Boulder and across the state. Cold dry mornings often mean leg or knee warmers to start, and super-lightweight summer bib shorts just don't match up well with thermal warmers, but anybody who has ridden in the mountains out here knows, when the sun comes up, so does the heat so the best balance is a thermal bib short, and warmers you can remove, then slip back on if necessary for the long descent on the shady side coming back into town. Made at the P.R.O. level, the Pearl version of the Thermal Bib Short features thermal fabric, with the panel structure Pearl has perfected, the outstanding P.R.O. Seamless 1:1 Chamois®, and impeccable construction you expect from the company. When you plan to ride from 50-60°F (+/- depending on your preferences), this is the high performance bib short you not only need, but deserve.
Keeping warm and comfortable, and thus not overextending yourself just to "keep warm" or forcing muscles to fight the cold is the purpose of the P.R.O. Thermal Bib Short. The nylon, polyester, elastane blend fleece traps heat, holding it in the fabric. As excess heat, then sweat is created, the excess is displaced. Thermal doesn't block wind, and it allows slight infiltration to assist in this process. The material has been woven for optimal stretch and great retention, so you get active muscle compression. Panels are set up in alignment with muscle requirements to move freely, yet hold and support, particularly up into the core and waist. Pearl's shaped, long, flat leg opening holds perfectly making sure the 9" inseam stays in place. This construction and fabric blend is the true sign of evolution in this product, as the early variants were warm with fleece material, but lacked the fit and compression of today's best bib shorts, and tended to ride up the leg. This is the best version we have worn.
The upper is Direct-Vent mesh, a micro-mesh that not only has excellent stretch, a soft feel and impressive moisture management, but also features Minerale™ polyester, a coconut fiber yarn blend that converts sweat into vapor, for fast release, but also absorbs odor in the process. This means you stay cool, dry, and supported and you can use upper body layering and active airflow to find the best comfort range for you expected effort level and overall climate conditions on your ride.
Even with all the great thermal, fit, and moisture management described, perhaps the real gem in the the P.R.O. Thermal Bib Short is ghost like P.R.O. Seamless 1:1 Chamois pad. The designers at Pearl have been driving chamois development for decades, setting new standards continuously. The seamless design, overall comfort on the skin, and body-contoured shape only begin the story. Alignment, shape and pressure points are fully accounted for with Pearl's most updated 360° 1:1 anatomic analysis of how the rider and chamois interact with the saddle and the exact padding and support requirements involved. It is hard to simplify, but think of it in terms of a minimalist approach to pressure relief, as opposed to structural support, in terms of how it feels. The extended top sheet removes any edges from sensitive areas, and allows for incredible stretch and overall comfort. As a whole it breathes easily and quickly for a dry riding experience.
With Pearl Izumi you get superior and durable construciton with double-needle and flat lock stitching, perfect fit, and reflective highlights, all standard. If you are like most cyclists in the US, about half of the year you experience temperatures and conditions that the P.R.O. Thermal Bib Short is designed for. Even if you get a little wet, you will retain heat and comfort. Though we know the vast majority of enthusiasts pull out the bike around Memorial Day, and are lucky to get out just a few weeks after Labor Day, there is a sizable group of riders who push the seasons on both ends, and also tend to ride in more extreme circumstances. If you consider yourself in this group, or would like to, you really should own a pair or two of thermal bib shorts. Seriously. You'll understand once you go this route. Get out and ride. You can thank us later.
- Thermal bib shorts providing warmth for critical areas and versatile functionality
- Ideal for use with thermal leg or knee warmers for maximum use flexibility
- Thermal fleece fabric provides optimal insulation, stretch, moisture management
- Direct-Vent mesh (with Minerale™) bib provides superior ventilation
- Anatomic P.R.O. Seamless 1:1 Chamois®
- Flat lock and double needle seams maximize comfort, durability
- 9" inseam (Medium)
- Temperature range: 50-60°F
- Body: 56% nylon 30% polyester 14% elastane, Weight: 261 g/m2
- Mesh: 56% Minerale™ polyester 33% polyester 11% elastane
- Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, XL
- Color: Black