Wouldn’t it be great if you could add water shedding abilities to your normal road kit without sacrificing breathability? To somehow create a kit that kept off the rain and spray from your tires, without being too hot to wear during the summer? That seems to be what Pearl Izumi has pioneered with their new PI Black Collection. Thanks to the PI Dry tech which has been a part of their arm and leg warmers since 2017, that may finally be a possibility.
The secret to a fully breathable piece of kit that effortlessly sheds water? That would be coating the individual fibers rather than the whole garment. Since the coating is done at the fiber level, it won’t wear off and it’s also BlueSign approved which is always a bonus. The coating causes water to bead up on the surface and roll off the garment, but it also keeps all the tiny openings in the knit fabric which makes it super breathable.
In addition to the PI Dry technology, the PI Black collection also represents the pinnacle of Pearl Izumi’s kit design with a fully bonded construction, sonic-cut edges, and high end fabric for the best fit. Speaking of fit, you’ll find better fit across the whole range of PI gear since they’ve worked with a third party company specifically to improve the fit of their clothing.
First available on the road side, PI Black will be available in the jersey for $200 and the bib short for $250 in both men’s and women’s. Available now.
On the mountain bike side of things, PI has a few new products on the way including this super light Summit Shell ($100). Weighing in at about 100g, the water and wind resistant shell packs into its own hidden pocket. The built in hood is designed to be worn under a helmet, and the jacket has been made more durable thanks to a change in the denier of the yarn used.
For more extreme days, the Summit WXB Jacket ($200) gets some important updates going forward. A new YKK Vislon low drag zipper makes it easier to zip either direction and allows you to open the bottom of the jacket for venting or fit. The new 3 way hood allows you to wear it over a helmet, or just on your head, while it stows away when not in use. Under arm vents are always open, and the 2.5 layer jacket is fully seam taped for 10k/20k mm water proofing.
To make it a pair, the new Summit Elevate WXB short ($150) features a new fit with better designed pockets, leg openings, and bonded hems to help slide over knee pads. The legs are a bit longer and feature a scalloped opening to prevent pad gap and to keep the openeing from hitting the back of your leg. PI has also changed up the adjuster making it a static fit (not stretchy) so it won’t slip down as you ride.
Whether you’re building trail or riding it, you may be interested in the new Pulaski glove. Designed to look and feel like natural leather, the synthetic AX suede Laredo material will patina in like natural leather but it won’t stretch or bag out when it gets wet. Machine washable, breathable, and durable, the touch screen compatible gloves will sell for $40 in black or natural.
Last up is the new X-Alp Flow which is basically a more affordable version of their surprisingly good X-Alp Launch. I’ve been riding it for a bit and if you’re looking for a flat pedal shoe without the bulk of a lot of them out there, it’s really good. However, to help get the price down, PI uses their own rubber blend for the Flow instead of the Vibram rubber of the Launch, which makes for a $100 shoe.