Thanks to all the different categories of bikes lately, for some cyclists it’s hard to know where they fit in. Maybe you ride a road bike, but you would always choose dirt roads over paved. Perhaps you’re a mountain biker, who is more focused on racing and training than getting lost in the woods. Whatever the situation, Pearl Izumi built this elaborate display in their booth at Interbike to help get the point across.
On the left, you have the Pursuit archetype. This rider uses Strava, rides the road – fast, and is probably more concerned with their percentage of body fat than the average rider. On the other side, is the Escape collection. This cyclist is far more interested in getting lost, riding rugged dirt trails in the woods, and is an Instagram champion. Those might be a bit of an overgeneralization, but you get the point. Using the words ‘road’ or ‘mountain’ to classify clothing is getting to be a bit too restrictive, so whether you fall into the Pursuit or Escape genre, Pearl Izumi has some exciting new clothing for you…
As far as footwear goes, the new PRO Leader 3 exemplifies the Pursuit collection perfectly. The shoe stands out for its lack of a cardboard lasting board which is present in most shoe construction. To make it work, Pearl Izumi wrapped the seamless upper around the carbon sole plate. The result is a reduction in stack height by 1.5-5mm. It was hard to photograph, but if you look into the shoe without the insole, you’ll see carbon fiber. You’ll also see the screws for the replaceable heel pad.
Other details include two bidirectional Boa closures nestled into the tongue for a snug fit. Weight is claimed to be 235 g per shoe, with the price set at $320. PRO Leader 3s will be available this winter.
Continuing with the Pursuit collection, Pearl Izumi was showing off their BioViz series which uses true florescent colors for increased visibility in low light situations. BioViz is about more than just style, it’s about getting that car to see you much further down the road to give them time to react. Above right in Screaming pink is the $165 PRO Aero WxB Jacket which uses fully taped seams and 10k/30k, 2.5 layer waterproof fabric to keep you dry, but with a very close fit for maximum aerodynamics.
On the left in Screaming green is the PRO Short Sleeve Rain jacket. A short sleeve rain jacket may seem like a bad idea, but these are for the times when you’re going really hard and need additional ventilation, or just enough rain protection to keep your core dry. Using similar construction to the full jacket, the short-sleeved version sells for $150.
At the bottom is the new wool base layer which is available in a number of configurations including this version with the mesh back and Speed Sleeve construction.
Over on the Escape side of things, Pearl Izumi is introducing the X-Alp Launch shoe. Built with a carbon shank for pedaling performance and a true rubber sole, the Launch shoes stay tight with a Single bidirectional Boa closure on the tongue and a single Velcro strap at the toe. Available in men’s and women’s this winter, the X-Alp Launch will sell for $160.
To highlight the fact that the Escape collection isn’t just about Mountain biking, the PRO Elite Road kit features a new five pocket rear design that allows you to stash more things for those epic backcountry rides.
On the mountain side, there are a number of new pieces which will come in handy in cooler weather including the Launch thermal jersey ($55), the MTB WxB short with a 2.5 layer membrane to keep you dry ($100), and a new Mountain bike rain jacket.
Finally, as part of the BioViz Collection we have the WxB and Pro AmPhib Super gloves. To keep things super grippy when wet, the WxB glove uses AX Suede G-series Grid WR palm material sourced from wake boarding which actually gets grippier when wet. The $100 gloves use Outdry technology to offer a waterproof fit with plenty of dexterity. The $120 AmPhib Super Glove is the answer for the coldest days of the year. Built using an OutDry softshell design with a DWR finish and 170g Primaloft insulation, this is the warmest glove Pearl Izumi offers. The four finger design maintains finger dexterity, but will help keep your pinky finger warm.