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Review: Pearl iZUMi’s Prospect Tech Sweatshirt and Rove Cycling Jeans are stylish and functional

Pearl Izumi Prospect Tech Sweatshirt, SF riding
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There’s no better way to cap off a ride than a cold beer or a warm coffee, and it’s convenient when your riding gear looks just as good at the apres spot as it works on the trails. The Prospect Tech Sweatshirt is part of Pearl iZUMi’s Fall 2021 MTB collection, and I found it works well as a midlayer for colder rides. Off the bike it doubles as a well-insulated, good looking casual sweatshirt.

The Rove Cycling Jeans were made to offer the versatile, timeless look of jeans, but with a few special features that make them much nicer to pedal in than a standard pair. An ideal partner for the sweatshirt, I found the Roves did prove more comfortable to ride in than casual jeans.

Pearl iZUMi Prospect Tech Sweatshirt:

Pearl Izumi Prospect Tech Sweatshirt, front

The Prospect Tech men’s sweatshirt is constructed from Pearl iZUMi’s grid fabric, which wicks sweat and is made from 97% recycled materials. The patches on the arms (and the patch over the chest pocket) are made from an abrasion-resistant material that’s treated with PI Dry® water repellent finish. The reinforced arm panels protect the sweatshirt from pesky thorns or tree branches.

I like the sweater’s rounded collar and the durable feeling double-layered hems. Pearl iZUMi has also kept seams to a minimum (with none on your shoulders or back), and provided one zippered chest pocket to carry a credit/debit card or a little cash.

Pearl Izumi Prospect Tech Sweatshirt, back

As for fit, I’m 5’10” and my size Medium fits me very well. Their ‘relaxed fit’ hangs a bit loose in the body and arms but it’s certainly not baggy, and the sleeve and body length are both just long enough for me.

Ride (and apres) Impressions:

Pearl Izumi Prospect Tech Sweatshirt, grid fabric

First off, in my opinion Pearl iZUMi has made a nice looking sweater that I would happily wear to anything short of formal functions. I’ve received several compliments on it! On a sunny but chilly 11° Celsius day I wore the sweater for some deck beers with a friend. On its own the Prospect Tech was nearly perfect for that temperature: Sitting in the sun was great, but riding home got a bit chilly when the wind hit me.

Pearl iZUMi’s grid fabric creates a nice cloud of warmth around your body, but with a little wind that cloud can be disturbed to offer effective ventilation. With no wind, this sweater is pretty warm for its weight, but a stiff breeze will cut through the grid fabric pretty easily. For casual wear it works great as a warm layer over a t-shirt.

Pearl Izumi Prospect Tech Sweatshirt, venting

Now this technical sweatshirt is designed for riding too, and that’s where the grid fabric’s ventilation comes in handy. I rode the sweater as a midlayer in weather ranging from 6° down to -3°. At 6° I found it pretty warm, and I was getting sweaty after not much climbing. Following a short climb I stopped to shoot a photo, and after a few minutes in a cool breeze my jacket’s large vents had allowed enough air in to cool me down quickly.

My next couple rides were between 2 and -3°, and that seemed perfect for the Prospect Tech sweatshirt as a midlayer. For trail riding, a jacket with a full front zipper and/or large armpit vents would be ideal for a shell – you’ll likely need to dump heat as you climb, but exposing the sweater to some wind will do so quickly. Despite the grid fabric looking a bit puffy, it is thin enough that the sweatshirt never felt bunchy between layers.

Pearl Izumi Prospect Tech Sweatshirt, pilling

My only gripe with the Prospect Tech sweatshirt is regarding durability. There’s no significant damage to my sweater yet, but I have noticed some light pilling of the grid fabric on the upper back (after just a few rides with a pack), and on the chest where I suspect an open jacket’s zipper was rubbing on it. I’ll be disappointed if the sweatshirt gets torn up too easily, as I hope to keep this versatile, great looking garment around for a while.

The men’s Prospect Tech Sweatshirt is available in Dark Ink/Toffee only, and sizes range from S-XXL. MSRP is $110.

Rove Cycling Jeans:

Pearl iZUMi Rove Cycling jeans, rear angle

The Rove Cycling Jeans offer a fairly slim fit from top to bottom, with tapered legs to avoid chainring snags. I’m 5’10” and wearing size 32. Pearl iZUMi’s waist sizing is a bit small compared to other size 32 pants I own, but with the fabric’s stretch mine fit snug but not tight.

Despite a tighter overall fit than my other jeans, the Rove’s 4-way stretch fabric keeps them comfortable and doesn’t limit motion. I like how I can wear them without a belt, since the stretchy waist holds itself up.

Pearl iZUMi Rove Cycling jeans, front
*You can see in this photo how the Rove’s inseam sits a bit more forward than usual. This clever design tweak works well on the bike and goes unnoticed in casual scenarios.

At first glance the Roves look like a normal pair of jeans – They follow a traditional pocket layout with two back pockets, two fronts plus a key pocket, and have a zipper fly with a single button. However, there are some special design features that make them cycling-friendly…

Most importantly the jean’s fabric stretches, and Pearl iZUMi has moved the crotch seam forward so it doesn’t cause abrasion as you pedal in the saddle.

Pearl iZUMi Rove Cycling jeans, reflective cuff

The jeans also feature BioViz reflective strips hidden inside both legs; just flip up your cuffs and you’re more visible to motorists in dark conditions. One more final touch is a webbing loop above the left rear pocket.

The Rove jeans don’t offer a ton of storage – The front pockets are a bit smaller than my other pants, and with the slim cut of the jeans you won’t want to stuff them. The rear pockets are a normal size.

Pearl iZUMi Rove Cycling jeans, on bike

On the bike, I found the Rove jeans quite comfortable to pedal in. Their stretchy denim doesn’t restrict pedalling motion, and the slim legs stayed safely out of my drivetrain. A PI-Dry® coating helps repel water and stains, so these jeans can handle some puddles and tire spray.

Most importantly, I definitely noticed the lack of the usual seam sitting on the front of my saddle. I have experienced uncomfortable abrasions when riding with normal jeans, but I’m pleased to report Pearl iZUMi’s raised seam effectively eliminates this issue. After a good ride on my least padded saddle, I noticed I could feel the rear pocket seams under my butt, but no more so than you would when riding in any normal pair of pants.

The Rove Cycling Jeans come in men’s sizes 28-38, in Medium Wash only. They sell for $100.


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