Ranging from tempestuous to misty, the conditions I’ve been out in lately would normally not be ideal for riding. But with my tolerance for the trainer waning and a pair of PI Dry bib tights to test out, duty called. For the sake of science, I clipped in for a set of rides that would be ideal for the experiments I was about to conduct.
Starting with the fit and chamois there are no surprises here. If you get along with the rest of the Pearl Izumi Pursuit line rest assured that these bibs will fit just like your favourite pair of summer bibs.
What does change, however, is the ability of the Pursuit Cycling Thermal Bib Tight to protect you from the elements. The PI Dry technology works. Water and road spray showed no signs of seeping in and saturating the tights during my rides. The only time I really noticed the water was when it would run down my tights and into my booties, which unfortunately were not waterproof. As I washed my bike after the ride I turned the hose onto myself and started spraying down my thighs just to test out the new tech. At a close range like that, I felt the cold from the water but I didn’t really get wet. Not that that’s a realistic riding scenario at all but it was cool to see all the water beads forming on the tights and not soaking in.
So how does it work? Pearl Izumi says that each individual fibre of the bibs was treated with PI Dry, leading to a longer lasting waterproof product than just a topical treatment. Having only ridden these for a few months now it’s difficult to confirm or dispute a claim like this but durability is certainly important in a pair of winter bib tights. It’s an item you probably don’t want to replace every year so if the water repellency of the Pursuit Cycling Thermal Bib Tight lives up to the claims then these are well worth the price.
On the bike, these bibs do the all the little things right that make a difference when you’re putting in a lot of kilometres. The inner fleece lining is soft and comfortable, even if the outer side feels a bit rough, the zipper closures around the ankle work magnificently and while this might seem like a small detail there are you few things more annoying than always struggling to close a tight zipper at your ankles. Especially if you haven’t been keeping your legs shorn over the winter months. There are also some notes to visibility on these otherwise black tights with just enough reflective patches so you don’t feel uncomfortable when it takes a little longer to get home than planned.
The Pearl Izumi Pursuit Cycling Thermal Bib Tight retails for $239.