April is the month that you start planning your cycling wear updates for the 2016 riding season. So here at Gear Gals, April is National Cycling Accessories Month! First up are the Pearl Izumi SELECT Escape Texture shorts ($70).

From a distance these look like your standard roadie cycling short. They’re sleek, fitted, and with a splash of color down the legs (my sample color splash is a pretty aqua). Up close, they are very much a standard roadie short but with a few added bonus features.

What I like

  • Inseam length. It is seven inches (on my small size, but 7.5 inches—supposedly—on the mediums). I thought I would hate the shorter length but I found that I didn’t.
  • Versatility. The thinner fabric allows them to fit under over-pants, rain pants or chamois-less mountain bike shorts.
  • Chamois is great for shorter rides (an hour or less). I’m training for a 100-mile race this summer so I’m spending a lot more time in the saddle than previous years. This is not the chamois for training rides greater than 25 miles though it works very well for commuting to work and around town.
  • Chamois is placed at the right spot. Some chamois, though never a Pearl Izumi chamois, are placed to far back and focus more on butt comfort rather than…yah. Enough said.
  • Comfortable waistband. I found that the unique “V” waistband better accommodates the position of my belly when stretched over the handlebars.

What I don’t like

  • Convertible hem to “create a flirty 4.5” inseam and a fun pop of color”. I love Pearl Izumi but have no idea what they were thinking on this one. A 7-7.5-inch inseam is short enough, already. Now they’re going for the cycling bikini look?! I can’t see how that would make any woman riding rough trails look good.
  • No leg grippers. Strangely enough, I haven’t experienced these riding up because they fit pretty snug on the legs (but not so snug that they’re uncomfortable). Still, bike shorts MUST HAVE RUBBER GRIPS ON THE LEGS!

Final thoughts

For the price, I think these shorts deliver what they need to: A simple but highly functional pair of shorts with some classy touches for the pleasure rider. I also think these would make a great tri-short. Nit-pick points aside, I recommend.