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Pearl Izumi ELITE Escape Cycling Kit Review – Chase the Lead

New for the 2018 cycling season, and stealing the gaze of cyclists almost everywhere; is Pearl Izumi’s ELITE Escape cycling jersey and ELITE Escape cycling bib-shorts! This sporty, cycling kit pretty much rocks your world in every way, while striving to inspire you to keep the cranks turning.

After a few emails to the local distributors for Pearl Izumi here in South Africa (shout-out to those bike legends), I was able to get my hands on a super cool, super-fast kit from the brand’s 2018 collection. The strong-points of riding with the ELITE Escape jersey and bib-shorts immediately came flying at me, after my first ride. I was fast, and felt exceptionally comfortable on every ride!

Fast Facts:   

Pearl Izumi ELITE Escape Graphic Jersey

  • Full-length semi-autolock zipper can be flipped up and tugged open with one hand for easy venting
  • Three back pockets for storage
  • Sublimated graphics
  • ELITE Escape Transfer fabric provides a unique, textured look with great breathability and long term performance
  • In-R-Cool® yarn powered by Coolplus® provide temperature regulation and comfort

Body: 100% polyester/UPF 50+

Technology: Coolplus®

Garment Weight (Size M): 176g

Pearl Izumi ELITE Escape Bib Short

  • P.R.O. Transfer fabric in the body of the short provides superior comfort and optimal moisture transfer
  • SELECT Transfer fabric in selected panels sets the benchmark for moisture transfer
  • Mesh bib upper provides stability with comfort
  • Raw edge P.R.O. Transfer fabric at leg opening for soft stretch comfort with silicone for added grip
  • ELITE Escape 1:1® Chamois with floating top sheet design reduces friction for all-day comfort
  • Reflective elements for low-light visibility
  • 9.5″ inseam [size medium]

Body A: 46% nylon 38% polyester 16% LYCRA® elastane

Body B: 88% nylon 12% LYCRA® elastane

Mesh: 80% polyester 20% elastane

Garment Weight (Size M): 165g

The Ride:

Starting with the ELITE Escape bib shorts; I found its material to discourage friction greatly. On the joint areas on my legs, the material moved smoothly and freely, not hindering my movement at all. The elastic fit, aimed to improve air flow around my legs. Having the air unhindered, encouraged full speed on the bike.

Pearl Izumi’s somewhat unique chamois-game, was definitely a highlight. It didn’t insight rashes, and unlike some other shorts I’ve ridden in, was comfortable for the whole nine yards. No matter how much time I spent in the saddle, the ELITE Escape cycling shorts, maintained their second-skin, nature. Then for when things got really hard-core, the breathability of the material kept the air closest to my body, nice and cool.

The ELITE Escape jersey gives off a slippery and fast vibe. It fitted tightly around my chest, and eliminated shirt scrunching on the front part. The neatness of the entire look also played host to the streamlined feel. I sure felt more aero, as the jersey didn’t flap about or anything. It was also well ventilated, which brought intercooling to the table.

This cycling jersey, like the ELITE Escape bib, had an unrestricting nature. At 176 grams in weight, ELITE Escape graphic jersey, is performance orientated. I never felt weighed down while wearing it. On a more functional note, the shirt colouring was definitely appealing, but played a more modest and simple vibe.

The next point, was presented by the 3 pockets on the back part of the jersey, with space to carry your spare tube, tools, and phone. Wow, that’s like an entire back-pack right!? Just doesn’t fell as weighty as one though. The pockets are a great integration to the already performance-dominant jersey.


So, to include some of my philosophy about wearing cycling kits; it’s all about how you feel when you ride. Sometimes, the difference between misery and enjoyment, is the kit you’re wearing. With Pearl Izumi’s ELITE Escape cycling kit range it’s hard not to enjoy the ride. Both the ELITE Escape bib, and ELITE Escape jersey, delivered comfort and performance in abundant style. It’s a kit worthy of its praise, from my side.

Pearl Izumi ELITE Escape Cycling Kit Review – Chase the Lead

by Joel Meintjes

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Built for: Dual Suspension Trail
Year launched: 2022