Pinkbike Product Picks
With the widespread acceptance of low-profile knee pads comes the tapered short, and Pearl Izumi's Summit is a good example of the genre. Summit shorts are intended for XC and trail use and as such are made from light nylon and polyester rip-stop fabrics that stretch in four directions, and DWR coated
to repel water. Heavier weight panels protect the inside of the legs and seat area from abrasion, and the sensitive crotch area is seamless. Seams are double-stitched and inside, they are flush wherever they contact the skin. The Summit has belt loops for old-school riders. For modern shredders, its adjustable, elastic waistband is tensioned with buttons, and the zip-up fly is bolstered with two industrial-strength snaps. Pearl Izumi's conspicuous choice not to use hook-and-loop means that when you wash your Summit short, it won't come out of the machine with a bunch of remoras clinging to it.
Two Dockers-style vertical pockets make the short functional for après cycling, but do not offer secure stowage for valuables while on the bike. The pockets are mesh inside to reduce bulk and also to assist air circulation. A tiny vertical-zip stash pocket on the left leg can be used for a magnetic lift card, keys, or other small essentials. Pearl Izumi is known for using living models to form and fit its garments and thus, the Summit short is shaped to fit and stretch while the rider is on the bike. The inseam for the medium size is 14 inches (356 millimeters)
, which is about an inch over the knee for most people. Colors are Mandarin Red (shown), Ecru Olive, and black. MSRP is $80 USD. Pearl Izumi
Industrial-strength snaps secure the Summit short's zip-up fly, and the adjustable waistband is tensioned with buttons. Mesh pockets act as cooling vents while riding.
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|Pearl Izumi's Summit short will make a lot of friends among trail riders, because it fits well, moves effortlessly with the body while pedaling and maneuvering, and its simple lines look good, both on and off the bike. Enduro racers, or any rider who needs a baggy that is absolutely comfortable to pedal in all day and that will fit nicely over knee-pads, will find that tapered legs leave enough room to overlap lightweight knees without being so wide that your shorts are flapping in the breeze when riding without protection. Full DH pads, however, will probably bunch up. I've worn the Summit short for roughly half a riding season, run it through the washing machine a bunch, got muddy, and crashed on it a number of times - and I can report that it looks like new. This level of quality and comfort is not easy to find at its 80-dollar price point, so Pearl Izumi gets two thumbs up for the Summit. - RC|