Shimano Sells Pearl Izumi to United Sports Brands

May 6, 2022 at 9:44
by James Smurthwaite  
photo by Matt Jones

After 14 years of ownership, Shimano has sold off the Pearl Izumi brand to United Sports Brands, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reports.

Pearl Izumi will join United Sports Brands' (Shock Doctor, McDavid, Cutter) new Outdoor division alongside Nathan, a running brand.

Shimano first bought Pearl Izumi in 2008 and ran it as a subsidiary of its US business. Pearl Izumi’s headquarters are in a 55,000-square-foot facility in Louisville, Colorado, shared by a handful of employees from Shimano's component business. The building, which has won awards for its sustainable construction, was included in the sale. Pearl Izumi staff were made aware of the sale internally on Monday morning before Shimano announced the sale as the Tokyo stock exchange opened Friday.

bigquotesThis is an exciting time for Pearl Izumi. We have tremendous momentum and an amazing team that’s dedicated to continuing to grow the brand to new heights. Shimano has provided significant support and guidance throughout its ownership, and while we will miss being part of Team Shimano, we also know there is great future potential for the brand and look forward to continuing to grow our business with USB.Geoff Shaffer, President, Pearl Izumi


bigquotesWe are very pleased to welcome Pearl Izumi into the United Sports Brands family.

Pearl Izumi is an iconic, authentic, and much-loved brand that is strongly aligned with our current portfolio of brands at USB. Their culture of driving innovation and best-in-class product development—always with a “consumer-first” mindset — is consistent with our strategy at United Sports Brands. We intend to continue that product innovation and leadership under our stewardship. The addition of Pearl Izumi, along with our running apparel and accessory company, Nathan, makes us a formidable player in the outdoor space. We see great opportunity for continued organic growth and expansion in this segment of the market.
Michael Magerman, CEO, United Sports Brands

More info, here.


44 Comments

  • 53 0
 Shimano did next to nothing with it, so why not sell it now at a market induced peak price that's not based on performance but based on pure market forces. smart move by shimano. Plus i'm sure we'll see Lazer apparel coming to market soon to fill the void.
  • 1 0
 Shareholders want that 16% back
  • 20 0
 Selling because recession imminent.
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: they're going to want a lot more then that back over the next few months.
  • 22 5
 United Sports Brands owns McDavid? No wonder the oilers still suck
  • 2 1
 Maybe Leon should make Dry Sidle aprés riding pants.
  • 2 2
 perhaps they could buy some defense and a net minder too....that might help. Smile
  • 2 0
 you should watch some games, they're killing it
  • 2 0
 Bad take. Especially after tonight.
  • 1 0
 Well played
  • 9 0
 I like PI stuff, when I was bigger I especially appreciated some of their larger sizing options. I still use a lot of PI gear, it's often easy to find last year's style/color marked way down, direct from PI. At 6ft 200lb, I am wearing XXL gloves, L pants, XL jackets.... so their sizing is all over the place, but generally affordable and works.

I hate their shoes though.

I love Shimano shoes... had no idea Shimano owned PI.
  • 9 0
 The biggest benefit I see from this is that Pearl Izumi can get back to making great mountain bike shoes. Shimano definitely didn't like competing with their own brand in shoes so it seemed like they put PI in the value category for the past few years.
  • 11 0
 please start re-making the X-Project Pro shoe...pretty please, such a great shoe
  • 4 0
 agreed
  • 1 0
 Yeah that’d be an instant buy if they stuck to the formula.
  • 10 1
 Shimano always struggled to bring back the luster the Pearl Izumi brand had in the 90's/Y2K.

I think all those years of Pearl Izumi being in Nashbar closeouts really hurt it's image as a premium brand.
  • 8 1
 I gotta disagree. I think Pearl Izumi is as good as ever. I've bought jerseys, jackets, shorts and shoes from PI over the past several years and have always been impressed with them.
  • 8 0
 @tbubier: I think you're both right - it's definitely good stuff, but I am one of those closeout shoppers. MTB has increasingly become about conspicuous consumption - I think that is less true on the clothing side than it is in bikes/components, particularly in comparison to the roadie world, but PI definitely doesn't carry a lot of brand prestige. Pricing and image are some of the biggest differentiators out there for some brands - it's expensive because it's exclusive, it's exclusive because it's expensive.
  • 4 0
 I have to disagree as well. The quality of PI are really good. However, I think most of the time, they're priced too high for biking consumers. When PI clothing used to go on sale on Nashbar in the past, the prices were awesome! Socks, shorts, arm/leg warmers, jerseys, etc. Nowadays, it's hard to find anything on sale at great prices. I did get a pair of PI biking shorts in a small size but they fit like a person that's overweight! Even when I'm 10-15lbs overweight, I won't be able to fit into that pair of shorts. Funny thing is, the shorts came with a detachable chamois. It was a little tight! WTF?!? Talk about American super-sizing!
  • 3 0
 I still have a bunch of Pearl Izumi stuff and it all came from Nashbar's endless clearance page.
  • 5 0
 I like their stuff. One of the few companies that make mtb style clothing for slim people.
  • 4 0
 @tbubier: I wasn't necessarily commenting about quality, I was really focusing on the brand image and peoples' perception. I have a couple newer Pearl pieces and Sphyre garments, from Steep and Cheap sales, and they're top notch stuff. Shimano wasn't holding back quality, just the weak marketing approach.

In general, I think cycling clothing today is way better than 20 years ago - better materials and fit. Even the 'cheap' stuff today is pretty good compared to expensive stuff then.
  • 1 0
 @Ttimer:
Totally agree, i own a Shirt and a Hoodie, both absolutely reliable, No damage or anything despite using it for 1 1/2 years including weekly hikes with Kids in the bushes etc (which is actually more stressfull for the fabric than ridingWink )
  • 1 0
 I’ve had tons of PI gear and everything has been solid with the exception of a pair of super f-ing expensive rain pants where the seam tape fell off just looking at it. I wish their heavy duty shorts were a bit more progressive with a longer inseam. But like I said, shirts, chamois, and especially winter gear is solid.
  • 1 0
 @Ttimer: I hadn't thought about the " slim people " thing till you said it as I too am a slim person and PI always was a great fit. Quality too! I still have road shorts and jackets from PI that I bought from late 90's to the early years of the millenial and look the same way they did the day I bought them. And they got used for sure and still do. Nothing else I owned ever lasted as long. Thing is I can't say when that life cycle ends as they are still in use.
  • 11 0
 Today I learned that Shimano owned PI.
  • 3 0
 Me too, and honestly I kinda like the pairing. Both focus on making solid gear before bling.
  • 2 0
 Wow o everyone hating on their shoes…I love them. Got a pair of gravel x latest year an just got a pair of Alp x elevate. The Alp X elevate replaced a pair of Giro Ventana which I couldn’t stand. Granted I got a deal on the PI shoes..I actually do like
  • 4 0
 Genuine question... Is Louisville Colorado pronounced Lew-ville, Lewis-ville or Lewie-ville?
  • 11 1
 Lewis-ville
  • 1 0
 Satchmo.
  • 1 0
 @Kvondutch: I always said loui-ville so I guess I was dumb, or has it changed since the 90s?!?
  • 1 2
 In Colorado it’s “lewis-ville” as opposed to Kentucky where it’s pronounced “louie-ville” …but many “natives” also call Buena Vista “boon-ah veesta” so, call it whatever you like, just hopefully not “on fire”
  • 1 0
 I think their stuff is top notch as well, but with most things these days, there are always deals. Too much product I'm the pipeline from all manufacturers causes all manufacturers to send stuff to discounters where you can always find it half price. Hard to see something in REI at full price without this king in the back of my mind, I could find this same thing for pennies from xxx.
  • 3 0
 maybe they'll get their running group going again. my PI short are finally starting to wear out and i need new ones.
  • 2 1
 Ah, this explains why I just bought a load of jerseys and shorts from the Shimano rep for $20 each. Too bad their sizing/fit is wack. Anyone who is 5'3 and 170lbs, hit me up for some size medium gear.
  • 2 0
 Not sure why you got the downvote. Their gear is fine, but the fit doesn’t work for smaller/slimmer people. In roadie-world it’s considered “american” sizing. Not a dig on PI at all, just is what it is.
  • 1 0
 I thought they just made roadie jerseys.
  • 1 0
 The new stuff is sick!!
  • 1 0
 Been buying their new stuff. Like it though their glove sizes are all off.
  • 1 0
 Did Lopes wear it?
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