new shorts from Pearl Izumi
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  1. #1
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    new shorts from Pearl Izumi

    in the spring Colorado Cyclist catalog there is a new short and bib called the Heliarc. It seems like it is a new premium offering (199/219). As I am training for my first Century I want the get the most comfortable shorts - for a long ride. I have Castelli Y2P's in bib and short and like them the most of what I have tried. they are getting kinda used in the past 3 years.( I see they now have a Ypro3). I want a bib which will provide the most comfort.

  2. #2
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    go assos , forget pearl

    peral izumi is whack. Anything by assos rocks, especially the F.I. Mille. expensive but well worth it in terms of fit and comfort.

    Quote Originally Posted by avitar
    in the spring Colorado Cyclist catalog there is a new short and bib called the Heliarc. It seems like it is a new premium offering (199/219). As I am training for my first Century I want the get the most comfortable shorts - for a long ride. I have Castelli Y2P's in bib and short and like them the most of what I have tried. they are getting kinda used in the past 3 years.( I see they now have a Ypro3). I want a bib which will provide the most comfort.

  3. #3
    flinty-eyed moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenyonCycleist
    peral izumi is whack. Anything by assos rocks, especially the F.I. Mille. expensive but well worth it in terms of fit and comfort.
    Half right and half wrong.

    Assos is the nicest stuff made. Period. Also with the devalued US dollar, it is by far the most expensive. Stunningly expensive at retail.

    Castelli seems to fit you and is really nice as well. I have a set of shorts that seems just about as nice as the Assos (but almost as expensive). This might be the way to go again for you.

    On the affordable side Voler (who makes alot of custom and semi-custom shorts for clubs and teams) makes a really nice bib short for under half the cost of a Assos bib short. I was surprised at how much I liked my racing club's bib shorts- and they only cost me $55.

    Pearl makes some really nice stuff- especially jerseys and jackets. I have a new Pearl long sleeve jersey I just picked up that is really well made and priced. However, I have not been able to make Pearl shorts work for me in the past. Thier new red-label Bibs have this fancy seam-free chamois design which is quite advanced, but I would wait for a few reviews to hit first.

    Another great set of affordable shorts are made by Cannondale of all people. Their 10 panel shorts look spiffy, and I have had great luck with a couple sets of older 8 panel jobbies I use for mountain biking and cross.
    Dr. Cox: Lady, people aren't chocolates. Do you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard-coated bastards with bastard fillings. But I don't find them half as annoying as I find naive bubble-headed optimists who walk around vomiting sunshine.

  4. #4
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    I don't know about last year. For 04 however the Microsensor bib has the same 3D seamless chamois as the HeliArc, with the difference of the latter using fused panels instead of stitched.

  5. #5
    eminence grease
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    Have not tried the new ones.

    My relationship with PI has been love/hate over the years. Started out with their Ultrasensors (very simple, synthetic chamois) and loved them. Then they were discontinued. Tried the replacement Microsensors (with the blue pad) and hated them - only shorts to actually damage my tender skin. Last year tried the 3D shorts and once again, PI is back to being my standard. For me, super comfortable. My century bib by a long shot.

    Tried others too. Really like Santini TwistGel but the quality of construction is very poor. Had my wife re-sewing some seams after only a month or so of use. Have a few pairs of Assos EVO, love the construction but the pad has not become better with age. For me, less comfortable than when new. Also have a couple of pairs of Castelli PY2, okay but not long distance shorts. More for short, after work in the evening rides. Gave up on Voler, seems you get what you pay for.

  6. #6
    Diesel Engine
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    Pearl and Assos

    Agree with previous posts, Assos is nice but expensive. Current rage is the 'who makes the most expensive short' contest. Assos started it and everyone else is playing catchup.

    I have Assos shorts (but not the super expensive F1's) and like them, but the Pearl Izumis also work for me and I have 2 pairs, one with the newer 3D pad and another with the older PRT design - both are nice. I have looked at the Heliarc short and while there are no stitched seams, the fused seams are a bit stiff as it appears that the construction melts overlapping pieces together - to me it seemed like it would not be too comfortable. The '3D Fusion' pad in the $200+ Heliarcs is identical to the pad in the $139 Microsensors. If I had to choose, I'd get the microsensors or the ultrasensors as my experience leads me to believe that the Helicarc seams will be scratchy and uncomfortable in use (plus $200 for shorts is crazy!). Castelli tried something similar with their YFUSO short last year using a fused pad and costing $200 - it was a flop.

    Volers are also good and good value - I have several pairs of these, although their fabric is pretty much traditional lycra instead of the hi-tech fabrics of the high end shorts but construction is top notch. If your're not fixated on the latest greatest, order a pair as it's a much cheaper experiment than the high-end pearls and be warned that not everyone likes that 3D pad in the pearls.

    My current favorite is Descente Aero-X bibs. Comfy pad and nice construction. Have done several extended rides in these with no issues.

    Oh, yeah, you actually asked a question . Stick with your nice comfy Castellis for your century. Don't wear a new pair of shorts on that ride. If you like the old Castelli's I'd think I'd look at the new ones over another brand anyway.

  7. #7
    i like whiskey
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    My two favorite shorts by far..

    are the Louis Garneau Ergo Air Elite and the Sugoi Ricaro. These both fit perfectly and have never given me one problem on any ride of any length. I've got seemingly every pair of expensive shorts made, except for Assos, and those two are my favorite.

    I second the other poster who said to not switch to new shorts before a century. I'd get at least 4-5 long rides in a new pair before you take them on the century. Odd things seem to crop up 4+ hours into a ride that you won't see at 1.5 hours.

    If you like your Castelli's, I'd stick with that brand. Dance with the one that brought you. I can't wear bibs. I'm too tall and the shoulder straps are always too short.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by avitar
    in the spring Colorado Cyclist catalog there is a new short and bib called the Heliarc. It seems like it is a new premium offering (199/219). As I am training for my first Century I want the get the most comfortable shorts - for a long ride. I have Castelli Y2P's in bib and short and like them the most of what I have tried. they are getting kinda used in the past 3 years.( I see they now have a Ypro3). I want a bib which will provide the most comfort.
    First of all, I agree with the other poster who said you should not be trying out new shorts on a century ride. You want everything to be a known quantity for such a ride. Pearl Izumis have a split vote in our household. I never could get along with them, my wife has a pair and loves them. My picks in shorts are the Volers and (don't laugh now) a pair of Nashbar bib shorts. They don't have the fancy pad, either, just the regular supersuede insert. Durability has been very good, too. $200 shorts just don't compute for me. Good luck and tailwinds on your ride.

  9. #9
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    I do have a pair of Voler's and they are ok. THey are not near as comfortable for long rides. I have a pair or of the top of the line bibs from Asos and while they are something special, the pad is not as comfortable as the Castelli's. The Assos fabric is more afvanced, tighter and probably wicks better, but for me in a short (or bib) its all about the pad. As I am going to do my first century I am looking for the most comfort. I think maybe I should be the new Castelli Ypro3 and try it on a few training rides.

    Thanks for all your feedback

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