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Pearl Izumi Women's Select In-R-Cool Cycling Short Review

Pearl Izumi Select In-R-Cool cycling shortsThe number one question I get from women regarding cycling is: What shorts do you like? A lot of women are concerned about having comfort where it counts even more so than the kind of bike they are on, and rightfully so. I believe comfort is one of the most defining marks between enjoying a ride or suffering through it.

The Select In-R-Cool focuses on comfort as if it's her mission statement. There are three main features about this short I was particularly fond of.

Let's start with what's most personal. Why not? The Chamois, otherwise known as the butt pad. I would describe this chamois, in terms of thickness, as medium. To be more exact it's a three layers, or 13 mm of padding. Marking it thick enough to provide comfort, but not so thick that you feel as though you are wearing a diaper. I have found by the end of the season, a thinner chamois doesn’t phase me, but at the beginning of the season I'm quite picky about the shorts I pull out of my drawer. I was able to sport the Select In-R-Cool Short at the beginning of the season with no discomfort, and I wouldn't hesitate to wear them on a long ride.

My most favorite feature of this short, and I believe it's unique to Pearl Izumi, is the waistband. I first discovered the joy and comfort of the "V" waistband back when I tried the Symphony capri just last year. It was like, "hallelujah they finally discovered a waistband that allows me to breath!" Typically cycling shorts conduct a high waistband all the way around. I have found most waistbands to be high and tight... and uncomfortable gut squeezers. I assume a lot of cyclists feel this way and this is why they opt for the bib short. But I haven't fallen in love with bibs, and if you feel the same, then this is the short for you. The waist still comes up high in the back allowing you to lean over your bike appropriately, but it makes sure to dip slightly around the front.

The other key feature that added to its comfort mission statement is the Grip-Free design. I never knew the gripper around the leg of the short right above the knee could cause discomfort until I rode without it. That's when I decided gripper free is the way to go. I found when I rode in a short with grippers they would hike up on me, position themselves right where I didn't want them to be and stay there. Instead the Select goes with a "V" design right above the knee, with no gripper. Agreeable and flattering.

One thing to note is they are a little longer. An 8.5" inseam. I like the longer, but I think that's just a matter of personal preference. I also found the material to be thinner and more breathable than many of my other shorts. Check out Pearl Izumi's website for more information and to see all the styles they offer.

Happy Riding!

Need some help finding a pair for yourself? Look no further than right here. We're here to help.

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About the Author

Lindy P. Smith

Lindy P. Smith

Lindy is a wannabe athlete. As a Utah native and skier she’s a born powder hound and will steal your line if you’re not careful. In the summertime you can find her trail running, swimming in a lake and cycling her way around Cache Valley. Lindy Graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Journalism and enjoys writing about all her adventures and misadventures.

Lindy with daughter


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