Review: Pearl Izumi Divide Shorts & Jersey – A Kit For Any Style

Pearl Izumi Divide Short and Jersey

Purpose made cycling clothing has traditionally been a bit dorky.  Walking around in spandex will draw looks from passersby pretty much anywhere.  Fortunately, things have been improving over the past several years.  Comfortable baggies and semi-form fit jerseys are now the standard trail riding apparel for mountain bikers.  I’ll go ahead and say it, the Pearl Izumi Divide jersey ($55) and shorts ($100) are some of my favorites.  


Style Matters

Let’s get this out there.  The first thing anyone pays attention to with any kit is how it looks.  Too bright?  Too baggy?  Weird logos all over the place?  The Divide kit has none of those things.  Granted I went with the black shorts and black jersey, so it’s a bit of a subdued look.  But they do have multiple color options if you’d like to be a little brighter out on the trail.  There are a couple of logos, but nothing distracting.  Personally I think it looks great.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Poser shot!

I have worn the shorts out and about plenty of times off the bike.  That is not something I am able to say about other mountain bike shorts I’ve owned.  I honestly really like them for hiking and swimming as much as I do riding.  

Fit

Fit and style go hand in hand.  The Divide kit is more form fitting than a lot of options out there, which works well for hot summer riding.  The jersey is snug across the chest and shoulders without being restricting.  I have a long torso and the jersey provided plenty of length, never showing off my lower back when hunkered down over the bars.  

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Poser shot from my good side

The shorts are a similarly snug but comfortable fit.  Definitely not restricting in the least.  While moving around on the bike, I didn’t notice any binding or pinching of seams.  The inseam length is just right for me, staying just above the knee.  The leg opening itself is a tapered fit. This provides a form fit at the knee that widens as it moves up the leg.  Inside of the waist are velcro straps on each side that allow you to really dial in the fit on your waistband.  

On The Bike

The jersey is a lightweight 100% polyester affair.  It is a fairly basic design that just works.  There is a chest pocket that I haven’t found much use for, but it looks nice.  There is also a small zippered pocket on the back right side of the jersey that works well for stashing small items such as keys.  All that is missing is a glasses wipe.  The jersey excels in warm weather.  The breathable fabric manages to still move well and not stick to your skin when soaked with sweat.  After riding extensively in this jersey, I really have come to dislike some other jerseys that have the tendency to adhere themselves to your skin on a hot ride.  

These shorts are the bomb.  I said it.  As picky as I am, I don’t normally swoon over gear.  But these shorts are the exception.  Once you start pedaling you never seem to notice them at all, which is exactly how shorts should be!  No hanging up on the saddle.  No weird seams rubbing.  I have actually done a few rides sans-chamois in these with no ill effects!  Again, not something I’ve been able to say about many other shorts.   

They are not what I would call “knee pad compatible” shorts, but I’ve thrown some pads on at the top of big descents, and they’ve been fine.  There isn’t really a “gaper gap” as the shorts basically hit right at the top of my pads.  The leg openings are just big enough to fit g-forms or similar low profile pads.    

The Divide shorts have zippered pockets that are placed on the front of the thigh.  They work well for stashing a phone or keys.  Surprisingly they don’t bother me while pedaling.  Having a large smartphone right on top of your quad can create a bit of a warm spot on your leg, but nothing too annoying on a short ride.  The shorts are form fitting enough that whatever you stash in your pocket pretty well stays put.  There is also another really useful zippered pocket on the rear waistband of the shorts.  It’s sized just right to stash a multi tool or your car keys.  The pocket is padded slightly so they won’t dig into your back, but I still wouldn’t want to land on them in a crash.   

Durability

I have worn the Divide shorts and jersey throughout the spring, summer, and now into fall.  No doubt the shorts have probably been worn for 100 rides.  That’s not an exaggeration.  Unless I’m going full enduro with knee pads and what not, these shorts are the ones I will pull out of the laundry basket without hesitation.  I do prefer a clean jersey for each ride, so I’ve probably only had half that number of rides in it.  Both are still in awesome shape.  I don’t run my riding clothes through the dryer, so that always helps stuff to last a bit longer.  The Divide jersey is showing pretty much zero wear.  The Divide shorts only have a bit of creasing of the fabric in the crotch, but nothing concerning in the least.  All the seams and zippers are holding up well.  


Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Comfortable
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Shorts don’t include chamois (though many people see this as a positive)
  • No glasses wipe on the jersey

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Black kits really do not show up well in photos… but you can channel your inner ninja…

Final Word

Mountain bike clothing has come a long way.  No more choosing between spandex and full on motocross gear.  Thankfully, we have evolved as mountain bikers. Companies like Pearl Izumi are stepping up to the plate with good looking comfortable clothing designed specifically for the needs of mountain bikers.  That being said, I do believe the Divide shorts and jersey would serve any cyclist well.  Casual road ride?  Perfect.  Gravel Grinder?  Oh yeah.  Or just wear the shorts on a hike to your favorite swimming hole.  I’ve done all of the above.  



[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Share:

Leave a comment.

Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.
On Key

Related Posts

Review: Endura MT500 Burner Clipless Shoe

Endura may not be a name you think of when shoe shopping — yet. This Scottish based company with a strong sustainability plan is best known for its mountain bike apparel right now.