We love when companies take time to think of the small details that simply make our lives easier. That’s exactly what Pearl Izumi did when they designed their women’s P.R.O. Escape Bib Shorts.
PI went the extra mile by incorporating a smart little attachment (it’s pretty much a hook-and-eye kind of clasp) on the rear bib strap that lets you drop the shorts without having to get completely undressed. Our multi-sport editor was the tester, and she was particularly excited for this feature. After all, who wouldn’t like the idea of spending less time fumbling around during a mid-ride pit stop?
If you come across other reviews of the women’s version of the Escape Bib Shorts, you’ll notice that some people loved the clasp, and others did not. We found that we did have to take our time with it, focusing to ensure that we got the clasp matched up. You also don’t want to let the top of the strap shimmy up to your shoulders, otherwise it’s hard to get a grip of again to re-clasp closed. All in all, no, it’s not a totally perfect solution. It did work for us with some effort. We needed to take time to get it done properly. Imagining we attempted this when we’re dead tired hours into a long ride, then we’d probably opt for just taking off our jersey completely rather than mess with the clasp. We’re not sure if there will ever be a perfect solution to this age-old problem. Regardless, we definitely appreciate the thought PI has taken to get us most of the way there.
PI used their P.R.O. Transfer In-R-Cool fabric with coldblack® to keep you cool and comfortable, and the bib straps are designed with PI’s 37.5 Minerale™ Direct-Vent mesh material. The silicone leg grippers were very comfortable and did the job of holding each leg snugly in place throughout the ride. PI incorporated their women’s P.R.O. 3D Chamois, which we found super comfortable—even when we rotated forward into the aero position.
One thing that did seem unnecessary was the center bib clip. According to PI, it’s designed to let you customize the front strap position. We found the straps to be perfectly comfortable just the way they were—no clip needed.
We wore these for several rides lasting up to three hours, and we were perfectly comfortable from start to finish. Even though the clasp drop tail isn’t perfect, these have definitely become a favorite. They kept us cool in 90+ degree heat and fit like a glove. If you’d like to give them a try, they’re available from PI’s website. And at the time of this post, they’re on sale for $123.75 (marked down from $165 originally). Sizes are limited, though.