The team at Pearl Izumi has absolutely outdone themselves with the new Attack Air Bib Shorts. Arriving late last summer, these have been a staple for road, MTB and indoor training for nearly a full year. With thousands of miles on them at this point, these rival all the $200+ bib shorts I’ve got in the closet.
Pearl Izumi Attack Air Bib Shorts Features:
- New multi-density Levitate™ Plus Chamois pad delivers unmatched comfort
- Laser cut bib straps for superior next-to-skin comfort
- BioViz® reflective elements for low light visibility
- Made from recycled materials
- 10.5” inseam
- MSRP: $160
Attack all the things
It’s safe to say that I’ve worn just about every chamois and bib short on the market at this point, so when the all-new Pearl Izumi Attack Air Bib Shorts arrived, I wondered just what would make these any different or better than others. They arrived in secrecy with no timetable on when they would be released, but just to keep them under wraps for a time. I proceeded to wear them on road, gravel and MTB rides in supreme comfort, but let’s talk about some initial impressions first.
Upon initial inspection, the Attack Air Bib Shorts looked and felt much like the Expedition PRO Bib Shorts, but over $100 less expensive. Granted, it’s not the same materials, but they feel very similar — just without the leg pockets and a few other niceties. The chamois is also similar (Levitate Plus vs. Levitate PRO). And, they both use minimal panels for ultra next-to-skin comfort and compression. All this goodness for $160 just feels like stealing.
Pulling them on, I do notice that they are initially snug around the hips, but that added compression is a good thing. The 4-way stretch fabric has the right resistance to support your muscles while pushing hard. Everywhere else, they fit like a glove and stay put no matter what I’ve thrown their way. The laser-cut cuffs and grippy texture is minimalist and stretches comfortably with every movement. The straps on the uppers feel great next-to-skin or on top of a lightweight base layer. Everything about the cut, fabric, fit and feel of the Attack Air Bib Shorts says Pearl Izumi’s crack team of designers did their homework.
The most important aspect of any bib shorts is how they feel in the saddle — on long and short rides alike. Pearl Izumi hasn’t stated an intended ride duration for the Levitate Plus chamois, but I wouldn’t hesitate wearing these shorts on an all-day ride. I’ve ridden long distances and haven’t noticed any discomfort whatsoever. The multi-density chamois feels substantial and exudes backside comfort. Across a variety of saddles and bikes, these bib shorts have just been fantastic. They also breathe well and stay put for chafe-free performance without any chamois cream. It’s hard to wrap my head around just how good these bib shorts are for the price tag.
They have held up to almost a year of washings in our busy house of six. Translation: they weren’t always air dried. How do they look? Well, they still look brand new after hundreds of miles and repeated washings. All seams and cuffs look like new and even the reflective logos are completely intact.
Fit: I’m 5’11” and 175 lbs, wearing the size medium.
- Outstanding chamois for all-day comfort
- Great muscle compression and support
- Uppers offer next-to-skin comfort and keep everything in place
- Flat-lock stitching in critical areas
- Modern cut
- An absolute steal
- Initially feel snug around the hips
The Bottom Line: Pearl Izumi Attack Air Bib Shorts
These are an absolute steal. I am blown away by the overall quality of materials and liner of the Attack Air Bib Shorts. I would stack these up against the best from Assos, MAAP, Castelli and other top brands without hesitation. In fact, at the $160 price tag, these bib shorts beat all of those brands hands-down. Don’t just take my word on these bib shorts — check out the stack of 5-star reviews on the Pearl Izumi web site too! Somehow, Pearl Izumi’s designers have made the ultimate bib short for a modest price. Get yourself a pair, you won’t be disappointed.
Buy Now: Available from Pearl Izumi