Gravity riders demand something a little different than your typical MTB kits and while Pearl Izumi has roadies and XC riders covered, don’t look past them for gravity-friendly MTB gear. The new Elevate Shorts and Launch Jersey are great options for shredding at the local resort.

Pearl Izumi Elevate Shorts and Launch Jersey Features:

  • Elevate Shorts Features: DWR treatment for water-repellency, 4-way stretch fabric, zippered hand and lumbar pockets, internal waist adjustment, generous fit slides over pads, 15″ inseam covers the knee
  • Launch Jersey Features: Transfer fabric on upper body, mesh on lower, available in six patterns
  • MSRP: $100 (Shorts), $65 (Jersey)
Pearl Izumi Elevate Shorts and Launch Jersey Review

The Elevate’s sit below the knee and will easily fit on top of knee pads, etc.

Go downhill (or uphill) in style

Pearl Izumi’s clothing line is expansive and gravity-focused gear is becoming an even bigger part of their line, as evidenced by the new Elevate Short and Launch Jersey. They don’t shy away from the fact that the Elevate Shorts are the longest in the line and they aren’t kidding. So, be prepared for some very long shorts.

And, in the closet, I thought to myself, “there’s no way these will be pedal-friendly.” Yes, they are long (they cover my kneecap fully), but once in the saddle, they feel smooth and don’t inhibit movement much at all. In fact the 4-way stretch really does allow for natural pedaling motion with a smooth lining that slides well across the thigh.

Again, they don’t come with a chamois or liner, so you’re on your own. I’ve been using the liner from the Patagonia Dirt Craft Shorts with much success. Grab your favorite liner or bib shorts and you’ll be all set.

With the generous size, the Elevate Shorts are built to pull over knee pads and such with room to spare. Bring on all the armor and know that these shorts will allow you to wear them comfortably.

On the creature comfort side, they feature two zippered hand pockets and a rear lumbar pocket. The hand pockets are good sized and I found I could place an energy gel in there and ride unencumbered. Anything more than that and you’ll want to carry it in a hydration pack or saddle bag.

Pearl Izumi Elevate Shorts and Launch Jersey

This kit is not just for downhill — the shorts are comfy for climbing too.

Breathability isn’t the greatest, but protection is extremely-solid. The fabric that Pearl Izumi chose for these shorts was a smart choice as it’s very durable.

As far as adjustability goes, the Elevate Shorts feature a dual-sized adjustable waistband from the inside. It works well and doesn’t feel scratchy at all. The rear pocket is just barely large enough to stow an iPhone 7, so keep that in mind if you want to carry a larger phone than that.

On the jersey side, the Launch Jersey is pretty simple. Choose the pattern you like and off you go. It’s not the most breathable jersey I’ve worn, but it does the job in summer heat. The fit isn’t as oversized as the Elevate Shorts with the size large fitting me perfectly. Be careful around velcro as the fabric will pull very easily.

The Good

  • Durable shorts for gravity riding
  • Adjustable waistband is comfortable and easy-to-use
  • Zippered pockets keep things in place
  • Pulls over body armor
  • Jersey comes in a variety of styles

The Bad

  • Shorts are way too oversized for regular use
  • No leg pocket on shorts (usually a good spot to carry a phone)
  • Jersey fabric pulls on velcro very easily

The Bottom Line: Elevate Shorts and Launch Jersey

If you are in need of a gravity-focused kit, the Elevate Shorts have you covered and the Launch Jersey is simple and stylish.

Buy Now: Elevate Shorts and Launch Jersey at CompetitiveCyclist.com

 

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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