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Pearl Izumi’s Journey Mountain Bike Short is versatile in the sense that it is up to the task of hardcore riding, but is also fine as a walkabout short.  If you’re looking for an economical way to be able to slay some singletrack and still look like a normal person when you head for that apres-bike activity, you need to look into the Journey.

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The technical features of the Journey mountain bike short include:

  • Snag free internal waist adjustment
  • Transfer Dry fabric provides optimal moisture transfer with superior hand feel
  • Two open hand pockets on the front
  • Detachable liner with 3D Tour Chamois®
  • 12″ inseam (size medium)

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The fabric is indeed lightweight and very comfy for long rides on hot days.  The relatively short length also helps keep things cool.  The 3D Tour Chamois® that comes with the Journey is stellar.  It is adequately padded for comfort without being bulky, so you need not feel the need to walk bowlegged when you dismount your wheeled steed and hoof it yourself.  That said, the liner is easy to remove, as it is secured by a simple snap on each side.  For those quick rides when you don’t need the cush and you don’t want to have to change before or after the ride, the Journey perfectly suits the journey.

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I made the Journey my daily commuter short.  Bear in mind, in addition to a few miles of pavement and paved bike path, my commute also includes a dozen miles of singletrack, much of it technical, and climbs and descends of over 1,200 vertical feet. Whether I took the quick and easy route home or the “scenic route,” the Journey proved to be a fine companion.

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The closure system consists of a button and a single patch of Velcro just below.  It is functional, but not always easy or attractive, as care is needed to align the Velcro rectangle. It needs to be perfectly aligned to prevent the shorts from exhibiting an awkward bulge or puff.  I had to remind myself every time to look down when pressing the Velcro together.  If I forgot, I would get chastised by my wife like an errant teenage daughter heading out the door in a skimpy tube top.  The Journey also has the adjustable waistband, which can give you in inch or two in either direction for the perfect fit.

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The neutral look of the shorts is so neutral that, not only was I comfortable wearing them downtown after parking my bike, I’d be comfortable wearing them around town even when I wasn’t riding at all (provided I had the Velcro properly sealed).  Unfortunately, that appropriateness of walkabout was somewhat diminished by the ease with which I could stain these shorts.  The fabric seems to attract grease, which would show up prominently in the light grey color of my Journeys.  Bike grease was also stubborn to wash out.  Fortunately, the Journey also comes in basic black, which would certainly alleviate this issue.  The Journey is also available in “viridian green,” which on PI’s website, actually looks like a light turquoise blue.

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In the end I can give the Journey a qualified recommendation.  This is a lightweight, comfortable, cool, multi-purpose (riding and non-riding) short that will require a little extra care on the part of the wearer.  What adds to my willingness to recommend this short is that it runs a mere $75, including a high-quality chamois, so that versatility comes in at a bargain price for the quality offered. This is a nice addition to the bike closet – especially if you opt for the black.

MSRP: $75

Thanks to Pearl Izumi for providing the Journey Short for review.

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