If there’s one thing that every mountain biker needs, it’s a good pair of riding shorts. Some riders lean toward bibs and other tight, lycra-infused affairs, while others (including myself) feel much more comfortable in a pair of baggies. Choosing a pair of baggy shorts like the Rev from Pearl Izumi is really a no-brainer thanks to excellent performance, comfort, and style.


Image from PearlIzumi.com.

The Rev Short features a 100% polyester, light stretch fabric exterior with dual cargo pockets and a hidden zippered hip pocket. The removable liner features Pearl Izumi’s MTB 3D chamois. The combination velcro, snap, and zipper closure along with an adjustable internal waistband keep the shorts in place through the high demands of a mountain bike ride.

Out on the Trail

Riding the Blackjack Trail, Buffalo Creek Trail System, Colorado.

I’ve been wearing the Pearl Izumi Rev shorts consistently for several months, and they have quickly become my favorite pair of bike shorts. While the exterior doesn’t feature any vents for air flow, the fabric is light enough that it still ventilates well and transfers moisture with ease.

These shorts feel relatively light and airy and yet somehow the fabric still manages to be surprisingly resilient. I’ve crashed while wearing these shorts several times, and as the result of one unfortunate run-in with a stick, I tore a half-inch hole in the shorts. However, this was over a month ago already, and despite not taking the time to mend the hole and still wearing these shorts at least 3 times a week, the hole has not expanded at all from its original size.

To earn some style points, the Rev features muted graphics up near the hidden hip pocket, and is available in Black/Black and Shadow Grey/Limestone (tested) color options.

StartingThe Whole Enchilada in Moab.

When the cheeks meet the saddle, the Rev continues to perform admirably. The removable liner features Pearl Izumi’s tried and true 3D chamois. The liners have what I’d consider a boxer brief cut, meaning there’s enough additional fabric to hold the chamois in place, but not so much that it adds excessive fabric and heat. The liner fits comfortably snug, but not too tight–in some shorts the chamois just does not seem to be in the right place, but Pearl Izumi has really perfected the fit on all fronts!

Normally when writing a review I try to find something that could be improved upon, but with the Rev that’s nearly impossible. I wouldn’t mind a couple of zippered vents to add even more ventilation when needed, but with the already excellent moisture transfer that these shorts provide, this is a pretty minor point.

Finally, the Rev ($95 MSRP) is versatile enough to appeal to a wide variety of riders. While intended primarily for all mountain riding, these shorts are easily comfortable and light enough for cross country riding, possibly durable and roomy enough for downhill riding, and casual enough to commute to school without having to hide a moose knuckle while sitting in class.

Many thanks to Pearl Izumi for sending the Rev out for review!

# Comments

  • jeff

    I had to look up the term “moose knuckle.” Now I wish I hadn’t.

  • afullsodacan

    Hahaha, “moose knuckle.” Sounds like you have had that problem in class before, lol. Btw, thanks for fixing my comment problem guys!

  • mtbgreg1

    Why would you look up pictures?! The Urban Dictionary definition should suffice… lol!

  • Jared13


    Poor Jeff and element22. Greg will need to start adding a section on which words to not look up.

  • mtbgreg1

    So now I was really curious to see what Google images would return for “moose knuckle…” so funny that one of the first pics is a bunch of guys in road kits!

  • Bubblehead10MM

    Now that we’ve been over that, great review. Nice shorts, but I still get the slack yanked out when I see a Bengamin evaporating for a shorts. What’s a guy to do?

  • mtbgreg1

    @Bubblehead10MM, I guess just buy shorts that will last for a long while, and just wash your one pair and use the same pair over and over and over again! When I was starting out I basically wore the same pair of shorts for about 2 years (also a pair of Pearl Izumis). You can get cheaper off-brands such as REI, and while sometimes those are a decent deal, sometimes you really get what you pay for–especially when it comes to Pearl Izumi.

  • Spartan

    I have to add that the Peal Izumi shorts are amazing..and stretchy and glorious… I have a friend of a friend who works for PI so I was able to get a couple pairs of shorts for 60% off.. I probably would not have ever bought them without that discount….But after wearing them and feeling the quality and comfort.. I will never go cheap again…These things will last you years and more than pay for themselves over the lifespan.. also the Chamois is not attached so you can buy a a few of those and keep wearing the one pair of shorts or use your already owned chamois.. but the PI Chamois is like heaven… like sitting on a cloud without the bulk. Important to note that I have the “Canyon” shorts ($70 bucks). Same shorts as mtbgreg1’s review but without all the pockets.. it has one big hidden zippered pocket behind the right knee that I can keep my phone in..Canyons are Moose Knuckle free as well

  • JSF

    Greg, I’ve been mostly riding in Fox Sergeants. I like them, but the problem is that even a 32 is too loose in the waist for me (even full adjusted in). If I go with a smaller size, my legs are too big–not because I’m fat, but because I’ve put more than a few hours in the squat rack. 🙂 How do these shorts deliver in the leg department (especially, if you know, compared to the Sergeant short)?

  • mtbgreg1

    Hey jsf, I have a different pair of shorts that is perfect in the waste and too right in the quads… These, for me, are just about right (and feature internal adjustment as well as external belt loops for waist adjustment). Of course, everyone’s body is different, so if you can I’d recommend going to a pearl Izumi dealer and trying a pair on to see if they conform to your body type.

  • JSF

    Will do. Thanks for the good review and extra information!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.