Interbike 2014: Pearl Izumi’s X-Project updates

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…and ladies range gets major updates.

Stylish new uppers, Same great lowers
Stylish new uppers,
Same great lowers

Less than one year after Pearl Izumi’s X-Project shoes hit the market, the company has reworked the stiff-but-walkable range’s uppers.  Having reviewed both the 1.0 and 2.0 models, we called the first generation “just the shoe for adventure- or cyclocross-inclined riders.”  For 2015, the range gets updated with out-of-the-way Boa closures (two on the 1.0s, one on the 2.0s) and a sleeker, more trail-oriented look.  Breathability and fit have also been improved- though the former may undermine the 2.0s’ muckworthiness.

Black... or citronelle.
Black… or citronelle.

Where the previous generation’s ratchets offered adjustment in 4mm increments, the Boa closures are said to offer 1mm changes for a just right fit.  As an added bonus, the spools’ on-tongue location won’t scar carbon cranks in the way that the previous 1.0s’ ratchet anchors could.

Shrinked- but not pinked.
Shrinked- but not pinked.

Ladies get a dedicated X-Project 2.0 shoe, while the men’s and ladies 3.0 is essentially last year’s shoe with an upgraded (lighter) midsole.  Speaking of the ladies, Pearl Izumi’s 2015 women’s mountain range is 100% new- and they’re quite proud of the changes.  Starting from the question of why they saw so much non-bike clothing on the trail, the company realized that they had much to learn from the yoga and running apparel worlds.  The goal was to allow riders to dress ‘like themselves’ without compromising function on the bike.

Journey tank and shorts
Journey tank and shorts

Stepping away from the boxy, often masculine cuts of much mountain bike clothing, Pearl’s Journey kit found clear inspiration in yoga tops and run shorts.  Not a copy-and-paste effort, the Journey tank has wide, flat straps for comfort and a high-cut neck that maintains modesty while in a cycling crouch.  While they look like the run shorts often seen over Lycra, the Journey short is cut for riding with a detachable liner, low front, and high back.

Launch kit ready for autumn
Launch kit ready for autumn

The more trail-oriented Launch kit (shown at left above) features a women’s-specific cut, high V-neck, and sleeveless, short-sleeve, or 3/4-sleeve options (pictured).  The matching 3/4-length Launch Capri is lightweight and stretchy, with Pearl Izumi’s excellent waist adjustment and pre- and post-ride hand pockets.

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