Chamois—Making the right choice

The chamois is a staple in cycling clothes that not only provides comfort, but helps maintain tissue health in avid cyclists.


Your Ultimate Ride… Every Ride

A good chamois will take into account how cycling affects the body. Yes, comfort in cycle gear is a major factor, but there are two other important aspects that many manufacturers leave by the wayside. At Pearl Izumi, we are all about the details. Nothing gets left behind if it benefits our riders. Therefore, the engineering of our chamois pays attention to support, but also circulation, and moisture management.

Perfection Through Science

The endless pursuit of perfection in our clothing for cyclists led us to engineering riding chamois that are of the best in the market. Cyclists are guaranteed skeletal suspension and support, reduced friction with moisture management, and better circulation for improved tissue health. Taking anatomy into consideration, our chamois are gender-specific as well, ensuring the best ride no matter who’s on the saddle.

Unlike many other manufacturers out there, ours is not a copy-and- paste origin story. We would rather blaze our own trail than follow in the average footsteps of others. Starting out, it was of utmost importance to us to produce cycling gear that consistently met the performance demands of cyclists. Male or female, professional athlete or Sunday-afternoon- rider—our clothing had to be the best answer to their every question. This motivation became our obsession, which led to the development of our proprietary chamois starting over 25 years ago, when we partnered with an Italian manufacturer.

Over the years we have updated and refined our engineering to claim a well-earned spot among the best. Our floating top sheet design is featured in our P.R.O. Escape 1:1™ Chamois (in our men’s P.R.O. Escape Bib Short and Short), providing unmatched comfort. How can we possibly know it’s unmatched, you ask? Well, our network of near 500 wear test riders allowed us to really put early prototypes through their paces. We used their comments and feedback after hundreds of hours spent riding and testing to refine product development, thereby validating our claim of the most comfortable cycle shorts.

Material Quality

In the past, several materials were compressed and bonded to produce chamois pads that were then placed into cycle shorts and bibs. The types of materials used, combined with the process of compression and bonding, often had an end-result of what seemed like a piece of modified plastic. Sure, the fused materials may provide some kind of suspension bicycle shorts, but don’t at all address the issues of circulation and moisture management. Not exactly form-and- function friendly by our standards.

Through extensive research and testing we learned that less really can be more, and now use fewer layers of quality materials with bonds in strategic spots that serve to compliment the natural shape of the body in cycling shorts—male or female. Our patent-pending process of skiving the foam gives us the freedom to shape it so that it contours the body in the best possible fit. Skiving also maximizes skeletal suspension and circulation. Once completed, the construction is inverted so that the top sheet is free of seams or bonds to further reduce friction and improve moisture management.

Pearl Izumi produces our chamois independently from the cycle shorts/bibs. To ensure best quality in the final shorts or bibs, guide marks are skived on the chamois pads so that sewing placement is exact. Quality control of these separate processes in manufacturing may result in increased costs, but we know that quality cycling gear is important to our riders, and therefore it’s paramount to us.

Riding Position

A cyclist’s body requires different support based on their riding position. Pearl Izumi provides for this in our Pursuit and Escape lines. Your riding style will determine the ultimate feel and performance of the chamois, and so we have different designs to fit the form of the aggressive (Pursuit) and the adventurous (Escape) cyclist. In the Pursuit position, pressure points are placed more forward in comparison to the Escape position, ensuring optimal support and comfort. In this way you are guaranteed a good riding experience no matter your individual style.

Distance Travelled

Now that we’ve covered your riding style and how it impacts the type of chamois you will need, we should ask the question of distance. How far you cycle also plays a significant role in the type of chamois and cycle shorts you eventually choose. We use a variety of foam with varying densities and ingredients depending on the resilience required. When riding for long periods of time, our higher quality P.R.O. chamois is the best option to go for. One level down is our Elite, and then Select for very short distances. It’s not just about adding more foam the farther you go, because that doesn’t necessarily mean more comfort or function. Knowing your riding style and duration will help you choose the best chamois suited to you. And once you have the question of quality cycling gear out of the way, you’ll be able to focus on just cycling.

Chamois Types

Men Pro Series

Men’s PRO Pursuit 1:1 Chamois

Smooth, dynamic stretch top sheet | Inset, high-density suspension foam | Ultra-breathable surround foam | Perforated backing fabric

Elite Series

Men’s Elite Pursuit 1:1 Chamois

Smooth, 4-way stretch top sheet | High-density suspension foam | Wicking backing fabric

Select Series

Men’s Select Pursuit 1:1 Chamois

Smooth, brushed top sheet | Medium-density suspension foam | Wicking backing fabric

Women Pro Series

Women’s PRO Pursuit 1:1 Chamois

Smooth, dynamic stretch top sheet | Soft comfort foam layer | High-density suspension foam | Perforated backing fabric

Elite Series

Women’s Elite Pursuit 1:1 Chamois

Smooth, 4-way stretch top sheet | High-density suspension foam | Wicking backing fabric

Select Series

Women’s Select Pursuit 1:1 Chamois

Smooth, brushed top sheet | Medium-density suspension foam | Wicking backing fabric

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