February 19, 2014
Since their Tokyo bred origins 60 years ago, from which the (translated) name of "fountain of pearls" comes, Pearl Izumi began a gradual transition to the US. After first being seen east of the Pacific around 1981, their breakthrough came after sponsoring the USA Olympic team in LA '84, which in time led to the brand's takeover by cycling legends Davis Phinney (dad of Taylor) and '88 Giro winner Andy Hampsten, among others. The brand now is now formally known as Pearl Izumi USA Inc, and is run out of Louisville, Colorado.
Pearl Izumi has now been adorning our walls here at The Tristore for over a decade, and throughout that time has never ceased to impress us with its unrelenting quality. Whereas sometimes we'd be inclined to guide people towards certain items of kit, for certain uses; Pearl Izumi seem to be able to produce the goods across the board, be it for the comfiness of their chamois, the fit of their jerseys and their resistance against the elements. The quest to further performance is a neverending one too, and Pearl have consistently been at the business end of driving technology forward in sports apparel; neatly shown here with their "bat suit" skinsuit, issued to Garmin-Transitions in 2010 (and subsequently banned by the UCI, naturally).
There is apparently nothing that Pearl can't handle with supreme comfort, despite the apparent (relative) drop in prices over recent years. This could be attributed to the brand being incorporated as a subsidiary of Shimano, but having been a Pearl Izumi dealer since well before that happened, we can safely say there has been no let up in quality.
Now, without wanting to do a Jerry Maguire-esque "help me help you," what's happened in store recently to render this post relevant? Well, we received an order from Pearl earlier this week which includes some, quite frankly, astonishingly good value items at the close-to-third-off prices they're listed at.
Take the Infinity Softshell Jacket for example; a fleece-lined softshell jacket with added touches of quality that typify Pearl: fist mitts at the cuffs, to thread your thumb through and seal in warmth; zippered hand pockets, as well as one chest pocket that also has a cord hole for your mp3.
A jacket that, in equivalent versions from other brands, could foreseeably be priced at close to £200, has an RRP of £109.99. With us? £69.99 Women's version also available.
The Ultra Short is another great item we've received; a great, comfortable running short with its tailor made adjustments.
With a slightly elongated inseam caters for those runners looking for a bit more leg coverage, and a built in liner to reduce chaffing. There is also a well engineered zippered pocket at the rear, to carry nutrition in a much less restrictive (and less annoying) place than the conventional side pocket.
RRP £59.99 Our price £39.99
The Women's Select WXB features a multi-layered shell, internal seems and a watertight front zipper to ensure maximum protections against the elements.
The Select WXB also comes with a retractable drop-down flap at the back...for when its really miserable.
Again, this is a jacket that could conceivably be pushing the £200 barrier with other brands, but through Pearl's £119.99 RRP we're able to do it for £79.99.
For complete listings of our Pearl Izumi range, visit them on our brand page here, and find out for yourself why we always have - and probably always will - be proud stockists.