Conceived in Portland, Oregon, ProCorsa specializes in premium cycling apparel designed for avid riders of all disciplines. The name 'McKenzie Summit' pays homage to McKenzie Pass in Central Oregon, a ribbon of tarmac that passes through two old-growth forests and a vast field of volcanic rock that can only be described as lunar-like.
Building on the success of their original McKenzie Summit Bibshort, ProCorsa upgraded their best-selling garment to "pro" status with the McKenzie Summit Pro Bibshort — but put through the paces, can it really surpass the accolades of its predecessor?
ProCorsa Goes Pro
In the sport of cycling, riders at the highest level have access to the best equipment and emerging technologies available. Sounds luxurious, but when the expectation is top-tier performance, you can settle for nothing less than the best.
ProCorsa applied this line of thought to the creation of the Summit Pro, sourcing the highest quality materials available in cycling apparel production.
As an owner of the original Summit bibshort, I was eager to get my hands on the pro-level version of this, already impressive, design. I'm no textile expert, but out of the bag, the fabric felt a step more refined than the previous short. Minor aesthetic changes such as a subdued lower leg logo lent themselves to a stealthy look. A top-of-the-line Elastic Interface chamois also came in a sleek black colorway which set the Summit Pro apart from any other bibshort I've worn.
Typically I wear a size small in most cycling apparel, but for certain brands a medium fits better — and this is the case for ProCorsa. I slipped on the Summit Pro and they were a perfect fit immediately. Another key difference between the Summit and Summit Pro is the lengthened inseam that provides optimal compression without feeling too snug. This can be exceedingly helpful for long days in the saddle when even the tiniest discomforts become big.
Testing The Textiles
Where I live in the Pacific Northwest, it can be a challenge to get out the door to ride in the rain day-in-day-out. This often means extended indoor trainer rides are necessary to keep the mileage up. If you've spent time on any indoor cycling trainer, you understand the critical importance of a high-quality chamois. There is nothing worse than settling into a hard stationary workout and discovering discomfort and overheating. Luckily, the Summit Pro gave me no such sensations despite a 4-hour Zwift ride with some hard efforts. The compression was just right and the fabric breathed well enough to keep me cool in the heat of Watopia.
Indoor riding alone can't tell the whole story of a bibshort.
While it may have been too cold in Oregon to comfortably suit-up and take to the local summits, I took off to Sherman Oaks, California in search of warmer training grounds and some Velodrome racing. Nestled just east of the Santa Monica Mountains, I was just a few miles away from winding canyon climbs up the coast. With bottles full and pockets loaded, I set out for a full day of climbing — and sunning! Paired with ASSOS Chamois Creme, the Summit Pro was the perfect bibshort for a long day in the saddle.
On the Velodrome, short and intense efforts felt powerful in the Summit Pro. The bibs had the right amount of compression to hold themselves in place — in- and out-of-the-saddle — in flying lap sprint efforts and prolonged attacks on the boards. What more can you ask for in a bibshort?
The Last Stitch
As an avid competitive cyclist, I enjoyed the McKenzie Summit for the value — it's a great bibshort and at an even better price. I can honestly say I didn't expect much more from the Summit Pro, but I was wrong. Not only are the fabrics that much better, but the chamois is legit. It can handle a long day of endurance riding or a short hour-of-power. This kind of versatility is really what puts the "pro" in Summit Pro.
Words by Emmett Culp
Photos by Bertrand Morin and Emmett Culp.