14 of 14 customers found this review helpful.
I recently picked up the Pearl Izumi Elite bibs (PI) on Gold Express Deal, and would like to compare them against a direct competitor that I've been riding for about 3.5 years, Louis Garneau Neo Power (LG). I am 6'4', 210 pounds and I have XL sizes of each.
Material: The PI are made of a shiny, slippery, and slightly thinner spandex compared to the high compression, matte finish LG. At first I viewed this as a potential downside, as the shiny, slippery stuff makes its way into low end cycling apparel. But after a long hot ride, I feel that it breaths better and may be less prone to rubbing.
Design and Fit: The PI are slightly larger than the LG in XL. LG uses the same material for the bib portion straps as the rest of the of the piece, and these straps have to be stretched into place over my shoulders: Very nice snug, compression fit. The PI by comparison use a very light mesh for the bib straps that could fit a man with a much longer torso than me. They aren't loose over my shoulders, but they aren't nearly as tight as the LG. I was concerned with the potential for the PI not staying in place, but this turned about to be unfounded. Plus, the PI straps breath better. Overall though, initial quality impression was better for LG.
Chamois Pad/Comfort: LG changed their chamois from my first (and favorite) pair of Neo Power Bibs to my second and third pair. I feel I like each pair slightly less. My newest LG Neo Power rub in a particular area and can be very uncomfortable. I just finished a 84 mile ride in the PI and both initial comfort and comfort on the 84th mile were significantly better than LG for me. Both LG and PI pads seem to be about same thickness (if not LG sl thicker/more diaper like), but I feel the PI may have larger surface area and be wider at the thinnest point between the legs. Win for PI here for my sit bone and saddle combination.
Conclusion: Both are excellent. Get whichever is on sale! I am tempted to try the top-line Pro PI now.
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