Denise Goldberg's blog

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Product curiosity

...or maybe I should call this manufacturer curiosity!

I've been wearing Pearl Izumi Ultrasensor cycling shorts for many years now. The design has changed - or maybe I should say evolved - but usually it was an improvement. That wasn't true a few years back when the cut of the shorts was changed so that they dipped down so far in the front that I was afraid to stand up. Luckily that change didn't last very long, and I managed to not need to buy shorts that year.

Unfortunately, they made one of those infamous changes this year, and I find the new design totally unacceptable. This time they changed the chamois, using the chamois from their more expensive Microsensor shorts. I suppose there must be women out there who like the design, since it has been used in the Microsensors for quite a few years. Unfortunately, I'm not one of the people who approves of the change that was made.

My new shorts were waiting for me when I got home tonight (yes, I'm still following my usual habit of not going to stores!). I tried them on, and found them totally unwearable. So what was wrong with the chamois? To start with, there's so much stiff fabric between my legs that there is a line between my legs parallel with the ground! It sticks out in the back too, and is just generally uncomfortable.

Funny, there was a discussion in the TE forums this week about the size of the chamois in different brands of shorts, and apparently many of the manufacturers (probably including PI) use the same size chamois regardless of the size of the shorts. Sugoi shorts were recommended as a good choice for smaller women; I think I'll order a pair and hope that they are a comfortable fit.

So tell me, was this design change in the Ultrasensor shorts really supposed to be an improvement?