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Verdict: 
Top-end price but saved by a great fit, plenty of breathability and deep, secure pockets
Weight: 
165g

The Pearl Izumi Men's Elite Pursuit Graphic Jersey is a top-notch garment that brings a mixture of great material choice and fit to provide pretty much everything you need for a short sleeve top to get you from spring through to autumn.

  • Pros: Comfortable and highly breathable fabric
  • Cons: £100 is quite an outlay for a jersey

The Elite Transfer fabric that Pearl Izumi has used for the Pursuit jersey is real quality. Its 100 per cent polyester construction is thicker than many summer jerseys but that doesn't seem to hamper it – even when the temperature rises to the mid-20s centigrade breathability and airflow is pretty impressive. And should you get overwhelmed on a climb, for instance, then you can always drop the full length zip.

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It's warm enough from about 15°C which gives it a pretty good operating range.

The Pursuit is definitely a racer's jersey, having quite a slim, form-fitting cut, but that Elite fabric gives you a bit of room for manoeuvre if you are fit but not as lean as an elite-level pro. The shape is kept in check by the material used for the shoulders and side panels – a lighter weight polyester (83%) and Lycra (17%) blend which keeps things taut where it needs to be, with no fabric being left to flap about in the wind.

Pearl Izumi ELITE Pursuit Graphic Jersey - riding.jpg

The arms come to about mid-bicep and are held in place with a comfortable lightweight cuff.

Pearl Izumi ELITE Pursuit Graphic Jersey - cuff detail.jpg

Round the back, the hem has a decent drop to it which keeps your lower back covered when you're crouched in the drops, and it's held in place by little silicone tabs.

Pearl Izumi ELITE Pursuit Graphic Jersey - back.jpg

It's quite rare to see a jersey these days with just the three traditional pockets, as in there's no zipped one for valuables. It's no biggy but something I missed for when I wanted to shove my house key somewhere – especially on a £100 jersey.

Pearl Izumi ELITE Pursuit Graphic Jersey - pockets.jpg

Things shouldn't fall out of the pockets anyway, as they are deep and the fabric remains taut when full. I like the fact the pockets have been stitched in a 'bellows' construction, where the fabric is folded underneath before being sewn. It means that when full, the pockets come away from the jersey at the bottom with the extra fabric almost giving them a base. It allows whatever you have in your pocket to sit more naturally.

Money-wise, a penny shy of £100 is quite an outlay for a lightweight short-sleeved jersey, but on the plus side it is excellently made with neat stitching and finish.

> Buyer's Guide: 17 of the best summer cycling jerseys

However, the Sweet Protection Crossfire jersey offers very similar attributes and costs just £69.99, and there are plenty of others we've tested around that price.

The Pearl Izumi does fair well against the likes of the Giro Chrono Pro jersey, though, which will set you back £129.99.

Overall, the Pursuit Graphic jersey is a very good all-round package, even if you do have to pay a little extra for it.

Verdict

Top-end price but saved by a great fit, plenty of breathability and deep, secure pockets

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Pearl Izumi Elite Pursuit Graphic Jersey

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Pearl Izumi says, "The Men's ELITE Pursuit Graphic Jersey is a high-performance cycling jersey designed to complement our Pursuit bib shorts. The raglan sleeves provide a close and comfortable fit and ELITE Transfer fabric delivers the breathability and moisture management necessary to keep you comfortable during hard efforts."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

FEATURES:

ELITE Transfer fabric provides superior moisture transfer

Sleeve and side panels are a polyester and LYCRA® blend for form-fitting freedom of movement

Full-length zipper for venting

Three back pockets with bellows construction for optimal storage

Body: 100% polyester; Shoulders/Sides: 83% polyester 17% LYCRA®/UPF 50+; Garment Weight (Size M): 166 g; Made in China

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
9/10

Although form fitting there is a bit of give here and there so you don't need to be super-lean to look good in it.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
9/10

Sizing is correct to the chart on the website.

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Pretty pricey compared with very similar out there (though others are more expensive).

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

Pearl Izumi recommends a cool 30 degree wash and I had no issues. It's had countless washes and come through unscathed.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

It's a very comfortable jersey that works well across a broad range of temperatures.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Breathable fabric.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Price is top end.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

There are a lot of good quality jerseys out there for around the £65-£70 mark, but there are a few around £130 offering similar features.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

A really nice jersey to wear thanks to the great fabric and cut, and it offers plenty of performance – at a price.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.