Peal Izumi Canyon Short and Prospect 2/1 Short
Are mountain bike shorts available with elastic waist bands?
Yes they are.
As someone who is closer to 50 years than 40 years of age, I eagerly embrace anything that comes with an elastic waist. Therefore, I was excited to try Pearl Izumi Canyon short and Prospect 2/1 short, the cycling apparel’s elastic-waisted shorts.
Let’s start with the standard fit Canyon short, the more stylish of the two.
Part of Pearl Izumi’s Canyon collection whose hallmark includes fast drying fabrics that are technical/comfortable and whose designs are versatile/casual, the Canyon short is everything the collection claims to be.
The elastic waistband did not chafe (my biggest fear), nor did it sag when I put my cell phone in one of the pockets. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised that the Canyon shorts (including the waist and the 1:1 SELECT Escape chamois liner) stayed in place throughout the entire ride.
Initially, the placement of the two zippered hand pockets took getting used to.
The placement of the pockets are not quite on the rear, but far back along the leg. All my other mountain bike shorts have front placed pockets, so it was strange for me to reach back instead of forward (out of habit) to use the pockets.
Once I got used to the pockets, I was fine. Additionally, the spacious pockets are zippered so my phone and valuables stay secure and I have worry-free riding. It sounds silly to say this, but zippered pockets are a must on any mountain biking short. No one wants stuff flying out of pockets and realizing you lost something on a trail at the end of the ride. Yay pockets. Yay zippers.
The detachable 1:1 SELECT Escape chamois liner provides just the right amount of cushioning, and I was pleased it didn’t ride up in any uncomfortable places. Over the years, when wearing mountain bike shorts, I’ve preferred to wear a separate chamois for various reasons, but the Canyon shorts with the included liner just work.
Middle-aged me is delighted to have found a pair of mountain bike shorts with an elastic waistband.
Overall, I quite like the Canyon shorts and will be wearing them from now on (good bye, uncomfortable buttons, belts, etc.).
Note that while they are standard fit, they do run small and I ordered a size large, which fit perfectly.
Prospect 2/1 short
You cannot get any more deconstructed than the Pearl Izumi Prospect 2/1 short.
This simplified short is definitely no frills: comfortable wide elastic waistband that you had in your high school gym shorts, no outer pockets (there are drop in pockets in the liner), minimal padding.
This is not a short you want to wear on a long mountain bike ride.
The Prospect 2/1 short is also noticeably shorter (6” inseam) than the Canyon shorts (9.5” inseam), so they won’t offer as much protection from the elements or from brush if you’re riding singletrack.
Be aware that the removable minimal chamois pad offers light padding, so this is not an ideal short to wear on a long ride, or one with a lot of rock gardens, roots and other bumpy terrain features.
Now to the positive comments.
When I did wear the Prospect 2/1 short out mountain biking, the rip stop fabric was nice and light. It also helped to have DWR coating to repel moisture, since it did begin to lightly rain during part of my ride.
While it is not ideal for grueling mountain bike rides, the Prospect 2/1 short does work in other scenarios. In particular, it is ideal for middle aged women who want a no-frills, comfortable short to wear on a stationary bike, or to do quick errands around town on a bike.
Like the Canyon short, the Prospect 2/1 short is standard fit and runs small. I recommend wearing a size up.