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Because not every ride eclipses the five-hour mark, not every rider needs such a short. Combining simple form and simple function is the Pearl Izumi In-R-Cool Ella Short, which is designed for the enthusiast looking to get a little more out of every workout. Its fitted with Pearl Izumi's lightly padded quick-dry chamois to give your sit-bones a little extra cushioning, without fitting or feeling like a soggy diaper when your ride is over. Versatility is key with the Ella, as you can layer it with a knicker for your morning ride to work, or wear it on its own for spin class -- Pearl's highly breathable Transfer fabric wicks away moisture and helps keeps your skin cool when your instructor tells you its time to crank up your efforts.

In addition to the short's anatomic multi-panel construction, Pearl Izumi took care to include a flattering and extra-wide waistband which won't dig into your tummy when you're hunched over in the drops. This thoughtful design attention delivers a comfortable fit that flatters a wide variety of body types, letting you get the most enjoyment out of each ride or spin session.

The In-R-Cool Ella Short is available in sizes X-Small through X-Large. The inseam on a Medium comes in at 6.5 inches. Reflective elements on the short help keep you visible when you're out riding after dusk.

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  • Q & A

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Love them!

  • Fit: True to size
  • Size Bought: Large

I love my Pearl Izumi shorts! After reading several reviews I decided to order a large instead of a medium, and really wish I hadn't done so. I am still riding in them, but would prefer a medium. Overall great shorts. The chamois is perfect in these shorts. My rump didn't even notice I was riding a bike until about hour 3. I also wore them to a cycling class and never felt sore, or moist.

Shorts that Improve Your Ride

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit: True to size

Most padded shorts I've worn have been a disaster. The chamois or gel would move into uncomfortable places, but the rump of these shorts is large enough that it stays put on your seat. The seams make the cut very flattering if worn by themselves (which I do). I'll never do another long MTB ride without them.

Shorts that Improve Your Ride

Thin, Strange Cut

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
  • Fit: Runs small

I've worn a size L in every pair of cycling shorts I tried, but these were too small. Well, I'm not sure if they were too small, or if the cut was just weird. When I put them on, the material on the front of the shorts went way over my stomach. But, the material on the back left my butt crack giving a bit of a show! It was very strange, you'd think, if anything, cycling shorts would have a higher back to keep those cracks hidden - these were the opposite!

They were also very thin - you could easily see light through them when holding them up. I'm not confident they would keep riders behind me from having a free show (especially combined with the crack action!). The padding was so minimal, I don't see how it would make any difference.

On the bright side, if they fit you correctly, I imagine you could wear them under "normal" pants or shorts pretty easily since they are so thin.

Returned them, did not try a different size because the cut and material was not up to my expectations.

Cute and comfy!

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

For starters, these shorts are super cute and flattering (well, as flattering as spandex shorts can be anyway). The cut and design looks great! I like them for cruising around in because they don't have as much padding as the regular padded bike shorts (which can be uncomfortably bulky, especially when you're walking around in them). They have just enough padding if you're doing shorter rides or cruising around town. You can even fit them under jeans if you wanted to have the padding but still wear normal clothes. I love these shorts!