The Veer is sold with two different types of liners, both of which have a chamois pad: a regular compression short-style liner and a bib-style liner. I’ve tested the Veer with the bib liner, which is simple but functional. Unlike most bib shorts I have used in the past (various models from ChampSys, Castelli, and Giordana), the Veer’s bib liner is not made of the typical tightly woven, stretchy wicking fabric. Instead, it’s made from 84% polyester / 16% Elastane (Lycra) small pore mesh, unlike any other bib short or liner I’ve owned (see photo above). When held up to the light, you can see through the liner. This greatly increases its wicking and cooling potential by increasing air flow next to the skin.
The bib liner’s chamois is not heavily structured—it’s just a single-density foam chamois treated to combat bacterial growth and increase drying time. I was somewhat skeptical of the simplicity of the Veer’s chamois. I usually opt for bibs with denser, multi-structured chamois with anatomical cutouts like the Castelli Body Paint bibs. However the Veer’s straightforward chamois performed well on rides up to two hours long, and I experienced no significant pressure points when riding on a variety of saddles. There was some friction around the chamois, but this had less to do with the chamois itself, and more to do with the bib liner’s mesh material that encases it. More on that in a bit in the Performance section.
I don’t know that I would use the Veer’s chamois liner for road-biking, where longer periods of seated pedaling is the norm, but for dynamic mountain bike riding where getting off the saddle is a pretty regular occurrence, it was totally sufficient.
I have a 34” waist and 32” inseam, and I opted for a size Large in the Veer. The shorts are cut generously with extra room in the waist and seat, so if you’re in between sizes you may want to think about downsizing. Even with the extra material, I was easily able to cinch the waist down to my size, and the material in the thighs and seat of the short didn’t bunch up.
The Veer short has a 13” inseam, which I found to be the perfect length while pedaling; it’s not so short that you look like you’re pedaling straight out of the ‘70s, but not so long that it hangs up on your knee while hammering out pedal strokes.
The bib liners fit me well in a size Large, too. Some bibs, typically those made by European companies, will fit very snug in a Large. You’re bound to feel some compression with bibs, but it can sometimes feel like you’re a pound of meat in a half-pound bag. The Veer’s bibs did not fit like that. The bib’s leg openings didn’t feel like they were biting into my lower thigh and the shoulder straps was comfortable. The shoulder straps themselves are fairly wide and evenly distribute the pressure they do exert.
Performance: On and Off the Trail
I’ve put in about ten or so hours of riding in the Veer in a variety of locations, from rooty trails in Vermont to some smooth trails and technical trails around Boulder, Colorado.
The Veer’s design, with its big mesh thigh panels/vents, in combination with the mesh bib liner, kept me somewhat cooler (not dramatically so) than some of the other liner/short pairings that I regularly ride in: the 2013 Maloja Admat and older Fox Ventilators combined with either a ChampSys or Louis Garneau road bib short. The Veer’s mesh thigh panels and the meshy material of the liner allowed air to flow well while riding, and to breathe well when I was stopped.
Yet, while the Veer’s venting is very good, I did notice some issues that, for me, negatively affected the short’s broader functionality. The first has to do with the mesh material of the bib liner, and I was able to correct it. As mentioned above, the liner is constructed entirely using this mesh material, including under and around the chamois, which is a high friction zone in between the saddle and the body. (The same goes with the regular non-bib liner the Veer is also sold with.)
I noticed on my first few rides that the mesh, as it’s thicker and rougher than a more spandex-like material, did create some added friction between saddle and body, which was uncomfortable. However, after washing them once after roughly 5-7 rides, the material was noticeably softer. The instructions on the tag say not to do this, but I found that machine washing the liners and putting them in the dryer softened them up.
The next two complaints aren’t concerned with the Veer’s performance while riding, but its functionality as a baggy short off the bike. First, the Veer’s large mesh thigh panels are rather transparent and run fairly far up the side of the leg, so you can look kinda silly wearing the Veer after a ride, even if you happen to ditch the liners for some regular underwear. My pasty white thighs were pretty visible in the Veer, so I preferred to pack a second pair of shorts for après-ride. Second, the Veer’s lack of a regular button fly makes après or trail-side pit stops more of a hassle than they otherwise would be.
With the Veer, Pearl Izumi aimed to make a breathable, baggy short / bib liner combo, and in that respect, I think they’ve succeeded. The shorts are made of a comfortable, stretchy material; their mesh vents function well while riding and noticeably cool off the legs; and the bib liner’s chamois is comfortable on short to medium-length rides.
The short does lack an ordinary fly closure, however, and I found the hook-and-loop waist cinches a little bothersome. I also thought the Veer’s big mesh vents, while functional during a ride, weren’t the most stylish at the bar. For me, these points stood to limit the short’s versatility, but you may feel differently. If you’re primarily concerned with how a pair of baggy riding shorts does on the trail, you ought to be quite happy with the Veer.