Review: Lululemon Pace Rival Crops

Now that my race is over, we can get to the important stuff--fitness clothes! I have a bunch of reviews to post. This week I'll get reviews up on Albion Fit, my Fabletics order from this month, and the new Lululemon 5-inch Kanto Catch Me Short. As a gift to myself to celebrate my race, I made my first Sweaty Betty purchase--running tights--so I'll do a review once I get them. And I'll also be doing a post on my favorites for cold weather running, though I may not get to that this week.

First up is Lululemon's Pace Rival Crops. I typically don't wear ankle-length crops running because if it's that cool that I need a below-knee length, it's usually cool enough to wear full-length tights. I can wear full-length tights all winter long, so I get more wear out of them. But when the race-day forecast was originally supposed to be 50F, I didn't want to wear full-length tights but also didn't want to wear a running skirt. And I needed the five pockets that come in most Lulu bottoms for the race. I have a single pair of black Lulu running crops from 2011, so I thought it was time to splurge on a new pair.

I got the Pace Rival Crop in the Space Dye Twist Ultra Violet Multi pattern.


I ordered it in a size 6, which is what I wear in Speed Tights. The fit is true to size and fits just like the Speed Tights. As with the Speed Tights, I found the tights compressive and flattering but also very comfortable. I have larger calves so was surprised that the bottom hem felt a little loose, though it doesn't look loose. The seams did not pinch me; I don't even notice them when I have them on. The main difference between these crops and Speed Tights is the slightly lower rise.


I love stripes, and this pattern is an interesting take on stripes. Plus, the purple and magenta colors match pretty much everything in my workout wardrobe, so I can pair it with a lot of different tops. The fabric is thin but completely opaque. The feel is different from the very slick feeling of most of my Luxtreme bottoms. This fabric felt much less slick and is not overtly shiny (except with a flash), which I really like. I don't love very slick fabrics. Many people were unhappy that the stripes do not line up on these crops. When I got them, I didn't even notice that mine didn't. I kind of like them uneven.


Some of the Pace Rival Crops have mesh in the back of the legs, but these don't. I really like the ones I got without mesh. They look just like regular crops and not just for running, so I can wear them for other activities. The main feature is, of course, Lulu's signature five pockets. Here's how I use them in a race or long run.

The back, zippered pocket is where I put my keys.
There are two front waistband pockets.  I put my salt stick caps in one pocket and my MP3 player in the other pocket.

There are also two side pockets. I put my phone and lip balm in one pocket and a gel and tissues in the other. I carry my other two gels in my handheld water bottle.

Sometimes I will also use the pockets to stash sunglasses if I bring them but don't need them, gloves after I warm up, or will use one pocket for clean tissues and the other for used if there are no trash cans around. I don't think I could do long runs and races without all these pockets!


I've worn the crops several times in temps from 40 to 55 degrees. I think they're a good weight for that temperature range. I never got too hot but also wasn't cold in them. For my race it was a very cold feels-like 35 degrees, and while I'd usually wear full-length tights when it's that cold, I was going to be racing so didn't want to get too warm. They were perfect.

My biggest complaint is that they sagged a little while running and I had to pull them up. That never happens with my Speed Tights, so I think it's the lower rise of the crops. In my race, I did one big pull-up at the beginning when I started and then didn't have to adjust them again, but in the future I will just tighten the drawcord, which should prevent them from falling down.

My other complaint is that, while they're not slick, they do cause Lulu Cool Racerbacks to ride up while running. When I run in Speed Tights, I have to tuck in CRBs and Swiftlys or else they'll ride up, and I guess the same is true with these crops. I did wear a Rulu Light top (the one I'm wearing in the top picture) alone, and that didn't ride up.

Bottom Line

I love the pattern and am happy I have another running crop with five pockets. I do prefer the Speed Tights though for the higher rise. I saw Speed Crops were released internationally, but we didn't get them here in the US. If we do, I'll definitely try those. Note that one color of the Pace Rival Crops was marked down in We Made Too Much on Lulu's website this week, but I couldn't snag a pair in my size fast enough. If you want to try these but not pay full price, check the website on Thursday, when new sale items are added. You should be safe in whatever your typical crop/tight size is in Lulu.

Lulu Race Day Outfit:
Spacedye Twist Ultra Violet Pace Rival Crops
Ultra Violet Cool Racerback
Heathered Slate Pace Pusher Long Sleeve
Pretty Purple Bangbuster
Dashing Purple Scuba Hoodie II before and after race

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