Published on December 28th, 2016 | by Greg0
Pearl Izumi: Biking Through The Wind
It might seem like the time of the year when it simply makes sense to switch from bicycling to taking public transport or driving for your daily commute. But there are some tough (or crazy) people out there who still want to bike even with wind, rain, or snow- not to mention that temperatures were over 50 degrees in New York during the daytime today but can fall steeply for the ride home. Whether you’re practicing for your next tour or simply looking to stay toasty on your tours around town, keep in mind the credo: there is no bad weather, there is only the wrong outfit!
We’ve been testing out three items from Pearl Izumi over the past few weeks, in a variety of conditions. We’ll start with their P.R.O. Softshell Lite Glove. And while the first thing what might come to your mind while unboxing these is probably how thin and light they are, your first time outside will impress you. Beside offering a really good grip thanks to the sheer material, they also keep you magically (*thanks to a material called Primaloft) well-protected from harsh winds and low temperatures. Officially rated to 40°, your hands will be toasty even below that! They offer a breathable material for ventilation, but you’ll feel the downside of these pores when it is raining. The gloves are “water resistant” and protect your hands in early morning fog and light showers, but not in pouring heavy rain- and once wet, your hands can get cold quickly. But they dry very quickly! With touchscreen capabilities, you’ll be able to use your phone, and the only other downside we found were the slightly rough inner seams. Expect to spend around $55 for them, in black/red or black/silver color combinations.
There is another place where thin and lightweight matter- on your shoes! The P.R.O. Barrier WxB Shoe Covers are slightly expandable to fit over cycling shoes, with a big opening on the sole to fit shoes with clips. They even fit over my US 10.5 size street shoes, but it’s tough to close the velcro on the backside. Speaking of which, the velcro has a double layer for more water resistance, and it gives you an additional layer with a fleece inlay. You might be wondering- the primary protection against wind and cold is already in your shoes and socks, and the PRO Barrier Shoe Covers aren’t designed for true heavy water protection. The sealed seams are great, but these can still get water inside and then get cold quickly. Available in ‘screaming yellow’ or black, they run about $55.
Finally, the Pearl Izumi Thermal Skull Cap continues with the trend- offering a nice extra layer for your head. After all, it’s critical that your helmet fit tightly and snug for safety, but most helmets don’t offer much help against wind and cold. And as you probably know, most of your body heat can escape from your head. The Thermal Skull Cap solves both challenges with a perfect shape over the ears and their special P.R.O. Thermal Dry fabric, which promises quick drying and odor absorption too. The cap even has an extra opening on the back for a pigtail, but no special treatment for those with glasses, so it can be a bit tight for those with eyewear. It’s fairly warm and cozy, but we could have used an extra layer for additional warmth. But available now for only $25, it’s a solid addition to your cycling wardrobe. Like the others, the emphasis is on easy-to-pack, truly sleek gear, each with some reflective elements- perfect for the season (and the next)! If these aren’t quite right, Pearl Izumi also makes a wide range of gear, including one of our all-time favorite jackets.