When it comes to wearing gloves or not in cold-weather conditions, there's really no option — riding any distance without them is virtually impossible. But when it comes to choosing what gloves you use, well, then there are options. The Women's Pearl Izumi Softshell Gloves lack many of the little extras of the more expensive offerings in the P.R.O. and Elite models; however, their simplified design in no way impedes their effective function.
The PI Softshell technology for which the Select Softshells are named insulates, blocks wind, and resists water so you can ride comfortably in all cold-weather conditions. This barrier is further buttressed with a fleecy interior to achieve a balance of bulk and warmth so you stay comfortable in temperatures from zero to 40 degrees Fahrenheit without completely losing touch with your handlebars.
The strategically reinforced palm and silicone details also help to facilitate bar grabbing, shifting, and braking, and the thermally conductive index gives you control over your touchscreen devices without exposing your hands to the cold. Reflective elements help keep you visible in low-light conditions.
The Pearl Izumi Pearl Izumi Select Softshell Gloves are available in four sizes ranging from Small to X-Large in the colors Black and Screaming Yellow.
- Q & A
Cute, but not suited for below freezing
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: Small
I live in Chicago and recently transitioned to year-round bike commuting (with the exception of all-out snowstorms :) ). This was my first pair of cycling-specific gloves. I was pleased with the style and subtle details (the grippy triangles on the palm are actually sparkly metallic silver, which I loved). I followed the size recommendations and ordered a small. They are a bit tight/awkward to pull on due to the wrists not being very stretchy, but they fit my hands well once they're on and aren't restrictive for shifting/braking.
My only complaint is that these are definitely not insulated for temperatures below 25/30 F. Though they are listed as being designed for temps from 0-40 F, I rode on several days that were in the mid-30s and my fingertips were freezing after less than half an hour. It seems like the seams at the tips of the fingers let in the majority of the cold air. The tops and palms of my hands stayed comfortable, though. I'm going to keep these as a liner for winter riding, or a stand-alone glove for early spring temperatures.