17 November 2009

Review: Pearl Izumi Cyclone Glove

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the road still looks delightful. Cold weather doesn't mean the end of cycling, just a change of clothes. One particular important piece of clothing is your gloves, and I tried out the Pearl Izumi Cyclone to see how it holds up.

This glove, at first glance, seems to have it all. It boasts protection from wind, water, cold, and vibration all while keeping a sleek and stylish appearance. Unfortunately as the saying goes, "a jack of all trades is a master to none".

On a cool fall day, this glove accomplishes the goal of warmth, but with its limited water resistance the warmth will not last long if there is rain. For those of us who bike in the Pacific Northwest, a water resistant glove just won't cut it. The lack of moisture wicking further hinders the glove's ability to provide warmth, so if the cyclist, like me, tends to have hands that sweat, these gloves would dampen, thus making it colder. If you want a winter glove I would suggest the Izumi Barrier or Barrier Lobster which performs much better and has been a proven glove for years.

The beaded silicone grips along the fingers and palm work wonderfully without wearing down and the Gel-Lite padding definitely helps on those longer treks to stave off vibration fatigue. Over time, however, it seems the stress caused by the constant push and pull of the gel pockets can cause tears in the fabric rendering the glove useless. If the padding is a necessity for you, the Izumi P.R.O. Lobster Wind Mitt is a better choice for durability and comfort, and if you purchase a seperate thin thermal liner it could handle even greater temperatures than the Cyclone.

For a serious rider, the padding is a dealbreaker. Casual riders may find that the durability is not an issue, and on top of that, if you live in a place where it doesn't rain everyday then this glove would do the job. If you are a serious rider I would give this a pass and go with one of the other gloves I mentioned, but with it's stylish looks, comfort, and protection against wind and cold, a casual rider would get their money's worth.

"Two [hundred] men enter, one man leave [the winner]."

In case you are a bit rusty on your 80's post-apocalyptic action movies, that was from "Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome", sort of.

Actually it was the theme to this year's Single Speed Cyclocross World Championships (SSCXWC) held at the Portland International Raceway on November 7th and 8th. Hundreds turned out for the event, both to compete and spectate, many dressed as citizens of the savage city of Bartertown. The costumes and rowdy fans are the norm at Cyclocross, but this time Yakima Inc. took it to the next level and made...the Thunderdome. This 1300-square-foot lattice structure became the center of attention, standing over 20 feet high. It was the Cyclocross version of the fabled arena of death, but in this case, death is the place where people heckle you as you bike through. Folks climbed all over the giant dome to watch the mayhem as riders were pelted with marshmellows by people suspended from the top of the dome.

Of all who braved the course, only two emerged triumphant. Kari Studley of Seattle took the women's division and, for the second year in a row, Drew MacKenzie of Canada won the men's. They received the coveted "golden speedo" or "golden bikini" for the women (so as not to excite the already riled and savage crowd). Studley's win moves the 2010 SSCXWC to Seattle, ending Portland's three year reign of dominance. Don't lose heart Stumptown, you'll get it back next year with a win in the Emerald City.

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