Review: Pearl Izumi Select Gel Gloves

Gloves can make or break a ride.  They’re such a small component of your overall kit, but the wrong set of gloves will leave your hands or fingers feeling more numb than if you’d gone without.

Pearl Izumi Select Gel Gloves

Price:  $20-35

Usage Time/Distance:  approx. 3 months, 1,200 miles (per pair, I own two pairs)

Purchased From:  Amazon

Pros

  • Mesh backing allows for excellent ventilation in hot weather
  • Pull-tab on ring finger allows for easy removal
  • Palm surface breathes decently
  • Very light-weight
Cons
  • Mesh backing allows the back of your hands to get a little sunburned – use a bit of sunblock (specs say 40+ SPF – yeah, right)
  • Sizing runs small, and can bind if you get a size that’s too small
  • Not a super-padded glove, so might not be for your ultra-distance rides (unless you like less padding)

Before I got these gloves, I was using a set of gloves from SixSixOne called the Claffic Half-Finger Gloves. Cloth, very little padding – basically just enough coverage to take a little pressure off and keep my palms from getting too beaten up in a crash. But when the miles started piling up, the gloves basically disintegrated. So, time for something sturdier (and more expensive than $6).

I had tried another pair of Pearl Izumi gloves, the Pearl Izumi Select gloves, but unfortunately, the padding was far too thick and wasn’t positioned properly for my hands.  So, I passed them onto a teammate since they were what he used.

The padding is good, but not what you’d call beefy. If you’re looking for lots of padding, the Select Gel isn’t the glove for you. Though gel padded – and for me well positioned for the base of the thumb, palm, and side of the hand – the center of the palm remains mostly clear. Some people might not like that, but it allowed freer hand flexing, and didn’t feel as constricting.

I’ve washed the gloves at least once a week throughout the riding season (about every two rides for each pair), and they’ve held up just fine. Occasionally when I’ve been riding long, they can bind a bit between the thumb and index finger while riding on the hoods, but usually that just means I haven’t changed position often enough.

Overall, it’s a solid performance for a very decent price.