Attacking Winter in True Pearl Izumi Fashion

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Really!?! Riding In Winter Is An Option?

Why, yes it is!! For those who ride in the Winter, you know it takes an extra effort to get out the door. Cooler temperatures also means a retreat to the basement or pain cave for many to still get some saddle time. For the casual or occasional rider, it’s a complete hiatus from the bicycle until Spring time. Don’t do this! You’ll be much happier if you can get a solid bike workout in a few times per week. Be it a cruise around the neighborhood, a commute to work, a road ride, or a mountain fat bike jaunt, I bet the mere thought of this will bring excitement, and a slight feeling of anxiety as well to brave the elements. And I know for certain, once I’ve completed said ride, I never regret it.

This Winter Pearl Izumi fashion review is here to tell you that it is definitely possible to be on your bike when nature has pushed back against our comfort levels. Furthermore, I also think the comprehensive mindset of society as a whole has gone a bit soft, to be honest. A few years back I pushed myself through and beyond a cold limit threshold. In essence, I figured out part of the problem was my mental approach on various weather elements (be it cold, rain, snow, or wind). You may have heard this one, it’s a common Scandinavian expression:

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”

And that my cyclist friends is the difference between a miserable wet or cold ride, and one of pure Euphoria. Please take a look at the following Pearl Izumi options. Even acquiring a few of these cold weather apparel pieces will make a huge difference. As you gather riding momentum, and figure out your mental and cold threshold, adding more items will make cycling through winter an absolute joy.

Expedition Thermal Jersey

This is certainly a unique cycling garment that helps battle the chill in the shoulder seasons. It’s a mid-weight Jersey (almost looks and feels like a casual sweater) that adds warmth when the temperatures drop below 50. The fabric is made out of a thermal stretch fleece that provides that extra bit of insulation. The Expedition Thermal Jersey has a standard fit, but what really appeals to me is the classic herringbone pattern that reminds me of a warm wool sweater.

There are the typical three rear pockets (although they blend in to not be a highly visible feature) that will hold all your extra Winter gear if you need to add or remove layers, gloves, and/or hats. There’s a front pocket for a few valuables. Not large enough for the latest iPhones, but a key, cash or Honey Stinger Stroopwafel snack does fit nicely. I have worn this on numerous morning commutes. Temperatures in the mid 30’s, and with a work sweater underneath, I was completely warm and comfortable.

Take extra precautions when cleaning. Very gentle detergent and dryer cycles need to be adhered to.

MSRP: $130

Check these out HERE for color options and sizing.

Pearl Izumi Amfib Cycling Bib Tight

I’ve had the good fortune of wearing a previous version of Pearl Izumi’s thermal bib tights for the past 5 years. Riding throughout the winters consistently has been enjoyable while helping build the mental toughness to battle nature. This Amfib Cycling Bib Tight is certainly a step up, as it kept me comfortable with temps in the 20’s and 30’s. The softshell fabric with membrane protects from wind and water, and the thermal fleece lining helps create some warmth (especially when creating body heat through increased intensity). It’s got some pockets in the back, but I usually rely on the Jerseys and Jackets for stuffing my stuff in.

The next critical element for any cycling bib is the chamois, and how comfortable you are on the saddle. I’ve had no complaints thus far. My rides have been in the 35-50 mile range, but I hope to keep building the Winter mileage in these Amfib Cycling Bib Tight.

Comes in Black, and fits slightly on the small side. Therefore, it would be smart to size up. I’m 6’-1” and 165 lbs with larger than average leg size. I went for the Large, and am totally happy with that size selection.

MSRP: $200

These are key and for purchase go to PEARL IZUMI for more details.

Amfib Lobster Gel Glove

The Pearl Izumi Lobster Glove is an item that will certainly be appreciated by any Winter cyclist. No matter the type of riding you do, all will be able to enjoy biking down to sub freezing temperatures. The fingers are usually the first to go. Depending on your tolerance and weather conditions, these Lobsters will help delay the inevitable frozen digits that will cut a ride short. They sport a 170g Primaloft Gold and Crosscore technology insulation that up to this point, I have pushed down into the lower 20’s. That includes 25 mph winds and some wet bone chilling air.

The majority of the body fabric provides excellent wind and water protection. The Ax Suede Laredo synthetic leather palm gives the gloves that extra little grip as well as durability. The debate over gloves versus mittens will always be a thing between bikers (and snow sport lovers). These Pearl Izumi Amfib Lobster Gel Gloves pack a punch in both departments where warmth and dexterity meet for a happy medium. Apparently, they are touch screen compatible. I really don’t see the need for that as my bike time is my phone free time, and I don’t need to be bothered. Others, I am sure, will appreciate it.

MSRP: $85

Go to LOBSTER for information and purchase.

Pearl Izumi Cyclone Gel Glove

This is considered a “cool” weather glove, and perfect for shoulder season riding. The Cyclone Gel Glove provides comfort and protection from the cold and rain.

The synthetic leather padding on the palms and touch points are adequate to help absorb road vibrations. The back of the hand is a softshell that uses a lightweight three-layer construction to give wind and water protection. These gloves have nice long cuffs to either go under, or over the jacket to prevent wind from creeping up your sleeve. That’s a plus in my book.

The range of temps for this to be worn in can vary, but 55 and below ought to do it.  How low you can go is up to you! For me, when I left the house, the temperature was probably right at 35 degrees. PI calls that the lower end of the range, and I tend to agree.

MSRP: $45

Go to PEARL IZUMI if you like what you see.

Amfib Shoe Cover

I have been battling with my old shoe covers for a few years now. My old ones zip up in the back, and those zippers don’t always cooperate. These Pearl Izumi Amfib Shoe Covers have a two-stage hook and loop system that’s easy, fast, and stays put. The same AmFib Softshell provides superior wind and water protection. Again, I have been pushing these into 20-30 degree temperatures, and for the first time in a long time, my toes weren’t frozen solid.

Mine are the bright yellow color which sport the BioViz reflective elements for high visibility. On the feet is probably the best place for that high reflectivity, because when you are spinning along and lights hit it, the windmill effect is sure to be noticed by motorists. These shoe covers fit wonderfully over my shoes, and to date, they have not started rubbing on my crank arms. To reiterate, the two best features are the easy of putting them on, and the thermal pocket that’s created to keep my toes warm.

The Velcro straps are quick and easy. For my feet, I strapped them to the extent of their limits. This meant, there was a little gap or looseness at the top. This kind of goes against the serious rider motto that clothing should be skin tight, but does allow some extra space for layering and pants to tuck into.

MSRP: $85

See HERE for more information.

Pearl Izumi Prospect Tech Sweatshirt

If you want a garment that works both on and off the bike, then this Prospect Tech jersey hits the mark. Even when I’m not on the bike, I kind of feel fast and technical in what I think is a very sleek and warm Jersey top or sweatshirt. The compliments have been coming hard and fast, and mainly from the lay person who likes the sporty look. Deep down as well as on the surface, this Prospect Tech Sweatshirt has done a mighty fine job of tackling my fall commutes with its sweat-wicking grid fabric and tiny little thermal squares that line the inside.

The abrasion resistant forearms add that little stylish flare and color. This is a more relaxed fit, but I like the fact that it is longer. There’s nothing I hate more than a jersey, sweatshirt, or jacket that rides up and exposes the body to wind drafts. A small little chest pocket is good for looks, and can also store a business card or two. The outdoor world has certainly become a strong advocate in the sustainability category, and this Sweatshirt is made of 97% recycled polyester material. The casual, fun, and stylish look is great especially when it’s backed by solid technical qualities.

MSRP: $110

Go to Pearl Izumi for sizing and purchase.

Phantom Merino Hat

You know what I like about this Phantom Merino Hat? It is a slightly longer (or deeper) hat than others I own. This skull cap actually covers my ears completely. In the past, I have had to double up with a head band and a hat. I also appreciate that it is a very thin layer. This Phantom Merino hat has worked well due to the fact that we are still hammering out a pretty good pace with lingering late season fitness. I am still sweating even though temperatures are in the 30’s with wind chill on top of that.

The fabric is categorized as Transfer Merino. Meaning, that it combines wool and recycled polyester for sustainable technical performance. The polyester is on the inside, and the merino is on the outside for superior moisture transfer as well as thermal regulation.

MSRP: $30

Click HERE for more information

Pearl Izumi Merino Wool Socks

These are my new go-to socks for when the really cold temperatures hit. They have a double weight knit for extra warmth. The Merino fabric combines wool and recycled polyester for sustainable technical performance. Creating that internal heat source is much easier when wearing these socks. I will still need the shoe covers to keep that wind from doing its thing, but I’ve stayed warm thus far. I do intend to keep pushing the temperature limits.

These are built really tough, and I hope they will last me for several riding seasons. The flat toe seam construction is an added feature that provides superior comfort over the toes, and eliminates any hot spots or rubbing in the bike shoes.

MSRP: $22

For information and purchase please go to PEARL IZUMI

Final Thoughts On Attacking Winter in True Pearl Izumi Fashion

Pearl Izumi has really hit the nail for all the necessary garment pieces to be able to get outside to ride. If you can manage to put it all together, you can brave the elements and get your Winter cycling workout in feeling confident and warm. The best part is that you are enjoying and creating adventures in the great outdoors. Many of these Winter Pearl Izumi pieces have become my go-to Winter cycling favorites. They all serve their purpose, are warm, weather resistant, and stylish to boot. Pearl Izumi is a company that speaks to a lot of riders, and they have a world wide presence. The price point is middle of the road, but the quality of design, sustainably sourced materials, and durability far exceeds my expectations. Longevity is key, and that’s the real savings in the long run.

Niels Oomkes: I am a multi-sport endurance athlete, and love to get out into the great outdoors to push the body to its limit. Most of my weekend expeditions, adventures, trips, or vacations are planned around running, biking, snowshoeing, camping, or anything else that will allow me to enjoy nature's exquisite beauty.
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