These are ‘tweener gloves — useful for spring and autumn rides when the temperature is well above freezing but still too cool for short-finger summer gloves (or no gloves at all). This in-between temperature range, for this tester, is from the mid 40s to around 60 (7-15C). Colder than that and Pearl’s uninsulated Cyclone gloves leave fingers too chilly for comfort. On one long late-winter ride I changed into the Cyclones from Pearl’s insulated PRO Barrier gloves when my hand began feeling too warm around 45 degrees, but changed back within 30 minutes. I’d rather have hands feel hot some of the time than cold all the time.
On the plus side, because the Cyclones are lightweight and not bulky they are easy to stow in a jersey pocket or a large seat bag. You could wear summer cycling gloves inside and simply pull the Cyclones on or strip them off as the temperature changes. If you use this trick, be sure to go up in size. As with most Pearl products, Cyclones run small.
You won’t need summer gloves inside for palm padding purposes. The Cyclones have 3 gel pads that provide effective cushioning, at least when new. You can see these in the photo, each pad covered with silicone gripper dots. The 2 pads at the base of the palm are separated to allow the median nerve to pass between. Without direct pressure on this nerve, there’s less chance of fingers becoming tingly or numb, and it reduces the risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.
Wear & Tear
During my 23 hours of wear, the outermost gel pad on each palm has lost much of its thickness and resiliency. This is the pad that bears most of the handlebar pressure when your hands are on or near the brake lever hoods. The other 2 pads in each palm are still at full thickness, but it seems that the pad I’m describing will soon be flat and ineffective.
In addition, the gray leather-like material that covers most of the palm is showing wear. Its texture and the gripper dots combine to provide a secure, slip-free grip on cork bar tape, but the material is becoming fuzzy in spots, indicating some deterioration. This polyurethane material is so thin to begin with that its long-term durability must come into question.
Like long-finger gloves should, the Cyclones have tall cuffs for overlap with a jacket, long-sleeve jersey or arm warmers. The cuffs are slightly stretchy and have convenient hook-and-loop straps to help you snug them just enough to seal out cold air without inhibiting wrist movement. Nice touch: A small tab on each cuff helps you pull them up your wrist.
I didn’t have the chance to wear the Cyclones on a rainy ride, but judging by the thinness of the material and all the seams and stitching, Pearl’s claim of “water resistant” probably doesn’t hold much, uh, water.After all, tissue paper is water resistant to a point. For sure, the claim of “wind resistant” is moot when a lack of insulation lets coldness come through.
The Cyclones have a nice form fit with fingers that naturally curve inward so they feel unrestrictive. Dexterity is pretty good, especially compared to thicker, insulated winter gloves such as the PRO Barrier. You won’t, however, be picking up a dropped dime with Cyclones on.
One test ride was a 200K (124-mile) brevet that had 6 cue sheets. I needed to stop occasionally to open a baggie on my handlebar to turn the page. I could pry apart the zip-lock seal and swap pages with the Cyclones on, but it was easier with a glove off. Other routine tasks, such as opening energy bar wrappers, were no problem.
In cool temperatures, hands can be uncomfortably chilly gripping brake/shift levers. When you don’t need insulating protection, just something between you and the metal or a nippy wind, Pearl Izumi’s Cyclone gloves work well. Due to their rather narrow temperature range, you probably won’t need to wear them but for a few rides (or parts of rides) each spring and fall. That’s a good thing because it will help them last longer. It appears that durability — gel cushioning and palm wear — is not a strong point.
Coach Fred Matheny is an RBR co-founder who has four decades of road cycling and coaching experience. He has written 14 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach Fred Matheny, including the classic Complete Book of Road Bike Training, which includes 4 eBooks comprising 250 pages of timeless, detailed advice and training plans. The Complete Book is one of the many perks of an RBR Premium Membership. Click to read Fred’s full bio.