Friday, January 4, 2013

Guest product review: Pearl Izumi Select Thermal Long Sleeve Jersey

By Kyle Brooks

This past year I’ve been biking to work on a pretty regular basis, and I’ve found that as the temperatures get colder, the right clothing becomes more and more important. Good cold-weather cycling clothes need to add warmth without bulk, be adaptable for changing weather, and be able to move with you well on the bike. One of my favorite items is the Pearl Izumi Select Thermal Long Sleeve Jersey. This jersey works well either by itself, or paired up with a base layer and/or some type of jacket.

The Select Thermal Long Sleeve Jersey has a fantastic cut for riding. It is really tailored for a sporty on-the-bike position. The sleeves are nice and long with a well- thought-out angled cut at the wrists – a little longer at the top of the wrist to keep out the cold, and a little shorter at the bottom. The angled cut wrists work so well that there doesn’t seem to be any elastic around the wrists, and it isn’t needed. The collar is fairly high – about like a mock turtleneck – to keep the cold air off your neck. The jersey also has a full-length zipper that lets you control your temperature easily as you warm up. The fabric has a soft, fleecy interior that feels great against the skin, and also does a great job of wicking away sweat. Three pockets in the back finish off the deal.

I find that the jersey is good by itself in temperatures down into the upper 40s. I’ve heard some people say they wear it by itself in even cooler temperatures than that, but I’m admittedly a bit of a wimp in that regard. Paired with a base layer and a wind shell, I’ve comfortably ridden to work down into the mid 30s. Colder than that, I’ll swap an insulated jacket for the basic wind shell and ride down into the 20s. One of the great things about this jersey is that it layers so well – its warmth comes in a lightweight, close- fitting package that doesn’t add much bulk and still allows good freedom of movement.

I like these jerseys so much that I ended up buying several. They come in the usual colors like black, white, blue, and red – but my favorites are the “Screaming Yellow” and “Safety Orange” because as an early morning commuter, I want to be as visible as possible. I’ll add that the “Safety Orange” color is a great one, even if visibility isn’t that important to you – it isn’t an obnoxious neon or traffic-cone kind of color. Also for visibility, there are reflective logos on the back and sleeves. One other thing I’ll add is that Pearl Izumi also has a similar thermal jersey in their “Elite” line of clothing that is supposed to be a “step up” from the “Select” line, and costs a bit more – but I’ve compared the two side by side and I have to say that there is no reason to pay more: the Select Thermal Long Sleeve Jersey is as good as it gets.

About the author: Kyle Brooks lives in Akron with his wife and two daughters, and works as a teacher in Medina. He has a collection of bikes, mostly vintage or classic styled steel road bikes, and even keeps a couple of bikes on display in his classroom. He maintained a bike-to-work average of 57% from August through December. His favorite bike shop is the Century Cycles store in Peninsula, though the new Medina store is super nice.

No comments:

Post a Comment