Winter Glove Shootout!
DAY 1 (outside temps 32 to 35 degrees)
Bellwether's Pittards Windstorm Glove - $37.50
Pearl Izumi 's Elite Softshell Glove - $60.00
These two gloves are pretty different and are priced accordingly. The P.I. model is definitely more of a all-in, lets ride thru a blizzard type glove. The Bellwether glove could be called more a midweight glove. It has no filling whereas the P.I. has a fill layer.
Winner: the Bellwether Windstorm
No brainer here. The thinner glove will probably always win this one. Even so, the Bellwether was cut oddly in the fingers, leaving some strange wrinkling and it had a not-so-great fit feeling. On the other hand, the P.I. had what I am going to call from now on; "stuffing slop". That feeling of shifting and squish when putting your hands on the brake hoods. This is due to the fill layer that keeps the glove so warm. But it makes for a far less then efficient feeling interface with the bike.
Winner: the Pearl Izumi Elite
While coming down a descent at 35 mph, even with cold air getting thru to my chest despite 3 layers and a windproof jacket, there was barely any perceivable wind getting thru to my hands. The P.I. was impressive in this manner. The Bellwether did an ok job, and I will compare it to a glove of similar ingredients soon.
Nose wiping abilityWinner: the Bellwether windstorm. Both gloves were nice for this, but I caught my nose on the pvc thumb tip of the P.I. a couple of times. Not too pleasant.
Actual Temperature Reading
Winner: The Pearl Izumi Elite
If you are like me, your hands ( and especially your fingers ) are most cold in the initial 15 minutes of ride and then they seem to warm up. I always thought that the hands simply adjusted themselves to the cold air after that 15 minutes & the "buzzing feeling" of the cold air goes away. The numbers however show a different story.
I stopped after 15 min on the bike and found the temp in the P.I. glove to be 50.3 degrees. Inside the Bellwether; 47 degrees. Not a big numbers difference but the Bellwether hand felt considerably colder. After that, both hands felt like they warmed up and the P.I. hand was even perhaps a little too warm.
At the end of the 70 minute ride, temperature in the P.I. glove was 79! In the Bellwether; 75. Roughly the same difference but it was surprising to see just how well your actual hand does in regulating it's temperature. In this case, significantly increasing the temperature inside the glove. It proves that some people simply have hands that do a better job at warming themselves. I would guess that I am in the middle of the range, whereas someone like Jeremy Powers, racing CX with no gloves on, has hands that are much better at it!
Overall Warmth ImpressionWinner: the Pearl Izumi Elite
In this initial lopsided matchup, the P.I. wins despite being a much clumsier glove that was overkill on a 33 degree day.
The Peal Izumi Elite..... Buy it if you are going to be riding while it is 20 degrees or less. Or if you need a glove that can be used for skiing and other winter sports. Skip it if you will be using it while it's warmer out and if you dont't like your hands being hot.
The Bellwether Windstorm..... Buy it if you like a glove that looks PRO and you won't be riding when it is less then 30 degrees. If you are someone that takes his helmet off or adjusts his shoes a lot during a ride, skip these gloves.