2011 Pearl Izumi Apparel

Apparel Pro Reviews

Launch Glove
The Launch Gloves palm and fingers use Clarino synthetic leather, which is soft and durable, and the back uses a combination of Airprene, Nylon, Polyester, synthetic leather and Spandex in different sections, depending on the required functionality. I had to look up what the heck Airpene was, and it’s a breathable elastometric material? On the heel of the palm, there is a small gel pad, that offers a tad of comfort, and is thin enough not to be overwhelming, or to lose tactile sensitivity. The outside of the thumb has a soft microfiber section, which was extremely functional for wiping up sweat, and other bodily fluids. The index and middle finger have some lightning bolt sections of Silicone screening for gripping, which worked great for braking and shifting. Between the thumb and index finger, they doubled up the Clarino, for durability and robustness, but I found it too thick, and it sometimes caused irritation and discomfort in that inner fleshly part of the hand.

The gloves take some time to break in, and were tight and slightly stiff during initial usage. After they’re worn in, they are a pretty comfortable glove, without any bind spots, or odd sensation on the fingers, like your finger tips falling asleep. They have a Velcro strap to tighten them down, but there is nothing to grab onto to pull the darn things off, so they are annoyingly difficult to remove with a glove finger. They need some sort of tab or something to pull on, else it takes some fine motor skills to pull them off. They need to revisit the design on this, as the usage is extremely poor.

I am a glove destroyer, and they have performed pretty decently for the abuse I have tossed at them. The palm and fingers have been robust, and the Silicone is just not starting to flake off on the finger tips. Unfortunately, both gloves have torn and the hemming has detached in the section of the hook and loop closure.

Final Thoughts
The Launch Gloves are comfortable, and the palm and fingers have been durable, but the lack of a pull tab for the hook and closure and the tearing and detached hem in the same area are a major bummer in a glove of this caliber.


  • Comfortable
  • Palms and fingers are tough


  • Lack of tab for hook and loop closure
  • Both gloves tore and hem detached by hook and loop closure
  • Doubled up leather section between thumb and index finger can irritate


Overall Rating: 3.5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers


  • MSRP: $38
  • Visit the Pearl Izumi Launch Glove website
  • Collection Style no. 14141105
  • Clarino™ synthetic leather palm is soft and durable
  • Gel pad in heel of palm for comfort in the rough
  • Innovative palm patterning reduces bunching for a performance grip
  • Soft, low-profile wiping surface on thumb
  • Silicone-screened finger tips for a performance grip
  • Hook and loop closure
  • Palm: 90% synthetic leather 10% airprene
  • Back: 35% airprene 26% nylon 20% polyester 15% synthetic leather 4% spandex
  • Colors: Black, Coffee, Foothills Green/Khaki

About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on the trail.

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  • bicol_express says:

    any reviews/thoughts on the x-alp elite shoes you’re wearing

  • Brian Mullin says:

    They are a pretty sweet shoes, comfortable, excellent for hike-a-bike, bombproof, durable and they really protect the feet, although they lose a bit of pedaling power due to flexible sole, but they make up for it in walking and maneuverability (on and off the bike) and protection. There is a reason that Brian Lopes is using it. A review will be forthcoming.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    I should have a review out today!

  • Veda says:

    The last time I used a black Veer jersey was in a hot broiling sun with no cloud on a hellish insanely climbing track. It was so hot I wanted to rip open my gloves. In conclusion, I sold my jersey right away after returning home. Regardless of fabric technology wearing black is still hotter than lighter colors when you’re going slow with no winds around.

  • Brian Mullin says:

    Material colors have a couple of properties, darker colors usually absorb more heat, but they’re more effective than lighter colors at blocking out the sun, which is damaging to the body. The In-R-Cool uses Schoeller’s Cold Black technology, which is a fabric coating that is a Sun reflector and UV protector, so it offers better heat management and reduces heat absorption. The mumbo jumbo actually works in the real world. They had a demo at Interbike in which a heat lamp was right next to a set of shorts that had this technology, and you could check the temperature (by touch and a digital gauge) at the fabric surface, and it was not hot.

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