Winter cycling without a pair of good gloves can be awfully painful. I remember, one ride during my inexperienced early days riding down into a valley with plain simple finger-less gloves in just above freezing temperature. Needless to say, I couldn’t ride for more than a few minutes, then had to sheepishly tell my riding buddy it was going to be a very short day of riding. 🙁
Finding the right pair of winter gloves was a little difficult for me. I have small hands, plus I wanted something that not only could be worn for riding but also when commuting to work. And of course it had to be effective, waterproof not necessary, but at least good enough to keep my hands free of searing frost pain.
My three basic requirements for a good winter cycling glove:
Fit – Finding the perfect fit is important. I have small hands, so finding a glove that isn’t too big but fits nicely so that I can still easily and quickly flick gears and squeeze the brakes is extremely important. Safety always comes first, and a bad fit can lead to dangerous riding.
Effectiveness – it’s got to be better than wearing simple kitchen washing gloves.
Black or grey – I’m not looking for something flashy, super-reflective. Just something that is plain black or grey, and so that I can also wear casually when walking outdoors.
Defeet Duraglove ET (Electronic Touch) Winter Gloves
My first impression when looking at these gloves were that they weren’t riding gloves. They appeared to be more like casual, super model like “look at me” gloves. You know the cool Jude Law winter look.
But, I bought them and gave them ago. Heck, if they didn’t work, I can at least have super cool looking hands!
Slipping them on were easy, smooth and snug. I was surprised as to how warm they kept my hands. The fit was amazingly perfect (even for my small hands), and the cycling was a breeze. My hands remained dexterous, more than enough to allow easy gear change and braking. There was good grip for the quick steep descents.
The gloves also came with ET (e touch) innovation, allowing for me to use my phone that was cradled on my handlebar. It worked well most of the time. Responsiveness at times was a bit slow, and pressure needed to be applied several times to get it to work. Nevertheless, I was pleased with how the ET worked. Plus it was no big deal that it didn’t work super well, as it wasn’t one of my must have criteria.
Overall, I was really pleased with buying these winter cycling gloves and wearing them on my daily commutes to work. Even in slight rain, the gloves were able to provide the protection necessary, and didn’t become clammy.
I did find that when the temperatures dropped close to zero degrees, that they weren’t warm enough to keep the cold pain at bay. It is possible to ride, but just a little painful in the bones.
Also, if you they do get really dirty it’s a little difficult to wash off. I slid off my bike when riding on slippery roads on my way to work. I braced myself with my hands, and consequently got the glove D-I-R-T-Y!
Nevertheless, I found these glove to be awesome to wear for winter riding. They fit great, effective for those winter coolish rides, and look great. I wouldn’t say they are for the depths of freezing cold, or long rides in 0 to 5 C degrees. Bear this in mind, if you are looking for something more hard core.
Castelli Estremo Winter Cycling Gloves
These Castelli Estremo cycling gloves aren’t the cheapest of buys, but they are one of most effective. Some riders who are particularly prone to the whims of the cold have found that placing merino glove liners will augment the effectiveness of the glove and will make riding in the cold feel like a spring ride.
However, most riders will find that merino glove liners will not be necessary. These gloves are awesome and perfect for weather conditions from zero to low digits in Celsius. They will improve blood circulation through your hands and keep you in riding comfort.
They fit true per their sizing and leave your hands nimble enough to run through the gear changes and brakes with no problems at all. Pulling gels from back pockets and water bottle from bottle cage, no problemo. The only slight draw back is the velcro on the gloves. The velcro is used to secure the gloves around the hands. By using velcro, securing the second hand snuggly can be a little difficult. Not a big issue, but just takes that extra time to pull down properly with the other hand already covered in a glove.
Castelli Estremo cycling gloves may cost a fortune, but they are well worth it. They are made of quality material, durable and leave your hands nimble enough to allow for great riding in the cold. If you are looking for quality winter cycling gloves, you won’t be disappointed with these.
Endura Deluge II Waterproof Cycling Gloves
Are you looking for true waterproof gloves, then look no further! The Endura Deluge II will truly keep your hands dry, unlike many other gloves that purport to be waterproof.
The beauty of these gloves are that they are also quite thin. Using an amazing waterproof membrane covered nicely with neoprene, any harsh rain will be held at bay. The glove nice extends further down to the wrist to give that extra coverage. With the gloves being thin, it therefore still allows the hands to be nimble – change of gear, a tap of the lever, a squeeze of the brakes – all done with ease and with comfort. The draw back of these gloves are that the inner liners are easily displaced. With the liners not attached to the outer glove, the positioning of the inner liner may not be securely fitted to create a complete seal for waterproofing. Nevertheless, once there is a nice seal, the hands are very much kept warm and dry.
Fitting is true to size, and the quality is excellent. Nice grippy feel and soft padding. Insulation is very effective, these gloves will keep your hands warm! These gloves are great for the below zero to very low Celsius. If any warmer, you will need to switch to a thinner glove.
The Top 3 Gloves – Defeet, Castelli and Endura
The Defeet, Castelli and Endura are the best makers of gloves. I really love the Defeet as I can use them also casually when socializing. Though, you can’t go past the Castelli for pure quality and effectiveness. These gloves are probably the best out there, but will also set you back in the finances. For a good waterproof glove go with the Endura.
Happy cold weather riding.