Gore Bike Wear Cross Glove

, March 5, 2011

Endura Strike: Winter Testing

Gloves are a key part of cycling kit during the winter months.  Whether out in the hills on the mountain bike or on the road, cold hands can really detract from the enjoyment of a ride.  You know when you have the wrong gloves on when your fingertips tingle for two days following a cold ride – something that should be avoided if possible.  With the huge range of gloves out there it is difficult to cut through all the marketing hype and choose a pair that suit you.

The big dilemma is one of warmth vs. bulk.  From a warmth point of view the easiest thing to do would be to stick on a pair of fully waterproof, GORE-TEX® lined snowboarding gloves. However bulky gloves often aren’t the tactile choice and make riding a bike, especially a mountain bike, somewhat difficult.  As a general rule, on a road bike you can get away with a bulkier, warmer glove and off-road you need a thinner glove to give you more control of the bike.  Added to this is the fact that generally on a road bike your hands just sit taking the wind and getting cold where as on a mountain bike your hands tend to have a bit more work to do and the slower speed reduces the wind-chill effect.

Last winter I rode the Endura Strike Glove, a low cost option with a waterproof membrane and fleece lining.  These gloves have taken a beating, and have worn exceptionally well.  They are great apart from when the going gets wet.  On wet days I found the waterproofing to be ineffective and the fleece lining simply soaked up water leaving my hands very cold.  On dry days they are spot on.  As a low fuss, good value glove for all but the worst of conditions, these gloves are a good option.

After a wet and cold winter season over 2009/2010, I decided to go big for this winter.  I’ve been riding the Cross Glove from Gore Bike Wear.  These gloves are Gore’s most substantial offering and are packed with features;

On the Road: Gore Bike Wear Cross

A fully waterproof GORE-TEX® lining, adjustable elasticated cuffs and a soft thumb, ideal for winter snot-mopping.  They are much bulkier that the Endura glove with a noticeable reduction in control over the bike, making them unsuitable for mountain bike duty.  On a recent 5-hour training ride in the Scottish highlands these gloves coped with wind, snow and rain.  My fingers remained tepid during the long decent from the Cairngorm ski centre, with past experience telling me my hands should be freezing.  From now on these gloves will be my first choice for cold, wet days. However if I think I can get away with a lighter weight glove then I will switch out for the Endura Strike.

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