Winter riding is challenging enough, especially once the temperature has dropped into single figures. How much more difficult does it get when you fingers have gone so numb that you can’t change gear easily and you have lost the feeling in your fingers that lets you brake smoothly.
The answer doesn’t have to involve spending the winter inside on the turbo trainer, and neither does it need to be massively expensive. We tried out the SPEG ‘SiberDry’ Water Resistant Cycle Gloves to see what kind of additional comfort a pair of £20-30 gloves can offer.
Speg are relatively little known, and you won’t find their stuff on some of the biggest internet retailers, but we have tried a couple of their lines now and think they should be considered. Out of the pack these gloves are reasonably impressive, the labels tucked inside the cuff tell you that you have some industry standard technologies being used with Thinsulate to keep you warm and Hipora to keep you dry. They feel sufficiently well insulated that you know they are going to do something and the leather palms with dotted rubber and extra padding suggests that you will get both feel and comfort from these gloves.
Slip them on and they are soft inside and comfortable to wear. They don’t have a very long cuff, which some riders will prefer. Personally I find I have enough elastic building up around my wrists from base layers and waterproofs that my preference is not to cut off the blood supply with everything converging at that point. That said, they have a velcro fastener so they do give a snug fit around the wrist, and the shaped wristband comes further up the more exposed underside when your hands are on top of the bars.
When riding, I was a little cautious at first about losing some of the feeling from my hands with thick gloves on, but they are surprisingly supple and don’t create any kind of distraction or hindrance whilst doing the fundamentals; braking, changing gear or grabbing your water. They are however a little bulky for some finer movements like pressing the correct button on your bike computer, or if you use a smartphone app to monitor your progress the glove will have to come off to adjust that (these are not touchscreen-friendly gloves).
Having tackled a couple of 40km+ plus rides wearing these gloves in a range of pretty poor wintry conditions I have to say that they perform very well; my hands have certainly fared better overall than other extremities on my body. They offer a high degree of warmth and protection without unduly compromising on all important ‘feel’. The rubberisation on the palms and fingers gives an assured feel on bars, brakes and shifters, meanwhile the soft towelling area on the back means you have just what you need for when you have that inevitable drop of snot clinging to the end of your frozen nose!
Overall, to add a significant degree of comfort to your winter rides, these could be a very worthwhile investment!
The low down on SPEG SiberDry:
Rugged polyester outer fabric that provides full wind protection with a fully waterproof and breathable Hipora® lining.
HIPORA® is a breathable membrane that consists of a three-layer micro porous coating structure. The first layer prevents water penetration. The second layer consists of a honeycomb-like structure that achieves vapour permeability while resisting water penetration. The third layer has a very thin, dense structure that increases water resistance. Hipora® is also used in gloves utilised by the military.
Fully lined with 3M Thinsulate® 40g providing proven thermal protection without bulk or weight.
Gel padded palm area
Rubberised dotty palm and trigger finger
Velcro adjustable strap
Towelled thumb area