When it comes to enjoying winter riding a decent pair of gloves can be the decider.
Having never found a glove that keeps my hands warm on the bike - a common female complaint - I was keen to see if Rapha’s Winter Gloves were ‘the one’.
The first appeal of these gloves was that they were water resistant - I’ve donned many a glove that claims to repel, or resist, water and so far all have fallen short of the mark. But I’ve never worn a glove at this price point…
My first outing, a sunny, autumnal day, made it hard to test the theory but it made me focus on the fit.
Using Rapha’s comprehensive size guide I measured extra small. These are not women’s-specific gloves but for women (or indeed men) with very tiny hands there is an XXS and for bear-like riders, the sizing goes up to XL - it’s an impressive range of sizes, which really should meet most riders’ needs.
For a winter glove these are surprisingly lightweight - the insulation comes from the inner, fleece-like lining. This lack of bulk means that changing gear and foraging for food in your back pockets is relatively easy - read relatively easy, it’s never the same as using your bare hands and they are still winter gloves.
In weather that was probably too warm for a fair test my hands didn’t overheat and that’s down to the breathable outer, which allows for excellent heat transfer. I wonder how they would fare in sub zero temperatures, though.
I like the elasticated cuff, and the fitted neoprene wrist, which does away with annoying Velcro straps. Because the gloves fit easily under a jacket when it did rain dribbles of water had no way in.
What makes these Rapha gloves, and not any old gloves is the Pittards goatskin leather which covers the palm, thumb, middle and index fingers are reinforced with and the palms use high-density foam padding.
During a downpour I was wary of ruining the leather – call me precious – but then the wheels on my first road bike didn’t cost this much (if they do get wet, or you need to wash the gloves, apply leather glove balm).
In short, an expensive but effective glove that will see you through a UK winter.
You can reserve Rapha products online with Sigma Sport, ready for collection from one of our handy reserve and collect locations.