Chiba Bioxcell Winter Warm-Line Gloves
Large (9) 130g Black £54.99
The Chiba Warm Winter Gloves are similar to the Chiba Bioxcell mitts in many ways, but not the same. Of course, they are full-fingered and come further up the wrist. However, they are similarly well-designed and manufactured. I’ve used them for two months as my go to gloves on cold autumn days. There’s a lot to be said in their favour, despite a minor personal, reservation regarding my favoured riding position. In fact, I very much like them.
Pros: snug fit, warm, waterproof and windproof.
Cons: padding does not suit riding on the hoods.
Spec and materials
The fundamentals; 48% polyamide,17% polyester, 15% polyurethane, 12% polyethylene, 4% elastane for the outer; 100% polyester for the fleecy inner. The combination should give a tactile inner with a mix of warmth, waterproofing, stretch, durability, and compliant padding for key contact points. They come in some plain eco-friendly packaging, which, I think, is rather good.
Note, the padding is not the same pattern as on the Chiba Bioxcell Mitts (Fingerless Gloves) which I reviewed earlier this year. Fundamentally, on the glove, this consists of 0.8mm thick gel cushion over the ulnar nerve. At the same time as protecting the nerve the padding aims to change the pressure points on the middle of the hand, relieving pressure on the carpal tunnel. More of that later. The fingers are “pre-curled” for a more ergonomic fit – still fine for the post ride dog-walk.
Breathable, with a waterproof membrane, and an “extra warm lining”, this is very much a winter glove. The palm is designed to be anti-slip, whilst the windproof, stretchy back ensures a snug fit. The finishing touches are a press-stud that prevents losing just one glove when they are not in use and a pull tab to help get the gloves on. The “Pulse Warmer” cuff is designed to keep the wrists warm. There’s plenty of length up the wrist. Things are finally sealed with a Velcro tab.
The lining is stitched in, staying in place when the gloves are pulled off.
The gloves aren't touch-screen friendly, but few proper winter weight gloves are, in my experience.
A choice of colours is available, black and yellow.
Size and fit 4/5
Fit is snug, even tight. There’s a through sizing guide. If in doubt on the cusp of sizing, I would, personally, go larger. It is worth noting, however, that Chiba want the fit to be snug and warn against gloves that are too big as the Bioxcell padding will not be in the right place and the intended impact will be lost.
Sizes on offer range from XS to XXXL. Follow the guidance and you should not go too far wrong. I’d been tempted to go larger, but, fortunately, decided to stick to the rules!
Care and durability 3.75/5
Wash at 30C. I tend to use a mild washing liquid when dealing with technical gear. However, it is not a specific instruction. Given these are winter gloves, I’ve dried them indoors. Best to dry without applying direct heat, although in the vicinity of a radiator seems not to do any harm. Do not expect a rapid return to wear-ability. Think eight hours or overnight.
Tight fitting gloves can need a bit of coaxing to get in place. These are well-made, but I have split well-made snug gloves before by being over-enthusiastic with brute force and ignorance. Coax these into place to avoid threatening the seams. As such, they should last a long time. Reinforced fingers and thumbs, the pull tab, and the Velcro flap to open the cuff, are all there to help.
Comfortably warm on rides at 2-4C, including straight downhill sections of around one mile. That’s hardly alpine, and these gloves are designed in the Bavarian Alps, although manufactured in Chiba’s own factory in Indonesia. Taking the opportunity to head out on an early morning rides which coincided with the first build-up of ice the van windscreen, my hands still felt warm enough to be comfortably in control. I’ve not been able to go below -1C yet. Mind you, on those bitter days I tend to install the Raval Drop Bar Gloves (also available for flats).
On multi-surface rides – including forest trail and sections of setts – grip has been great. That could be partly down to the bar tape, but there’s been no issue on rubbery flat-bar grips either.
Then we come down to the shock absorption. Chiba point out that numbness in the fingers and thumbs is not solely a function of your gloves. Quite right. Bar tape or grips, type of stem, bike geometry and riding position, as well as the native of the surface can all play a part. I first set off on my drop-bar tourer on a mixed surface ride. It quickly became apparent that riding on the tops or on the drops and the ulnar padding was perfectly in place. However, riding on the hoods it wasn’t. However, when in the right spot it is very effective.
On the Brompton, with its flat bars, and similar arrangements the padding was spot on. The Small-wheeled bikes can be notorious transmitters of vibrations, yet, I’ve not noticed any ill-effect (of course, there’s a more upright position, too).
Now, I’m not suggesting that the fact I like riding on the hoods would be a deal-breaker for me. After all, these are very effective gloves in their primary purpose of keeping your hands warm and we don’t all suffer from numbness or ride on the hoods most of the time. B the way, if numbness is a serious problem, then consider bar-tape, stem, bars, and riding position – it comes down to much more than padded gloves. And,of course, there are many winter gloves with no padding wh
Weather-proofing is very good. The long wrists combine with winter cycling jerseys or jackets to seal in the warmth and keep out the elements. In two hours of rain I have felt no dampness; an hour of heavier rain, likewise. They dried out during a nine-hour shift at work, too. On the bike, they’ve recovered quickly from heavy showers and persistent rain: but that’s just the outside – the inner has remained dry.
Cold hands on winter rides can be as much of a downer as cold feet – and they can affect control of the bike. A good pair of gloves are vital to cold weather riding. Of course, there’s cold and cold, so the best option might be to go for something equivalent to bar fairings, such as the Raval Drop Bar Gloves that I go for when the Midlands of the UK gets unusually cold.
Equally, there are some very good gloves available. Proviz Waterproof Gloves come in at around £35, and I’ve found them very effective. However, they are not, in my opinion, as warm as these Chiba ones. Castelli Estremo are £30 more than our Chiba.
Gore Infinum Thermal Split Gloves are all you’d expect from Gore in terms of breathability and so on. Coming in some £10 more expensive, the lobster claw style may also split opinion. A number of very good brands offer gloves such as these.
Galibier offer the Barrier glove for under £30. This claims to have specially located padding for riding on the hoods. I can’t verify that.
The Chiba Bioexcell Winter Warm Line Gloves are highly effective and perfect for utility and longer trips – including for faster riders hunkered over the drops. Make sure you get a snug fit, and get ready for some comfortable cycling on those chilly days.