SEVEN DAY CYCLIST
CYCLING, BUT NOT USUALLY RACING
LATEST UPDATE: MARCH 18th
DEXSHELL ULTRALITE GLOVES
91g Large £30.00
DexShell’s Ultralite Gloves have proven their worth in Storm Alex and a variety of other precipitation episodes as the UK autumn chillier. Whilst they are not really cycling specific, they’ve been a joy on the commute and on leisure rides. Additionally, the stretchy fabric allows for individuals to adapt to changing temperatures and ride lengths.
Pros: waterproof, adaptable.
Cons: create your own padding, if you want it.
DexShells Ultralite Gloves are three-layer construction breathable and waterproof gloves, aimed at general outdoor use, but with cycling features, except for padding. Clearly, they’ll be handy for general outdoor use in bad weather.
Working our way inwards, there’s a drip-dry outer (polyamide, polyester, viscose, elastane, elastodiene). The latter is very stretchy indeed. The mid-layer is Porelle - with good reason, a standard for waterproof gloves. The inner is Coolmax, polyamide, and elastane. Although, tactile waterproof inners are no longer the stuff of dreams – as some old-timers, such as I, will recall, the latter combination does give these a pleasant feel.
Add seamless construction to the materials, and the waterproof designation – in the non-submersible sense - should be pretty accurate
Temperature-wise, DexShells place these as one out of five on their ‘thermal scale.’ As DexShells point out, precise thermal designations are fraught with dangers, so take this as a general guide. So, think autumn/spring, but add a liner to lower the temperature range.
There are textured grip strips on palm and fingers. DexShells describe the finger-tips as Touchscreen compatible, although the is not the heavily tipped reinforcement present on some glove’s index fingers.
Any design with real bad weather credentials will need a good seal at the wrist and decent length to tuck under a waterproof jacket.
With a range of S to XL. There’s something to cover most hand sizes: Euro 7-10 and UK 7/8-10. Taking in to account the elastic nature of the Ultralite gloves compared to, say, Chiba’s Pro Safety, the sizing is pretty much what I’ve come to expect. Certainly, DexShells L is more generous than Chiba’s equivalent designation, for example
I’ve managed to add some padding with a pair of summer weight mitts, such as Santini’s Micro Mesh, alternatively, a thin liner on colder days. The knit is pretty stretchy, too, so there’s no need to panic too much about precision sizing. Having said that, DexShell point out that whilst gloves are made to general proportions, real hands do not always conform. They say the best way is to go to a dealer and try a pair.
The cuff is long, giving plenty of overlap with the sleeves of your waterproof jacket.
Machine wash according to instructions, and expect to be dry overnight. If I have been looking to use these quickly after a machine wash, I have found drying inside out gets the vital inside fabric drier more quickly.
There’s been no suggestion of ingress, although knit gloves like these can feel a sort of chill even when the inner is dry – especially on windy days. Hands and, occasionally mitts, have remained dry even after a couple of hours in heavy rain. Waterproof, definitely, unless you decide to go for a swim. They’ve also been sweat free.
Testing has taken place with temperatures around 4-9C. Dipping below that, on a frosty morning, the tips of the fingers were tingling with cold by the time destination hove into sight.
On the bike, a shower has little impact, but constant heavy rain for a couple of hours or so will soak the outer. All inside has remained dry. The long cuff helps create a strong seal under the sleeve of a waterproof jacket. After a short shower, the outer dries rapidly: prolonged heavy rain has required a couple of hours on the bike to dry.
Grip, courtesy of the textured strips on palm and fingers offer a good grasp. I’ve used them on Oxford Performance Bar Tape, where grip was more than adequate. Likewise, on Soma’s Thick and Zesty, it has felt reassuringly secure. Mind you, this has been the case with other tapes – Fizik, Cinelli etc, so, I guess the gloves just offer good grips. On a similar front, lack of padding has not been a problem on the ten-mile each-way commute, but were I heading out for a full day ride, I’d definitely be looking at slipping those summer mitts in.
As mentioned earlier, there’s no cycle specific padding. That is not unusual, and, sizing-allowed, you can add you’re your own, courtesy of summer mitts. Showers Pass Waterproof Knit Gloves are not cycle specific either – like the Ultralite, they are handy for general outdoor activities. Sans mitts, vibration has not been a problem on commutes or shorter gravel/trail trips.
I’d not argue with the description as Touchscreen friendly. I have been able to tap on the phone screen and operate lights, such as the Ravemen CR300 – and its remote.
Thirty pounds is a fair amount of cash to splash. Showers Pass Waterproof Knit Gloves come in at some £8 more. The latter probably go a bit lower on the temperature front, but that can be a discussion point.
Non-knit gloves, such as Proviz Sportive, are a different concept. Price is a little higher, but they have many similar qualities.
There’s flexibility of season in these gloves, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they go when the temperature is hovering just above zero – or dipping below. Will liners be enough? Time will tell, but with knit type gloves there’s the stretchy flexibility to try a variety of thicknesses inside the
glove. At the same time, I can’t see snow settling on them causing any problem.
With general outdoor use in mind, the Ultralite may well be best suited to autumn and early spring (add other reflectives, if you wish) and day cyclists seeking gloves that can be taken hiking, scrambling, or walking. Overnight drying times may be a limitation on autumn camping trips (but not for hotel/hostel overnights), but even there, I’d not rule them out: inside remain dry.
Verdict 3.5/5 Waterproof and effective gloves, with adaptability, although not cycling specific.
PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2020
BUILDER OF STEEL CYCLE FRAMES
Ryton On Dunsmore
Coventry CV8 3FH