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Madison Roam Gloves
28g Medium as tested £26.99

The Madison Roam Gloves are a feathery full finger model aimed at cross country mountain bike and gravel audiences. Contexts where you’d want a bit of added protection but without boiled, clammy digits in the height of summer. In my view, they do pretty much what’s promised in the blurb and will also double as liner gloves, during the colder months.

Pros: Lightweight, airy, grippy palms, snug, yet comfortable fit.

Cons: Padding design good, rather than great for longer trail rides.

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Pretty much what we’ve come to expect from this end of the market and pretty well executed. The backs are 90% polyester 10% Elastane, while the palms are 85% polyester 15% polyurethane. Staying with the palms a second, these are a soft, perforated leatherette with foam, ulnar defending blobs. 

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The Index and second finger feature silicone dots for improved purchase when braking, while the tips are reinforced. Continuing this theme, I was pleased, although not surprised to find a gusset between thumb and forefinger, which protects against premature wear, caused by brifters.  There’s a similarly well aligned terry thumb pad for taming runny noses.

Madison have chosen to position the adjustable Velcro cuff on the underside, which probably offers minimal aero advantage but achieves a sleeker aesthetic, without impairing fit.   Subtle retro-reflective Madison logos on the backs are neatly aligned for presence when indicating. Since we’re on the subject, ours were ultra-practical black but they’re also available in dark olive, or chili red.


Stitching is neat and uniform throughout, double in the more stressed areas and singular where it’s not. Inside, flat seams are what we’d expect, but worth mentioning. A limited lifetime warrantee against manufacturing defect is similarly reassuring.

Sizing/Fit 4.5/5

Madison’s sizing chart is seemingly exact, making for easy online purchases. Our medium fitted me like the proverbial. Snug but not remotely restrictive, meaning luggage rummaging, roadside punctures and other tweaks are easily performed without removal. It also means they’ll double as useful liners with duvet type winter gloves when its bitterly cold, or with mitts during early spring when temperatures can fluctuate.

Comfort 3.5/5

I’ve tested ours July and in temperatures between 11 and 28 degrees. The first thing that struck me was subtle, yet very palpable airflow through the perforated palms keeping things extremely pleasant when temperatures rose but without becoming chill during pre-dawn rides.

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Despite modest foam padding at the Ulnar region, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well they’ve held their shape and kept tingling away for 3 hours plus-on and to a lesser extent off road. Bar tapes play their part- I've alternated between the Souma Leather Handlebar Tape and for pure tarmac duties, this Kranx Stretta Primo High Grip Anti Shock  Handlebar Tape . Riding the Holdsworth and Teenage Dream for 4 hours plus, no tingling, or soreness. 

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However, aboard Ursula tackling more technical unmade roads, green lanes and bridle paths, some numbness began creeping in after 3.5 hours.

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I’ve wondered whether a larger surface area of padding would’ve displaced this more effectively. Stealth attacks from overhanging foliage and rogue stones thrown up by the front tyre stung a little, but less than wearing mitts. 

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Talking of which, slipping these Passport Crochet Back Cycling Mitts  atop solved this-I managed a couple of five-hour outings without any nagging discomfort. Beyond 23 degrees, there was some trade off in breathability/wicking prowess- a minor consideration if you’re doing longer gravel, or bike packing escapes. 

Otherwise, there’s been no issues with clamminess and when I’ve been caught in short to middling showers, the fabric dries quickly, especially with a light to moderate breeze. Though I’ve never noticed the seams, the snug fit has left their faint imprint given 90 minutes, or so.

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Purchase/Control 3.75/5

In the dry, the leatherette palm and silicone infused fingertips have ensured excellent, relaxed purchase-regardless of bar wrap, or riding context. This only improved when the rains came, which was particularly welcome off road and navigating tighter singletrack. No white knuckles here- really welcome when needing to swerve around an obstacle, or bunny-hopping a rut.

The silicone detailing has offered decent tenure on brake levers, so no worries about stopping, or scrubbing off speed while belting down a 1in7 with laden trailer trundling behind.  The grippy nature of the palms and detailing also made for effortless mid-ride grabbing of bottles and indeed, long zoom travel compact camera.  Communication with Smart phones and other touch screen tech has generally been reliable, more so than the otherwise likeable Oxford North Shore but it’s also worth noting I have limited feeling in my right index finger.

There’s been no call to remove them when rummaging through luggage, ripping open an energy bar, banana, flap jack, locking up in the street, or tackling punctures/wielding a multi tool. Then of course, there’s carrying the bike, cyclo cross style when things turn a big boggy, or otherwise challenging. The combination of dexterity and rubbery palms meant I could just concentrate on plodding on, confident of my grip on the frame tubes.

Durability/Care 3.75/5

The lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects inspires confidence. Ours have been worn for 600 miles in varying contexts and exposed to the usual stuff-thorny foliage, tours de Samsung, being stuffed in a jersey pocket/bar bag etc. No signs of deterioration, or so much as a loose thread. Fo the most part, I’ve washed at 30 degrees with other riding togs, but every so often I’ve tossed them in with the civilian wash at 40 degrees, because these things happen to all but the most disciplined.

Again, no issues-they've emerged looking and smelling fresh, oh and no shrinkage or loss of shape. Drying times vary but from the machine, they’ve line dried in around 25 minutes, a little longer if it’s rained mid ride. On par with similar designs, including these long serving Specialized Grail Long Finger Gloves and practical for camping and summer touring.

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Value 3.75/5

£26.95 is competitive. Oxford North Shore 2.0 is £22.95, comes in three colours and features knuckle and finger protection, a padded Amara palm and silicone finger detailing. I’m generally fond of the originals but found the sizing less accurate than Madison and indeed, others.

Endura Humvee Plus Glove II is there do anything model and comes in five colours and £1 dearer. A broader gel pad might give it an edge over the Roam, ditto neoprene patches around the knuckles, especially if you’re looking for a more chameleon, one does all. Specialized Body Geometry Grail Long Finger Gloves are a similarly snug fitting model with great dexterity and a decent pad. However, they’re £37.00. 


I’ve bonded well with the Madison Roam. They’ve delivered on the design brief but have a greater road/gravel bias. In some respects, this is swings and roundabouts. They might not suit those who want a design that will do longer stints of cross-country mountain biking, or indeed rough stuff touring. However, range is easily fixed by slipping mitts atop and they’ll also double as liners during winter.

Verdict: 3.75/5  Versatile full finger gloves for warmer days and liner duties but padding good, rather than great off road.


Michael Stenning – The UK’s largest cycle parts & accessories distributor





Ryton On Dunsmore

Coventry  CV8 3FH


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