OXFORD BRIGHT 4.0 GLOVES

waterproof cycle gloves 120g (medium) £32.99 

The Oxford Bright Gloves 4.0 waterproof cycle gloves are a decent mid-range full finger model that perform well, in UK typical winter/early season contexts.

However, while the fabric may be waterproof, stitched construction means they’re better described as water and wind repellent. This could be a deal breaker, if you ride come hell ’n’ high water. Especially, if you’re fond of throwing off road detours/excursions into the mix.

Pros: nimble and functional.

Cons: not totally impervious.

Materials/Construction

The backs are 80% polyester 20% neoprene, whereas the palms are 80%polyurethane, 20% neoprene. The additional £7 represents a big jump in terms of refinement, compared with their 3.0 siblings. Its also worth noting, we’ve seen the 4.0 discounted online.

Retro reflective logos aside, the water repelling shell is a stealthy black, with dayglow yellow fingers. Presence isn’t quite on par with the 3.0 and other, brighter reflective coatings, so signalling wasn’t quite so obvious when entering traffic flow, or along unlit roads.

In common with the 3.0, the cuff is relatively shallow but made of neoprene, to retain warmth, even when soaking.  The wrap-over Velcro closure is much beefier. 

The leatherette palms are also a big step up from the 3.0. Their dimpled grippy texture is designed with control and purchase in mind. Then there’s the standard ulnar defending blobs. These are foam and though compliant, thicker density. There’s a Terry thumb wipe, for taming those runny noses. This, along with the index finger, features a tech friendly tip. Both these seem fully compatible with GPS, phones and similar touch screen equipment.

 

Inside the brushed, thin pile lining feels incredibly tactile. Unlike cheaper models, tethered to the finger tips, so won’t pull out, as an awkward, soggy clump, following a machine wash.

Stitching on our test samples was neat and uniform throughout, although I was surprised by a lack of obvious gusseting between index finger and thumb. Not that this has presented any practical issues.

Sizing

I found sizing on the snug side but medium was still a decent match for my long, willowy digits. Ed felt more comfortable with the large. Worth trying for size, rather than buying virtually, especially if you fall between sizes.

Weather-Proofing

Both Ed and I found their water resistance reassuringly good, in the everyday sense. Rides of 90 minutes in driving rain and blustery wind, failed to tax the fabric. Water simply beaded and rolled away. However, calling their bluff, when it came to waterproofing, I wasn’t surprised to find water surging through the stitching, when immersed, past the knuckles.

Wind-proofing was comparable. In gusty conditions, I could feel a very faint draft sneaking through the fibres but not enough that chill crept in, even after several hours riding. Talking of which, Oxford haven’t cited an optimal temperature range. 

Ed and I have certainly found them comfortable, right down to 2 degrees, or so. I’ve been out for 90 minutes, when the wind chill really bit, without feeling cold. At the other extreme, Ed felt them a little clammier when temperatures climbed past 7 degrees.

I felt a misty clamminess kicking in, after 2 hours at 20mph but this wasn’t overly intrusive. Wicking prowess is reasonable, especially when aided by a stiff breeze and smart pace.

When truly sodden, or when plucked from the wash, they needed 45-60 minutes, in the airing cupboard before they were dry enough to wear. Staying with washing, these wash well at 30 degrees, although oily spatter required some gentle pre-washing, first.

Neoprene cuffs are a neat touch, on a winter glove, although achieving good overlap was trickier with some soft- shell jersey-cum-jackets, potentially allowing rain and chill to become funnelled inside.

Grip/Comfort

The palms offer excellent purchase and dependable grip, with cork, silicone and polymer type coverings - wet or dry - on and, indeed, off-road. Superior density padding numbed intrusive, low level road vibration and trial buzz. To some extent, suspension, such as this Redshift Sports shock stop suspension stem, certainly helps.  However, 30mile mixed terrain rides on my Univega haven’t induced any tell-tale numbness, or tingling.

Dexterity

Though more densely padded than the 3.0, the 4.0 are nonetheless pretty nimble, better than BTWIN 700 cold weather gloves. Pannier rummaging, roadside tune-ups etc have all been easily executed while wearing them. We’ve also had no problems gripping and operating compact cameras, commanding phones and similar equipment, mid ride.

Conclusion

I take issue with them being described as waterproof and there are better options, if you’re needing something genuinely impervious. Nonetheless and overall, the Oxford bright gloves 4.0 are good value. Well suited to riding and training in typical UK winters.

Verdict: 3.5/5 Capable gloves and competitively priced but not waterproof in the literal sense.

 

Michael Stenning/Ed Dyster

 

www.oxfordproducts.com

PUBLISHED JANUARY 2019 

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