OXFORD BRIGHT 3.0 WATERPROOF CYCLE GLOVES
96g Medium £27.99
The Oxford Bright 3.0 Gloves are described as a waterproof and have some decent features for the money. However, they are more given to middle distance commuting than winter training, day rides and sportives.
Pros: Good dexterity, lightweight, decent grip.
Cons: Not waterproof in the literal sense, shallow cuffs.
Our old friend Polyester runs throughout, what I’d expect from the price point and extremely practical. The backs feature a large retro-reflective laminate and logo/ detailing, which is flanked by dayglow panelling along the fingers. This retroreflective material is genuinely waterproof. It is also a real boon, giving additional kick to hand signals, especially when entering the flow of rush hour traffic.
Velcro closures ensure a snug, tailored fit at the cuffs, which is a good thing, since these measured a relatively shallow 5 and 5.5cm. (respectively). Flip them over and the black, textured palms feature a tech-friendly index finger, low profile padding in the ulnar defending places.
Then there’s the familiar gusset between thumb and forefinger, designed to prevent premature wear, when cruising on the hoods/commanding brifter paddles. I was slightly surprised by the lack of terry “nose wipe” panelling along the thumb, not to mention extensive stitching. For now, let’s just say its neat and uniform throughout. Inside there’s a tactile thin pile fleece lining and the suggested operating temperatures are between +5 and 10 degrees.
Ours were medium, which were at the snug end of perfect for me and I’m blessed with relatively long, willowy digits. As I said previously, the cuffs are relatively shallow, and the Velcro cuffs offer decent amounts of adjustment. However, I’m also blessed with slender wrists, so try for size, if you’re in any doubt, or often fall between sizes.
Their arrival coincided with December typical temperatures and storm Diedre. Given their relatively thin nature, I was expecting to feel harsh artic blasts permeating the fabric. To my surprise and their credit, my hands felt temperate, even when said wind chill meant it felt like 3 degrees, less on some mornings. However, strong gusts permeated the fabric. I also missed the terry panel when my nose performed the seasonal, steady drip.
Frankly, I would always favour a fabric that wicked quickly, over a fully impervious type that left my hands feeling clammy, especially when temperatures fluctuated.
Now, waterproofing. Ours resisted persistent, icy rainfall for 50 minutes, or so. Water tended to bead up and roll away from the laminated backs.
More than adequate for most commutes and/or shorter training runs. The problem arose when I needed to retrieve an escapee bottle, which rolled into a shallow stream. Plunging my hands into the freezing water, within thirty seconds, the fabric quickly guzzled water; leaving my hands cold, for the remaining 8 miles.
Uncomfortable, but potentially nasty over bigger distances. Even with airflow, they needed a good hour at room temperature before returning to a generally dry, wearable state. Similarly, they wash well at 30 degrees but needed a good 90 minutes in the airing cupboard, afterward.
Provided conditions weren’t more extreme than persistent rain, and temperatures holding at 3 degrees, their nimble nature gave them an advantage over some duvet types (which can necessitate removal, say when tackling a puncture, or tending similar roadside mechanicals).
Locking up in the street, opening energy bars and operating compact cameras was refreshingly easy. The designated tech friendly digit also proved reliable with smart phones and similar touch screen technology. More importantly, the palms also delivered on the purchase front, wet or dry with traditional cork, silicone and polymer- based handlebar coverings.
Despite the relatively thin padding, the ulnar defending bits offered reliable protection from low level vibration, even when some unmade roads and bridle path cut throughs thrown into the mix. After 90 minutes or so, their limitations and some tell-tale numbness set in. Again, less of an issue for general, middle distance riding but the BTwin 700 Cold Weather gloves fare better in this respect. A moot point when worn with shell type technical jackets, such as the Polaris Hexon but the shallow cuffs didn’t always provide adequate overlap with softshell jersey types. Permitting cold, wet stuff to get channelled inside.
The Bright 3.0 are reasonable options for commuting and less extreme winter riding. However, there are some definite, cost cutting compromises. While the fabric is waterproof, stitched construction means they are only water resistant. Though the 3.0 are by no means poor, the 4.0 are a much better glove, for not a lot more money.