PROVIZ SPORTIVE WATERPROOF CYCLING GLOVES
105g Hi-viz yellow XL (as tested) £34.99
Proviz Sportive Waterproof Cycling Gloves are the sibling of their Reflect360 gloves. The big difference is the outer shell design which has day time riding in mind, but still gives good presence after dark. Of course, we don’t buy gloves to be seen, so the good news is that these are jolly good at keeping hands nice and comfy.
Though we’d expect a decent specification at this price point, Proviz’s Sportive gloves are a very competitive three-layer design. Backs and fingers are polyester, and cotton with a smattering of glass beads. The palm is a polyamide/polyurethane mix. Sandwiched in between is a Hipora lining. This is a soft-pile fabric that insulates, while trafficking moisture outside, retaining a temperate, arid inner climate. Like most competitors, the lining is stitched to the fingers, so they’ll stay put and won’t come out in a soggy clump, following a machine wash.
Looking at the palms, they boast a frosty-looking silicone patina designed for grip. No proper winter glove would be complete without the Terry thumb wipe for taming runny noses. Stitching is neat and uniform throughout. Hi-Viz yellow backs divide opinion, particularly given the present UK administration is advocating compulsion. Not something we’d want to see. Politics aside; the day glow yellow seems quite effective when signalling in murky, overcast conditions, while 3M retro-reflective strips do their thing after dark.
Well, XL is my default for gloves and these pretty much hit the mark precisely. I’ve found the fit comfortable. /certainly it is not a slim-fit as the Phew Early Winter gloves, but they are a different concept. In any case, the Sportive gloves are hardly cumbersome, the design and materials combining well to ensure comfort and agility.
Other sizes range from small to extra-extra-large.
Proviz don’t seem to quote a temperature range, but I’ve been equally impressed on mild 5-9 celsius and when the the temperature has dipped below freezing. No hint of frozen finger-tips. There have even been a few moments of double figure temperatures and, though distinctly on the hot-toasted side, there’s not nasty clammy feeling.
There’s a lovely soft feel to the micro-fleece lining, and the padded palm makes for comfort on the hoods and drops. That’s not to say tat these aren’t good on the flat-bars, too, but they are, after all Sportive gloves. Cohesion with levers and controls is very good, too, with the silicone palm grip extending down the thumb and first two fingers.
Tech-fiends should find that the firm ridges that hide beneath the surface of the finger-ends will allow accurate tapping of phone or GPs device. These may be multi-layered gloves, but they are certainly not chunky monkeys. You’ll find no problem operating anything other than the most finicky switches and buttons.
Pump, QR, and tyre levers can be manipulated with ease, though, as you’d expect, finer tasks have required removal.
“Waterproof” seems to be justified, to most intents and purposes. Rain has had no effect. Frozen rain hasn’t caused a chill, and heavy showers have been kept at bay. As far as I can see, if water gets in you have either left the cuff open or been for a dip. Up to the cuff immersion has resulted in a slightly damp feeling at the thumb tip of one of our gloves - but plunging gloves into water-butts during even the most festive club run is a minority activity. Further investigation revealed that a feeling was just what it was, cold rather than wet.
On a similar front, cuffs are long enough to frustrate the wind and rain in combination with a decent jersey or jacket, such as Altura’s NV2 Thermo. Easy cuff adjustment on the fly is courtesy of a prominent tab.
For long tours in variable weather conditions in the cooler months in the UK, the flexibility offered by the combination of Phew Early Winter and Lobster gloves may still tip the balance. For day rides - such as a sportive - or a frisky sortie into the countryside on a winter day, these away well become a classic. Even better, their breathability makes them useful even s the temperature rises and they’re slim enough to stuff in a jacket pocket.
Drying time on the bike has been hard to measure; they just have not felt wet! however, bet on an hour or so after the clouds have gone. However, a machine wash may be best followed by an overnight dry.
I have taken care to avoid oily smudges from contact with the bikes dirtiest parts, inevitably bright and shiny gloves will show the scars of winter-lane cycling. Following the washing instructions has returned them to a pristine state. On the other hand, best take them off to relocate spun-off chains! Odd bits of dry dirt brush off.
These are really good gloves, gloves with which it is hard to find fault. A fully reinforced index finger-end might be desirable, but screen tapping has hardly been a major problem. At a price which is hardly extortionate, these will be in the jacket pocket until it’s time to cast clouts, whether or not May be out.