SHOWERS PASS CROSSPOINT GLOVES
40g Large Black (as tested) £23
Although the Showers Pass Crosspoint Gloves are described a liners, they are designed to be more than that. You have the choice of coupling them with mitts or with weightier gloves or wearing them alone. Of course, not all the “glove technology” works when used with other gloves, but, even on their own, these gloves have a lot to offer. A women’s specific version is available.
Pros: surprisingly warm on their own, effective on touchscreens.
Cons: nothing significant.
Coming in sizes Small to X-Large and with a women’s specific version, may be about as exciting as liner gloves get. In this case you’d be wrong. I can’t help but feel that showers Pass are doing themselves down with that classification. True, they have no padding, but they are not alone in that as cycling gloves with more general usage, too.
16% Spandex and 84% polyester, allow plenty of stretch whilst keeping shape. Seams are neatly sown (as you’d expect). Although they are prominent to the eye (if you turn the glove inside out) they are in just the right places to cradle the fingers without interfering with grip.
On the subject of grip, there are gripper pads blobbed on the palm, thumb, forefinger, and middle-finger. There are much grippier gloves around - but not all, in my experience, that function effectively as liners, too.
The wrist is sufficiently long to tuck under waterproof or jersey. Final detailing is a reflective logo and line running the length of the back of the glove.
Size and fit 3.5/5
I followed the sizing chart and went for large. I often find myself on the cusp of large and extra-large when it comes to gloves and mitts. Mind you, I have squeezed into a medium, too. On the whole, large was just about right, although I’m sure extra-large would have fitted. If I couldn’t get to a stockist to try-out before buying, I'd err toward extra-large next time.
Of course, these are meant to be a snug fit: to fit under other gloves, while bagginess can adversely affect touchscreen performance.
A friend, with similar sized hands but longer fingers, would have preferred extra-large.
Showers Pass recommend a hand wash in cold water and drip-drying, after a thorough rinse. I’d go for a soft liquid detergent or technical wash. At the time of writing the care instructions on the garment are a little different to those on the website. Fits perfectly with their Waterproof Cycling Cap.
Drying times following a wash are long, so think overnight, at least, without artificial heat. On the bike, on the other hand, they’ll dry rapidly after a short shower, but a soaking in prolonged heavy rain will take much longer. Hung on the line outdoors, things are much quicker.
Testing has been in November in the UK, with a mixture of commuting, longer day rides and short bursts. I’ve combined them with DexShells stretchy Ultralite gloves (waterproof) and thicker models, such as ProViz Sportive Waterproof gloves. I’ve also used them under my go to daily Passport Crochet Back mitts as well as others with rather more padding. Lastly, they gone solo. Needless to say, use them as liners and you lose the touchscreen effectiveness: wear them alone and you have limited padding’, ess insulation, less water-resistance. Too many compromises?
Frankly, even with the pre-dawn temperature hovering around 0C, combining with the ProViz gloves, and similar types felt uncomfortably warm and cumbersome. Not the fault of the Crosspoint liners, of course.
Under the DexShells gloves things were perfect around that 0-4C mark. They may even go lower. Although neither glove has ulnar padding, the combined thickness made for greater comfort on longer rised, including stretches of gravel. An even better combination when rain set in. I guess a similar effect would come from combining with Showers Pass Waterproof Knit Gloves. On that front, Showers Pass recommend using the liner under Crosppoint Hardshell WP Gloves for the “ultimate in cold/wet weather protection” or their Crosspoint Softshell Gloves “for a trimmer fit.”
On their own, fifteen miles of mixed surface commuting at around 5C felt very comfortable, with a chill only kicking in on a single long descent. Of course, they don’t offer water-resistance, but on shorter rides with the opportunity to dry them at the end, it may not be an issue. The gripper pads offers some additional adherence to the bars, although much may depend on the bar tape you are using. On longer rides I’d like more padding, even on asphalt. I’ve saved my favourite combination until last.
Under mitts, you have more padding, some, if very limited extra insulation - even water-resistance - and you maintain the dexterity liners like this offer. Seventy to eighty mile rides in distinctly autumnal weather, even with the odd shower; perfect.
Although I’m far from the most hi-tec rider, GPS set-ups and mobile apps are very much a part of life on the bike. In that sense touchscreen technology for tapping and swiping is very handy. As ever, there seems to be a sweet spot where the finger tip does the job. I have found this to be very effective if not immediately responsive first time every time. In fairness, these gloves edge out others i have tried, in my opinion. Hopefully practice will make perfect.
A basic liner glove comes in pretty cheap. £5 or £6 will get you something. however, it will have less potential for solo use and will lack the finer touches. A fairer comparison is something like the Polaris Winter Cycling Liner gloves. Cheaper by two thirds compared to the Showers Pass Crosspoint Liner, they offer similar potential without all the refinements.
On the other hand, many will prefer merino or merino blends for inners. Whilst these offer really good insulation, even when wet, at least one major supplier warns against wearing them on their own.
These are a really handy addition to the wardrobe. With applications across the cycling board, i can see them being worn out with a mixture of commuting, day-rides, and, even in summer, a place in the touring pannier.