The Montreal 4.0 is one of the latest gloves to be added to British brand Oxford Products’ line-up alongside the fourth generation of its award-winning Montreal textile suit. The company doesn’t specify the seasonal recommendations, but they are clearly aimed at tourers and designed to cope with wet and cold rides.
They are made with a textile outer and this is backed with Oxford’s own Dry2Dry membrane, for waterproofing and breathability. There is a leather panel that covers the heel of the palm and runs out to the outer edge of the hand and the little finger for improved abrasion resistance in case of a fall – the instinct is to put the hands out.
Also on the heel of the palm, under the leather, are two padded areas – one on the landing zone on the outside of the heel and one over the scaphoid bone at the base of the thumb. There is also a hefty section of hard-knuckle armour on the back of the hand and padding on the front of the fingers, all of which help the gloves gain a CE rating of 1 KP.
1. Oxford Montreal 4.0
1. Oxford Montreal 4.0
They are held on by a thin Velcro-backed strap at the wrist and there is also a drawstring storm cuff to seal around the cuffs of your jacket.
Putting them on, the hand slides in nicely and there is a very plush, comfortable lining. However, it’s the sizing that immediately feels odd. I usually take a medium and the Montreal 4.0s state M/9, indicating an equivalence with the Euro size 9. For me, the width of the glove overall and the fit across the width of the hand is perfect – any smaller and they would feel overly tight and would, I suspect, be tricky to get on.
However, it’s the thumb and finger lengths that don’t really work for me. While the widths of all the digits are bang-on, the thumb and all the fingers – with the exception of the little finger – are a little too long. The worst is the ring finger – on the gloves, it is almost as long as the middle finger but my own hand is not. As a result, I found my fingertips catching the clutch lever in particular as I opened my hand to operate it.
I also found the thumb was too long and this became annoying when operating the indicators – one of my real bug-bears with motorcycle gloves. Of course, going for a size smaller may alleviate this but the fit across the back of the hand – and the fact that the little finger on both hands was a perfect length - mean that there would be compromises here as well.
Out on the bike, feel is surprisingly good for gloves that would appear to be destined for use in cold weather. However, when it starts to get chilly, this feel highlights the compromise in insulation.
Related: T.ur G-Zero winter glove review
My fingertips began to get chilly after an hour or so of riding at motorway speeds in temperatures around 6°C. There is an external layer of leather on the front of the fingertips as well as inside the fingers, for grip on the controls and while the insulation on top and below is good, it feels much thinner on the sides of the fingers.
All this conspires to chill the ends of my fingers after those 60 minutes. Perhaps a set of handguards would help here but it feels like the gloves should be able to keep the fingers warm. I had no problems with warmth on the back of my hands.
I also ended up riding through a rainstorm and the resulting spray for a couple of hours and while my fingertips got chilly, they did remain dry which is a good thing. It’s one thing having cold hands – it’s quite another having cold and wet hands…
Oxford’s Montreal 4.0 gloves are a decent proposition if they fit your hands properly. Clearly not everyone has the same relationship between the width of the hand itself and the length of their fingers.
If yours work with these gloves – ie you have longer fingers and thumbs than me though the same length little finger - then these could be a decent option for three-season riding.
However, they didn’t work particularly well when the temperature dropped for me, so these are definitely ones to try before you buy.
Didn’t fit my hands properly