It’s always tricky testing gloves. Sure, you can quickly assess how they fit, how comfortable they are, what sort of feel they give for the bike and how warm or cold they are.
However, one of the things that is very difficult to test is the waterproofing ability; you can wear them and dunk them in a bucket of water of course as an extreme test but it’s not until you subject them to sustained wet-weather riding that you get a proper picture of how they perform.
I’ve been wearing these Richa gloves on longer trips for several years and again, this season since early spring. There’s a very good reason for that; they are a great three-season glove though they have very little in the way of insulation so they are too lightweight for winter. That’s fine; as long as you know that, then you aren’t going to end up with chilly fingers in cold weather.
They can be a little on the cool side for very early-morning runs, particularly for clear, bright starts where the temperature has dipped during the night but the day is expected to be warmer.
However, because they use a combination of goat and cow leather on the outside with a Gore-Tex membrane lining, they prevent pretty much all wind from getting in so any cooling is the result of heat transfer across the material rather than from cold air entering the glove. As a result, they sometimes feel cool on the inside but your hands tend not to get actually cold unless of course, it is winter outside.
This does mean though that on warmer rides, they tend to be hotter than perforated or vented gloves. Having said that, the Gore-Tex membrane allows any sweat that develops to disperse very effectively and because they are so thin and uninsulated, the heat build-up isn’t too great.
There is a thin lining that sits – and feels – very nice against the skin and once they have had a very small amount of breaking in, they are very supple and flexible. They fit my hand well – the relationship between hand width and thumb/finger length is very good – and the elasticated section across the back of the wrist makes it easy to get them on and off.
There is a thin hook-and-loop strap across the inside of the wrist and a thicker flap on the cuff so that they can be easily closed up to go inside jacket cuffs but it is a little trickier to get them over a jacket.
They have a CE rating of 1KP meaning the hard knuckle armour has been tested and it offers decent confidence and security but doesn’t affect the wearing comfort at all. There are also padded nibs on the fingers and the thumb and a thinly padded, though double-layered, section covering the heel of the palm – the so-called ‘landing zone’.
There are double layers of leather on the top of the palm as well, to aid grip and once on, they are exceptionally comfortable and give superb feel for the bike – they don’t ruck up in use as some do and because they fit well and have no insulation, just that thin lining, movement of the hand translates directly to movement outside the glove – there is no relative movement between the hand and the outside of the glove as insulation or linings absorb some of the action.
The windproofing is excellent and waterproofing is also very good although a recent, three-hour slog through sustained rain did leave my hands feeling slightly damp.
This was no doubt in part due to me having to wear the gloves inside my jacket cuffs and some moisture finding its way in and partly due, I suspect, to several necessary stops to clean and re-treat my helmet visor. However, by the end, my hands were only damp, not wet.
These are excellent three-season gloves for longer rides. They use a Gore-Tex membrane to keep water and wind out yet allow the hands to breath but with no insulation, they can feel a little chilly in colder conditions.
Conversely, they can feel a little warm in hot weather, as clearly there is no ventilation but as an all-round glove that will cover a vast range of riding conditions, they are a great bet.
They allowed my hands to get slightly damp on one very wet ride and won’t cope with complete extremes of weather but they are extremely comfortable, fit well and give great feel for the bike’s controls.
Soft and supple
Not so good at extremes
More three season gloves on MCN
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