The search for the perfect winter cycling glove has, down the years, become something of a Homeric Odyssey for me (prone to exaggeration much?). Colleagues here in the office, and friends out on Sunday rides, all seem to have found their favourites and shared their tips with me, but they must have much warmer blood than me because nothing short of an old pair of Sugoi gloves so thick they could appear at Pyeongchang 2018 have ever kept the numbness in my fingers, and subsequent pain as feeling returns, at bay. I have cold hands, I admit, but am I really so reptilian that the best minds in the cycle clothing industry can’t rescue me from ruining what I hope are my sleek aesthetics with Eddie the Eagle gloves?
Enter the Windproof Glove (£45) from British brand Ashmei, and its Merino companion (£30). Could this latest miracle product, promising enough warmth to maintain feeling without sacrificing anything in the way of dexterity, come through where all others had fallen? When offered the chance I was certainly keen to find out.
Tightly woven from windproof microfibres and offering water resistance the gloves have been ridden in biting January winds and early February snow, with the super comfortable Merino glove worn as a liner to double up on insulation, and the results have been incredible. The windproof material has proven extremely effective, and therein lies a huge chunk of the battle when it comes to keeping your fingertips toasty, as it is the windchill that makes the cyclist so much more susceptible to the cold than the pedestrian or even runner. In the wet, the water resistance has been good enough to keep the inner gloves largely dry (although come the very worst weather I may have jumped on the bus…).
The Windproof Glove has its own soft inner lining, but the temperature regulation of Merino makes the use of that glove as a liner the perfect accompaniment. Both gloves are ergonomically cut to be worn on the bike, and even worn together they add absolutely minimal bulk.
I came to this test a sceptic but I’m honestly stunned by how effective this pairing of gloves has proved for me this winter, and as we move into spring both can be worn on their own depending on conditions. The Merino gloves also feature touchscreen-compatible tips on the thumb and forefinger so you don’t need to expose your skin to the world when texting to explain that you’re just going to add another 25k loop onto your ride and will be home a bit late… after all, with warm hands there’s no reason to rush.
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A lifelong advocate of the never sacrifice style for speed credo, he has never come close to winning anything but did at least achieve one long-held cycling ambition in 2015 when he became an ancien of Paris-Brest-Paris.