Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stuff That Works: Garneau Super Prestige Gloves

Like many cyclists, I'm particular about my gear. Years of winter kayaking made me appreciate the value of bulletproof equipment to help keep me safe and warm, and that mentality carries over to my choice of cycling equipment. Function and fit are a must and, of course, a little style gets points, too. I had many years of cold, wet days in the boat to refine my collection of gear to allow me to really enjoy winter runs while encased in my Gore-tex dry suit, sport-specific fleece top, tights, pogies for hands, and warm booties. Even though cold weather, cold water boating is a more extreme exposure experience due to that water factor, in some ways it is easier to dress for the boat. Even if the air temp rises 25 degrees over the course of a trip, you're still in cold water, so the conditions you have to prepare for don't change much.
As I entered the world of winter road riding, I was clueless as to how to gear up. After a few years of collecting gear, I've got a pretty well-rounded quiver of clothes and accessories for every occasion, but I'm always on the lookout for something better than what I've got. One weak link has been winter gloves. My most comfortable ones aren't very warm. Liners help and add versatility, but are a small hassle. My warmest gloves are fine when it's really cold, but as the temperature or my work load rises, they start feeling damp and creepy. Last year, while milling around in Spokes, I started trying on gloves. I also have really wide hands, so I'm always on the lookout for the perfect glove. I decided to try a pair of Louis Garneau Super Prestige Gloves.
The Garneau specs says these are good to 14 degrees. I can't testify to that, but they're good for a very broad range of temperatures due to the fold-away lobster claw shells.

These gloves are pretty warm while in the five-finger mode, but they convert to lobster mode by way of an easily deployed shell that folds into a pocket on the back of the glove. The shell is not really noticeable while tucked away, but provides a real increase in performance while allowing fingers to couple up and snuggle. The split design makes for easy shifting and braking and the fingers are easily exposed for more delicate tasks like unwrapping a bar.

You can also leave your forefinger and middle finger out for dexterity and for communicating with rude drivers while leaving your pinkie and third finger warmly tucked away.

The gloves cost about 45 bucks. Bike gear is expensive enough when you are sure of what you're buying and we've all experienced the frustration of buying something, only to relegate it to the back of the drawer after a few disappointing uses. On the other hand, cost is forgotten soon enough when a piece of gear serves you well over the years. That's stuff that works.



Hey these super prestige bike gloves look handy. I have always used no gloves when I ride my bike. I should buy myself a pair of the bike gloves.

Nelson said...

I also don't like to use glove during biking. But it really helpful if you are going for a long drive to avoid sweat which may cause slipping of handle.