Gore-Tex cycling gloves are a top-of-the-line product – but will they keep your hands dry when you are cycling in the rain? Here’s my assessment after using them for a month.
I have been looking for waterproof cycling gloves for a long time. I’ve posted before about the apparent impossibility of finding waterproof cycling gloves.
But I remain hopeful.
Related: How to Dress for Winter Cycling
Maggie (Mrs. Average Joe Cyclist) compares it to skin creams. That’s a billion-dollar industry that promises to make your skin look younger. We all know that’s completely impossible. But because we so badly want it to be true, people keep buying those products.
It’s the same with me and cycling gloves. I WANT to believe that waterproof cycling gloves are possible. I want it so badly that I keep trying different gloves, chasing after my dream with all the tenacity of Mulder chasing down aliens.
The Gore Bike Wear Xenon Gore-Tex Gloves were my latest leap of faith. I bought them from Amazon. Bear in mind that the Gore company INVENTED waterproof, breathable fabrics, using some very clever technology. You can read all about that here in this post on the 7 best waterproof cycling jackets.
What I Like About My Gore-Tex Cycling Gloves
- First off, they are really good looking gloves. Black with red accents and reflective strips on the finger tips (always useful so people can see your hand signals in the dark). Gore has got the styling almost right on these gloves (except that the reflective strips are a little small).
- They are very grippy, so you feel completely in charge of your bike, no matter how wet it is.
- They have good padding to protect your hands and arms from vibrations and jarring.
- Every little detail of the stitching and assembly is high quality and well thought out, so the gloves protect your hands, yet still allow you to ride with confidence.
- They are extremely warm. At the end of long rides in freezing temperatures, my hands are usually numb. These gloves actually manage to keep my hands warm.
What I Don’t Like About My Gore-Tex Cycling Gloves
After my first long ride (1 hour) in steady rain, I was disappointed to find that my hands were a little bit damp. Like all my previous waterproof gloves, these ones ended up drying in front of the fireplace.
So yet again, gloves that are guaranteed to be waterproof turn out to NOT be copletely waterproof.
I’m not going to return them, because they work better than any other so-called waterproof cycling gloves I have tried – and they do keep my hands warm.
Bottom Line on Gore-Tex Cycling Gloves
Gore-Tex Cycling Gloves are a very good product, but they don’t keep your hands completely dry. These gloves do a better job than any others I have tried, but they still aren’t perfect. Even though they arrive with a tag bearing the Gore-Tex mantra – “Guaranteed to Keep You Dry.” So I cannot give these gloves a gold bike star. However, they are still the best cycling gloves I have found under $60.
It seems that waterproof gloves remain as elusive as a skin cream that would make your skin look younger. You’d think waterproof cycling gloves would be a bit more attainable than eternal youth …
I also would like to see the reflective tips on the fingers bigger, because that would be safer. At the moment, they are more decorative slivers than safety features.
Buy these Gore-Tex Cycling Gloves if you want a well-made glove that will keep your hands warm, but don’t completely believe the “keep you dry” promise. If you do buy them, bear in mind that the sizing is on the small side. If you are between a medium and a large, get a large.
Tip for Wearing Cycling Gloves in Wet Weather
The worse thing about wearing cycling gloves in the rain is that when you try to take the wet gloves off, the inner lining often peels out as you pull them off (as shown above). This makes it close to impossible to put them back on. This is a major problem when you stop at the side of the road to do anything that requires taking your gloves off. You find yourself having to continue your ride without gloves, or with gloves that are only halfway down your fingers, with the tips lolling around as if your fingers have been anesthetized. Infuriating!
One solution is to always carry spare gloves. Of course, that does mean you will be standing around on the road side in the rain, searching your pannier while swearing and cursing. Which reminds me – here’s a post about the six best bike panniers.
A better solution we have found is to wear silk glove liners. Wear these under your gloves, and you can slide your gloves on and off without the glove liner sticking to your skin. And the silk glove liners are so fine that you can do what you need to do while still wearing them. The main reason people buy these glove liners is for added warmth (and they do help a LITTLE with that), but for me the real advantage is to prevent the dreaded gloves-with-inside-out fingers syndrome.
If you DO buy silk glove liners, try to get the white ones. Sure, it gives you a Michael Jackson look when you only take one outer glove off, but if you get the black ones, you will most likely lose them. They are so fine and hard to see, that I lost mine the first day I bought them – they are probably still lying at the bottom of a pannier somewhere, completely invisible!
You do have to be very careful with these silk gloves. They will wear out really fast if they keep snagging on the velcro of your gloves or jacket cuffs.
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