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Product review: The 1000 Mile Test of Gloves

Spring has finally sprung, so it's time to pack away those bulky winter gloves and opt for something a little more lightweight.

We know there's always a chance of a shower, whatever the time of year, so these three-season gloves are definitely a great alternative. 

We've selected eight pairs, that vary in price from £99 to £199 and have ridden nearly 50,000 miles between us. 

Alpinestars Vega Drystar, from £99.99

Tester Richard Newland

Miles used 4500 miles

These Vega Drystar gloves claim to be ‘all-weather’, but I only ever wear them when it’s raining and above freezing. I’ve found them to be well stitched together, with no obvious signs of wear or tear after around 4500 miles of wet use.

The cuff system is Velcro at both the main closure and the wrist, offering excellent adjustability and fit, and neither show any signs of furring or degradation yet. They’re exceptionally comfortable, too.

They’ve also proved to be genuinely waterproof, but head into the depths of a British winter and they’re too thin and lightweight to cope with the sub-zero temperatures – while they get sweaty on warm days.

The lack of protection frustrates me, too. They have hard carbon-fibre knuckle guards, but very little else – which seems odd as accidents are more likely in poor weather on cold tarmac.

The only other niggle is that if you try putting them on with wet hands, they’re almost impossible to fight your way into. Gripes aside – they’re a solid buy.

Quality rating Three stars

Value rating Three stars

Contact  www.alpinestars.com

Alpinestars WR-1 Gore-Tex, from £129.99

Tester Michael Neeves

Miles used: 20000 miles

Now spring is finally here it’s out with my bulky winter gloves and in with these. Made from Gore-Tex-lined soft leather, I’ve worn them in all weathers, on every kind of bike, from sportsbikes to scooters and are still going strong.

Ready to start their third year of service, there’s no signs of wear or tear - they’re just bedded in nicely and fit me like a, well… a glove!

They’re warm in all but sub-5-degree conditions, comfortable, waterproof and aren’t too thick, so it’s easy to feel your bike’s throttle and levers. A handy rubber ‘wiper blade’ on the left thumb makes clearing your visor a piece of cake. Here’s to another three years.

Quality Five stars

Value Five stars

Contact www.alpinestars.com

Held Air N Dry, from £164.99

Tester Simon Relph

Miles used: 3800 miles

Somewhat quirky in their design, they have two compartments to put your hand into, slip your hand into the lower compartment and you are in the summer vented unlined part of the glove. Should the weather change while riding, stop and put your hand into the top compartment. This one has the benefit of Gore-tex.

These gloves have the usual Velcro wrist and cuff fasteners, visor wipe and have reinforced knuckles. The back part of the glove is mainly cordura and Kangaroo leather palm. My favourite glove last summer even though they eventually leak after riding all day in the rain..

Quality Four stars

Value Three stars

Contact www.held-uk.co.uk

Knox Covert Leather, from £119.99

Tester Matt Wildee

Miles used: 10000 miles

Knox market these as suitable for three seasons and they’re right. With a leather construction, they use an Out Dry membrane to keep the water out and in my experience, it’s 99% efficient – on really wet days you’ll get a tiny amount of water ingress, but the breathability is impressive.

They’re pretty warm too – I’ll use them on anything above 5 degrees and in deep mid-winter on bikes with heated grips.

They might not look like it, but they give the feel and reassurance of a race glove. Constructed from 1.0mm race leather, with goat leather inlays on the palm and decent armour, you’d trust them in a crash.

Quality Five stars

Value Four stars

Contact www.planet-knox.com

Rev'it Summit 2 H20, from £109.99

Tester Alison Silcox

Miles used: 2000 miles

These are a great two-season pair of gloves, that are warm and waterproof, without being bulky. Made from a combination of leather and textile, with a waterproof, breathable liner, they’re ideal for our changeable climate.

There’s CE approved knuckle protection and slider on the palm. Velcro and a natty drawstring closure make the cuffs easy to adjust and they are wide enough to fit over even my bulkiest textile jacket.

They’re warm to temperatures just above freezing, waterproof and comfortable. Both forefingers are touchscreen friendly. Mine are lady specific fit and they also make the same style in their men’s range.

Quality Five stars

Value Four stars

Contact www.revitsport.com

Richa Radar GTX, from £109.99

Tester Maria Martin

Miles used: 1500 miles

After 1500 miles I can safely say these Richa’s quickly replaced my former go-to gloves, my Oxford Navigators. I have quite small hands and the Radar GTXs seemed quite chunky at first, but after a couple of rides they were completely comfortable.

I’ve ridden between 4-12 degrees and they’ve kept me cool when it’s been a bit warmer and protected my hands against the wind during cooler times. In general cooler riding conditions, it takes around 30 minutes for my hands to feel a chill.

One grip, I had to purchase a men’s small size because of the lack of suitable female gloves around. 

Quality Five stars

Value Three stars

Contact www.nevis.uk.com

Rukka Apollo Gore-Tex, from £199.99

Tester Jordan Gibbons

Miles used: 1500 miles

The Rukka Apollo are short cuff armoured leather gloves, with a GoreTex lining that is both windproof and waterproof making them theoretically ideal for typical British weather.

There are neat features too, such as the effective visor wipe on the left thumb, although they’re quite thin so work best in the teens. While their waterproofness has been exemplary, I seem to have got a ‘Friday afternoon’ pair.

The inner liner has broken free of the glove and split at the right thumb plus the leather has worn away on the knuckles despite never having crashed – both unforgiveable considering the price.

Quality Three stars

Value Two stars

Contact www.tranam.co.uk

Rukka Suki Ladies, from £159.99

Tester Alison Silcox

Miles used: 4000 miles

These are my ‘go-to’ pair of gloves now that spring has finally arrived. Made from combination of leather and textile with a Gore-Tex lining, these CE approved gloves are and have knuckle and palm protectors.

They keep my hands dry and are warm enough for all but the coldest of days. With a suede palm, feel for controls isn’t compromised and the touchscreen fingertips are a useful addition.

The visor wipe, on the forefinger, is well positioned and works. Cuffs are adjustable and can fit either under or over my jacket sleeves.

At £160 they are costly but you they are a quality piece of kit and aren’t showing any signs of wear. Feminine touches of pink are un-necessary and I prefer the option with silver piping.

Quality Five stars

Value Four stars

Contact www.tranam.co.uk

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