despite the onset of winter weather, appropriate for the time of year, it is bearing little, if any consistency. i can leave the croft of a morning, wearing my look mum no hands! woolly hat (the one with the blue pompom on top), waterproof cosy jacket and a pair of thermal gloves, intent on a hard day's graft in my comfy chair, (mentally at least) dictated by a swift glance out the kitchen window at breakfast . however, come lunchtime, in the search for some bread and cheese - i am nothing if not parsimonius in my quest for victuals - it appeared the hat and gloves were surplus to requirements.
though clear(ish) skies still pervaded, the temperature was considerably milder than i'd assumed. there is no glory to be gained by walking the village streets carrying a pair of gloves. to make it worse, i almost left the darned things in my shopping basket. come hometime, the weather had deteriorated into showery precipitation of which we'd all been oblivious due to an unaccustomed bout of industry and the fact that the blinds had been closed all day. hat and gloves were welcome accoutrements at that point.
the relevance of this to velocipedinal activity is perhaps not immediately apparent, but nonetheless something worth bearing close consideration. for though many are keen to advertise their wares as being breathable and impressively waterproof, those are two features not always deemed necessary. such is the situation perhaps for no other reason than cycling activity is taking place in dry and less than onerous weather; a lack of taped seams is conditionally represented as water resistant and almost by implication, more breathable than their taped counterparts. sometimes windproofing and a modest level of shower resistance is perfectly acceptable.
closely fitting those demands are the showers pass crosspoint wind gloves, handholding that closely resembles their softshell outdry brethren, recently reviewed in these very pixels. as both pairs lie in the box of winter accoutrements in the kitchen, seen from the back, even their own mother might have difficulty telling them apart were it not for the thin line of reflectivity below the showerspass wording. flip them to the palm side however, and the black covered padding clearly distinguishes the outdry version from the wind glove. an elasticated and impressively long cuff, adjusted via a velcro strap on the back allows the breathability to be dialled in to the wearer's demands.
to read the relevant text on the showers pass website brings a touch of misapprehension to the equation, one that can be cleared up by not stopping at the end of paragraph one. the words '3 layer Artex windproof, waterproof and breathable technology' fooled me into thinking i would be bulletproof even in unrelenting rain, a situation that didn't take long to be physically undermined through a pair of soaking wet hands. at that particular time, the words showers pass were failing to live up to expectations. however, had i read to paragraph two, i would have seen the advice 'for a fully waterproof option check out the Crosspoint softshell glove.' in other words, read the flipping instructions.
the wind glove, based on my expertise in the wind, cheerfully repels all boarders in this respect, and it has comfortably fulfilled expectations as water-repellent when pootling about in weather interspersed with occasional showers. despite being bereft of the softshell's outdry membrane, the breathability is quite impressive. however the question bears asking as to why you'd consider these as an alternative to the softshell gloves, when the latter appear to incorporate all the features of the windgloves in addition to their own? the answer is almost certainly one of season and application.
depending on your location, mileage and weather conditions, you may not require the serious waterproofing available with the softshells. and come the spring classics, the rain may still be hanging around, but in less persistent quantities. the windgloves are a smidgeon less bulky than the softshells due to a less substantial thermal lining; in short, the wind gloves are of lighter constitution. so despite this review arriving a matter of weeks before christmas day, these are likely the very gloves that will be regularly grabbed from the pile as easter gets a little closer.
cycling's not much fun if you're uncomfortable on the bike.
the showers pass crosspoint windgloves effect a stylish and very well made solution to constant wind allied to occasional showers. and though i have highlighted their undoubted lightness of being, it would need to be very cold indeed before your hands have need of looking elsewhere for refuge. at a cost of around £34 per pair, perhaps an ideal christmas present even if for yourself.
and always remember, cycling gloves are not just for christmas.
showers pass crosspoint windgloves are available only in black with grey padding on palm and fingers. sizes range from small to xl.
wednesday 11 december 2013..........................................................................................................................................................................................................