The Northwave Xtreme Tech gloves aren't that Xtreme but they are a little Tech. As light, short fingered summer cycling mitts they're not going to help you in an Xtreme situation halfway up Everest, but if your sportive goes part way to Xtreme by being a bit Epic when it starts to drizzle at least your hands will be comfortable. They do have one annoying flaw, though.
The Tech gloves come in quite a handful of features and words. Northwave Xtreme Tech gloves have a Biomap Palm, shock absorbing Gel pads, Superdry Sponge fabric, a ventilation system, tear-off loops and reflective printing.
As summer gloves go they're nice and airy. There's a X-shaped panel of mesh spread across the back of the hand and the bits between the fingers are similarly breeze-friendly vented. The rest of the glove upper is a thin lycra and a triangular central section of the palm between the padding is made from a light stretchy mesh material to aid airflow to a sweaty paw.
The edges of the mesh X are lined with a silicone band that holds the tension of the lycra on back of the glove and keeps everything comfortably tight to the hand.
The important bit for any cycling glove, the padding on the palm, consists of five gel pads, one long thin one all the way across the base of the fingers, two on the fleshy bit by the thumb and another pairing on the outside of the palm. As gel padding goes it's slim, firm and unobtrusive.
I'm not a fan of gel mitts on the whole, preferring a thin palm and the feeling of connection that gives me to the bars and bike. But the padded palm of the Northwave Xtreme wasn't annoying, divorcing of feedback from the bars, didn't shimmy about nor raise any annoying pressure points. So it must have worked then.
To help with grip on the bars when you're sprinting or sweating, sections of the gel pads on the Clarino synthetic leather palm and also the mesh central area are artfully printed with sticky silicone loops and lettering.
There are gossamer-thin threads of reflective printing on the back of the mitts; they're mostly decorative though and you wouldn't want to rely on them to save your life on a dark night.
The entire back side of the thumb is designed for wiping your snotty-effort nose. Made from a Superdry sponge it does a good job; it's your standard snot-wipe really.
But this is where the one flaw of the gloves makes itself known. The Velcro tab closure of the glove is offset to the side rather than the traditional top or bottom, and it's quite comfortable and unobtrusive as a closure there. But it's right at the end of the toweling wipe section, so it's directly in the line of fire for a lengthy dribbly nose drag. If the Velcro tab isn't done up to its fullest extent your nose will grate across the multitudinous sharp pointy teeth of the Velcro. This will hurt a bit.
Finally, taking the Northwave gloves off is a refreshingly simple affair. Two rings between the fingers, Northwave call them tear-off loops, mean you can tug them off in one swift move, no having to pull them off inside out and then turning them right way round again. This is a Small but Good Thing.
You might want to check the sizing. The gloves tested are labeled a Large but they were a perfect fit on these mostly Medium hands. That's Italian sizing for you.
Comfortable, well-ventilated mitts, but the nose wipe is snot too friendly
road.cc test report
Make and model: Northwave Xtreme Tech Gloves
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The glove is one of the main contact points between the athlete and the bike. The BioMap technology applied to the palm of the Pro glove, allowed to place protective inserts only in the most stressed areas, so as not to remove sensitivity and at the same time deliver an effective protection against friction and dampen shocks and vibrations.. The special superdrysponge rapidly absorbs and expels any moisture to keep the skin dry.
Deciphering the Euro-English it's a glove with gel inserts in the palm and a wipey bit for your nose. It's a lightweight and comfortable summer mitt with a toweling thumb section you might need to be wary of.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Palm: Clarino®, mesh for ventilation, silicon printing
'�Palm protections: GEL pad shock absorbing
'�Back: Polyester, Mesh'�
Thumb: Superdry sponge'�
Closing system: Magic Velcro® closure'�
Vent inserts: On back, palm, between fingers'�
Easy slip in: Silicon grip'�
Easy pull off: Rings between fingers'�
Reflex inserts: Reflective printing'�
Tech: Biomap palm construction with mesh
There are the tendrils of loose thread that seem to plague every single pair of summer cycling mitts but otherwise they're well finished and haven't fallen apart.
Comfortable and airy.
They haven't gently unraveled like some cycling mitts yet.
Comfortable enough to not notice you're wearing them. Check sizing though.
There are cheaper cycling mitts but these are about right for their quality and features.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Comfy, light and well aired, only the nasal Velcro jeopardy letting them down.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The snot-wipe/Velcro interface thing.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
About the tester
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun