Let's get this clear right off the bat, despite their Arctic good looks, toasty appearance and draught-excluding cuff the Sugoi RS Zero is not really a Winter glove, in fact the closer it gets to the eponymous Zero the more they become thermally transparent, which is awkward. And they aren't much use if it's raining or there's a lazy wind either as they seem to be entirely bereft of waterproofness and extra wind-stopping abilities. Not really a glove for the usual British Winter then, maybe it's warmer in Sugoivia that time of year. A nice glove for Spring or Autumn then so as not to condemn them out of hand, or any time you might describe as fresh, a bit chilly or nippy, but not atually anywhere near cold.
The fit is somehow both snug and yet bulky. The cuff and the palm are nicely fitted and then it all goes a bit wrong around the fingers. The cuff comes well up the wrist, far enough to plug any of the usual sleeve-to-glove gap that can happen and the windward side is a windproof fabric to deflect the chill which is a lovely touch. Can all frosty season gloves have this please? And a zig-zag of elastic under the wrist holds the glove tight to the arm to keep any errant breeze at bay, nice.
In contrast to the snug wrist are the strangely sausagey fingers, we suspect this might be the seams fault. They start off by the palm aligned on the 'corners' and taper down to all meet in one central seam at the end of the digits. The resulting bunched seam inside can rub on the ends of the middle fingers and catch on the nails, and that's with this testers slightly smaller than medium hands in a medium glove. Flicking the seam with your fingernail can mindlessly pass the time on long solo training rides, or the seam's constant catching on the nail can be deeply frustrating, depending on your mood. And the bulky digits makes fumbling about in a rear pocket for a chewy-bar a strangely sensory-depravatory affair.
The palm has a wide grippy section layered over it, it isn't padded, just a thick piece of material patterned with thousands of tacky squares that's comfortable enough for road or cyclo-cross use, we even used them on a mountainbike without any discomfort. The grip also sits in squares on the ends of the first two fingers for lever stiction and it also wraps up round the thumb - into exactly the place where you want to wipe your nose. Although there isn't any absorbent towelling or fluff on these gloves to encourage any nasal wipeage, you will anyway, because you do, and then your effort-snotty or cold-dribbly nose will make contact with the rough, raggedy and sharp edge of the over-zealous palm-grip material and it will saw across your septum. This can lead to swearing.
Scrabbling about for positives these white gloves (which come with blue and red detailing as alternate colours) are at least an useful visible aid, especially when indicating. And can be used also for fencing if the sports-hall is a little chilly.
A glove that we really wanted to like but that annoys us on too many levels to become good friends and they're a bit fey when it comes to proper cold weather. There's lots better out there.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Sugoi RS Zero glove
Size tested: L
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?
“Designed with constant attention to detail, SUGOI bring you the RS Zero Glove. Both comfortable and functional, the glove is highly effective for winter protection, and has a high velocity form. A technical glove, the RS Zero Glove does not inhibit movement and has an ergonomic fit.”
Hmmm, well the attention to detail certainly gets a little distracted when it comes to the finger seams and the grip extending too far round the thumb, and we're laughing at it's winter protection claims. And we don't even know what a "high velocity form" is. Must try harder.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
"Pre-curved for ergonomic fit and comfort grip, super grip palm graphic, slip-on wrist cuff fits perfectly without inhibiting movement" it says here and that's all correct, no mention of thermal or waterproof properties though.
The fingers are clunkily designed, and edges of the palm grip are poorly sewn and have a rough edge, only the lovely cuff and good looks save this glove from a proper fisting.
As a 'Zero' glove, a big fat ,er, zero, but as a Spring or Autumn glove then it's merely ok.
They seem to be holding up ok, but then they haven't been used much in this cold weather.
Fat inner-seams aside it's a perfectly comfortable glove.
It seems rather spendy for a glove that doesn't have many technical or thermal attributes.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
If we treat it as a 'Zero' glove then it performed appallingly, but as more genteel clime apparel then we'd be more kind.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The "Ice Station Zebra" good looks and the extra-long wrist cuff.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The lack of warmth and those finger seams, and nose wipeage placement.
Did you enjoy using the product? When it wasn't too cold they were mostly ok gloves.
Would you consider buying the product? Hmmmmm, there would probably be something better on the rack.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not really, sorry.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
We could have been so good together, but, you know, it's not me, it's you.
About the tester
Age: 42 Height: 180cm Weight: 73kg
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
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he’s not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he’s not doing either of those he’s pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he’s agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours doesn’t. He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.