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Verdict: 
Warm gloves for awful weather, despite the cuffs being a bit loose
Weight: 
103g
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Altura Thermostretch II Neoprene Glove
7 10

Back in 2014 John gave the Mk I of Altura's Thermostretch Gloves four stars, saying "they'll really come into their own on wet spring rides". Two years on and £5 more expensive, the updated Mk II is still a good choice, but I found the cuffs loose, a bit of a let-down for a glove designed for wet, cold weather.

Altura claims the gloves have 'high levels of breathability', but being made of wetsuit material it wasn't particularly noticeable. Not that it really mattered because my test rides were mostly 0-5°C, either raining, very windy, or both.

> Find your nearest dealer here

They come in two flavours – black with fluoro trim or the opposite. Both have a black sticky-dotted palm and finger-insides, which aided grip without feeling like you were a tree frog. On the black you get a reasonable amount of green 'Altura' and stripe running down the index finger for indicating and brand awareness purposes.

Size-wise – apart from the cuffs – they are about right, perhaps a smidge on the small side, my hand measuring 22cm around the knuckles, with a large fitting about right when clenched on the bar or hoods. In the 2014 review photo of the Mk I the cuff looks a snug fit around the wrist, but the Mk II definitely isn't. I could slide two fingers under it without stretching the fabric at all. (The pair John reviewed were mediums.) On the bike I felt a more-than-niggling need to make sure baselayer and jacket cuffs were pulled down to ensure a draught-free experience.

Despite this, out in weather the gloves worked well to keep my Raynaud-Syndrome-prone fingers warm. For days of 5-10°C the glove by itself was enough, once it got below 5 I used thin lambswool liners to beef things up.

> Buyer's Guide: The best winter gloves for cycling

My nadir of winter testing came in the 2016 Christmas storm, trying to top a Yorkshire moor heading into 80kph winds of 4°C. A critical part of keeping your fingers warm is keeping the blood flowing to them warm. In this case I was testing the rather excellent Lusso Aqua Extreme Repel Jacket (full review to come – that was just a hint!) over a simple merino baselayer, and everything was hunky-dory fingers-wise, a genuine surprise with hands out front in those sort of conditions.

If weather is less extreme, or you run warmer than I do, the Thermostretch IIs will probably work for you without a liner glove, but it's good to know there's enough room and give to allow their use.

Fundamentally, the Thermostetch IIs work well – I just wish the cuffs were a bit snugger.

Verdict

Warm gloves for awful weather, despite the cuffs being a bit loose

road.cc test report

Make and model: Altura Thermostretch II Neoprene Glove

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?

They are for keeping your hands warm in cold, wet weather.

Altura says: "High stretch insulating neoprene glove offering an adaptive close fit for performance cyclists seeking warmth on fast rides."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

* Altura Shield™ technology is engineered to provide protection from wind and water, whilst still offering high levels of breathability

* Strategically located retroreflective trims for increased visibility

* Fitted

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
4/10

The cuffs were too loose on me.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
6/10
Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
8/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

The fact that my hands stayed warm says it all.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Not having white fingers at the end of rides.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The cuff fit; it was too loose on me.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Probably not, because of the cuff.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, with the cuff caveat.

Use this box to explain your score

They're warm, for sure – no complaints there – but I'd give them a higher mark if the cuffs were snugger.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 43  Height: 183cm  Weight: 72kg

I usually ride: Merida Ride 5000 Disc  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, club rides, general fitness riding, mountain biking, Dutch bike pootling

8 comments

Avatar
Velomark [26 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

Neoprene gloves are never that comfortable but they are made for weather when there is no better alternative, the only upside is that most neoprene gloves look pro as f**k and then along come this design... looks like it was made by Dr Frankenstien... with added sequins!  

Avatar
PaulBox [678 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

I bought a pair of neoprene winter gloves (not Altura) a few years ago and they were shite, kind of put me off the idea.

Avatar
ped [285 posts] 10 months ago
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I'm a fan of neoprene gloves having used the Bioflex ones (reviewed here) for a couple of winters now, but it took a little while to realise that unless conditions were a bit damp or I got a bit of a sweat-on then my hands would get cold. This is fine for 45 mins of balls-out CX racing or a longer tempo session, but not so great for say a more casual commute. 

As I understand it, wetsuits work by trapping moisture between skin and the neoprene which your body's natural warmth can heat up and I guess the gloves work the same. On a dry day or if I'm taking a more leisurely ride I've taken to gobbing on my hands before putting them on and that seems to do the trick.

Friends with naturally clammier hands than mine seem to get on fine with neoprene gloves sans-gob.

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Al__S [1268 posts] 10 months ago
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Neoprene does not need to be wet to be insulating (best part of 25 years experience in various water sports here), but can be lacking in windproofing especially when dry.

Avatar
ped [285 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
Al__S wrote:

Neoprene does not need to be wet to be insulating (best part of 25 years experience in various water sports here), but can be lacking in windproofing especially when dry.

And apparently there's a difference between neoprene and thinsulate. Who knew? Thanks for having me look up this stuff.  1

Avatar
horizontal dropout [296 posts] 9 months ago
1 like

Divers know that p*ssing in your wetsuit warms you up nicely. I guess you could do the same with these... 

Avatar
ped [285 posts] 9 months ago
1 like
horizontal dropout wrote:

Divers know that p*ssing in your wetsuit warms you up nicely. I guess you could do the same with these... 

Yeah, thanks for that advice: I've just been kicked out the local post-ride café for reeking like a tramp.  3

Avatar
KiwiMike [1319 posts] 9 months ago
0 likes
ped wrote:
horizontal dropout wrote:

Divers know that p*ssing in your wetsuit warms you up nicely. I guess you could do the same with these... 

Yeah, thanks for that advice: I've just been kicked out the local post-ride café for reeking like a tramp.  3

 

That'd be a Trump.