Even when it's roasting hot I prefer to wear mitts – as fingerless cycling gloves are traditionally called – for the grip and comfort they offer, and these Sportful R&D Cima Gloves might just be the best I've come across.
They're part of Sportful's Cima clothing range, which is designed for riding and climbing in the highest temperatures – Tour de France stages in the French Alps for example, or a balmy British heatwave.
As you possibly know, Sportful makes use of the professional cycling teams it has sponsored over the years (Trek-Segafredo and Bahrain Merida this season) to help it develop high-performance clothing for the most demanding racing. And it shows in these gloves. There are no superfluous details or extra features, just a bit of light padding on the palm and lightweight mesh over the top of the hand.
Simple, yet they work brilliantly at providing extra comfort for long rides, grip on the handlebar when you're all a bit sweaty, and don't contribute to overheating hands at all, not to mention crash protection as well...
The lightweight mesh on the back of the hand ensures the gloves provide great cooling even when the temperature is in the mid to high 30s. I didn't detect any unwanted extra heat on my hands as a result of wearing these gloves at all, and they're certainly as cool as not wearing gloves at all.
The palm also has a mesh material across the centre, with the key contact areas made from a synthetic suede-like material, along with low-profile padding that provides enough comfort for the longest rides without adding bulk. Silicone details help you keep your grip on the bar when there's sweat everywhere – or it's raining.
The gloves are all about being lightweight with minimal details. The fingers are bonded rather than stitched to reduce bulk further, yet there are small tabs for pulling the gloves on and off, which helps, though it's still a tricky task.
Despite the lack of an adjustable opening, the gloves were an excellent fit on my hands and sat snug around the wrist. They're a one size fits all and the few people who tried them on had no issues with fit.
The one feature I'd thought I'd miss was a soft towel material on the thumb – usually providing somewhere to wipe a sweaty face or snotty nose. Turns out the mesh material over the top of the hand is not only soft next to the skin but also doubles up as a useful place to wipe your face – and doesn't get cacked up like towelling material often does.
I've been testing these gloves for the past few months, using them everywhere on hot product launches in Italy and Majorca as well as warm and milder summer days at home. Through it all they've put in a superb performance and are now my go-to summer gloves. Add to that the fact that they're durable and hardwearing, have been through multiple washes and still look brand new, and you have a top product on your hands.
Probably the most comfortable and durable summer mitts I've worn
road.cc test report
Make and model: Sportful R&D Cima Gloves
Size tested: One size fits all
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 climber's glove – lightweight, super breathable and comfortable.
Minimalist construction that maximizes breathability but still provides light padding and bar grip.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Sportful lists these features:
Stretch mesh back of hand
3D mesh palm with synthetic reinforced contact areas
Silicone printing on palm for improved grip
Stitchless bonded fingers for minimalist fit and comfort
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problems keeping them looking new even after battering them in all conditions and weathers.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Worked faultlessly at all times.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great fit, comfort and lightweight build
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There's nothing I'd change.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
A really impressive summer glove that is comfortable, durable and breathable. Excellent.
About the tester
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.