These mid-weight Countdown III gloves are the most expensive in Gore Bike Wear’s range and they do a good job of keeping your hands dry in wet weather.
First things first: are they properly waterproof? Well, I’ve been on a few extremely wet rides wearing these, including the Bristol Belter sportive where it rained from start to finish, and my hands have got damp only after well over an hour. We reckon that’s got more to do with sweat building up on the inside rather than rain getting through the Gore-Tex insert. They’re impressively breathable as waterproof gloves go, but we don’t know of anywhere the atmosphere doesn’t get humid sooner or later if you are producing plenty of heat. Take the Countdown’s off once the inside is damp and it’s a struggle to get them back on again but, that aside, these are really good gloves.
They’re fairly low bulk and offer a middling level of warmth. You probably wouldn’t want to head out in freezing conditions wearing these unless you have something like silk liner gloves underneath, but they’re fully windproof, come with polyester insulation, and have a fleecy inner, so they can handle temperatures well down into single figures without much trouble. My cut off point for using these is about 3-4°C, but that’ll come down to the individual.
The cuffs aren’t the longest ever but they reach just over your wrists so you shouldn’t have much trouble getting some overlap with your sleeves, and the hook-and-loop closure allows you to fine-tune things there. The textured polyurethane palms grip damp handlebars and hoods well, a small amount of padding adds a degree of protection, although you’ll need track mitts on too if you want real cushioning. A large reflective panel on the little finger and reflective logos are a handy addition for night riding.
You can get waterproof gloves considerably cheaper, but these are built to last. After a couple of months they're still looking brand new.
Mid-weight waterproof gloves that are well-made and durable
road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore Bike Wear Countdown III gloves
Size tested: Black, 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?
Gore Bike Wear say, "Versatile rain protection for the hands. These light GORE-TEX® gloves are an essential accessory for mountain courses and longer cycle tours in the rain."
Although they're listed in Gore's off-road category, we've been wearing them on the road.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 40 Height: 190cm Weight: 74kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, sportives, general fitness riding,
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.