There’s no doubt these Protective road mitts live up to their name. Gel inserts and copious padding is everywhere these days but Protective's meticulous attention to detail distinguishes them from the competition.
Amara is a very practical and increasingly popular leather substitute and for good reason: it requires no feeding or proofing and can be popped in with the normal wash without shrinking or cracking. It provides a confident grip on even the wet, slippery bike ribbon like that presently adorns my Rough Stuff Tourer. Vented Lycra backs combine comfort and unrestricted airflow and while strictly speaking a road mitt, offer decent protection from foliage should you enjoy a ride on the wild side every now and then.
A generous acreage of terry material takes care of runny noses while the black livery with red and white detailing will complement almost anyone’s wardrobe. It all seems very run of the mill until you look closer at the extensive gel cushioning. Not only is there pronounced protection of the Ulnar nerve but also the carpal and meta-carpel areas. Rather than a single pad, gel pockets are strategically positioned to relieve pressure across the hand.
The Protective mitts offered excellent grip in all weathers and insulated my hands from road and trail buzz for several continuous hours. Cut is generous and longer fingers give greater protection to the knuckles without overly compromising dexterity when performing roadside adjustments, rummaging through a pannier or taking photographs. Caught in a shower, the prevalence of Lycra and cloth material means they absorb moisture quite readily but dry faster than the classic leather/crochet type. These aren't the cheapest mitts you'll find but they’ll quickly repay their investment if you’re prone to discomfort.
Sharp detailing coupled with more strategic pressure relief gives these a slight edge over outwardly similar mitts.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Protective Freestyle mitt
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?
These are a high end road mitt designed for racing, audax and other road use but they've sufficient padding and length in the fingers to entertain moderate trail riding too.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Amara fingers coupled with vented Lycra mesh, terry thumb and an effective, if unusual gel padded palm make for a very comfortable, easy care mitt.
Excellent build quality and detailing.
Very well made and short of a big spill should last a few seasons.
Reasonable given the level of specification.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Excellent grip and feel come rain or shine and more extensive padding contributes to comfort over rougher roads and prolonged periods.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort, build quality and understated good looks.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Cut felt a bit generous in places
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
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)