Technology transfer: it's big in sports these days. Look to Formula One for aerodynamic advice on your frame; sailing for your waterproof fabrics and such. Golf would never have something to offer, though, would it? Well, apparently so. Hirzl, who make both these full-finger Gripp Tour FF riding gloves, and a mitt-style version too. And, guess what their USP is? Yup. Simply put, once on the bars, your hands aren't going anywhere.
The palms are made from kangaroo leather (I'm 99% sure it was taken from Grippy the Bush Kangaroo... yup. Fire me now), which is then submitted to a special grip-enhancing treatment. This leaves them smooth, soft and in danger of sticking to anything they touch. It really is remarkable. The manufacturers claim that they're three times more grippy in the dry and five times more grippy in the wet. As noted in the previous review, Road.cc doesn't own a gripometer, but I'm not inclined to dispute the figures.
What does this actually mean, though? Well, good grip makes sense in full-finger gloves more than mitts, though I still fumbled with an unfamiliar track pump. There was noticeably more feeling than other full-finger gloves, and the grip means you can use your touchscreen phone without taking them off. Plus mid-ride pee breaks were also possible sans degloving. The grippiness meant that little sucker wasn't going to get away.
A glove cannot, however, exist on grip alone. So, putting that aside, the gloves are very well made. Turns out kangaroo leather is a lovely material, and it's nicely stitched to the light synthetic fabric that makes up the back of the glove. The ends of the fingers are also well finished - no annoying seams where there often are on other lightweight full-finger gloves. I liked the low profile on the wrists, and there's a large terry-towel snot section on each glove, but I couldn't see any evidence of the pull loops to help you take the gloves off that we admired in the mitts (which are nonetheless included in the manufacturer's blurb). The padding on the gloves is light, but it's well placed, on the heel of the hand, pinky side, and across the base of the other fingers. I rode long in these gloves a few times and I didn't experience any discomfort or twinges - but you may prefer something more substantial.
Two qualifying remarks to make, which sort of call these gloves very existence into question. Firstly, while they are tough, they are extremely lightweight, and the synthetic back is not hugely water- or wind-resistant. Admittedly, the full fingers do provide a little warmth and protection, but, I couldn't help thinking they didn't provide much bad-weather advantage over the mitts. Secondly, the grip thing. OK, it's their raison d'etre, but is lack of grip in gloves really such a problem? In terms of problem solving, it seems to me a bit like using a flamethrower to light a candle.
I suspect that these things might mean I'm not an ideal user. I'd look for something a bit warmer in a full-finger commuting or road glove - but they'd probably be excellent for more technical riding and trails. You may feel different, and there's no denying these gloves are smart, tough, comfy and, yes, grippy.
Great, grippy full-finger gloves, but, while you won't slip off the bars while wearing them, they're not going to keep your hands that toasty on the morning commute. The idea of the mitts, to me, makes more sense.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Hirzl Gripp Tour FF
Size tested: Black/White/Red - 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?
"After having successfully introduced the TRUST golf gloves to the market some 2 years ago, HIRZL now expanded their competence to cycling gloves and developed the GRIPPP TOUR gloves, available as short finger (SF) and full finger gloves (FF).
The superior properties of these gloves are the result of the innovative GRIPPP technology that encompasses an elaborate tanning process of finest kangaroo leather. This special treatment guarantees GRIPPP TOUR SF and FF gloves up to 3 times more grip in dry conditions, and up to 5 times more grip in wet conditions. Features such as the breathable membrane on the back of the hand, the extremely light gel padding system, form-fit inlays in the palms, a low-wrist design and HIRZL's unique removal system make these gloves the perfect choice for on and off road biking.
The cycling gloves promise excellent fit, superb feel for precise steering and unrivalled grip in any weather."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Natural Kangaroo leather palms treated with the unique GRIPPP™ technology.
Extremely light gel padding system
Thumb terry wipe zone
Form Fit inlays in the palms
Low Wrist design 6 and HIRZL's proprietary pull-on and pull-off system
Full finger design"
Grip yes, control yes, warmth not so much.
Looking good so far.
They're lovely gloves, with light padding. Worked for me - but you may prefer heavier padding.
Not cheap, but their material and technical aspects probably justify this.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very grippy, good control, comfy.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Not very insulating.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Not sure - I'm probably not their ideal user
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes- for certain uses
About the tester
I usually ride: Cinelli Strato road or fixed commuter hack. 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: commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,