Speccialized's BG Pro Leather Cycling Mitts are really high-quality gloves with gel padding that's well positioned to avoid numb hands.
The tops are made from two different types of mesh, one of them very stretchy, while you get a soft panel on the back of each thumb for wiping away sweat and snot and anything else that comes your way. Cool air can easily get through the mesh areas and that wipe is perforated for more ventilation so your hands stay reasonably cool even on high-effort rides in the sun.
The palms are made from soft, supple Pittards leather that has stood up well to plenty of use and gradually shaped itself to my hands. I've been using these on and off for months, including under thicker gloves over the winter, and those palms and the stitching are looking good for plenty more action yet. The leather has got shinier than it was to begin with but it isn't at all worn.
All the gel padding is on the heel of your hand. That is exactly where you need it for protecting your ulnar nerve and avoiding numbness. You might miss the comfort of cushioning across the centre of the palm – personally, I like a bit of padding there on long rides, especially if the bar tape is wearing a bit thin – but that's a matter of personal preference. Some people will prefer the greater bar feel that you get with these. It's the fact that you get the padding over the sensitive nerves that really counts.
I also like the fact that these gloves fit just over your hands without extending at all up to your wrists, and the absence of Velcro tabs. When I do have gloves with Velcro on, I inevitably catch it on my jersey – or on the gloves themselves when I take them off.
The leather goes through the washing machine fine, or you can just give them a quick rinse in the shower.
High-quality gloves with Pittards leather palms and padding that's well placed to avoid numbness
road.cc test report
Make and model: Specialized BG Pro Leather Cycling Mitts
Size tested: Black & Red - Medium
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?
Specialized say, "This ultra-light, slip-on racing glove is our most supple and ventilated for enhanced precision and control; perfect for high-intensity efforts."
They list these features:
- BG Gel technology reduces hand numbness by relieving pressure on the sensitive ulnar nerve
- Pittards leather offers incredibly supple bar feel and great breathability
- Stretchable, durable mesh top is soft and breathable
- Minimal padding increases feel for precision and control
- Slip-on wrist cuff fits comfortably without inhibiting movement
- Soft, absorbent Microwipe thumb for brushing away sweat
Although these are designed for high intensity riding - hence that breathable mesh on the back – they're as suitable for touring and audax as they are for racing and sportives.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The gel padding to avoid any ulnar nerve numbness.
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: 41 Height: 190cm Weight: 75kg
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, club rides, 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.