Any rider who cycles year-round tends to have a plethora of gloves for every weather condition and temperature range. The one that was missing for me was a full-on deep-winter design – until now, that is. When the temperature reaches freezing the Gore Universal Gore-Tex Thermo Gloves keep on going, keeping out the best that Mother Nature can throw at them. Truly awesome!
It was -6°C according to my Garmin, and my evening's ride was being cut short as my leg muscles, feet and face weren't really feeling the love. My hands, though, they were toasty as hell. Normally at this temperature I'd be using a pair of liners but the Gore Thermos weren't even struggling.
Gore-Tex has long been renowned for its wind stopping properties and it's a great first defence against the cold. These Thermo versions go a step further, offering an extra lining. The downside is that they aren't the most breathable – especially at temperatures above 5°C – but until you take them off you don't really notice it.
Even if you take them off for a quick bike repair and the dampness turns to cold, as soon as you put the gloves back on they are warm within seconds. Another highlight is that the lining stays put, unlike with so many gloves. No trying to push everything back into position at the side of the road here.
Gore-Tex is also waterproof too, plenty of testing in a rain swept January has proved that. Water will eventually get in if the cuffs aren't covered, but a good waterproof jacket with long sleeves will stop that happening.
Another big plus of the Gore's is comfort. Even though they are quite a big glove they never feel like it. Changing gear and braking isn't hindered, and you have enough dexterity to get things out of your jersey pockets. Finger length is pretty generous too.
You get a hard-wearing palm made from a synthetic leather which is standing up well so far to daily abuse, and offers plenty of grip in the wet even with shiny bar tapes. Padding is minimal but plentiful all at the same time, if you know what I mean – sufficient: you get exactly what you need, where you need it. An eight-hour ride certainly never left me with any ill effects.
As far as the build quality goes, you can't fault them. All the stitching is tight and I haven't felt a single seam go when taking them on and off.
Sixty quid might seem expensive for a pair of gloves, but here I think it's a good investment: they're extremely comfortable and should last well.
An absolute must for anyone who suffers from cold hands. Proper toasty and excellent quality
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore Universal Gore-Tex Thermo Gloves
Size tested: XL, Black
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 says, "A glove designed for riders requiring an insulated GORE-TEX® glove that offers the highest levels of rain and wind protection and is covered by the lifetime 'Guaranteed To Keep You Dry®' GORE-TEX® promise."
The Gore Universal certainly live up to the hype, they are the warmest gloves I've ever worn.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Palm with synthetic leather
Absorbent material on thumb for wiping away perspiration
Foam padding on palm
Velcro width adjustment
Reflective insert on little finger
Strong stitching and well put together, plus little extras like the fact that the lining stays put when you take them off really makes them shine.
As far as keeping the water out and keeping the warmth in, the Universal Gore-Tex Thermos are hard to fault. Only the fact that they aren't the most breathable stops them getting a full 10.
A decent hard wearing palm means they should last.
Brilliant fit. They offer plenty of dexterity and are cut close without being tight.
The sizing was spot on in relation to the size chart.
For thick gloves they aren't at all weighty.
Good value considering the quality and performance. You can get them about 20 quid cheaper online too.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
A simple 30 degree wash and leave to dry naturally and they are as good as new.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Absolutely brilliantly. They are lovely to wear, fit nicely and are very warm.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Warmth even at -6°C.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Can get a bit clammy above 5°C.
Did you enjoy using the product? A resounding yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
I have a huge range of gloves for all weathers and temperatures but I've never had a pair that would keep my hands warm at such a low temperature without having to resort to liner gloves. They're not just good, they're exceptional. Even though they are quite bulky they don't feel it thanks to a superb cut and flexible material. True they can be a bit too warm, but this doesn't detract from how good they are.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Mason Definition
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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.