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Verdict: 
Comfortable gloves especially ideal for those long, steady day rides
Weight: 
40g

The Chiba Gel Comfort Active Eco-Line Mitts come with plenty of padding to reduce road buzz and take the edge off rough surfaces. If you suffer from pins and needles on the bike then these might be just  the gloves you need.

  • Pros: Comfortable, firm padding; cool in the heat
  • Cons: Overly large finger loops; a bit rough around the edges

I'm not a big fan of loads of padding in gloves, normally because it is quite soft and can squidge and shift around the palm of your hand once you are gripping the handlebar.

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The Chibas are different, though, as the padding here is quite firm. The material used is 'poron XRD', which, it's claimed by the company that makes it, will absorb 90% of any impact. This makes the Eco-Line mitts a very good choice if you spend time off-road or on gravel tracks.

chiba_gel_comfort_active_eco-line_mitt_-_palm.jpg

That firmness means the padding stays exactly where it is and still provides plenty of feedback from the bike to your hands.

It's thick, too, a good couple of millimetres, to keep the palm of your hand raised off the bar to stop compression of both your ulnar and carpal nerves, as reducing blood flow here brings on the dreaded pins and needles.

It's not perfect; if I was really gripping the bar tightly in a race situation or on a bit of technical terrain I would get a little bit of tingling in my fingers after a while. When just riding around normally, though, with a relaxed grip, I could cruise along in comfort without issue.

> Read more road.cc reviews of cycling mitts here

Across the middle of the palm you get a small section of softer, thinner padding than that used at the bottom of the hand; there is also a small section running across beneath the fingers.

The synthetic leather palm looks to be hardwearing and provides plenty of grip against any bar tape.

For the back of the hand you get a couple of different materials. Across the knuckles the Chibas use a mesh fabric that allows a cool breeze to flow through, so even though these mitts are black they never felt overly hot.

chiba_gel_comfort_active_eco-line_mitt_-_back_of_hand.jpg

It's good to see that the top of the thumb has a snot/sweat wipe, and then the rest of the glove just uses a standard Lycra which provides a close fit.

The mitts are available in a range from S-XXL. The mediums here should cover a hand circumference of 20.3-21.6cm; I am bang on the top of that and the gloves were a bit snug around the fingers, so it might be wise to go up a size if you're near the upper limit.

To remove the mitts you get a couple of finger loops on each hand. While they are undoubtedly useful for getting them off sweaty hands, they are quite large which means they can get trapped between the glove and handlebar, which isn't the most comfortable.

chiba_gel_comfort_active_eco-line_mitt_-_detail.jpg

The Chibas have an rrp of £19.99 which isn't bad, the same as the excellent Altura Sportive 97 mitts but a lot cheaper than the likes of Wearwell's Revivals at £46 or Northwave's Evolutions for £34.99. The average price for mitts looks to be around the £25 mark.

For the money, the Chibas are of a decent enough quality, although there is a bit of loose stitching here and there plus around the finger ends they look a bit scruffy. They look to be long lasting and durable across the board, though, so I'd say they're definitely worth a look.

Verdict

Comfortable gloves especially ideal for those long, steady day rides

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Chiba Gel Comfort Active Eco-Line Mitt

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Chiba says, "Artificial leather means genuine comfort. The Gel Comfort Active Eco-Line Mitts from Chiba will make your hands very happy indeed.

"Featuring padding in just the right places to keep your hands comfortable for longer, the Chiba Gel Comfort Active Eco-Line Mitts feature a robust palm made of artificial leather, so you can experience luxury ethically. The perfect fit is provided by an elastic tophand, terry towelling on the thumbs allows you to keep your brow and eyes clear from sweat, and a quick-pull system for taking the gloves on and off with true ease."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

From Chiba:

Elastic tophand materials for perfect fit

Robust palm made of fine artificial leather

Additional palm material of durable polysuede

Terry Towelling thumb to wipe away sweat

Quick-pull system helps to take gloves off

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
6/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
7/10

I was right on the upper limit of medium so I'd probably be better off going up a size.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
7/10

If you are near the upper suggested hand circumference it'd be worth going up a size.

Rate the product for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

They came out of the washing machine absolutely fine with no shrinkage or other issues.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very comfortable for the majority of riding.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Firm padding.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Large finger loops.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

On the whole the Chibas offer plenty of comfort at a decent price; it's just the finger loops that could do with refining for me.

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 39  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!