The Zero CS gloves are Giro's latest version of its pro-level glove for riders who want minimalism when it comes to their hand coverings. You get a small amount of protection should you crash but with none of the ride feel from the bike taken away.
- Pros: Great breathability, excellent fit, like riding bare-handed
- Cons: Minimal crash protection, the white gets dirty quickly
Now this is my kind of glove. A pair of mitts that are so thin you lose nothing from the ride through thick gel padding, with such a good cut and fit that there is no bunching of any material or irritation from Velcro cuff fasteners. If you've read some of my other glove reviews you'll know that I often ride with bare hands because I like as close a connection to the bike as I can get, and these are about the best I've found.
With a thin mesh upper these mitts have been great during the recent heatwave, letting the breeze remove any sweat and heat from your hands as it passes over. The fabric has a close fit but with so much stretch that it moves with your hand, never feeling overly compressive.
The fingers are snug too, to stop any slippage, but the thumb gets a more relaxed fit for unlimited movement and I found the contrast very comfortable.
The fabric used for the palm isn't exactly a lot thicker than the upper but it's tough enough to offer some abrasion resistance and it's really well cut. Don't expect a whole lot of padding, though. High-wear areas, where you are going to be holding the handlebar, are covered, and the heel of your hand – the part that is likely to hit the tarmac first – has a more robust material to stop road rash.
The cuff section is quite large and uses a section of fabric with a high elastane level which fits snug. This means that once on everything stays in place so you don't need any straps or anything for retention.
On the palm side there is a small tab for pulling them on, and for removal there are finger tabs but unlike most gloves they are on the top rather than between the fingers. It's a clever design as I often find loops and the like between or beneath the fingers can get in the way when riding. You need them, too, as getting the gloves on and off can be a little tricky because of the close fit.
As usual, less costs more, but the Giros at £29.99 aren't overly expensive considering the quality and performance. In a similar vein are the Lizard Skins Aramus Elite gloves which'll set you back £25 for minimal padding. If you want some kind of shock absorbancy then there are the GC versions for £30.
Size-wise there is a good spread: S-XXL, or 178mm to 267mm palm circumference. There are quite a few colour options too: Dazzle Black Reflective, Blue Jewel, White, Black/Highlight Yellow and Black.
The only thing I'd say about the white is that they don't stay clean for very long, you'll be washing them after every ride, but fair play to them they do scrub up okay.
Very good minimalist design for those who like to feel everything coming through the handlebar
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Giro Zero CS White Cycling Mitts
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Giro says, "The Zero™ CS is the latest version of our pro-level glove for riders who want the ultimate in ventilation, control, bar feel and durability. The supple, micro-vented Cool Skin™ palm is matched with a moisture wicking 4-way stretch woven upper that offers compression and an exceptional fit, so that the glove practically disappears when you put it on. With materials that can handle being thrown in the washer after a big ride, these gloves will always be ready for race day."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Super Fit™ engineered three-panel design, Cool Skin™ palm, Microfiber heel patch
Lightweight, slip-on design, Moisture-wicking 4-way stretch woven backhand, Fingertip tear-off pockets, Highly absorbent microfiber wiping surface - 54% Nylon, 25% Spandex, 21% Polyester
Sizing was spot on to Giro's chart.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The white colour takes a lot of washing but they did come up clean every time.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They deliver exactly what Giro has specced them to do.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Barely feels like you are wearing mitts.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The white gets grubby quickly.
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
The quality, performance and fit are absolutely spot on: they're very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Over 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.