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Santini's Brisk Race Mitts are a very comfortable set of low-bulk mitts that give a natural feel of the handlebar while providing just enough cushioning. The back is highly breathable and the price beats many for value.
Finding a good pair of race mitts isn't that easy. Everyone seems to like a different amount of padding and I fall into the group that prefers as little as possible. Mitts also need to be breathable to prevent overly sweaty hands and protect the palms in the event of a crash.
Santini's latest pair are really well thought out. The design is very simple and the fit is spot on. A mesh back is well stitched to a palm that has a little bit of gel under a grippy surface. And personally, I'm glad Santini has chosen to use some small pull tabs instead of a Velcro strap to aid getting the mitts on and off.
The mesh back is made from 'Spider Micromesh'. This hasn't made my hands too hot and it dries very quickly. In fact, these gloves have been perfect for the hot summer months, allowing the air to quickly dry the sweat wicked by the Spider-Mesh. The fabric is also soft and has stayed that way through many washes.
The hem is closed very simply, with Santini just folding the material over internally and stitching it down. I think that this both looks good and functions well, with very little to catch on things, which should also improve durability.
The palm is perforated for a little added breathability. Usually, I'm not a fan of gel padding; it mostly comes in bulky patches that dull the feeling from the bars. But Santini has done very well, keeping this padding thin and unobtrusive. All it does is take a little sting out of poor road surfaces.
Getting these gloves on and off is pretty easy despite the lack of a Velcro opening. I'm not a fan of Velcro closures anyway, I find they tend to irritate. Seeing as the fit is great – nice and close with no tight spots – I'm glad to have the two tabs between the fingers, but I think they could have done without the wrist tab. You can easily cut this off, though.
Size-wise, the large fitted me comfortably, although my 9cm-wide palm could squeeze into the medium for a closer fit. Sizes range from S-XL, with classic colour options of black and white alongside some brighter numbers like this flashy orange. The colour has remained vibrant and there are no stains on them.
At £23, these are better value than a lot of other good options. Giro's Zero CS Mitts, with a similarly minimal pad and no Velcro, are well reviewed but a little more expensive at £29.99, and even Lizard Skin's unpadded-but-Velcro-fastened Aramus Elites are £25.
Comfortable, well made, good fit and a great palm – and also pretty good value
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Santini Brisk Race Mitt
Size tested: Orange Large 2018
Tell us what the product is for
Santini says that this is a race mitt but I've found them to be excellent for a range of ride types. They're definitely just for the summer though, the airflow is really good.
Santini says, "Much more than a simple glove. Aero and comfortable, and specially engineered to give you an edge. A smooth ride is guaranteed by the shock-absorbing gel in the palm. With the breathable back in Spider micromesh ensuring supreme comfort. Maintain a secure hold with the non-slip suede gripper on the palm. Removal is effortless with inserts on the index and middle finger.
"Made in Italy."
The stitching is neat and I've not seen any pulled or loose threads.
These soak up road buzz effectively and the fit gives you comfort on longer rides.
With the frequency of washing, I'm happy to say that they haven't suffered any pulled threads.
I find some mitts too tight at the knuckle but the Spider Mesh is stretchy and gives a great fit.
I could have squeezed into the medium but my large pair were comfortable with no tight spots.
The lack of closure system keeps the weight down to just 26g. What I'd expect for mitts.
Just enough vibration damping without any bulk. Spot on.
Very good. Other premium mitts are nudging north of £30.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy. I washed at 40°C or 30°C and then tumble dried with no adverse effects.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. They protected my hands and were comfortable to wear for long rides.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The incorporation of gel into the palm without spoiling the feel from the bars is great. You get just enough to kill the road buzz.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Being picky here but I'd cut off the wrist tab and branding label.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Cheaper than high-end mitts with comparable, if not better, performance.
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
These are a happy medium between gel-padded gloves and the minimalist feel of no gloves, with only the slightly annoying brand tag and the unneeded wrist pull tab detracting from the overall package, both of which I would cut off.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.