The dhb Aeron Short Finger Gel Gloves have thick padding that stops road buzz but limits the feel of the bars. For me the fit was slightly off, and the construction isn't great, but the mesh back is breathable, which is good.
- Pros: Mesh back is breathable and quick to wick sweat
- Cons: Overly thick padding, uncomfortable Velcro cuff closure, poor construction compared with similar-priced options
Gloves are an important part of your cycling kit. They can help to reduce road buzz, stop you from getting blisters on your palms and in the event of a crash prevent too much damage to the skin.
For a long time, I only wore gloves when racing because of the likelihood of crashes. Now I tend to wear them on any group ride, but I much prefer thinner palm padding to give as much feel of the handlebar as possible. I found the 4mm-deep gel padding on the Aeron mitts excessive; although it does indeed fulfil its aim to reduce road buzz, that's something I've found can be achieved with much thinner padding.
For me, the thick padding felt especially weird when I had my hands on the hoods. I didn't feel that I could use the levers as easily as I normally would. I also felt that this thickness made the mitts suffer in wet weather. There are good silicone grippers on the large gel pad, but nothing on the rest of the palm. While this gave good grip when on the hoods, it didn't contact the bar tape when my hands were on either the tops or the drops.
The Velcro closure system is another gripe. Generally, I don't feel that they're needed, and especially so here alongside the high stretch of the mesh fabric that makes up the back of each glove. At the fingers the gloves fit nice and close, but the wrist simply has too much material for me, and to get it to fit I had to extend the Velcro strap past the end of the plastic part, causing the strap to curl up at the end. Of course, your wrists might be bigger than mine, but it's something to bear in mind if you're more pipe-cleaner than Popeye.
With my hands on the top of the handlebar, that Velcro closure system would also dig into the skin slightly. It's not an issue for short periods of time, but after a few hours it's really annoying.
Construction could also be improved. I recently tested the Santini Brisk Race Mitts. They're cheaper at £23 and very well made. The Aeron mitts have loads of exposed ends on the stitches and there was the occasional missed stitch too.
The Santinis would be my recommendation if you want to reduce road buzz to your hands without losing feel at the bar. They've got a thinner section of gel padding that works just as well but also gives you more control of the bar.
It's not all bad, though – there are some good points to these gloves. The mesh fabric that makes up the back of each is soft and wicks sweat well. After several washes, the fabric has remained soft. It also has a good amount of stretch, which gives you a good fit at the fingers and around the knuckles.
Sizes range from XS-XXL and there are four colour options: red, white, black and blue.
Overall, if you like your gloves with thick padding and you have bigger wrists than me, you might get on better with these than I did. But even ignoring my personal preferences, the poor construction means it's hard for me to fully recommend them.
Nice mesh back but the gel padding is bulky and limits bar feel; stitching quality isn't high either
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Aeron Short Finger Gel Gloves
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
From dhb: "dhb Aeron Short finger Gel Gloves are a sleek pair of gloves offering protection via targeted 4mm Gel Foam padding. The adjustable cuff design makes for easy fitting with finger pulls for easy removal. Silicone palm prints helps keep you in control."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
60% Polyamide (Nylon), 20% Polyurethane, 15% Polyester, 5% Elastane (Spandex)
The exposed ends of the stitching look a bit poor quality compared to rivals.
They do stop all road buzz so they meet that claim, but they feel bulky on the bike. You might like that.
The stitching might be poor, but it seems to be holding.
dhb has used a Velcro strap, but the wrist is still miles too big for me.
These are the right size at the fingers, but they're too big at the wrists.
Not bad for mitts with gel padding.
They score points as they stopped all road buzz, but they lose points for the Velcro strap digging into my skin when my hands were on the tops.
There are plenty of mitts around this price, but these seem poorly made compared to cheaper alternatives.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The Velcro strap has curled up which looks very untidy. This happened after the first wash.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They dull all road buzz so that's good, but you lose all feel of the bars. That's not so great.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The mesh fabric is good. You get good stretch and fast sweat-wicking.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
That padding is way too thick for my liking. You lose all feel of the handlebar.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're a little cheaper and lighter than the Lizard Skins Aramus GC Gloves and Altura Progel 3s, but more expensive and heavier than the Santini Brisk Race Mitts.
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Not unless they like lots of padding – but there are cheaper options.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Fit is subjective, so these might suit you better than they did me, and you might also like the thicker padding. But the quality of the stitching and the fact that they're more expensive than better rivals leads me to an overall rating of 'average'. The mesh fabric is good, so dhb could turn these into much better mitts.
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. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.