As Liam found with the Hirzl Grippp Light SFs, the Hirzl Grippp Tour SF gloves certainly live up to their name as the tacky nature of the leather palm gives you unbelievable grip on even the wettest and shiniest of bar tapes. Minimal padding means plenty of feel can come through the handlebar too, in a good way.
- Pros: Excellent grip levels, hardwearing palm
- Cons: Not as easy to pull off as some
I like my gloves to be simple when it comes to padding, the more minimal the better, and the Hirzls strike a lovely balance. You get a small strip under the fingers and a square section at the base of the thumb. It's the perfect layout for longer rides without actually feeling like there is any padding there at all.
This means you are still totally engaged with what the bike is doing, through the handlebar, without the high-frequency buzz associated with road noise.
The palm is made from kangaroo leather, often praised for its suppleness, and it really is a great material for glove use. I've owned cow leather mitts in the past and after wet or sweaty rides the palms can harden and need softening up again on your next ride, but you don't get any of that here.
The finish to the palm has a slightly sticky feel to it, which comes from the Grippp polymer that is added. This gives excellent grip levels on either the bar tape or the hoods. I wore these on some seriously wet rides and no matter how many bumps or whatever you hit, they aren't going to slip.
Off-road on the gravel bike I'm testing, hitting tree roots and potholes never saw me lose grip on the hoods or drops even in the wet; the grip levels are really impressive.
The upper is a synthetic Lycra which is pretty breathable, and you get a few vent holes in the palm too to let the heat out. They aren't the coolest gloves I've worn but they are fine until things get seriously hot, like 25°C and above.
The wrist is held in place by a Velcro tab which is quite small so you don't feel it digging into your skin at all when you have your arm at quite a steep angle.
The two middle fingers have tabs to aid removal when your hands are hot, but while they help, they aren't as good as the tabs on the palm side of the fingers found on the Mavic Cosmic Pro gloves I've also tested.
Quality-wise, things are pretty good. Everything is finished nicely and there are no rough edges or untidy stitching.
Against a lot of the competition the Grippps are quite pricey, but you have to remember that they are using leather rather than a synthetic palm. Saying that, though, the Prologo CPC short finger gloves have similar levels of grip using elastic polymer 'volcanoes' for suction and they are still pricier than these Grippps by a fiver.
If you want a minimal, well-made pair of mitts that have a very supple palm then these Hirzl options are some of the best out there.
Unbelievable grip levels from a very comfortable and supple pair of mitts
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Hirzl Grippp Tour SF
Size tested: L/9
Tell us what the product is for
Hirzl says, "The HIRZL GRIPPP TOUR is a true all around athlete, whether you are out for a ride on a MTB or road bike! The FormFit inserts of the palm, the LowWrist overall design, as well as the stretchable backhand membrane provides you with a unique, ergonomic fit. Thanks to the light gel padding system and the kangaroo leather palm, tanned with the HIRZL GRIPPP ™ technology, you will have everything under control on longer trips!"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Palm: Kangaroo leather / Gel padding
Backhand: Stretchable membrane / Microfleece thumb
Leather 45%, Polyurethane 30%, Nylon 20%, Other fibres 5%
XS/6, S/7, M/8, L/9, XL/10, XXL/11, XXXL/12
HIRZL GRIPPP™ TECHNOLOGY
The superior properties of the HIRZL gloves are the result of our HIRZL GRIPPP™ technology, which HIRZL is using exclusively. HIRZL created and developed the industry-leading HIRZL GRIPPP™ technology that uses an extensive tanning procedure to help provide unparalleled levels of grip and control. The HIRZL GRIPPP™ technology delivers up to 3 times more grip in dry conditions and up to 5 times more in wet or severe weather conditions than comparable leather gloves. Furthermore it ensures a sweat-free palm and a long-lasting leather performance. The kangaroo leather supports this tanning technology. Compared to other leathers the kangaroo fiber strands are more dense and lay much flatter for superior strength. These strands hold the GRIPPP polymer and deliver the permanent 'grippy' feeling to the palm.
If you use Hirzl's size guide for circumference you'll be fine. I was towards the top end of this size but still had plenty of room.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Hirzl recommends a cold hand wash and letting them dry naturally to avoid the palm drying out.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great gloves for a whole range of disciplines.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very supple palm.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The finger tabs don't really help to pull them off.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
A bit more of an outlay than those mitts with a synthetic palm, with many ranging from the low £20s to mid-£30s, but worth the extra for the use of kangaroo leather.
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
Really supple and comfortable mitts with the quality to justify the price.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
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.