GripGrab's Ride Waterproof Winter Gloves are a great option for cycling in deep winter. The outer will fend off persistent rain, while inside is a very soft liner, with loads of warm material in between. Breathability isn't great on milder days, and my hands got quite sweaty as the temperatures nudged over 6°C.
- Pros: Properly waterproof, really warm down to freezing, comfortable
- Cons: Breathability isn't great, only usable when very cold
Possibly the worst weather to tackle as a cyclist is when the rain and cold combine. My hands have gone from cold to blocks of ice far too many times, so gloves that work are well worth the money for me.
GripGrab's Ride series has been designed with a 'back to basics approach', aiming to bring high performance down to a sensible price point. With prices going ever higher for diminishing performance returns, this is an approach that I'm happy to welcome.
The range covers different weights of gloves and overshoes to suit different conditions, and these waterproof winter gloves are made for the harshest conditions. The gloves are made up with a waterproof outer layer, fleecy inner and a medium weight thermal layer.
The Stormproof outer layer is the main feature for me, giving the gloves that all-important waterproofness. The big plus here is that this layer works really well. I had the gloves out during some very heavy rain and my hands remained perfectly dry, even on my longest four-hour rides.
The downside to this waterproofing is reduced breathability. For me, anything but the coolest temperatures meant that my hands started sweating – though I'm far happier with slightly sweaty hands than cold digits. That said, my hands are pretty good in cold weather so you may get more use out of them in milder temperatures if you're prone to cold hands.
When not being rained on, I was really happy with how the gloves felt. The grip from the silicone print is good on dry and wet hoods, and because of the thin but effective insulation, you get good dexterity and a great feel for the brakes and shifters. That silicone grip also extends to the tips of the first two fingers, for better traction on the levers.
The 4mm thick Doctor Gel pad is comfortable and well placed, although I'd happily do without it. The touchscreen compatible thumb tip works okay, but you'll likely be pulling these off to text.
The windproofing is also very good. Head down a fast descent and there is no hint of cold air hitting the hands, even when the temperature is really low. The gloves kept me comfortable down towards freezing.
A big Velcro tab closes the high cuff easily. It's easy to do on the move, so you can pop these on if it starts chucking it down. The cuff is also quite wide when open, making it easy to get these over a few layers. The length of the cuff works well with jackets, no matter whether you tuck the cuff under the gloves or over the top.
The liner is really soft and fleecy, and with dry hands it's easy to get the gloves on. The only issue comes with sweaty hands. This can pull the liner out a little when removing the gloves, and it can then take a little wriggling to get them back on.
Sizing is smaller than the size guide would suggest. Around the knuckles, my hands are 20.8cm, a medium according to GripGrab, but the large that I tested were a perfect fit, so I'd recommend sizing up.
At £55.95, these are bordering on expensive (although that's still pretty good value compared with some we've tested of late). It's annoying, as I'd love to have seen a properly affordable price point to match GripGrab's claim for the Ride range. You'll be really happy with the performance, but Madison's Avalanche gloves are only £32.99 and reviewed very well.
If you're looking for gloves to fend off the worst of a rainy UK winter, then these are a great option. The breathability might not be the best out there, but this slight flaw is overshadowed by the brilliant performance in the cold and wet.
Warm and waterproof, they're great for cold and rainy rides
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road.cc test report
Make and model: GripGrab Ride Waterproof Winter Gloves
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
From GripGrab: "The Ride Waterproof is a fully waterproof and windproof winter glove with excellent insulating properties. It features a Velcro gauntlet closure that is long enough to overlap with jackets and slim enough to fit underneath the sleeves. DoctorGel padding in the palm adds comfort on longer rides and a touchscreen-enabled thumb allows the rider to answer a phone. Reflective graphics improve safety when riding in the dark."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
DoctorGel® 4 mm
Silicone enhanced grip
Touch screen compatibility
Heavy rain protection
Waterproof and windproof
Solidly stitched with no irritation points.
Brilliant in cold weather and rain. A little sweaty when the temperatures become milder.
Used extensively, been through multiple washes, and come out still performing very well.
These are snug and really nice to wear. The cuff is nicely long and the fingers well proportioned.
Sized up smaller than the guide. Size up one.
They're winter gloves; I'd rather they were warm than light.
Very soft liner makes these very comfortable to wear.
You'll be pleased with what you get, but there are very good and much cheaper options.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Wash at 40°C and don't tumble dry. Just like all cycling kit these days.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For cold, wet rides, these are brilliant.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The performance in the rain is brilliant. You can ride in the heaviest downpours and your hands will remain dry.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The cost – it doesn't match GripGrab's aim of bringing performance down to a sensible price. These are still 60 quid!
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Expensive compared with Madison's Avalanche gloves, which also perform very well.
Did you enjoy using the product? Loved them on the coldest rides.
Would you consider buying the product? If discounted, then yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, especially one who suffers with cold hands.
Use this box to explain your overall score
These are great gloves for a UK winter of cold winter rides, though breathability isn't so good for milder days and the price is a lot higher than rivals that also do a great job.
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.