The Supacaz SupaG Long Gloves are described as 'The pinnacle of glove design. Functional in all weather and terrain conditions'. Testing them with high-end, shock-absorbent bar wrap, I've been impressed by their performance on the road. However, they are pretty minimal, essentially like a liner glove, so you'll likely need to pair them with mitts or full finger gloves for anything longer than a quick whip through the woods.
The backs are a Lycra type with subtle retro-reflective branding, and the perforated palm side is made from Clarino. This is a synthetic 'leather' which is machine washable, breathable faux hide. Silicone detailing is extensive, boding well for all-weather grip and, as I'd expect, seamless tech-friendly thumb and forefinger.
Like a liner-type model, they have a second skin fit and shallow cuffs. Sizing ranges from S-XL, and Supacaz has a very comprehensive sizing chart, removing guesswork from virtual purchases. Studying this, I wasn't surprised that L felt bespoke.
Given there's no padding, or ulnar-defending blobs, I've been pleasantly surprised by their comfort on middle distance road rides. I've cruised along for two to three hours, covering 50 miles or so, without any hint of tingling, numbness or related discomfort.
This wasn't such a surprise given my test bikes are presently sporting 3mm thick, vibration-taming silicone wrap. These also do a decent job of taming bigger shocks, associated with unmade roads and singletrack.
However, trail buzz became quite intrusive given 20 miles, inducing the mid-ride fatigue I was expecting. Thankfully, I'd packed mitts, which I slipped over. Harmony restored. On colder rides, they've also slipped inside my full-finger winter gloves (of varying thicknesses), without bunching or snagging.
A generally cool, often changeable spring proved an ideal opportunity to test the fabric's ability to retain warmth. I've ridden these distances with the mercury meandering between 7 and 14°C. Even battling some bitter easterly winds, my hands never felt cold, which was very unexpected. The Lycra backs also surprised with their ability to tame a runny nose.
They will saturate relatively quickly, given a sharp shower or more persistent rainfall, but wicked dry in similar timescale, faster with a stiff breeze. Purchase and control have been universally good, wet or dry. Most modern bar tapes tend to be quite tacky too, which helps.
However, I've often found old school glossy wraps (such as Bike Ribbon and Benotto) slippery customers, adding to the sense of fatigue after 50-60 miles or so. Thankfully, the Supa G silicone patterns encompass the palms, so I've needed to concentrate less, keeping everything on track when weather and general fatigue have been eating into my reserves.
The gloves being so thin, I wasn't surprised by their dexterity, whether rummaging through luggage, wielding multi-tools, changing tyres, using compact cameras, phones and so on. Silicone digits certainly help here, as they do in the rain.
I'd read conflicting things, some suggesting they should only be hand washed in cold water, others suggesting low temperature machine washing would be fine. Given most of us will take the machine route, I tossed ours in with my regular bike kit at 30 degrees, minimum detergent. I was initially perturbed when they emerged looking two sizes smaller, but slipping my hands inside and gently stretching everything restored their original shape.
I then hung them out to line dry. Airing cupboards should also be fine but I'd resist any urges to dump them over a radiator. Bargain on 20-25 minutes before they're wearable, or drawer bound. Exposed to the usual everyday carelessness and periodic washing hasn't made any impact upon the materials, or stitching.
While the SupaGs have done exactly what was described in the blurb, there's no getting away from the fact £35 is expensive for such a type of glove. For example, Polaris's Winter Cycling Liner Gloves feature Lycra backs and extensive Silicone detailing for £14.99 – £20 less than the SupaGs – and dhb's Roubaix Liner Gloves are cheaper still. By the same token, there are others, including these Ashmei Merino Gloves, are similarly priced, albeit made from a merino mix and with less comprehensive silicone detailing.
I've been impressed by the fit, comfort and grip afforded by the Supacaz SupaG Long Gloves. They're versatile in the sense that they perform well on their own, with mitts, when the temperature fluctuates, or beneath winter weight gloves when things turn seriously chill. However, they're not as universally good as the blurb cites. It's very likely that you are still going to want mitts or gloves, probably with padded palms, when venturing off-road for any distance.
Competent but very expensive for a liner-type glove
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Supacaz SupaG Long Gloves
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
SUPACAZ says, "The SupaG glove is the pinnacle of glove design. Functional in all weather and terrain conditions, the SupaG glove always delivers. The comfortable seamless finger tips and Clarino palm make the SupaG the perfect glove. The SupaG Long features SiliGrip technology maximizing control."
My feelings: Surprisingly competent but expensive for what is essentially a liner glove.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Aerodynamic fit
* Clarino™ Palm
* SiliGrip technology
* Conductive index finger and thumb
Good, but no less than I'd expect, especially at this end of the market.
Overall performance is good, but not necessarily better than other liner types I own and have tested.
No signs of fraying, shrinkage, or other damage to date. Machine washing is fine at 30 degrees.
Very precise, which is a good thing. Sizing guide also seems very accurate, taking the guesswork out of virtual purchases.
Bang on for me.
Despite their charms and competence, expensive for what is essentially a liner glove.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Straightforward, so long as you stick to 30 degree cycles when machine washing.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Barely noticed them, in the positive sense. Work very well beneath mitts on cooler spring rides and, indeed, full finger gloves. Thick, shock absorbing bar wraps mean they've been credible on their own for middle distance road and shorter distance dirt road/forest cut-throughs. Nonetheless, these are a liner type glove, with zero padding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great fit ensures unobtrusive pairing with other gloves, excellent grippy detailing and communicates well with touchscreen tech, compact cameras and so on.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Expensive for what is essentially a liner glove.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly, but not at full rrp.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, but not at full rrp.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Competent and likeable but very expensive for what is essentially a liner glove.
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)