When the Ana Nichoola Sorbets arrived in the office I was desperate for them to be the perfect cold season glove. Never have I seen gloves that I can happily apply the word 'beautiful' to, before now.
When we originally reviewed these gloves we got very excited that they were available in purple. They're still very good gloves, but they now only come in black. Happily, the palms are still purple.
And they still look good, with their tough softshell fabric upper and synthetic leather palms, and they do have features to back those looks up. There's subtle gel padding where you need it, reinforced webbing across the palm and on the trigger fingers to assist in durability, a snug wrist cuff and a soft nose wipe, as well as some spangly gold embroidery. Designed to be highly water and wind resistant, they're also intended to be good down to about 5°C, making them useful for all but the very coldest conditions.
The million dollar question though, is whether they lived up to their potential (and my hopes) in performance. The answer is, wait for it... mostly. The gloves are intended to be a snug fit, allowing maximum dexterity for serious riders. The fingers are a good length, even allowing enough space for what I now identify as my slightly longer than average thumbs, which made me smile almost as much as the purple colour.
However, the snug fit also applies to the fingers. Now, I've never experienced tightness here in any gloves before, so I'm not aware of having overly chunky digits, and another tester of a more recent sample reported the same problem: we both found the index fingers to be a little snug at the base. There was a little give after a few wears, but not quite enough. The result was unfortunately some constriction of blood flow, which meant that the gloves didn't deliver the levels of warmth I'd have expected.
The fabrics kept the wind out well, allowed the skin to breathe enough to prevent clamminess, and the wrist cuff was snug and cosy. Ana Nichoola do point out that the gloves should not be pulled on just by the cuff, as this puts unnecessary strain on the seams there, due to the deliberately snug fit of the gloves. The main body of the glove is tougher and more able to withstand the abuse. Dexterity was really good, with no problems at all with controls and the padding was just right, even on long rides and with a variety of bars.
The only small flaw for me was that finger tightness. If it weren't for that, I'd be stockpiling these so that I'd have a sequence of pairs ready for the rest of my life.
Fantastic gloves for autumn, spring and winter, but some might find the fingers slightly narrow at the bottom.
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Make and model: Ana Nichoola Sorbet Glove
Size tested: Purple
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aimed at female cyclists who take their riding seriously but also want to look good.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Wind and water resistant soft shell outer
Amara synthetic leather palm
Gel padding at callous and ulnar nerve points
Reinforced trigger finger tips
Reinforced palm webbing
Soft towelling nose wipe
Long ribbed wrist cuff
Machine washable cool
Very well made with good attention to detail and high quality components
Performed very well indeed apart from tightness of index finger resulting in constriction of bloodflow and resulting chill.
Should last well as long as you don't pull them on by the cuffs
A good weight for warm gloves.
Very comfortable but lost a mark for that tightness at base of index finger, which might just be me.
Superb value for versatile, wearable, high performance and incredibly pretty gloves.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed really well. The only niggle was that tightness.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
COLOUR, style, fit, warmth levels, pads
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Slight tightness at base of index fingers.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, a lot.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, but I want to be the only one with a purple pair
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Wearing these versatile cool weather gloves will quite simply make you smile. Only slightly marred by what could either be a design quirk or a physiological flaw on the part of the tester.
Age: 38 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.