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If understated minimalist looks allied to great performance appeals to you, then these Seal Skinz mitts may be just what you are after.
Snug Lycra backs with ventilation triangles work surprisingly well to stop your hands getting sweaty-even extended riding in very warm weather failed to leave my hands clammy and uncomfortable while the substantial terry thumbs soak up sweaty brows and runny noses in a stroke. Clarino palms are broadly similar to Amara and other synthetics just with a more pronounced grain winning by a nose when it comes to grip-especially in the wet and with glossy bar wrap. However, dexterity when performing more intricate tasks such as refitting chains wasn’t on a par with some I’ve tested recently.
Similarly, sizing is quite deceptive, they’re a very snug cut but sizing is surprisingly generous-our medium test pair would’ve passed for large in most other brands so either try before buying or go a size smaller than usual. Clever loops on the middle and ring fingers make removal a more dignified affair than most yet don’t seem to catch or otherwise intrude when riding. Reflective Scotchlite detailing on the Velcro closures are a nice touch- drawing attention to hand signals around dusk.
The discrete (and arguably compulsory) gel sections strike the right balance between comfort and feel, moulding to the drops, insulating against road and moderate trail shock very effectively without signs of compression. While capable trail performers, aided by the practicality of subtle colours, thin backs and exposed thumbs don’t afford the same level of protection as mtb specific models against aggressive or unruly foliage, but then the Seal Skinz are a road mitt.
Great Value mitts with superb comfort and attention to detail
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Make and model: Seal Skinz fingerless cycle glove
Size tested: M
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?
These are a generic cycling mitt boasting pleny of smart detailing and a very, very good synthetic gel pad - looks are either cooly minimalist or a bit plain according to taste.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lycra backs wit mesh ventilation triangles, Clarino synthetic leather palms imptregnated with gel strips.
Good in most conditions.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, these performed very well on long, steady road miles or faster paced trails with the pad providing excellent insulation from road and trail buzz.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Excellent palm, good fit and removal loops.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Styling was a bit plain, but there were others in the road.cc offices who took quite the opposite view.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
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, mtb,
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)