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Louis Garneau's Wind-Eco gloves are proof that winter designs needn't feel like the proverbial cardboard box getting in the way of slick shifts and smooth braking. These gloves are reckoned to have a very broad operating temperature range of between -10 and +14 degrees which pretty much makes them a three season glove for most British conditions, wind protection and moisture trafficking appear perfectly synched, retaining warmth while banishing clammy hands. I liked them a lot.
All out waterproofing isn't on par with classic laminated gloves such as the Pro-Viz reviewed recently but should be adequate for everyday road use; resisting prolonged rain and even sleet thanks to the Teflon coated Amara backs and palms. Be warned, if immersed, the Ergo Air mesh sections absorb moisture like the proverbial sponge and feel noticeably soggy as a consequence. Mercifully hands remain perfectly toasty and being thin pile, dry out within 30 minutes.
Construction is a two layer sandwich comprising an integral Dry-Tex lining drawing the moisture out while the Amara/Lycra shell stops wind and rain in their tracks. Subtlety is the buzzword here. We've the obligatory terry thumb-wipe for taming runny noses, textured palms for controlled grip and even little tags so they can be lost in pairs. Ulike the majority of gloves around at the moment, the palms are very lightly padded affairs with no trace of pronounced ulnar blobs. In practice, this wasn't an issue for me since I sometimes find such blobs uncomfortable past the two-hour mark.
Sizing is deliberately snug but I was able to wriggle into our mediums without undue effort or feeling cramped on longer rides. This coupled with articulated 'flex zone' knuckle panels ensures nifty fingers capable of mending punctures, tweaking mechs, opening energy bars and rummaging through panniers. Purchase inspires confidence across the complete zodiac of handlebar coverings-including the notoriously slippery Benotto tape. Black is a brilliant colour for close encounters with the transmission, especially since these are supposedly hand-wash only. However, stealth isn't what's needed when jockeying for position at major roundabouts or signalling along unlit B roads. Thankfully, the reflective logos and stitching offer reasonable compromise but regular night owls will want something bolder,
Great all-rounders for all but the wettest or very coldest conditions.
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Make and model: Louis Garneau Wind Eco Gloves
Size tested: Black - XL
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?
"Flex zone areas throughout the upper hand eliminate pressure points and accommodate gripping. Fabric is windproof with a Teflon finish for water repellance and extreme moisture management".
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
*Upper hand and plam: Windstop Lycra, Teflon digitalized Amara
*Teflon Digital Amara upper hand and palm
*Flex zone at knuckles
*Fitted Lycra cuff
*Drytex 3M lining
*Ergo Air concept
*Temperature: -10°C / 14°F
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The wind eco glove hits the proverbial nail on the head when it comes to a practical glove for most seasons and indeed reasons. However, more subtle scotchlite detailing would be welcomed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Good all-rounders for all but the coldest, wettest weathers.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing given their design brief.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? They would be high on my list.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, so long as they were happy to accept some minor compromises when it came to water repellence
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Strictly speaking these are hand wash only but in the interests of thorough testing, ours have passed through the washing machine on a low temperature (30 deg) cycle without undesireable side-effects.
Age: 38 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)