Giro helmets are well known, but this brand also produces a wide range of padded fingerless gloves (or 'mitts') including these Bravo Juniors for the bike-keen offspring in your family. They're well-constructed, look very nice and are comfortable to wear, but they don't provide a huge amount of padding.
Kids' hands are more delicate than adults' hands, and short arms have less in-built damping, so mitts like these Bravo Juniors provide a vital layer of comfort and protection against road vibrations coming up through the handlebars, which makes cycling more enjoyable for the littl'uns.
They also protect tiny hands from scuffs and grazes in the tumbles that are inevitable when kids are still honing their bike-riding skills.
The Bravo Juniors have a stretchy fabric upper and a synthetic leather palm made from four separate panels. Along the outer edge of the thumb the fabric is faux suede for wiping glasses and noses on the move. The base of the mitt opens wide, so they're easy to put on, and there's an extra bit of padding on the side of the palm opposite the thumb.
Given the number of panels and various materials involved, the construction quality is very good. The cut is precise, so the mitts fit closely on the hands and around the wrist without being tight, and seams are all neat with no loose threads.
To test these Bravo Juniors, your correspondent's children were pressed into service. The ooohs and aahhs when first seeing the mitts indicate that style and colours are very good.
When it comes to actually riding the bike, for short distances or messing about in the park these Bravo Juniors were fine. However, for longer rides, especially if the route involved slightly rough surfaces such as forestry tracks, canal paths or former railways lines (not uncommon when cycling with the kids) we found these mitts needed more padding on the palm, especially in the area around the base of the thumb.
A pair of Bravo Juniors costs £14.99 – which is more expensive than kids' mitts from some other manufacturers (mostly going for £5 to £10) although the quality of manufacturing on the Giros is high. However, it's a tenner less than the adult version of the Giro Bravo, which has a lot more padding across the palm.
Extra padding to the palm of the kids' version would presumably add to the cost, and some parents might understandably baulk at spending getting on for twenty quid on a pair of mitts that the kids will soon grow out of. Whether these Bravo Juniors are right for the budding Hoy or Armitstead in your family depends on the type and amount of riding they do.
Stylish, well-constructed and comfortable, but not cheap – and kids doing longer rides might need extra padding.
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Make and model: Giro Bravo Jr
Size tested: Yellow/black
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 fingerless gloves, designed for warm-weather riding, and aimed at kids. Giro's UK distributor's website says: "The young ones need a short finger for the road and any hot days ... the Bravo JR delivers the performance and protection for summer days on the bike".
Leaving aside the odd terminology, this pretty much sums up the mitts' main attributes.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The website goes on to highlight the following features: "Giro Super fit ergonomics for comfort and performance; Moisture wicking, 4-way stretch, breathable upper; Clarino synthetic leather palm; Padded palm; Highly absorbent microfiber wiping surface; Wide opening Velcro closure for easy on and off".
The quality of construction seems very good. Some kiddie kit tends to be cheap and cheerful, but on these Giro Bravo Juniors the cut is precise so the mitts fit well. The seams are all neat with no loose threads.
For shorter rides on smoother roads these mitts are very good. For longer rides on rougher surfaces, more padding on the palm is needed.
Based on the quality of the construction (and baring no major road-spills to wear through the palms), it's likely your kids will grow out of the Bravo Juniors before the mitts themselves wear out.
For shorter rides on smoother roads these mitts are very comfortable. For longer rides or rougher surfaces, more padding on the palm is needed.
Compared to kiddie mitts from other manufacturers, these Giro Bravo Juniors are not cheap - although the quality is high. Whether you'll want to spend £15 on mitts for your kids depends on the type and amount of riding they do.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
These mitts performed reasonably well overall. Great for the kids on short rides and general messing about. For longer rides a bit more padding on the palm is needed.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Our testers (aged 6 and 9) loved the style and reported that the gloves were comfortable to wear.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
For longer rides or rides on rough surfaces a bit more padding on the palm is needed.
Did you enjoy using the product? Our testers enjoyed using the mitts on short rides.
Would you consider buying the product? Personally, no. Although I'd be happy to spend £15 on mitts with more padding.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Depends on the amount and type of riding their kids are doing.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Without doubt, these mitts are very good quality, and on that alone they'd score 9. But they're not cheap, and kids doing longer rides will need more padding on the palm, so a couple of points get knocked off, giving an overall score of 7.
Age: 51 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, or an old steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,