Louis Garneau's Course gloves are aerodynamic and well-made, but work best for sort, hard efforts like crits and time trials.
Aerodynamics is key when it comes to Louis Garneau's Course range and that even extends to the gloves.
The Lycra upper is laser cut and fused rather than welded at the finger ends and wrist. It looks a little unfinished compared to a more traditionally stitched mitt but does give a smooth transition between skin and glove. The material, which Garneau call Speedtech, is coated with Coldblack which makes the fabric reflect heat rather than absorbing it.
The palm is made from Clarino synthetic leather, which is shaped and moulded in one piece, including the padding, and then sewn to the upper. This a one piece construction means there are no seams between hand and bars to create any pressure points.
The padding is designed to sit below each contact point of the hand rather than covering complete sections. There is a central vent section to remove heat build-up and the pull tabs which are part of the moulded palm make for easy removal.
As far as the padding goes though it's a bit too minimal for my liking. For short blasts of an hour or so everything is fine but after three to four hours on a relatively stiff carbon bike things were getting a bit uncomfortable.
The issue for me lies with the pad positioning. It didn't seem to quite line up with where I needed it the most. The pads are small blocks rather than a continuous lump so as your upper body weight is placed on them they spread out, reducing the thickness of the padding.
The gloves pretty much fit like a second skin and the lightweight Lycra back feels very smooth against the skin. Thanks to the small Velcro closure tab the glove stays in place at the wrist with minimal pressure against your arm.
Coolblack does the job
The Coolblack coating and palm vent seem to do the trick with regards to heat build up as even climbing in warm weather my hands weren't getting as hot and sweaty as normal.
The quality looks pretty good, as it should on a pair of mitts costing forty quid. The stitching is very neat and tidy with no sign of a loose stitch anywhere and the neat little pull tabs makes taking them off nice and easy to.
The palm material stays very supple even when its soaked and also shows good levels of grip on shiny bar tape.
Overall the Course gloves are ideal for time trials or crit style efforts of an hour or so but they're not so great for the long distance rider. Forty pounds is a lot of money to spend on gloves and in this instance I don't think the performance quite justifies the outlay.
Good quality aero glove for short blasts but minimal padding limits the mileage. Expensive too.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Louis Garneau Course Gloves
Size tested: Large, 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?
Aero mitts that are designed to complement Louis Garneau race range. They are good looking and a decent fit but lack the comfort of other mitts in this price range.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Moulded palm to incorporate padding while avoiding seams
Coldblack coating to avoid over heating
Laser cut fingers and wrist for aerodynamics
Very light compared to leather gloves
A glove for short rides
A lot of technology and great looks but the performance per pound doesn't work out that great
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Perfect for time triallists or crit racers on a lone breakaway where aerodynamics are important but if you're spending more than a couple of hours in the saddle they are too harsh
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The looks and the fit against the skin (back of the hand)
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The minimal padding
Did you enjoy using the product? Okay but much prefer my Specialized 74's
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? No
About the tester
Age: 34 Height: 180cm Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: Ribble Winter Trainer for commuting, Genesis Flyer My best bike is: Sarto Rovigo
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.