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Cafe du Cycliste Audax Cycling Gloves

6
£73.00

VERDICT:

6
10
Excellent fit, great visibility and comfortable in a wide range of temperatures, though expensive and could do with better windproofing at times
Great fit
High-vis panels
Touchscreen-friendly fingers
Lack of wind resistance
Expensive
Durability concerns
Weight: 
84g

At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Cafe du Cycliste Audax Gloves are a mid-weight design, suitable for all but the coldest of days, with large reflective panels, good touchscreen compatibility and an excellent fit. They do lack windproofing found in most gloves in this price range, though, which I missed on some days, and this particular pair isn't standing up to wear very well.

I found these gloves perfect for those early spring mornings when the temperature rose from around 2°C to about 12°C. They're marketed as wind resistant rather than windproof, and on a few mornings at the colder end of that scale, accompanied by a cold wind, they did struggle to keep my hands warm.

> Buy now: Cafe du Cycliste Audax Gloves for £73 from Cafe du Cycliste

At the upper end, the breathable construction did a good job of ensuring I didn't overheat once the temperature rose to around 14°C. And their lack of bulk makes it easy to fit them into a pocket once you no longer need them.

On a wet ride they provided some protection during a light shower, but once the heavens opened they let in some water. Waterproof gloves can lead to sweaty hands, though, so I think Cafe du Cycliste has struck a good balance here.

Padding is a matter of personal preference, but for me the reinforced palm and the pad on the base of the thumb added a level of comfort without compromising grip or feel of the handlebar. I've worn these on several rides of over four hours without any discomfort

I found the fit of the gloves excellent. I have average sized hands and typically wear a medium, and the sizing of these mediums is consistent with the guide. The Audax gloves come in five sizes so you should be able to find one that suits.

The excellent fit meant dexterity wasn't hampered, and I found it easy to grab nutrition from my pockets or undo a zip on the move.

The cuffs are a good length and also fit well to prevent getting cold wrists; I found they were best worn under jacket sleeves, though I did wear them over a fitted long sleeve jersey. I like the lack of Velcro or zips as these can be the first parts to fail on a pair of gloves. Unfortunately, after a few washes the stitching on the gloves is starting to look damaged and I'm not sure how long they'd last.

2022 Cafe du Cycliste Audax Cycling Glove - stitching.jpg

I was pleasantly surprised by the touchscreen capability as it wasn't mentioned in the key features. I was able to easily send a message to the always-late group rider and check maps when I got lost exploring some new roads.

Full reflective panels add great visibility, making these ideal for commuting to give extra confidence when the light starts to fade.

2022 Cafe Du Cycliste Audax Cycling Gloves - reflective.jpg

You also get useful extras such as a nose-wipe section and loops on the fingers and wrist that help when taking the gloves off.

2022 Cafe Du Cycliste Audax Cycling Gloves - tab.jpg

Value

At £73 these are some of the more expensive gloves we've tested. They're not alone – Castelli's Mortirolo gloves (which Liam tested last year) are £75, and Assos' Assosoires £70 (also tested last year, by Jamie) – but both of those offer more wind protection which would be welcome at times.

You can also get very good gloves for half the price – the Stolen Goat Climb Conquer 4 Seasons Gloves scored highly and cost just £35, though Mike wasn't overly impressed with their touchscreen compatibility (and no snot/sweat wipe).

> Spring cycling clothing guide: how to choose and use the best gear to ride through the most unpredictable season

Steve has also tested the even cheaper Galibier Ardennes Light Winter Gloves and found them excellent. They're designed for a similar temperature range as the Cafe du Cycliste gloves, 2-12°C, but are also windproof and insulated – for £23.64.

Conclusion

Overall, the fit of the Audax gloves is excellent, they work well across a wide range of temperatures, and the touchscreen fingertips work perfectly. However, for the price the lack windproofing and doubts over durability are drawbacks.

Verdict

Excellent fit, great visibility and comfortable in a wide range of temperatures, though expensive and could do with better windproofing at times

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Cafe du Cycliste Audax Cycling Gloves

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Café du Cycliste says: "Designed to be seen when the light starts to fade, our highly reflective Audax gloves use a layered construction to trap warm air between the inner and outer fabrics and provide thermal insulation. The lining is fleece backed for added warmth and comfort while wind resistant panels give increased protection against the elements."

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Café du Cycliste lists the key features as:

Full reflective panels

Thermal & wind resistant

Reinforced palm sections

Breathable construction

Brushed lining

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
6/10

Generally very good, but one seam came undone early in the test – obviously, if you'd bought them and that happened then you'd return them for a new pair – but the stitching on the other glove isn't the best quality either.

Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
5/10
Rate the product for fit:
 
8/10
Rate the product for sizing:
 
9/10

Five sizes available and the size guide was accurate.

Rate the product for weight:
 
8/10
Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10
Rate the product for value:
 
4/10

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

I washed these at 30 and air dried and all seemed fine; whether it's the washing or the wearing, but some of the stitching was starting to look damaged after a few washes.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

The wind resistance could be improved, but for all but the coldest days they kept my hands warm and comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

I really liked the fit and found the reinforced palm very comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Their performance in cold winds could be better. The stitching quality is disappointing for the money, too.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

They're a similar price to the Castelli Mortirolo Gloves at £75 and slightly more than the Assos Assosoires Winter Gloves at £70, but both offer better protection from the wind, and some other very good gloves are a lot cheaper, such as the Stolen Goat Climb Conquer 4 Seasons Gloves at £35 and Galibier's Ardennes Light Winter Gloves at £23.64.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

Overall these gloves kept my hands warm and comfortable, the fit was excellent and the touchscreen worked well. However, their wind resistance could be improved, and the stitching – on this pair at least – is a bit disappointing for the money.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 178cm  Weight: 73kg

I usually ride: Specialized Roubaix  My best bike is: Cervelo S3

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Indoor

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