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The GripGrab Ride Windproof Deep Winter Lobster gloves are definitely warm, breathable and comfortable, and with a good smattering of reflectives they'll get your signals noticed. Dexterity is better than full-on traditional 'mittens', but you still get some restrictions when changing gear and so on.
Lobsters not your thing? Check out our guide to the best winter cycling gloves for more options.
The bonus of a traditional mitt is warmth, by keeping all of your fingers together and trapping body heat, but the downsides are a loss of dexterity. You aren't going to be very nimble picking things up and the like. These GripGrabs kind of hit the middle ground, leaving your index finger separate from the other three, which means you can still press buttons on your lights or computer and do things when you get off the bike, like unlock doors or answer your phone without taking them off.
It certainly makes them feel more user friendly and flexible. The only slight downside is changing gear on road bike shifters or if you only use two fingers to brake, as you're still trying to use one of the fingers that's enclosed with others. It feels restrictive at first, but you do get used to it, although you'll never have that full range of movement that you get with standard gloves. That aside, they perform very well.
They're described as windproof by GripGrab, so you'll not be surprised to find that these aren't waterproof. You do get a layer of durable repellent (DWR) coating, though, which stood up to light rain and drizzle before soaking through.
GripGrab says that they are designed for sub-zero temperatures, when – unless it is snowing (and you probably won't be heading out on your bike) – it's likely to be dry.
I've been wearing them in various temperatures and found that the highest comfortable for me was around 5-6°C before things could start to get a bit clammy. Your hands do stay warm, though, even if wet, so it's not a problem if things warm up mid-ride.
Around the freezing mark they are properly toasty, although I've only tried them down to around -2°C as that is all the weather has allowed.
The Thinsulate insulation seems to do a good job of trapping heat, and the outside windchill is completely blocked.
Breathability doesn't seem to be affected, as if you do get sweaty hands they dry relatively quickly.
In terms of comfort there isn't any padding as such, apart from a small piece for the ulnar nerve, but as the gloves are reasonably thick you don't really need any. You do get some silicone grips to stop you slipping on the handlebar, though.
The cuffs are long and not too bulky, so they fit easily under a jacket cuff which minimises the chance of any skin being exposed. You can adjust them by way of Velcro straps too.
Unlike some, there are plenty of sizes on offer here – six in total – and these mediums come in true to the numbers on GripGrab's sizing guide. There are two colour options too, with a fluoro yellow alongside this black.
One thing I am very impressed with is the quality, and they are made from 80% recycled materials. Every stitch is neat and tidy, and nothing irritates, plus the lining doesn't pull out with your hand, so they are always easy to put on.
You also get a towelling thumb for wiping things, and the thumb and index finger will work with a touchscreen phone.
All of this doesn't come cheap, although their £54.95 price tag isn't as high as some rivals.
Gorewear's Gore-Tex Infinium Thermo Split gloves, for example, are £74.99, while Sealskinz' Barwick Waterproof Extreme Cold Weather Split Finger gloves cost £75 (we have a full review of those to come).
Specialized's Softshell Deep Winter Lobster gloves are basically the same price, though, at £55.
As long as you aren't looking for something waterproof, the GripGrabs are impressive gloves for cold, dry weather. The dexterity isn't quite as good as traditional gloves, but that's more a lobster design thing rather than a criticism of these.
Overall, what you are getting is a great pair of gloves that are very well made, warm and comfortable.
Very warm and comfortable for cold, dry days, if you can put up with the slight limit on dexterity
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road.cc test report
Make and model: GripGrab Ride Windproof Deep Winter Lobster Gloves
Size tested: M
Tell us what the product is for
GripGrab says, "Lobster gloves with optimised finger split – for easier braking and shifting. Deep winter cycling gloves for cold, dry winter days when the temperature is unlikely to go above freezing."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
* Deep winter protection
* Optimised finger split
* Comfortable padded palms
* Secure grip and control
* Reflective detailing
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
They wash up fine with no problems.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Impressively warm gloves for sub-zero temperatures.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very warm and comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Don't offer as much dexterity as traditional gloves.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They are similarly priced to the Specialized mentioned in the review, and cheaper than the Sealskinz and Gorewear options.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
They're very good: excellent quality throughout, and the recycled fabrics work very well indeed. They aren't as highly priced as some of the competition either.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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,
As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!