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Short-fingered cycling gloves or mitts can vary wildly in terms of weight and bulk. The Madison Sportive Women's Mitts sit in the mid-ground of being sturdy and durable, yet still have a lightweight ventilated fabric construction. The clue is in the name: these are gloves designed for long ride comfort.
Available in both men's and women's versions, they're a nice step up from truly minimalist race style summer mitts, with a slightly more rugged build and more structured padding. I had no issues with sweaty hands, but they also give just a shade more warmth than some of the lightest minimalist mitts.
Far from being heavyweights, these are comfortable immediately, their soft stretchy Lycra mesh fabric contouring well across the backs of the hands, leaving no baggy bits.
The palms are made from a perforated synthetic leather, with gel padding in common pressure zones. The palms are grippy and well ventilated, and although the gel pads are lower profile than some, they're well shaped and deliver good levels of comfort on long rides without feeling intrusive.
The mitts fasten with a Velcro tab, which will divide opinion. It can stick to the fabric of the mitt sometimes, plucking it slightly, which could be an ongoing problem and is a risk to fragile lightweight jerseys and shorts. However, it also ensures a smooth and adjustable fit.
Other features are a sueded fabric thumb, which allows for sneaky nose wipes, reflective accents on the rear, and enhanced grips on the two middle fingers, the Velcro tab and the wrist area, to allow for easier removal of the mitts. The tabs on the fingers help a little, but not as much as you might expect.
At £22.99, the Sportive Women's Mitts aren't a bad price at all, but two factors add significantly to their value for money: Madison's 30-day money back guarantee and limited lifetime warranty. The former ensures satisfaction that the mitts suit you and are fit for purpose, while the latter makes sure they deliver the sort of longevity you could reasonably expect under normal usage.
Bearing these two factors in mind, these are looking like great value compared with the similarly featured GripGrab ProGel gloves, which are around £10 more, and dhb's £25 Aeron Short Finger Gel Gloves 2.0s (George tested the previous version in 2018) both of which have a fabric construction, gel padding and a Velcro fastening.
Overall, it's hard to find fault with these versatile and comfortable cycling mitts for the price and features.
Great value gloves offering reliable comfort on long rides
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Madison Sportive Women's Mitts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
Madison says, ' Whether you are on the hoods for hours on a hundred mile epic, or out on the Sunday morning club ride, the Sportive mitt will ensure maximum comfort and dexterity'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Polyester mix fabric
GelCel padding on palms
Synthetic leather perforated palm fabric
High grip tabs on middle two fingers and velcro fastening tab
Soft sueded fabric nose wipe
Good quality fabrics and nice finish, but basic exposed internal seams.
Performed very well. Comfortable, grippy and effective.
Sturdier than single season lightweight race type gloves. If treated well and washed sufficiently often, should last pretty well. Particularly good for the price.
Good smooth fit across the back of the hand and also across the palms. Nicely shaped.
Spot on as per manufacturer's sizing chart.
Nice and light but still feel good and sturdy.
Very comfortable both in terms of fit and also interaction with bars in use.
Cheaper than the similarly featured GripGrab ProGels (£32) and dhb Aeron Short Finger Gel gloves (£25), on top of which you get Madison's 30 Day Money Back Guarantee and its Limited Lifetime Warranty.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Washed well. Hand wash only though.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A good reliable and comfortable pair of gloves.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Low-key styling, comfort, rugged, well cushioned.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Velcro can catch on the body of the gloves and on other fabrics/garments.
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much.
Would you consider buying the product? Definitely
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
A well-designed and well-executed pair of reliably comfortable mitts good for any distance. Great value too.
About the tester
I usually ride: Liv Invite My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
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: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.