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Spatz Glovz Race Gloves

8
£64.99

VERDICT:

8
10
Very good cool weather gloves with thoughtful details and unique features that set them aside from others, at a cost
Light
Thin
Long wrist cuff
Fold-out windshield
Finger hole
Pricey
Compromised dexterity with flaps out
Weight: 
69g

Lightweight, thin and long fingered, these Spatz Glovz are great for spring and autumn riding, with a signature finger hole and pull-out wind shell for those chillier moments.

The Glovz are the original and thinner brother of the Spatz Thrmox Winter Gloves Matt tested in January. They share a lot of the same features but are designed for slightly warmer but still a bit fresh riding.

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The standout feature of the Glovz is the shell that folds out of a pocket in the back of the hand to cover the four fingers, pairing them up to buddy the warmth. Spatz says they're a glove you can wear from the start of your ride to the finish, the storable extra layer there to deal with the nippy air of an early start or late finish, and tucked away for when it's a bit warmer.

SPATZ GLOVZ Race Gloves - Cover Detail.jpg

While others might opt for a windstopper glove fabric that could get too toasty when the day heats up, Spatz opts for temperature adaptability with its stowaway finger cover. Folded up neatly, it's easy to forget that the shell is hidden inside its pocket, and if you can ride a bike hands free it's easy enough to unfurl the cover and wrap it over your fingers, or tuck it back away.

SPATZ GLOVZ Race Gloves - Cover Palm.jpg

The cover has an elasticated hem so it wraps tight to the fingers and there's no flapping about. Spatz has specced a reflective band across the back of the glove, along the opening of the wind shell pocket, as a handy little safety feature.

The Glovz have sticky E-touch pads on the end of the thumb and index fingers so you can still operate your phone or handlebar-mounted electronic gubbins with gloves on, and the fold-out shields also have a printed pattern on them so you can use your electronic bits and bobs and still keep your hands warm.

SPATZ GLOVZ Race Gloves - Palm.jpg

The Spatz gloves also have the unique feature of a hole in the index finger, a deliberate one. The index finger in each glove has an additional "peepy index finger hole" (Spatz' technical term) for when you might need extra device or tool dexterity. You don't know the hole is there in normal use as no wind gets through, but it's easy to flip the tip and poke your finger out for anything that might need a little finesse.

SPATZ GLOVZ Race Gloves - Finger Hole.jpg

The Spatz Glovz have a really long cuff, I mean really long, and it's a boon in that it keeps your wrists warm. It's an area of the body where your blood runs close to the skin so is easy to chill if exposed to a fresh breeze, and it eliminates any gap that might have occurred between your jersey or jacket and other gloves in the past. Wristgap is a particular clothing bugbear of mine, so I'm glad that Spatz has addressed this issue with its Glovz.

If you find that things are too warm, though, it's easy to scruffle the cuff down to expose a bit of skin and cooling air. As the cuff is skintight, it fits best layered under any jerseys and jackets you might have on; unfortunately this means that if you take the gloves off for any reason it can be a pain to get them back on and the extra-long cuff pulled up in the right place without a degree of clothing faff.

The palms are free of any padding but are covered in a pattern of silicone that happily grips the bars, and there are subtle reinforcements on the outside of the palm and inside the thumb to help prevent wear on the thin glove material. Spatz says it's added them as these are the areas which traditionally rub and wear through, and it's working well so far. I'm a fan of pad-free gloves as the lumps can raise pressure points on the palms rather than relieve them; your hands may disagree.

SPATZ GLOVZ Race Gloves - P{alm Reinforcement.jpg

The Spatz Glovz don't have any waterproofing element to them, so bear that in mind if your spring and autumn rides are likely punctuated by precipitation. They're made from a four-way stretch material with a soft fleecy lining which makes them very comfortable against any chill, and I found the fingers and thumb all long enough.

I'm a big fan of the lightweight, thin, minimal, unpadded, full-finger glove for the brisker rides of spring and autumn where you don't need a full fat winter glove and it's too nippy still for fingerless mitts, so the Spatz Glovz fall right into the palm of my hand. People's ability to deal with the cold is variable, but I'd say the Glovz are good for the mid-teens in temperature and down to 10 degrees, lower if you're feeling brave or are one of those people who happily wear shorts when everyone else is in longs and balaclavas.

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

The fold-away wind shell really does work too – ride with just the one hand covered and the difference they make is noticeable. It's a feature that's definitely useful if your ride ends are on the cooler side to the middle bit, and you can easily adjust the glove for temperature control. They do, however, take some getting used to, even on the same ride, as going from full four-finger dexterity to doing things with a lobster claw of two pairs of fingers requires a bit of brain rewire; gear changing and braking can feel weird, but the stretch of the shell cover means it's an annoyance at best rather than a hindrance. How much this bothers you will depend on the configuration of how you use your fingers on the bike controls, too.

SPATZ GLOVZ Race Gloves - Covers.jpg

That extra long cuff is a definite winner for me. I'm not the most thermal of people and a gap exposing my skin to the chill of air and wind does a very good job of keeping my temperature down, so to have that area comprehensively covered is a Good Thing. The pokey hole in the index finger isn't as useful as I thought it might be; it's a great feature for phone use and poking at handlebar hardware and it's a lot easier than taking your gloves off, but its use can be limited depending on whether you're a finger or thumb user on your various devices – turns out I'm all thumbs.

That price is a little bit tasty, though, as gloves designed for riding in similar temperatures can easily be had for half the price – George thought the £39.99 Bontrager Circuits were excellent, for example. However, I do still think these are very good. Material choice and fit, the long cuff, and grippy palms with interactive fingertips would make the Spatz Glovz a great spring/autumn choice regardless, but the added signature features of the pull-over shell and index finger hole turn them into something more adaptable, different, and maybe worthy of the price premium.

Verdict

Very good cool weather gloves with thoughtful details and unique features that set them aside from others, at a cost

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Spatz Glovz Race Gloves

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for

Spatz says:

'Spatz "Glovz" are made specifically for (and developed by) the current Olympic Champion.

An insanely comfortable glove which was designed to fill a void: A glove you can wear from the start of your race/ride to the finish.

The new Spatzwear "Glovz" feature an extra, wind blocking "fold-out" shell which neatly folds away into a hidden pocket on the back of your hand. Enjoy the dexterity and feel of a 5 finger glove then pull out the hidden weapon when you need that extra barrier from the elementz. Ready to sprint? Need to access your tools? Sure; release the barrier shell and fold it away for later. Another dimension of warmth - at your fingertips...

The "Glovz" have a soft comfortable feel, using premium 4-way stretch material with a soft fleecy lining. The cuff is cut extra long to help to insulate those valuable blood vessels in your wrists and ensure the blood reaches your fingers as warm as it should. As with our overshoes, if you want to stop your radiators freezing; insulate your pipes. The "Glovz" integrate perfectly with our Basez2 Base Layers.

The "Glovz" have E-touch fingers which work with your phone/computer with an additional "peepy index finger hole" for when you really need to hit WhatsApp or skip to the next track.

We have added tough, grippy epoxy gel grippers on the palm, thumb and index finger for excellent grip, feel and dexterity. It's important to feel the 'bars, gears and shifters and be at one with your machine.

A reflective strip across the back of the glove adds visibility in the traffic.

We have added toughened areas on the pad covering the ulnar nerve and also on the thumb and first three fingers. These are the areas which traditionally rub and wear through on gloves. We're bike riders. We wear through gloves.'

The level of detailing in the glove and the features that set them apart from other gloves show that they've been designed by people who spend a lot of time holding on to handlebars.

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

Spatz lists:

Wind blocking fold-out shell

Premium 4-way stretch material with soft fleecy lining

Extra long cuff

E-touch fingers

Peepy index finger hole

Epoxy gel grippers on the palm, thumb and index finger

Reflective strip across the back

Toughened areas on the palm and inner thumb

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10

Well made gloves and after much use they're still like new.

Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10

As a spring/autumn glove they're very good, with thoughtful details and the pull-out shields extend their temperature range. A little weatherproofness might be nice.

Rate the product for durability:
 
7/10

They're a light roadie glove so not designed to be particularly rufty-tufty but they're holding up okay.

Rate the product for fit:
 
9/10

Nice and tight fitting, snug well up the wrist, and fingers and thumb are long enough too.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
9/10

Sized according to the Spatz guide and they fit perfectly. Designed to be snug, there was no flappy bits or palm bunching.

Rate the product for weight:
 
9/10

A thin and light glove that's still unobtrusive on the hand despite all the added features.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

I like a thin-palm, pad-free, long-finger glove, so these worked for me. Warm, stretchy, internally fluffy material too.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Pricey for a glove of this style and intended use, but the details of reinforced areas, pokey finger hole and wind cover help justify it.

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

Care instructions say rinse with warm water but I hand washed them with a splash of detergent and they've been fine. I could probably put them in with all the other cycling kit at 30°C, to be honest.

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

Material choice, snug fit and long cuff make them a good thin, full-finger choice for spring and autumn; the palm grip and reinforced areas, fingertip pads, finger hole and especially the pull-out shell elevate them into something different.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Pad-free but grippy palm, long wrist cuff, pull-out wind shell.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing much, riding with the finger covers on could make shifting a little awkward.

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

They're more expensive than gloves designed for similar conditions but they do have the finger hole and pull-out shell that set them apart from everything else. The glove market is a busy one and you'll easily find something that matches your features and budget criteria, so whether the details on the Spatz Glovz are worth the premium is up to you. The Castelli Tutto Nano Gloves are similarly minimal with grippy palms and touchscreen fingertips but swap a pokey hole and wind shield for decent water resistance for a lot less (half price if you shop around). The similarly race-inspired slim Velotoze Waterproof Gloves are a far more minimal affair, and while they might be waterproof they come with no grippy palms or interactive fingertips even, and they look significantly less refined.

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

The basics of material choice and fit are very good, the grippy palm with reinforced areas and touchscreen fingertips just add to this. The Spatz signature features of the index finger hole and fold-away shield turn them into something else that might make you clap your hands with glee. All this does come at a price, but I think they're worth it. They're very good.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 50  Height: 180cm  Weight: 73kg

I usually ride: It varies as to the season.  My best bike is: The one I\'m on at the time

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: road racing, cyclo cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Fun

Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.

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