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Sportful Fiandre gloves review

11 Mar 2020
Verdict:

Comfortable winter gloves that will keep your hands warm in cold damp weather, despite their lightweight construction

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£85
For 
Windproof and warm, without bulk • Firm grip • Good bar feel
Against 
Use of zip closures limits adjustability • More awkward to use than velcro

The Sportful Finadre gloves hit all the right buttons for cooler spring and autumn rides. Unlike some winter numbers, they’re not so heavily padded that you can’t use the controls effectively. At 86 grams for a size large, the Sportful Fiandre gloves are quite lightweight too.

Part of the brand’s comprehensive foul weather Fiandre range, they’re designed for the pros to use during the Classics season which is now upon us: think rain and biting winds.

The Fiandre gloves cope well with these conditions. They start off with a softshell fabric on their backs that’s very windproof and add taped seams to help keep out the rain. They do that beady-up thing when you run a tap over them and cope well with rain when out riding, although you need to be a bit careful how you wash the gloves, to keep the coating working effectively.

Buy now from Sigma Sports for £85

Inside, there’s a layer of Primaloft insulation. It adds plenty of warmth for rides in the mid-single digits.

The palms are heavily silicone printed from fingertips to cuffs, so there’s masses of grip. There’s a slight pre-curve to the Fiandre gloves, so they don’t ruck up when you grip the bars.

There’s a small amount of extra padding under the knuckles and a more substantial pad in the heel of the palm. Together, they do a good job of keeping your hands comfortable and absorbing road vibration. You get a touchscreen-active index fingertip to work your electronics as you ride, but there’s not the snot wipe often found on gloves’ thumbs.

Unlike the backs of the gloves, the palms are not fully waterproof and will adsorb water in a downpour. It doesn’t work its way into the inside of the glove though, and since the palms are out of the wind there’s little windchill.

Many winter gloves are closed with velcro. That’s not the case with the Fiandres, which have a waterproof zip, with an internal flap that straddles it inside. The cuff is also extra-long, leading to good overlap with a jacket. It’s sleek, looking nicer and more streamlined than velcro.

But if you’re wearing a thicker jacket, the cuff can be a bit overstretched. And if like me you wear a chunky watch when you ride, you may find it impossible to close the zip over it. It’s also a bit harder to undo the zip than a velcro tab, as it really needs a third hand to keep the cuff in place while you work the puller - I resorted to using my teeth.

Buy now from Sigma Sports for £85

If you’re after a lighter weight waterproof and windproof glove, Sportful also makes a Light version of the Fiandre, with less padding and a price of £45.

I’ve tested some gloves from Sportful’s range that have been a bit on the tight side, with shortish fingers but the Fiandre gloves are pretty true to size. I sized up to a size large, but would probably have been better off with a pair of mediums, my usual glove size. The fingers on the size large were a bit long for me and my palms slipped around more than optimal on the soft inner lining.

But overall, the Sportful Fiandre gloves are a quality, slick, well designed option that will see you comfortably through most of what the UK winter and early spring might throw at you.

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