Feel Good, Ride Good: 4 Pairs of Winter Mountain Bike Gloves, Reviewed

Before moving from San Francisco where it never snows, and only gets below freezing a handful of days per year, to the Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado, I never really needed winter riding gloves. Sure, there was the occasional ride where I added glove liners meant for skiing; when our first winter storm brought the mercury down to 3°F, I was utterly dispirited. Three is not a number that that should reference temperature. Three is for helpings of lasagna or the number of fingers a toddler proudly displays accompanied by “I’m this many!”

Faced with the reality that I must try to survive in this arctic climate, testing four new pairs of winter gloves offered some solace.

Gore Windstopper Thermo Gloves

The Gore Windstopper Thermo gloves are super cozy, feel great next to the skin, and the fact that they are water-resistant makes them a bit less stiff and easier to wear and ride with than a truly waterproof glove. I rode comfortably with and without a liner on a 30° day and a 50° day, respectively. The “moisture control patch” (aka, the snot-strip) is correctly placed and easy on the snout.

  • Water-resistant
  • Windproof
  • Extremely breathable
  • Cool 41° – 59°
  • Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Silicone coated fingers
  • MSRP $70. Available at REI

Maloja CaveM Gloves

I love the CaveM gloves from Maloja. They are true to size with a velcro cinch-closure for just the right fit. They are also cute and therefore fun to wear. On the bike, they are super grippy on the palm and fingers.

These gloves may be warm and windproof but are not waterproof or screen-compatible. In true cold, a separate liner is necessary. My only real complaint is that they are so soft they actually invite you to use the thumb for “moisture control” but there’s a poorly placed, pointy star right there that makes your snout sad.

  • Knitted cuffs
  • Palm made from grip material
  • Insulated
  • MSRP $65.

Pearl Izumi AmFIB Lite Gloves

The Pearl Izumi AmFIB Gloves are advertised as a fall or spring glove and I rode with them in the high forties and was snug as a bug in a rug. These handsome gloves run true to size and feel great on the handlebar thanks to the grippy leather palm and fingers. They are good for a misty day, but not a deluge. The snot strip is well located, but not as absorbent as one might hope.

Claims of “touch screen compatibility” fell short. Try as I might, I could not get my iPhone to respond to thumb or index finger input. I even tried giving it the middle finger.

  • 60g Primaloft Gold w/Crosscore technology insulation
  • 35% post-consumer recycled polyester
  • AmFIB Softshell back of hand fabric protects from wind and water
  • Ax Suede Laredo synthetic leather palm for durability and great grip
  • MSRP $55. Available at evo (currently on sale) | Compare

Showers Pass Crosspoint Hardshell Glove (Women’s)

Showers Pass makes a hearty winter cycling glove they call the Crosspoint.

I first tried these gloves on a short dog walk on that 3° day. They should be worn with a liner for riding or really doing anything at three degrees. I later rode with them after the temperature shot up to a sweltering 33°, and for a thick-ish and fully waterproof glove, I was pleased with the mobility. I was able to easily operate shifters and my dropper without feeling like a mummy trying to make lace.

  • Merino wool lined
  • Perforated anti-slip palm and fingers
  • Wiping surface on thumb
  • Low profile fit for maximum dexterity
  • MSRP $95. Women’s glove and Men’s glove available at Amazon (currently on sale)

The wiping surface on the thumb is pretty dang handy for the countless times my eyes watered and nose would run in the cold. I had hoped that “wiping surface” also meant that I’d be able to operate my phone without taking off the gloves, but alas, they are not smartphone-friendly.

The medium size was way too small for my hands so I moved up to the large. Some reviews from the Showers Pass website also mentioned them running a little small, so consider ordering a size or two up.

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