The Chiba Express Plus Gloves have lots of great features, though sadly their stand-out feature, the waterproof overflap, is a bit of a let-down. Otherwise they are fantastic gloves for riding in not too cold weather.
Chiba is a German specialist glove manufacturer that has been making gloves for 150 years. That heritage shows in the materials chosen and the fit of the Express Plus. There's stretchy windproof material for the top, nice fleecy warm material around the wrist, and reinforced sticky stuff for the palm and thumb. There is gel padding to relieve pressure and avoid numbness too. The tips of the thumb and index finger on both gloves are made from special fabric allowing you to use capacitive touch screens, as used in most mobile phones.
All of these materials have been put together in a glove that fits extremely well; snug but not tight. The cuff is just long enough to fit under a long sleeve jersey, and the windproof material keeps cold at bay down to about 5 degrees – though this is obviously highly personal. The material is pretty thin and so handlebar feel and brake and shifter interaction is good.
The gloves are not waterproof though, and Chiba have come up with a high viz lobster style glove cover thing they call an 'overflap'. The overflap is tucked away in a little pocket on top of the wrist when not required. When it's damp out, you simply take the overflap out of its pocket, slip it over the glove and hey presto: a highly visible and waterproof glove. Bob could be your uncle.
But he isn't. A good idea in theory – including the bit about making the glove high viz in poor conditions, but I haven't found it to work. Firstly, the overflap does not make the glove waterproof. Even in not-too-heavy rain, an hour's riding will get the gloves wet, and your hands therefore cold. The second problem is that the overflap fits nowhere near as well as the glove itself. It greatly reduces handlebar feel and it's in the way - it's got stuck between the shifter and brake levers on the Shimano shifters on my winter bike a few times. Even when it's not in use the bulk on top of the wrist is a bit annoying.
This won't stop me using these gloves though; they are still my favourite gloves for riding in temperatures between 5-10 degrees. I made a simple improvement: I removed the flap.
I think the £27 RRP is a reasonable price for windproof gloves that fit as well as the Express Pluses. Even if they need a small modification to remove a flaps.
Superb gloves in terms of fit and feel, pity about the overflap
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Make and model: Chiba Express Waterproof Glove
Size tested: Large 9 - Black
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Windproof, breathable with waterproof lobster-style overflap
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- reinforced thumb area
- Neoprene pulsewarmer
- Rubbertec patch on the palm
- Puller helps to pull on the gloves
- anatomical gel padding prevent the hands from numbness
- Palm made of strong Digital Carbon Fibre for best grip
- washable at 30°
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The gloves themselves are very comfortable and work very well as for temperatures between 5 and 10 degrees. The overflap is a big nonsense in my opinion though, as it doesn't keep the rain out, and it tends to get stuck in shifters.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fit of the gloves.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The overflap. I've cut it off to remove the bulk when not in use.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? If the gloves were available without overflap, I'd go for that. But they aren't. I'd still consider buying them though, as the gloves themselves are pretty good.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, given the above proviso.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
The Chiba Express Plus is extremely comfortable to wear, is quick to put on and take off, is windproof and has padding in the right places. It would be an absolute winner if it wasn't for the overflap, which doesn't work and gets in the way. So I've cut it off.
Age: 36 Height: 1.78m Weight: 76kg
I usually ride: All of them! My best bike is: Cannondale CAAD10
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: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, mtb,