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With a 125-year history behind them, and a base firmly entrenched in the frozen East Midlands, Raleigh certainly have plenty of potential to make good quality winter kit,. In the RSP Extreme Weather gloves they have done just that, producing a chunky set of gloves that can withstand the coldest temperatures we are likely to see in the UK.
They are reassuringly substantial with deep, effective, insulation on the fingers and back of the hands but relatively thin padding on the palm to aid grip. This padding, combined with their wind proofing, ensures that hands stay warm well down into the minus figures, with thick cuffs providing somewhere to tuck jacket sleeves into, aided by velcro fasteners to increase snugness levels further.
This level of padding on the fingers can inhibit dexterity somewhat, especially with the rear shifter; I found either mis-shifts or non shifts a fairly regular occurrence.
They are dubbed Extreme Weather gloves with both cold and wet in mind, and while they do a stand-up job against dry cold, when the heavens open they can let the water in after some time. I don't particularly like over cuffs as I think they allow liquid to get in anyway, but I found that a couple of hours of proper rain the hands were wet-through, down to the fingers.
With a nod towards safety with reflective piping, and those awesome clips that gloves have to keep them together, they are a hard-working item, not so bikey that you couldn't wear them for cutting wood in the yard, or an early morning trip to de-ice the car, but clearly with on-bike comfort thought out.
For a foul weather commute they are ideal, but when the rain is coming down hard and you will be out for more than an hour then they start to reach their limits. On the plus side they do a reasonable job of keeping you warm even when wet.
Hard-wearing gloves, well suited to cold and damp conditions
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Make and model: RSP Extreme Weather gloves
Size tested: Large
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?
Extreme weather is where it's at, and whilst they struggle with Biblical levels of water they do a solid job the rest of the time.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Lightweight palm padding
Durable finger guards
Secure clip attachment
Conductive arma on thumb and forefinger for touch screen devices
Good, but not great - dexterity issues and not fully waterproof.
Generally ok, will do for 95% of winter rides.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Good. When it gets hard and heavy the gloves start to struggle, but in normal bad weather they cope well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
They are warm.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Too many mis-shifts from the gears.
Did you enjoy using the product? I'm fairly 'meh' about them.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they didn't ride in the nasty wet weather yes.
Age: 37 Height: 176cm Weight:
I usually ride: WyndyMilla Massive Attack, Raleigh SP Race, Hoffman BMX My best bike is: WyndyMilla Massive Attack
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, Adventure-packing, crossing-countries