Want following cars to be able to see all of your hand signals in the dark? Then the Chiba Pro Safety Reflector Gloves should definitely on your shopping list – as long as you can cope with the lack of padding, that is.
Until recently I spent seven years commuting year-round on one of the busiest trunk roads in Wiltshire. Decked out with a plethora of high powered lights and the odd smattering of reflective attributes, the only thing that ever caused me any concern was signalling for a right turn.
There was a lot of traffic in both directions causing a sea of red and white lights, and I had quite a few cases of cars overtaking even after sticking my hand out to say I was crossing the lane. I had gloves with reflective patterns on, but they easily got lost in the clutter.
Since I've had the Chibas on test I've been stomping my old route in the dark and the results are quite convincing. With the entire back of the glove being made from reflective material, there is very little chance drivers cannot see your intentions. I haven't had a single instance of the previous overtakes while I'm trying to turn.
I'm also a friendly kind of chap, and if cars or lorries have waited patiently to pass I like to give a little gesture of thanks by waving a hand to say thanks. Judging by the number of drivers giving a friendly toot or flash of the indicators as they come, it seems more than usual notice the gloves.
So, they are visible, but how do they work on the bike?
Well, there is a lot to like, most notably the cuff. At a couple of inches long it runs well up into a jacket sleeve to stop any draughts. It has a lot of elasticity, too, which makes the gloves easy to get on before the cuffs sit snug against the wrist.
As far as grip goes, you get some silicone logos on the palm and they offer plenty of purchase on even the wettest of shiny bar tape. The section between index finger and thumb is reinforced too, so durability shouldn't be an issue. The Chibas have done plenty of hours and a fair few cycles in the washing machine without showing any signs of wear.
The only real issue I've found is that there is nothing in the way of padding, so if you like a bit of extra, and tend to wear mitts throughout the summer, you might find the ride a little harsh.
The sizing is on the roomy side, so fitting a pair of liner gloves for both comfort and warmth shouldn't be an issue.
With regards to the temperature range, they suit the mid-teens down to around 5°C, but this could be extended to below freezing with a bit of layering. They are windproof too; windchill doesn't pose much of an issue unless it's really wet.
Being water resistant, they'll keep light showers at bay and things like fog or road spray, but anything heavier and it soon soaks through.
Overall I really like the Chibas and think they definitely have a place in the arsenal of those who ride after dark. The fit, quality and durability lines up with the rrp of £29.99, and if you aren't bothered about the lack of padding then they are a worthwhile investment.
High visibility gloves that let drivers see your hand signals, whatever they are!
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Chiba Pro Safety Reflector Glove
Size tested: Silver-Reflect, L/9
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?
With the backs being completely reflective, the Chiba Pro Safety gloves are designed with night-time use in mind. They lack a few cycling specifics, but that's their only drawback.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
° windproof and water repellent
° fully reflective
° non-slip silicone print on the palm hand
° pre-curved finger
° reinforced thumb-area
° wash at 30°C
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Excellent for making sure your hand signals are being picked up by following car headlights.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The reflective visibility.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of padding could be an issue.
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 score
For commuting or training after dark, I think the Chibas are an excellent additional way of making your intentions clearer to drivers. There is a feeling of quality and robustness to them, and the only things missing are some padding and a snot wipe.
About the tester
I usually ride: Kinesis T2 My best bike is: Mason Definition
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.