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Chiba's Tour Plus Windstopper Gloves are a thin-pile, windproof design perfect for general riding in temperatures above freezing up to about 10°C.
They are a very precise fit, so I'd recommend trying a pair on, rather than guesstimating online. I'm blessed with long, willowy digits and, generally speaking, a large in gloves/mitts. Chiba's large were literally second-skin close, which, coupled with their curved fingers, maximises dexterity – no need to whip them off to operate lights, open locks or even repair a puncture. The fingertips are fully tech-compatible too.
PU leatherette palms feature the usual silicone grippers and reinforced thumb/forefingers. They've provided superb purchase in all conditions and with all bar coverings – including notoriously slippery old school bike ribbon and Benotto tapes.
Ulnar padding is another universal feature these days but seemingly polarised into two camps: those that look the part but induce precisely the discomfort they are supposed to alleviate, and those that insulate this sensitive region from intrusive low-level vibration. This thin-pile cushioning ranks among the most comfortable I've used and proved surprisingly competent off-road, when tackling moderate forest trails on my 'cross and mountain bikes.
The neon yellow backs are brilliant for foggy rides, especially when you're signalling, but Scotchlite reflectives were conspicuous by their absence, which is disappointing by contemporary standards.
On a plus note, these disperse rider-generated heat and block icy blasts with equal finesse, so while they'll turn seriously soggy (in around 40 minutes in persistent/heavy showers) they dry pretty quickly too.
During this soggy phase they remain warm, and despite some initial suspicion, the comparatively short neoprene cuffs form an excellent seal with most jersey-cum-jackets, so no danger of wet, cold stuff getting funnelled inside. Nonetheless, I've tended to stash some Gore-Tex over-mitts in a poacher's pocket for longer rides in changeable weather.
Bottom line, these wouldn't be my first choice for winter proper, but they're a good bet for cool and relatively dry spring and autumn rides. Casual conversation with other riders suggested earlier versions were vulnerable to premature wear, but the fabric and stitching alike seem in very rude health 500 miles and two machine washes hence.
Windproof, fully tech compatible gloves with excellent dexterity but a very precise fit
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Chiba Tour Plus Windstopper Glove
Size tested: L9, Black/Neon
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?
Chiba feels these are self explanatory and places them in its winter range. Broadly speaking, they're a nice choice for when it's cold but not subzero and remain warm when wet, though I'd prefer something a bit warmer when the mercury hovers around zero.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- windproof and breathable
- lightweight softshell
- reinforced thumb area
- Neoprene pulsewarmer
- Palmhand made of grippy PU-Leder
- Puller helps to pull on the gloves
- precurved fingers
- washable at 30°C
Excellent, although they aren't waterproof, so will get soggy though remain warm.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the Chiba Tour Plus Windstopper Gloves have performed really well, locking wind out yet wicking sweat away very convincingly. However, while excellent choices for autumn/early season riding, I'm not sure they're warm enough for bitter conditions.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Great fit, breathability, dexterity and comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Decent retro-reflective detailing on the backs (in addition to fluoro) would have been welcomed.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: Rough stuff tourer based around 4130 Univega mountain bike frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)