The BTwin 900 Winter Cycling Gloves are designed for cold weather rides around the three-hour mark. For less than £20 and as an overall package, they are genuinely impressive.
These aren't an impervious design, which for me at least is a blessing since I find those with a waterproof TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) liner can become uncomfortably clammy, especially on very cold but sunny days.
Black is an extremely practical colour, especially in grotty weather when tackling a flat or mechanical. Intelligently used 'stealth' reflective detailing on the backs and bold Scotchlite offers reasonable night-time presence when indicating or passing junctions. There is a fluoro yellow alternative should you prefer.
Staying with the backs for a moment, these are a water-repelling polyester designed to withstand persistent, showery rain not full blown submersion. Suffice to say, I've only contemplated reaching for my Gore-tex over-mitts on one very wet three-hour ride.
The lining is a 120g fleece fabric called 'Softermic', which is very tactile, although occasionally caught on one ring, causing it to bunch a little. On the plus side, the liner is tethered to the fingertips, which prevents it plopping out in a big ungainly clump when you remove your hands or following a machine wash.
Speaking of which... so long as you stick to non-biological detergents and avoid contact with fabric conditioners, these can be bunged in with the household load at 30 degrees with no problems. They're not particularly quick drying after going through the machine, though they're not bad on that score while you're riding, following sharp showers and torrential blasts.
That lining does its job well, too: my fingers have at times felt slightly damp but the fleece component keeps them warm.
Long Lycra cuffs with Velcro closures continue the weather-cheating theme, achieving excellent overlap with jerseys, thus preventing cold, wet stuff getting blown inside. Sizing too is very accurate; our large fitted me like the proverbial.
Palms have become so much better in recent years, faux leathers in particular. Coupled with the silicone detailing, these offer excellent grip whatever the weather and indeed handlebar covering. Purchase has been perfect with silicone rubbers, polymers, glossy leathers and cork alike. Even old school bike ribbons didn't present any nervous moments.
Tech-friendly digits are a must for most of us these days, and the 900 gloves proved consistently dependable. Ulnar-defending gel blobs are one of those details that can be seriously hit 'n' miss, often inducing precisely the numbness and tingling they are supposed to alleviate in my experience. Thankfully, this isn't the case with the 'technogel' pads here, which compress and provide excellent defence for low level road and even light trail vibration.
Compared with some of the softshell or curved-finger designs out there, the 900s felt a bit restrictive for the first 100 or so miles. Locking up in the street, rummaging through a pannier or jersey pocket proved a bit challenging during this period, but I've been able to wield tyre levers, multi tools and so on without having to remove them.
Some commentators have also suggested they tend to become overly hot in milder temperatures. Much of the test period was characterised by arctic blasts, but I haven't felt soggy when these have eased. I did note a bit of gentle airflow at the fingers, which reinforces my point about waterproofing but certainly wasn't uncomfortable when the mercury dipped close to zero.
Ultimately, there are impervious softshell models offering better dexterity for similar money, but for me at least, they don't match the 900's comfort and refinement.
Very competent winter gloves for training and general road riding
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road.cc test report
Make and model: BTwin 900 Winter Cycling 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?
Decathlon says: "Designed for intensive cycling in cold weather (rides of 3 hours and more).
"Winter cycling gloves with a SOFTERMIC lining. Technogel insert in the palm for added comfort. Touchscreen feature lets you use your smartphone without removing your gloves."
I would describe them as very competent all-round winter road gloves.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Back of the hand : 65.0% Polyester (PES), 21.0% Polyamide (PA), 14.0% Polyurethane (PU) Lining : 100.0% Polyester (PES) Palm : 60.0% Polyamide (PA), 40.0% Polyurethane (PU)
Well made, especially given the asking price.
Seems rugged and should last. Two-year no-quibble guarantee should reassure most.
Perfect for me.
Generally excellent. Generous padding and intelligently deployed gel inserts offer excellent defence against low-level vibration, yet still providing reasonable dexterity, grip and feedback from the controls.
Very good in the main. However, as some will know/point out, fully waterproof softshell models can be had for the same money.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very straightforward to wash, just remember to use soap flakes, or minimal non biological detergents, and allow to dry naturally. Black means dirt and other grimy patina are less obvious, extending washing intervals.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Overall, the 900s are very capable winter road gloves with an enticing price tag. Comfort has been excellent on rides around the 2-4 hour mark and, frankly, the hours have slipped away without me noticing any obvious change on this front. Their stitched construction permits some cooling airflow through, stopping things from turning clammy, but the padding retains plenty of warmth. Similarly, my hands have remained completely dry despite heavy, persistent rainfall, but submersion will see them turn soggy.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Pretty much everything given the design brief.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Curved fingers would perhaps improve dexterity in the first week or so of use, but it's hardly a deal breaker.
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
They're well-conceived winter road gloves with a high spec relative to their asking price. Although there are more waterproof designs out there for the same money, the 900s' comfort bumps them up to an 8 overall.
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)