dhb's Neoprene Gloves make for good company when riding in cold, wet weather – so long as you're not fussy about hot, soggy hands. A fairly heavyweight neoprene, combined with an exceptionally long cuff, provides perfect insulation against biting temperatures thanks to the layer of moisture trapped against the skin which is heated by your own body warmth.
dhb has certainly taken a minimalistic approach where design is concerned. One single reflective logo on the outer edge, a very useful silicone tab to pull the gloves on, and a full palm-side expanse of very thin, unbroken, silicone gripper strips. That's it. No extra coloured trims, no Velcro cuff adjuster (despite what it says in the tech spec online), no extra padding.
The lack of padding is the only 'extra' that I missed – on rough roads they offered virtually no protection, and taken off-road, well... need I say more? This was a shame as, considering the weather conditions these neoprene gloves are designed for, I frequently opt to give the mountain bike an outing rather than the road bike.
The fit is very snug; the silicone tab is essential to pull the gloves on and get the cuff extended, and it then moulds to your wrist. Once on the hand, they give a feeling of compression but also restriction. The neoprene is so thick that even making a fist is a workout. Although they offer sufficient dexterity on the bike, the thickness of the neoprene really doesn't lend itself to doing up a helmet clasp or fiddling with a padlock.
From the minute you put the gloves on you sense a build-up of heat, that's without the fist pumping! Certainly putting them on needs to be the last thing you do before rolling out, otherwise you'll be losing body fluid before starting to ride!
Pull on the gloves with warm hands and they will remain toasty warm for the duration of your ride, however long, cold or damp it might be. I found this quite a revelation as my Raynaud's Syndrome hands do not handle temperatures below 4°C very well at all.
Naturally, this warmth comes at a cost – a sweaty, damp palm that the gloves stubbornly resist being parted from when the time comes to take them off. They really are not café-stop gloves – though the fight to get them back on is a small distraction from the cold, damp enclosure you are forcing your hands into. The layer of moisture is soon reheated and you quickly forget just how unpleasant it was.
If you put these gloves on with cold hands you will struggle to benefit from the insulating properties; they really are reliant on your body's own generation of heat to perform well.
Overall, these are very much a 'love or hate' glove. They will serve you well if you don't mind the texture of neoprene and permanently damp, sweaty hands – a high price to my mind, but perhaps worth it for a pair of functioning hands at the end of a four-hour-plus ride in temperatures close to zero and maybe some rain to boot.
Competitively priced and do exactly what they're claimed to, but they limit dexterity and lack palm-side protection
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road.cc test report
Make and model: dhb Neoprene Cycling Gloves
Size tested: Medium
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?
dhb says its Neoprene gloves are "designed to offer reliable all weather protection, the neoprene forming a barrier against harsh conditions trapping warmth. In wet weather water is trapped and warmed by body temperature, forming an excellent layer of insulation".
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
*Neoprene fabric is warm in wet weather.
*Adjustable Hook and Loop cuff.
*Stretch fabric for close fit.
Tested a M, fitted perfectly in finger and hand length.
The neoprene is really thick so the gloves felt bulky and cumbersome, despite being a perfect fit. Obviously not your typical cosy winter lining there to enjoy either.
One of the cheapest neoprene gloves on the market if you are only looking at cycling-specific ones.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Hand wash cold! Not ideal, but don't be tempted to skip doing it – they will begin to smell given that they are just sweat pockets.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Does exactly as it claims, and it doesn't claim to be breathable...
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Protection against really cold air.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The lack of breathability, particularly when it came to wrenching the gloves off.
Did you enjoy using the product? Not really.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they were an avid all-weather rider/commuter, yes.
Use this box to explain your score
Competitively priced in comparison with other leading cycling brand equivalents, and do the job they are designed to do. They're not designed to be breathable – and they're not. I'd prefer some palm-side padding, and dexterity is compromised a little by the thick neoprene.
About the tester
I usually ride: Road My best bike is: Carbon road.
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, Getting to grips with off roading too!
Emma’s first encounters with a road bike were in between swimming and running. Soon after competing for GB in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Edmonton in 2001 she saw the light and decided to focus on cycling.
After a couple of half decent UK road seasons racing for Leisure Lakes, she went out to Belgium to sample the racing there and spent two years with Lotto-Belisol Ladies team, racing alongside the likes of Sara Carrigan, Grace Verbeke, Rochelle Gilmore and Lizzie Deignan. Emma moved from Lotto-Belisol to Dutch team Redsun, then a new Belgian team of primarily developing riders, where there was less pressure, an opportunity to share her experience and help build a whole new team; a nice way to spend her final years of professional racing.
Since retiring Emma has returned to teaching. When not coercing kids to do maths, she is invariably out on two wheels. In addition to the daily commute, Emma still enjoys getting out on her road bike and having her legs ripped off on the local club rides and chain gangs. She has also developed an addiction to touring, with destinations including Iceland, Georgia and Albania, to mention just a few. There have also been rare sightings of Emma off-road on a mountain bike…