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The Dissent 133 Ultimate Glove Pack really is just that, and will easily see you through an autumn, winter and spring of road and commuter riding. I never found conditions where these couldn't be used, making them excellent value compared with the three sets of gloves I'd otherwise buy.
If you've not heard of Dissent 133 then don't worry. Neither had I before I got these gloves. It's a pretty specialist brand, focusing only on winter gloves. It's not such a simple thing to get right though. Whereas summer is easy to dress for with mitts or bare hands being fine, the block of time from October through to mid-March presents a big range of conditions.
Personally, I rarely suffer from cold hands – my issues usually come from having a cold core – but my hands can get clammy under gloves that don't breathe well. The result is that I have multiple pairs of gloves, from DeFeet's Duragloves through to heavy wet weather gloves. If only someone would put together a set that would see me through autumn, winter and spring... Oh wait, Dissent 133 has.
The first thing that I'll say about this set is that it is, on the whole, brilliant. I've not yet encountered conditions where the system has come unstuck. There are small details that I'd change and updates that Dissent 133 has already made, but I can easily recommend these.
Breaking the pack down, you get a silk liner glove, knitted thermal layer, a windproof shell layer and finally a waterproof shell layer. All these layers can be worn individually, and Dissent 133 provides a guide of what to wear in specific conditions.
The liner glove is much like any liner. It's thin, very soft and adds good warmth when combined with either of the shell layers. The liner is very breathable, making it great for when the temperature is mild but you still want to use the waterproof shell for the rain. Fit is generally good, though my set was a little short on the wrist. That's already been fixed and packs are shipping with longer cuffed versions of the liner and thermal layers.
Speaking of those thermal layers, Dissent 133 was originally just using DeFeet's Duragloves. It's now designed its own version but the construction is largely the same, with great fit and excellent breathability. These are my go-to layer for dry conditions down to around 6°C. Anything below that and I reached for the windproof layer.
Still on the thermal layer, Dissent 133 has increased the amount of silicone grip on the palm and increased the cuff length. Both of these are good moves as it means more grip and better compatibility with jacket sleeves.
The windproof outer is a shell that is comfortable to wear on its own, or with either the liner or thermal layer. It is very flexible and packable so you can easily pop these in your pocket for extra cover on a chilly descent. The shell is totally windproof and when combined with a liner, it's a really warm system that I found still breathes very well. When using this with the thermal layer, I found that whipping them off for any longer climbs was sensible as extended hard efforts will cause a bit of dampness. Thankfully, they're very easy to remove and stow on the move.
A little bit of water resistance has also been incorporated into this shell and they handled light rain and wheel spray easily. Dexterity is one of the key assets to this layer. These offer the best feel of the bars of any windproof glove that I've worn. Shifting and braking are easy, although I know the lack of padding in the palm will put some people off. The palm surface is covered with silicone grippers and they provided good grip on my Lizard Skins bar tape.
Finally, the waterproof layer offers brilliant protection against the rain. It's the least breathable of the set and so I was careful to use this layer sparingly. They do fit into a back pocket easily, though, so can be taken as an emergency layer should it start to chuck it down.
When I did get to use these gloves, they proved to be excellent, shutting out the rain that fell on my longer weekend rides. As the cold and wet conditions produce the rides where you're likely to be most miserable, the fact that this layer does its job very well makes it the most valuable, in my opinion.
It's not all positive though. While the gloves as a whole are brilliant, I do have one gripe. For me, the closure system isn't the best; I'd much prefer a larger area of Velcro because the thin strip that you've got here isn't the easiest to hit.
The Velcro is also very abrasive and catches on everything. Not only does it catch on the liner and thermal layers, but it's also great at ripping into baselayers and other stuff in the wash. Yes, I could remember to close the tab... but a different Velcro, like the stuff used on GripGrab's waterproof gloves, would eliminate the issue.
Moving the closure system to the inside of the wrist would be my only other suggestion. When on the tops of the bars, there's a lot of material to get bunched up on the back of the hand. I never found it uncomfortable, but less material at that point would be better.
Dissent does have reasoning for this closure system, though. It says it makes the shells easier to pull on and off while riding and they are indeed very easy to pop on in a hurry. But that said, I've rarely had an issue with other gloves so I'm not convinced the need is there. That said, other road.cc and off-road.cc team members who have also been riding with these gloves did like that aspect of the closure system. They do all agree with my niggle about the way the Velcro often/usually snags on the inner glove, though.
One other issue is the lack of reflective detailing. I'd really like to see some on the back of the hand so that when using these for commuting and evening rides, my turn signals would be more visible.
The fit is comfortable and unrestrictive. There is plenty of space to get the thermal layer under each of the shell layers. On the rare occasions that I used the shells without a layer underneath, they were slightly large but not uncomfortable at all. The fingers are a good length and there's no excess material on the palm.
While the cold has never been a particular problem for me, it is something a couple of the others who've been riding with these gloves do suffer from. The good news is, so far, they've found them more than capable of keeping the cold from nipping their fingers – even super-sensitive road.cc editor Tony. He actually went up to three layers – silk liner, thermal inner + showerproof outer – during January's cold snap and reported that they came through with flying colours and remained pleasingly dextrous. Oddly, he reckoned it was easier to get all three gloves on in one go (after taking all three off in one go) than trying to put two layers on in one go (after taking two layers off at the same time). I'd say it's pretty much always quicker to layer them up in sequence rather than trying to put the whole lot on at once.
Construction is good throughout, and over the extended test period (around 1,500 miles) I've used and washed these regularly. I'm happy to say that the waterproofing, in particular, has lasted. Likewise, the stitching is still solid. A little annoyingly, some of the silicone grippers, especially on the index fingers, have started to peel off. It's not the biggest issue but it'll really help to keep these away from the tumble dryer.
In terms of value, it's a hard one to judge; £95 might seem a bit steep, but you're essentially getting three pairs of gloves with a liner pair. They're very nice gloves too, and when you consider that a similar set from Rapha would set you back well over £200, this pack starts to look like fabulous value.
Overall, I reckon this is a brilliant set of gloves and well worth the money, especially if you suffer from cold hands. There are small things that I'd change for these to get full marks, but they're fully deserving of the 9/10.
Each layer is great and the system ends up being excellent value
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Dissent 133 Ultimate Cycling Glove Pack
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for
From Dissent 133: "The Dissent 133 Layered Glove System was born from days on end spent riding in variable conditions, with numb fingers and wet hands, causing difficulty shifting gears or braking hard. When the weather is foul outside, the hardiest of cyclists reach for multiple layers to keep dry and warm. Dissent 133 applies this logic to a three-part Layered Glove System, designed to protect no matter the conditions outside. Utilising a unique layering system that mimics the way a rider would layer their upper body, to maximise adaptability throughout changeable conditions."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Waterproof Layer: 82g
High Waterproof rating of over 10,000mm WPR (Water Permeability Rating), thanks to patented OutDry® technology
Excellent breathability; more than 20,000g/m2/day WVP (Water Vapour Permeability)
High and permanent elasticity, owing to high tensile strength
Lightweight but durable, thanks to Schoeller fabric, ideal for easy packing in your jersey pockets
Windproof Layer: 44g
Surface material is a highly flexible knitted interlock fabric
Under this is a windproof and water-resistant barrier membrane
Incredible dexterity for shifting/braking/control
Extremely Lightweight and easily packable into your jersey pocket
High breath-ability rating of 5,000g/m2/day WVP (Water Vapour Permeability)
Thermal Layer: 58g
Knitted construction means it is an ideal thermal layer that holds warmth incredibly when protected but a wind/waterproof outer layer.
Touch screen friendly middle finger, index finger and thumb
Versatile all season gloves – the choice of many top professionals
Silicone palm and finger grips
Lightweight full-fingered glove
High-wicking and hydrophilic
Very good. The stitching is solid and the gloves cope well with being rolled up and left in a back pocket.
The set, in its different combinations, has performed perfectly.
All the important stuff, the windproofing, waterproofing and stitching are holding up well. The silicone grippers on the shell's fingers has started to peel though.
The liners offer a close fit and the shells have enough space to get the liners in underneath.
Very nice and true to size.
Fine for winter gloves. (The weight listed is the liner + waterproof outer.)
Very good indeed. The lack of palm padding might be an issue for some.
Okay, £95 looks pretty expensive at first, but if you consider that they're actually £23.75 per pair, they're cheaper than lots of very good options.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Wash with everything else and don't tumble dry.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
They provide comfortable protection against a wide range of weather.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The fact that they've kept me warm and comfortable through everything the winter has so far thrown at us.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The closure system isn't the easiest to use. It's also quite abrasive so you can easily snag the inner – particularly the thermal inner on the Velcro. In fact it's easier to snag than not snag. Maybe a magnetic closure would be better.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
We've not tested a set of gloves like this. Not that I can see anyway. These are as well made and perform just as well as any other gloves that I've tested. As a set, each component part at £23.75 is actually quite cheap.
Did you enjoy using the product? Loved them.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, especially one who suffers with cold hands.
Use this box to explain your overall score
Each layer in the system is very well made and works well on its own. Bring them all together and you've got a system that represents brilliant value over having several gloves for different conditions.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!