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Gore's C3 Infinium Stretch Mid Gloves are suited best to hard rides in cool temperatures. The windproof material is surprisingly effective given the lightweight feel and the gloves will see off some rain too. While the breathability is superb, the sizing was strange and I'd like to see some grippers on the fingers to help with shifting and braking.
When looking for a pair of gloves, my preferences are a close second-skin fit, good grip of both the handlebar and brake levers, and warmth that doesn't leave my hands sweaty. While the C3 Infiniums nail the warmth test, with plenty of breathability too, they felt very oddly sized and were slippery on the smooth surface of the brake levers. For the money, there are better alternatives.
Let's begin with a positive. I've been using the C3 gloves in some rather dull UK weather and it feels like this is where they do best. My riding has been a mix of casual cafe rides with friends, taking a rather sedate pace, and solo interval sessions, which are anything but easy. The gloves seem to work well from about 5°C when you're giving it some welly to around 14-16°C if you're ambling along.
The lightweight fabric is totally windproof, which gives your hands a chance to keep themselves warm. The range of temperatures that you'll find the gloves useful in will depend largely on your hands' ability to stay warm. Mine are quite good in cold weather. If you usually suffer from cold hands, you might want something thicker.
The Infinium material is incredibly breathable, making these good gloves for hard interval sessions. I found that my hands stayed sweat-free during the entirety of an hour of 20/40 intervals. The thin material on the back of the hand has a lightweight fleece lining and I found that this combination offered the second-skin feel that I prefer. There's a decent stretch to the material and I like the fit around the palm and wrist.
The sizing issues start when you get to the base of the fingers. Here, the material feels overly tight and this continues down the finger. A double-check of the sizing chart and I'm slap bang in the middle of the recommended medium range. So the fact that the fingers are also all far too long is disappointing. I tried to pull the material down the fingers, but this didn't work. (It wasn't just me – various road.cc staff tried the gloves on, and none found a good fit.)
The fingers are also where I found my other big frustration with the C3 Infiniums. There are silicone gripper dots at the very base of the fingers, but there is nothing down the rest of the fingers. While the grip on bar tape is fine, the material feels slippery on the brake levers, which doesn't exactly inspire confidence on rougher sections of tarmac.
The palm features two very small sections of thin gel padding. This strikes a great balance between road buzz absorption and maintaining a natural bar feel. The cuff has good length to it and I found that the sleek design worked well with long sleeve jerseys and jackets.
They're a bit pricey at £49.99 – you can get some great gloves for less: Castelli's Lightness gloves are a bit cheaper at £40 and GripGrab has its Ride Windproof gloves at just £31. You can spend a lot more though: Castelli's Scalda Elite gloves are £70.
While I loved the breathability and warmth that the Infiniums offer, the gloves are really let down by the sizing issues. I'd certainly advise that you try before you buy. If they fit, and you don't mind the lack of grip on the fingers, then you'll be impressed by the performance, especially when you're riding hard.
Great breathability and performance at high intensity, but sizing issues and lack of grip on the fingers
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Gore C3 Gore-Tex Infinium Stretch Mid Gloves
Size tested: 7
Tell us what the product is for
From Gore: "Combining tactility and warmth with a 3D pre-shaped construction, this glove will stretch and move with you. The windproof, water-resistant outer fabric combined with a light brushed interior add warmth and will ensures you never have to take the gloves off while outdoors."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ Product: totally windproof, extremely breathable and water resistant
GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ Stretch Gloves Technology
3D construction is pre-molded into an ergonomic active shape
Foam and silicone padded palm
Four-way stretch for ultimate movement and versatility
Lightweight fleece insulation
One seam construction to maximize comfort and minimize weight
Reflective details on all sides
Slim and snug cuff construction will not move during activities
Windproof, water resistant, extremely breathable
Optimized for gloves-on use with touchscreen devices
Overly tight at the base of the fingers.
Fingers are way too long.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Wash at 30 and don't tumble.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Moving past the sizing issues, they performed really well. The breathability is great and they kept my hands pretty warm too.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The performance of the Infinium fabric is brilliant.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The sizing issues are really annoying.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
GripGrab's Ride Windproof gloves are £31, Castelli's Lightness gloves are £40. They're not the most expensive that we've tested: Castelli's Scalda Elite gloves are £70.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, the sizing is all wrong for me.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they had very long fingers then maybe.
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Infinium material is really good, but the sizing issues are a real annoyance for me, and the lack of grip on the fingers isn't good.
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!