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The DexShell ThermFit NEO Gloves work really well on the bike: they're warm, waterproof and give a good grip on the bar. They aren't padded, which won't please everyone, and I found them more difficult to get on than others, but once you've achieved that, they're great.
Unlike typical winter cycling gloves, which have a hardshell material as an outer, a soft inner, and most often a fair amount of padding on the palm, these ThermFit NEOs have a knit outer and merino mix inner, and no padding anywhere. They do have silicone gripper on the fingers and across the palm, but aside from that the palm seems to be made from the same material as the tops, and they act and wear like any 'normal' pair of casual gloves.
One of the big advantages of this kind of flexible knit design over those with thicker or more hardshell outers is that it makes pulling levers, wrapping around handlebars or grabbing items from a jersey pocket easier.
Their weatherproofing is excellent. I used them in a wide range of conditions, down to around -2°C and in pouring rain; they were really put through their paces but never found wanting. With impressive warmth and waterproofing, they kept everything out in even the most foul weather. They also cover a pretty wide range of temperatures – over the Christmas period we had days in the mid-teens and these were fine for that too.
The touchscreen-sensitive thumb and forefingers work impressively well, too, so I can use my iPhone or Garmin without needing to remove the gloves.
Not having any padding on the palm has its positives and negatives. It means you get a good feel of the road through the bars, but if you use them for a prolonged period over rough terrain your hands can take a bit of beating. I prefer to have a little padding, but I wore these for several longer rides without any major discomfort.
The silicone gripper on the palm and fingers provides more than adequate grip even in soaking wet conditions.
One slight downside to these gloves is that there is no 'wipe zone', so if your glasses get rained on or you need to wipe away sweat (or snot), you need to use the more abrasive material on the back of the hand.
I also found putting the gloves on an 'interesting' experience. They aren't particularly complex, but their construction means they create a pretty air tight seal, and you might need to individually adjust each finger. It's a little like putting on wetsuit gloves, if you're familiar with that. I found that as the gloves were used a bit more, this became slightly less pronounced, but it's certainly noticeable in the first few weeks. Taking them off is pretty simple, mainly because they offer a lot of dexterity so it's easy to grab the end of a finger and pull.
For an rrp of £35, their performance is impressive. They're very similar to the Stolen Goat Climb & Conquer 4 Seasons Gloves that Mike tested last year and loved, which are the same price. In fact, beyond the logo and the layout of the silicone grippers, they look very, very similar...
Looking at other gloves in that price range, I tested the Bontrager Circuit Windshield Gloves in April last year, which cost £5 more and despite being excellent cool weather gloves don't offer the same warmth.
These gloves are impressive. The construction is unusual, but there is no doubt that they do the job very well. They're warm and weatherproof, and the silicone gripper do a good job so your fingers won't slip off the levers. There isn't any padding or a snot-wipe area, and they are a little more awkward to put on than most, but aside from that there is little not to like.
Well-designed and comfortable gloves that keep out the cold and rain and keep in the warmth
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road.cc test report
Make and model: DexShell ThermFit NEO Gloves
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
DexShell says: "The DexShell ThermFIT NEO Gloves are waterproof, windproof and breathable gloves with a knit outer and merino terry loop inner. They are flexible and give great dexterity whatever the activity. The ThermFIT NEO Gloves are perfect for hiking, cycling and everyday use."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Outer Shell: 84% polyamide, 13% elastodiene, 2% elastane, 1% conductive yarns
Interliner: Porelle® membrane (100% PU)
Inner Glove: 40% merino wool, 40% acrylic, 18% polyamide, 2% elastane
I was initially a bit worried about the silicone grippers peeling off because of the flexibility of the material, but after six weeks of near daily use this hasn't been an issue.
They kept everything out that I didn't want getting in, and kept the warmth in.
Early days, but they're nice and thick and feel like they're likely to last.
Once properly on they fit nice and close, though getting your fingers in place takes a little longer than others I have used.
The medium sized up as expected.
They're comfortable in that they keep your hands warm and dry, but there's no padding for protection on rougher terrain.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy – I stuck them in at a standard 30 degree wash a few times; the only slight challenge is that the waterproofing means they take longer to completely dry inside and out.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well – they kept my hands warm and comfortable without adversely affecting my grip on the bars.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Their flex – they feel like casual gloves that work well on the bike.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing major, but it takes a little longer to get your fingers in place than some gloves. Some people might also want a bit of padding.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
They're a fiver less than the Bontrager Circuit Windshield Gloves I tested last year, which, despite being excellent cool weather gloves, don't offer the same warmth. They're the same price as Stolen Goat's very similar Climb & Conquer 4 Seasons Gloves, which Mike reckoned were really good value.
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 overall score
They're very good: flexible, warm, and grip the bars well. They do everything you want from a cycling glove, while feeling like a more casual glove.
About the tester
I usually ride: CAAD13 My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,
George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.