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The Galibier Zephyr All Surface Gloves are ideal for those riders who want protection, but don't want that to mean muted feedback from the handlebar thanks to bulky padding. They are very well made and comfortable, and breathable too.
I only wear gloves when it's really cold, as the majority – whether full-fingered or mitts – have quite a bit of padding on the palm. For me, that reduces the feeling from the front end of the bike.
For road riding the lack of protection is not really an issue, but as I spend around 50% of my time on gravel bikes, I do sometimes feel I should be better prepared for the inevitable crash on a loose surface.
That's where these Galibiers come in. I've been using them a lot, and find them very comfortable indeed.
The fingertips took a bit of getting used to, as each finger has a small section sewn into the tip; as it's not nearly as stretchy as the rest, they felt a little restrictive to begin with. After around four or five hours wear, though, everything softened up and become more supple.
The backs of the hands are nylon, which Galibier says is durable and resists abrasions – and I agree. Even after riding through brambles and getting them snagged on branches and thorns, they've suffered no damage. There is a lot of stretch in the backs too, which makes the fit great without requiring any Velcro tabs or anything for closure.
The palms are AX Suede, and they're quite soft and supple. There is just one section of padding that covers the hypothenar region (the mound at the base of your little finger, the bit you'd karate chop something with) and adjacent palm. It's very minimal, but enough to take the sting out rough surfaces. It's grippy too, so no slipping on the handlebar in the wet or dry.
This minimalism leaves you with plenty of dexterity, and I didn't even need to take them off to deal with mechanicals. The fingertips are compatible with touchscreens too, for phone and computer tapping.
From a breathability point of view these are pretty good. Their backs are thicker than the lycra of most mitts, so for anything above about 20°C I found them quite warm, but thanks to all the air holes the breeze can blow through to remove a fair bit of the sweat. They offer UV protection too, though Galibier doesn't say to what level.
Galibier also offers these in a mitt version, which Dave reviewed and liked.
I tend to head out on the bike very early in the morning, and things here are starting to get quite fresh from a temperature point of view. I've worn these when it is around 8°C and found them plenty warm enough, and they'll go a couple of degrees lower, I reckon.
They get wet through quite quickly in the rain, and don't dry anywhere near as fast as a pair of summer mitts. They stay comfortable though, and don't get any heavier when soaked.
These are £34.60, and for that you are getting a very well-made pair of gloves. The stitching is very neat, and they'll stay looking like brand new for a long time.
Liam recently reviewed the Stolen Goat Voltage Grey gloves, which are also lightweight full-finger things. They are a bit cheaper at £29, but with a thin lycra-style back panel, they're nowhere near as robust as the Galibiers.
Lusso's Terra gloves are light and aimed at gravel or mountain bike riding. We haven't reviewed them, and I haven't worn them, but they look very similar and will set you back £30.
The Zephyr All Surface gloves are very comfortable, and versatile for all kinds of riding. They lack the killer pricing of some Galibier kit, but they're good value nonetheless thanks to their strong performance and strong build.
Ideal lightweight gloves for all kinds of riding, in all sorts of conditions
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Galibier Zephyr All Surface gloves
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for
Galibier says, "Full fingered gloves engineered for all day comfort, no matter the severity of the terrain."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Custom engineered knitted backhands ensure a flexible fit
The backhands are constructed from highly durable nylon fibres that resist abrasion
AX Suede anti-slip palm – grips when wet
ARIAPRENE engineered palm padding
Breathable laser-cut palm perforations
Breathable inner finger mesh inserts
Touchscreen conductive fingertips
Reflective upper hand logos
UV sun protection
The sizing is spot on, and that's backed up by Galibier's size guide.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
No problems after multiple wash cycles.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Good grip on the handlebar and plenty of dexterity.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Minimal padding maintains ride feel.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Fingertips take a while to soften up.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Lusso offers a similarly styled glove for a fiver less, and while the Stolen Goats mentioned in the review are cheaper, they aren't as durable or warm as the Galibiers.
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
Some competition in pricing, but they are very well made and comfortable whether riding on the road, gravel or off-road.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for road.cc, off-road.cc and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!