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Galibier has a strong reputation for producing high-quality and affordable bike wear and the Zephyr All Surface Mitts don't buck the trend: they're well made and comfortable, and at less than £30 are well priced too.
Check out our guide to the best summer cycling gloves for more options.
Instead of using a Velcro closure, these mitts rely on a high-stretch knitted back to keep everything in place. And it's a very effective solution: the gloves are in full contact with your hands and don't slide around at all. It does make them harder to get off, though, so pulling them on and off for bike fettling or nature breaks is a bit more of a faff than some. There are finger tabs, but the gloves are snug enough that I didn't find them that effective.
The padding on the AX suede palm isn't thick but it is effective, and Galibier says that it's optimised for multiple hand positions on the bars. Certainly after a few rides I found them very comfortable, and a fit-and-forget option for road and gravel excursions.
I say 'after a few rides' because some of the stitching between the fingers took a couple of washes to soften up and form itself into shape, and for the first couple of rides the gloves were rubbing a bit between first and second fingers.
It probably didn't help that their first outing was on a long ride on the hottest day of the year, where I definitely wouldn't have worn any gloves had I not had some needing some miles. These Zephyr mitts are thicker than many, and when it's very hot – 'very hot' here in the British sense, so over 25°C – they're probably not your best option.
Luckily this summer I've not had to think about overheating too often. They're fine in the rain, though, I can report after extensive testing, and that's no doubt helped to form them to my hands as well.
The Zephyr mitts are very well made, and after 1,000km or so on the bars they've made it to the top of the mitts pile and they're first out of the drawer; they definitely wear in rather than wear out. I wasn't sure about these mitts at first, but now I'm really happy with them.
I've got them nice and sticky with dust and sweat and rain and snot a few times, and they wash up just fine. There's no specific snot wipe on them but the whole of the back sort of works, so I didn't miss it.
Just under 30 quid for a well-made pair of mitts certainly isn't expensive: you could pay double that for some Giro Supernatural mitts if you wanted (although Ben did think they were excellent). Equally, good cheaper options such as Lusso's summer gloves (in various designs) are available.
These Zephyr mitts are good value without being the huge bargain that some Galibier kit is; they should last, though, so they're definitely worth adding to your wish list.
Very well made mitts that work well on the road and are sturdy enough for gravel excursions
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Galibier Zephyr All Surface Mitts
Size tested: XL
Tell us what the product is for
Galibier says: "A super durable, knitted cycling glove for maximum comfort in summer.
Your hands are the crucial contact point on loose surfaces. Changing grip with the tyres require ever changing control and grip on the bars. Our new Zephyr knitted mitts are highly breathable contact with your bicycle. AX Suede anti-slip palm ensures you are always in control. Using a light, high stretch knitted fabric mean there is no need for velcro to maintain perfect fit. The padding is optimized only to protect the ulnar nerve and provides excellent comfort without reducing handlebar feel.
Comfort and control are key, so we have optimised the padding where is is needed, so multiple hand positions – while palm perforations and mesh finger inserts will prevent your hands getting clammy. Plus, the tab for easy removal and machine washability make these gloves easy to care for.
Easy fit. Easy Care. Are these the best mitts on the market..? Possibly"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Main Fabric Content
KNIT PANEL: 96% POLYESTER, 4% SPANDEX, PALM: 80% POLYESTER, 20% PU
Custom engineered knitted top panel creates comfort fit
Highly durable Nylon upper offers crash protection and durability
Reflective galibier logo
AX Suede anti slip palm – grips when wet
Breathable inner finger mesh fourchettes
Breathable laser cut palm perforations
Touchscreen conductive fingertips
ARIAPRENE® engineered palm padding
UV sun protection
Machine Wash at 30°C / 86°F
Do not use fabric conditioner
Dry flat, do not tumble dry
Do not bleach, iron or dry clean
I wore XLs, my hands are big (size 12) and they were fine. They're nice and stretchy.
I needed to get through a couple of rides where I didn't find them especially comfortable, and after that they fitted like, erm, a glove.
Good value, though not the obvious bargain some Galibier stuff is.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Chuck 'em in the wash, come up looking like new.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very comfortable after a few wears, well made, inexpensive.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Some stitching took a while to soften up, and they're hard to get on and off in a hurry.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Quite a lot of mitts are around £30, although you can pay quite a bit more if you want. There are some cheaper options but probably they're not as sturdy as these Zephyrs are.
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
Very good overall: they're really well made and very comfortable after you've worn them in.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Merida Scultura, Dward Design fixed
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: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.