I’m a daily bike commuter rain or shine. Yes this lets us only have 1 car, but for me riding is more than just a way to cut expenses it’s a lifestyle I’ve been enjoying for 20 years when I started racing Mountain Bikes at age 13.
Even when I got my first car it wasn’t unusual to find me riding my bike to see friends while my perfectly good car I could afford to put gas in sat at home.
Since I often spend hours on my bike in the rain or cold I’ve purchased a bunch of different gear to keep myself warm and comfortable when it’s less than ideal weather out. Note I didn’t say dry since when you’re riding with any type of effort you’re either going to be wet from sweat or water. I choose warm and wet from water every time.
Today we’re going to look at a set of gloves I just finally wore out from Gore called the Alp-X 2.0 Soft Shell Light Gloves.
You’ve likely heard of the Gore company before for their premiere product called Gore-tex which is in all kinds of outdoor gear like jackets and rain paints and hats and … lots of stuff. They also make Windstopper and that’s what these gloves have in them. That means that while they aren’t waterproof they are going to block the wind from getting directly at your skin.
Now I’m a warm person and am totally comfortable in shorts outside for extended periods of time in Vancouver BC about 48 weeks a year so that means my ‘warm’ gloves may not really be warm enough for you. I know that my wife would never have warm hands in these gloves if it was raining and she ends up wearing my pair of Castelli CW gloves over top of her regular cycling glove to stay warm.
For me the Gore Alp-X gloves are great for all my commuting and great for all my rides that are in the 0 – 5C range rain or shine. Below 0C I end up in my Castelli CW gloves and if it gets colder I pull out a 15 year old pair of Louis Garneau gloves that look something like the Super Shield.
That means that most rides from September – April are done in the Gore Alp-X gloves.
Comfort & Wear
I found these gloves to be one of the most comfortable gloves I owned, even more comfortable than my Specialized XC Lite summer gloves. They are short enough that I could wear them with my watch on for my commutes though that does mean they can have a gap at the glove/jacket meeting point.
Being generally warm this never bothered me but it’s something you should note if you don’t like that gap.
As I said above, I wore these gloves lots for not only cycling but also for trail running and they have lasted me a solid 18 months. During trail runs it wasn’t uncommon for my to put my hands down on all types of trail surfaces like rocks and trees and they gloves held up to the extra abrasion with no issues whatsoever.
They finally wore out on my left hand middle finger and it started to poke through. This is pretty common for me in any cycling glove so I guess that finger must be a bit longer than the rest of my fingers and put extra wear on the glove in that spot.
Don’t drop it
My only real issue with the gloves is that after 12 months of use the grippers on the fingers really started to break down to the point that they weren’t really doing much of anything. Sure you could still see them on the gloves, but they provided no grip.
More than once this little bit of lost friction meant that I dropped a water bottle and the stop/turn-around/retrieve cycle is annoying. In most years I drop a bottle about 0 times and since it’s now warm enough to get on my summer weight gloves I haven’t dropped a bottle again. Compare that to the last few months where I was dropping almost a bottle a week and it comes down to the gloves.
Of course the new summer gloves have all the grippers still intact.
I’d like to see a bit more aggressive grip put on the gloves so that it last just as long as the body of the glove does. No sense in replacing a glove that still properly protects your hands.
Yup I totally recommend these gloves an I went looking for a second pair just a few weeks ago. Unfortunately with it being spring time my local bike shop is low on winter/cool gloves so I had to go with a set of Specialized Deflect’s as my current cool morning glove.
I’ll be looking at a new pair of Alp-X 2.0 gloves as the summer winds down and I’m back to wearing a warmer glove for the fall/winter/spring.