No-one likes sweaty hands in summer, so Saul Jeavons has been trying something to keep those digits cool
This summer I had a couple of pairs of gloves on long-term test from Oxford Products, and having given them a full season of summer riding from some properly scorching days to those where I started to wonder (as the sun went down) whether just my jeans would be enough to see me warmly home, here’s the verdict.
Oxford Rockdale gloves
First up is the Oxford Rockdale, the look of which (and some of the protection) is inspired by the motocross gloves of the 1980s. Constructed from a mixture of mesh and leather, this is a glove with LOTS of ventilation, and a great choice for when it’s properly hot (although so far it’s only been tested by us in the UK rather than the Middle East). Match this with a good mesh jacket like the Rev’It Tornado2 and you can spend all day in reasonably cool comfort.
These Rockdale gloves have a ventilated, one piece, injection moulded flexible knuckle (which looks a bit tyre-tread like) surrounded by mesh to keep your hands cool. The palm is leather and has a padded thumb with “SuperFabric” overlay and injection moulded knuckle/finger elements for added protection.
As with most modern gloves, the Touch screen thumb and forefinger tip enables the use of a mobile device or Sat Nav with a gloved hand – although only if you have suitably big buttons and the gloves are a good fit. You’ll end up with what I call “squishy finger end errors” otherwise.
They fasten with a very secure Velcro wrist strap around the cuff, which will be invaluable if you come off and end up sliding down the road or track with your hands out behind you.
I found the seam on the thumb could prove annoying at times, but I think that would be cured by going one size down if I replace them. All in all though, a wonderfully cool glove on a hot day.
Available in two colourways Black and Charcoal/Black for £59.99.
Oxford Tucson gloves
The second pair of gloves I had this summer were Oxford Products Tuscon glove. These are a fairly classic full leather construction glove, but with high levels of perforation for ventilation, additional bonded knuckle and finger protection built in, and overlays on the little fingers.
In terms of personal taste, these are much more my style of glove than the Rockdale and soon became my glove of choice on all but the hottest of days, as understandably a perforated leather glove can’t provide the same level of cooling air flow as a predominantly mesh one. The glove does a pretty admirable job though, and on all but the very hottest of days I’d say it does a job which is certainly very good, and comfortable too. Plus of course, where you lose out slightly over a mesh glove on the hottest of midday rides, you gain back on evening rides where the temperature just starts to drop a little on the homeward leg.
Again, these Tucson gloves feature the now ubiquitous touchscreen-compatible thumb and forefinger tips.
The only criticism I’d level at the Tuscon is that the velcro wrist fastening for securing and for adjusting fit, isn’t that great at staying fastened. I found I had to refasten them at a stop more frequently than I wanted to. Aside ffrom that they’re a great stylish and comfortable glove, and if you’d rather they were brown they are available in brown too, but only a very dark brown.
Overall both gloves exude quality construction and at this price, £49.99, that’s something that Oxford continue to impress with. Explore the Oxford website for more info.