Soooooo…I saw this picture on Facebook of what appeared to be a Gore Windstopper Lobster glove. I looked on Gore’s website, but couldn’t find it. Accordingly, I called my local bike shop that handles Gore clothing, North Central Cyclery, and talked to the head honcho there. He looked into it, and found out that the picture was of the new Gore WS Thermo Lobster Glove. Windstopper, biking specific, lobster glove. I was pretty excited about the prospect of this glove…you see, back in November, I had written about how I really, really hoped that Gore would make this exact product.
Much to my chagrin, I found that the gloves weren’t going to be out until next Winter. My hands, which are constantly prone to being cold, let out an audible sigh of discontentment. And then an amazing thing happened. The local Gore rep, a gentleman who is intelligent, attractive, handsome, brilliant, creative, generous, amazing, astounding, wonderful, engaging, alluring, winsome, charming, and otherwise generally stellar, mentioned that he might have a pair, in size Large, that I could try out. And thus, I tried a pair out.
This morning, temps were between 30-32 degrees. Wind was 15-18mph. It was cold, damp, drizzling. It was the kind of morning where my hands would ordinarily freeze. Ordinarily, I would wear gloves and Bar Mitts. Today, I tried just the Gore Lobsters.
Moment of honesty here: when I first slipped them on, I was underwhelmed. They fit perfectly, sure…but they were thin. Really thin. Incredibly flexible and comfortable, but thin. I could see no way that they could possibly be warm. They’re primaloft with a windstopper shell and leather palm, but as thin as they are…I had my doubts about whether they could possibly be warm. They were very nicely designed, though.
I hate leaving a cliffhanger like that, so let me get to performance first. I wore them this morning, without any glove liner, warmer, bar mitts, etc. My hands were warm. The whole ride. I was amazed–they were everything I had hoped they would be. Honestly, I have no idea how gloves this thin can be this warm. With the drizzle and dampness, wind and cold, my hands were warm and dry. I didn’t feel any wind. When these are available, these will be a piece of RATG standard gear.
Also of note, they fit perfectly (these were size Large), and were very, very flexible and accommodating -perfect design for cycling, and they allowed great grip and control of the bars. I can see them working perfectly with drop bars, too.
When riding in cold weather, some parts of the body are more important than others. If your face is cold, you can still ride. If your arms are cold, you can still ride. But if your hands or feet are cold, you’re done. All of the talk about contact points–its true. If the parts that touch the bike aren’t comfortable, you’re not riding. With Reynaud’s, my hands get cold, a lot. Gloves are one of the most important pieces of gear you can have…it’s worth spending a little money on them. Ordinarily, I would have been in a lot of pain this morning…numbness, and then pain. With the Lobster gloves, I was comfortable all morning. They are exactly what I was hoping for. I have absolutely no constructive criticism or helpful suggestions. Me likey very mucho.
Combination glove / gratuitous crotch shot:
Here, you can see the reinforced leather palm.
Rubber lines on the fingers so they stick to your brifters when you’re shifting or braking.
All of the print on the gloves is reflective, and there’s also this nice, long reflective stripe on the outside–visible on flat bars or drop bars.
There’s an elasticized inner cuff that you can pull over your jersey or jacket sleeve.
And there’s a nice velcro cuff that goes over that. Here’s the outside of the cuff.
Cuff, folded back:
And the cuff folded down and velcro’d closed.
The nice long length and double cuff means that your wrists will stay warm, even if your jacket pulls up a bit.
I love me some lobster gloves.
(Nice shots in the car, waiting for the ride, eh? If you pay for the premium RATG content, you’ll get better pictures).
Of note, some lobster gloves have large, undivided compartments where your fingers can commingle, and others have dividers that keep your fingers apart. I had thought that I preferred commingled fingers. The Gore gloves have finger dividers. After seeing how effective they are at keeping my fingers warm, I’m not second-guessing any aspect of the design. These are significantly and appreciably warmer than the Pearl Izumi lobster gloves that I have.
They’re awesome. If there was a grade better than A+, I’d be giving it. Get some. (This fall).