Review: Optimum Nitebrite gloves

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In my experience, the first thing to freeze up on a cold day’s ride is your hands.

And for anyone who has arthritis, as I do, keeping your hands warm is critical. I wear gloves a lot.

The Optimum Nitebrite waterproof cycling gloves are part of a range of gear with an emphasis on high visibility. Indeed, one of the things I particularly like about these gloves is that my hand shows up very well to any traffic behind me when I hold it out to signal. The palms of the gloves, on the other hand, are black, so they’re not so good for signalling to oncoming drivers – but then I’ve got my eye on those bastards.

The gloves are soft and comfortable to wear. There are grippy patches on the palms and the index and forefingers, so your hands won’t slip on the handlebars. The thumbs are covered in what’s described as ‘soft wipe’ terry towelling – that’s ‘snot patches’ to you and me. I should probably buy a second pair or wash them more…

The gloves are very warm and genuinely waterproof. I’ve ridden in freezing temperatures and not given my hands a second thought. I terms of doing what they claim to do, these gloves are first-class. But…

You can pull the microfleece inner lining out of the glove – it doesn’t detach, but you can easily pull it inside-out, which is handy for drying the gloves after a ride.

That’s also a problem, though. If you happen to get hot during a ride, and your hands are sweaty, then it can be difficult to pull off a glove without turning the lining inside-out. And with sweaty little digits, getting the lining back in again is a nightmare. I’ve not found this to be a problem on truly cold days. But in milder winter weather it can be a real pain.

That’s why these gloves lose a star, and why I’m still on the hunt for the perfect gloves. In the meantime, these will at least keep me warm, dry and visible.

Optimum Nitebrite waterproof cycling gloves: ****

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