Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Giordana Silverline Lobster Glove Review

The Giordana Silverline Lobster glove was my first adventure in to the realm of lobster claw style gloves. They cost me $40 at the LBS. They've a nice, soft fleece lining on the inside. The thumb and index finger go solo inside the glove while the rest of the fingers camp out along side one another although they are divided by the fleece liner. The outer portion of the glove on the top has a windproof membrane, a terry cloth, fleece like wipe on the thumb, and a neoprene insulation on the inside with some textured plastic for, I'm going to assume, a better grip.

I've had these for a few months now, and used them pretty regularly on commutes where the temperatures dip below 40F. The lowest temperature was probably around 0F to a bit in to the negatives. I tend to be a weenie in the cold, so take my comfort range for what it's worth. Before I address that, though, I have to say I almost always use a glove liner underneath my winter glove to extend the temperature range, and it also seems to significantly reduce the amount of perspiration inside the glove even when my hands are toasty warm. The glove liner I use is made by Icebreaker and is 98% merino wool and 2% elastane. They have lots of little tacky dots on the inside allowing for excellent dexterity. A very nice thing to have on when you get a flat tire in the freezing temperatures!!!

So, thus far, I've been comfortable with this combo for a few hours slightly below freezing. 25F. Below that, my index finger and thumb start getting very cold while the rest of the fingers are generally pretty comfortable. Above 40F and I start getting too warm.

The windproof membrane works well. I can certainly tell it's eliminating all that nasty cold from the top of my hand. The neoprene also seems to insulate nicely. The nose wipe is wide and useful. The thumb seems to not have the windproof membrane under the wipe. I usually don't notice it, but when it's very cold and windy I can feel the chill penetrating in to my lonely thumb! The grips, if you can call them that, are a joke. The grid pattern is way too hard, and is more like plastic. I really don't know why they didn't use something softer and more rubber-like. By completely removing the grid, the glove would not lose anything. That's how bad it is. I've troubles removing my water bottle.

Besides the two minor issues I have with the gloves, I think they are pretty solid. I do think there may be some better options. Craft makes a similar glove, but differs in that the index lives with the middle finger so only the thumb flies solo. I think that makes more sense. The craft gloves also have a much tackier grip. PI also has the lobster claw, but it looks way too heavy for high intensity cycling in all but the coldest temperatures. Of course, there are others, too...

So, my advice is to steer clear of these gloves. I think the lobster claw is excellent, though, and if I cycled more often in freezing weather I'd probably invest in a better pair. Things to look for if you are in the market: windproof top, snot wipe, make sure all fingers share space with another finger besides the thumb, make sure the grip is tacky, and finally, try liner gloves!!!

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