Indulgent like their luxurious chocolate and functional like their watches, Swiss company, ASSOS, have been creating some of the most beautiful cycling clothing since their introduction to the market in 1976. With the winter feeling longer than ever, our rides started getting a little bit more, well, enduring to say the least, so we got our hands on their latest winter specific glove to give them a proper test.
Unless you’re cold-blooded or you’ve trained yourself not to feel the cold, then a pair of thick, comfortable and weather-resistant gloves are imperative when you’re intending to ride through winter.
I’ve ridden in over 800km of constantly changing weather with the Membrane Evo7’s, and truth be told, when I first tried them on, I wasn’t optimistic. No glove designed for bad weather I've experienced has ever been comfortable, or functional. It’s a fact. Luckily, I didn’t voice this opinion to anyone in the office, as halfway through my first ride, I sure felt like an idiot.
Three sections make up the Evo7; an inner, which uses a multi-density padding for comfort and warmth, an outer, which uses ASSOS airBlock fabric to protect you against the elements and the membrane, which sits in between these two layers and forms a protective layer.
“Because they aren’t too thick, it’s easy to get your phone, energy gels or Bellroy wallet out from a pocket. Perfect for taking photographs on the go, and with the grippers on the palm, you can use your touch screen device."
The inner polyamide fabric replicates merino wool. Soft, warm, cosy, it moves sweat away from the skin thanks to its supreme moisture management, whilst the outer blocks any moderate bad weather and wind chill. A thin rubber membrane forms a protective layer between the two, ensuring that if water does penetrate, then your hands will still stay dry.
With three layers, you’d expect them to be thick and chunky. True, at first, they do feel a tad on the large side when you’re not on the bike, but as soon as you’re moving your hands between positions, changing gear and braking, it soon becomes apparent how well-fitted these gloves are. They don’t hinder your ride experience or functionality in the slightest.
“Three sections make up the Evo7, with the centre membrane forming a protective layer between the elements and the comfort of the inner liner.”
I personally prefer winter gloves to come up to my wrists and sit tight against them, especially as I otherwise suffer in slightly chillier conditions. Because of this, Polyamide/neoprene cuffs are a welcome feature, providing a snug fit around the wrist, stopping any cold air or flapping of excess material to cause discomfort on long rides. The reflective elements on the outside of the little finger inspire confidence when you’re signalling on busier roads, too.
A generously sized soft pull tab on the inner wrist makes it easy to get the gloves on and off, meaning you don’t have to faff about after you’ve got the first glove on, either. Pulling this tab does tend to crease the gloves when you’re putting them on in a hurry, but nothing that hindered ride quality.
"A generously sized soft pull tab on the inner wrist makes it easy to get the gloves on and off, meaning you don’t have to faff about after you’ve got the first glove on, either."
Small, recurring polyamide ASSOS logos on the palms made from a grippy material further my trust for the ASSOS brand, and reinstate just how much attention they pay to their products. It doesn’t matter whether I’m riding in sideways rain or blistering cold, my hands always feel secure and planted to the handlebars.
TMI: If you’re wearing your best kit on a Saturday and your nose tends to dribble a lot, then the snot guard is a great addition. It stops you wiping your nose on your jacket/jersey or snotting onto the side of the road.
Conclusion: Not one bad feature comes to mind when I think of these gloves. Yes, the Bonka Membrane Evo7 may seem expensive, but what other company puts as much attention or time into ensuring you have warm, comfortable hands throughout every stage of your ride? ASSOS have truly lived up to their name as the premium kit supplier to the cycling industry with these gloves, and after passing them around for office for others to try, neither my colleagues or I can recommend them highly enough. Take the plunge, you won't regret it.
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