Thursday, February 10, 2011

Waterproof Gloves, Not Foolproof Gloves

There is a saying that it is hard to make things foolproof because fools are just so ingenious. That seems to be the case of my first day wearing my new waterproof cycling gloves.

Last Friday, I was taking a rest day from commuting in preparation for my first brevet. I decided to drop by a bike shop on my way home. Having checked the weather, I knew some waterproof gloves would be a good addition. I was also checking the sales on winter gear in general.

They had several brands and models of waterproof, winter gloves. I settled on a pair of Specialized Radiant gloves. They were 20% off. I was eyeing a jacket/heavy jersey, but it wasn't for the rain, so I decided to wait and see if I find something else or if it gets discounted further as the weather warms up.

So I started the all day ride on Saturday wearing my new gloves. I brought a lighter, but full fingered, pair in case it got warmer in the afternoon. It started raining within the first 10 minutes of the ride, so the gloves were getting a test. And so was the fool.

I had on my rain jacket with nice tight cuffs, but I had pulled the gloves over the cuffs. Now picture your self on your bike. Your arms slope down to your hands. When it is raining, the water runs down this same way. In my case slowly into the lining on the cuffs of the gloves. They gloves slowly wicked this water inside. So they got wet and heavy, but I did not notice until they were too wet to dry that day. Still I have to say they did stay warm if not dry.

To make sure there was not a problem with the gloves waterproofing, I did a little experiment after they dried out. I put them on and ran water on them under the sink. I was careful not to get water into cuffs. They performed perfectly. The outer layer is wet to the feel (from the outside), but the inside of the gloves stayed perfectly dry.

So next time I will pull my jacket cuffs over the gloves. I will have to find a different way to be the fool.

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