Here in the UK autumn is well underway, which means it's time to refresh the wardrobe with some mid-season essentials. Autumn is a funny season (but probably my favourite), chilly mornings can turn into balmy, sunny afternoons with big shifts in the temperature, often putting cyclists into a spin about what to wear, yes the struggle is real.
For me, a decent pair of mid weight socks, gilet, cap and a pair of long fingered gloves form the basis of the spring / autumn clothing conundrum, with the addition of arm and knee warmers if required. Whilst on the search for some gloves that offered some protection from the elements without being too bulky, I came across the brand Galibier and their Roubaix Vision Gloves.
Mention Galibier to any cyclist and images of the iconic Col that climbs to a dizzy height of 2642m will fill their heads. Some have even ridden it and experienced the 9th highest paved Alp summit in all its (pain) and glory. But not many will have heard of the clothing brand that shares the same name.
Galibier.cc is a direct sales, rider run company launched in 2012, they aim to provide garments that stand tall beside any brand, at any price. Quite a bold claim and one that needs putting to the test.
I don't like to start a review on a negative but I should point out that initially my order included a pair of their Fire Feet socks and Ardennes arm warmers, however on trying them on I wasn't happy with the fit of either and elected to send them back unused. Firstly the socks, I'm a 43 so went for the medium, quoted at 42-45 but I found them very loose in the heel cup and felt there was potential for the socks to stretch out through use, further exaggerating the issue. The arm warmers are interesting, a panelled construction and anatomically cut meaning each warmer is cut specifically for the left or right arm. The fit, once they're on is good but that's where my issue lies, double width silicon grippers at both ends made them extremely difficult to get on and positioned correctly at the cuff and upper arm. It was quite the struggle and one I wasn't prepared to put up with, I commute 3 or 4 days a week, I just want to get up and get out the door when doing so and having to fight the arm warmers everyday at 6.30am was not all that enticing.
So the gloves, I used the online size guide to measure around your knuckles and ordered the large. They came nicely packaged in a poly bag with a nicely shot picture on the tag.
The first fit was good, no bunching on the palm, close fitting but not too tight.
Readers should not that this is not a padded glove, it's aimed at those that want protection from the elements during spring and autumn whilst retaining bar feel and offering a close fit.
Initially the lack of pad seemed odd and I wasn't sure I liked it or not, but having now been using these gloves since early October I can say that I'm really getting on well with them.
I've used them across a wide range of conditions, frosty mornings at 1c, windy days at 6-8c and warm afternoons nudging into the teens. Somehow the gloves seem to have coped with everything the weather has thrown at them. Overall I'm extremely pleased with the gloves, one minor flaw for me is the seam that runs from thumb to forefinger, if you're riding on the hoods the seam often rests in a position that puts pressure on your hand, but this has softened with use and is pretty much unnoticeable now. For £16 they represent really good value and make a worthy addition to anyone's wardrobe.
The gloves and full Galibier range are available at https://galibier.cc