Over the weekend I dropped into the Oakley store at Santana Row to pick up replacement nose pads for my Radars and came away with a promising pair of gloves.
There's no chance I'm going to drop into a half pipe with the Oakley "Pipe Gloves" in fact there's more chance of me riding a recumbent than snowboarding. And let me just go on record to add there's more chance of me winning Paris-Roubaix than riding a recumbent.
Instead, I thought these snug-fitting medium-weight gloves were perfect for the cool mornings we're enjoying at the moment. I assumed they'd be water repellent but was surprised to learn they have a 5000 mm waterproof rating (that's the equivalent of 16 feet of water in 24 hours). Rain is expected for next week so we'll see how they fair in the slop.
Oakley describes them as a mix of synthetic leather and nylon. The label lists 45% synthetic leather, 20% neoprene, 15% polyamide, 10% polyester, 5% polyurethane, 5% PVC Rubber. The back of the thumb is intended as a goggle wipe (extremely smooth and soft)... I fancy this material will be just as effective as a google wipe if you get my meaning.
The pre curved fingers and brushed liner make for a comfortable fit. There's 3M Thinsulate insulation for warmth on the back of the fingers and the palms are covered with a screened pattern of PVC rubber that gives them a superb grip on the bars.
Two more design details work well. There's a nice gusset at the wrist and an extended pull tab with a snap fastener that doubles as an effective way to tug on the gloves and keep the gloves together when not in use.
For cycling, the Oakley Pipe Glove's only shortcoming is the complete lack of padding in the palm. That might limit their use for long rides but for anything less than 2 hours I don't see a problem. Oh, and considering that they cost $30 and come in four colorways: blazing yellow; black; nickel and new olive; this is an outstanding value in a surprisingly technical glove. I'll have more to report as I put a few more miles on them.