Assos longSummerGloves

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I’ve written previously about how life in the South Bay of Southern California means that I spend at least eight months of each year in arm warmers. I go through a lot of embro as well. I’m also, eternally, on the lookout for lightweight long-finger gloves. That is, a long-finger glove that is warm, but not too warm. For me, I tend to put the short-finger gloves away somewhere between 55 and 60 degrees. I admit the decision process isn’t exactly scientific. Ride length has a lot to do with it—I’ll go with short gloves for longer rides if the temperature is likely to rise a fair bit—but my mood is a big predictor as well.

I’m thinking your results may vary.

This would be a good place to mention that I wouldn’t ordinarily review two products by one company in consecutive days, but as I’ve worn the longSummerGloves with each ride I’ve done in the iJ.intermediate_s7, it makes sense to go ahead and do them now. They are, to use a turn of phrase, “of a piece.”

Looking at the Assos longSummer Gloves on the web site didn’t give me the perspective on these that I needed. I had the idea that they were just the Summer Gloves, but with long fingers.

Wrong! Thank you for playing.

The back of the longSummerGloves is notably heavier than the single layer of Lycra of the summerGloves_s7. The material is a knit polyester that does a fair job of stopping the wind. I started wearing these later in the spring than would have been truly helpful. These are just heavy enough to get me through the entirety of the South Bay winter save perhaps January. Better yet, they are one of two or three pairs of long-finger gloves I’ve ever worn that don’t cause my hands to slosh around inside the sweat-lubricated domain should the temperature rise above 60 degrees. Of course, it’s a good deal easier to make a closure-less back glove fit if you go to the trouble of making it in seven (7!) sizes. My hands, which will never, ever be confused with those of a carpenter or basketball player, are regarded by Assos as medium. I harbor the expectation that the XXS fit people who can find no other gloves that fit.

Which brings me back to the real challenge. Keeping hands comfortable on a ride is a good deal easier if the temperature won’t stray by more than a degree or two from the start to the finish of the ride. But around here, the temperature can vary 10 degrees in two hours. As a result, I confess something of a glove fetish; I own more pairs of gloves than I do of bib shorts—and I’ve got a lot of bibs.

Owners of the summerGloves_s7 will note that the longSummerGloves use identical palm material, padding and grip. The fit is identical as well and the closure-less back reduces bulk, giving the gloves an unusually svelte feel and look. And then there’s the fact that if you own other Assos items, these gloves come in a color that will perfectly match what you already own. From a safety standpoint, I love being able to hold up a hand that is almost entirely red. If a driver can’t see that, they weren’t really looking. They are also available in black, blue, yellow and white. There is a small patch of black near the thumb that includes the absorbent terry-like material for nose and face wiping; in the case of the Long Summer Gloves the material continues straight up the top of the thumb for extra wipage. One other aspect of these gloves that makes them notably different from competition is how the thumb is essentially sewn in backward, i.e., at an angle that would otherwise break your thumb. If you’ve ever put on a pair of full-finger gloves that brought your thumb in close to your index finger, making it less than comfortable to wrap your thumb around the bar, then I won’t need to explain how this feature of the pattern helps.

At $85, these gloves aren’t cheap, but that number doesn’t really come as a surprise given that these gloves are from Assos. Everyone expects Assos gear to be pricey. Predictably, this is where I consider the COO—cost of ownership. I mentioned earlier this spring that I finally killed a pair of the Summer Gloves I’d been wearing for more than five years. As they were absolutely my go-to gloves, meaning if they weren’t so smelly they needed to be washed or it wasn’t too cold, that’s what I wore. I estimate I wore them at least 100 times per year, and probably managed somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 uses. I’d say that’s a pretty remarkable value.

Given the spring, or lack thereof, that many parts of the world are experiencing, I’m guessing these gloves could see significant use clear into July.

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25 comments

  1. Patrick

    How do these compare to the insulator gloves, if you’ve had a chance to wear both? I found the insulators very comfortable around that same temperature range you mention, but the little grippy dots on the underside of the glove were not as durable as other Assos kit usually is.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Patrick: My experience with the summerGloves is that the grippers never wear off. I’ve had a few of the dots wear off on the insulator gloves as well. These have the added benefit of offering some padding without being overstuffed like some gloves I’ve encountered.

      Diesel: I’m in what’s called the South Bay, which includes the beach cities and the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The PV Peninsula creates an eddy off the Alaskan Current and that keeps the water off our coast noticeably cooler than other nearby areas. This, combined with the fact that I do most of my riding in the early morning means that for most of the year when I head out for a ride the temperature is in the 50s and won’t be much above 60 when I get back home.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Bigwagon: Every bona-fide pro I’ve ever ridden with wore arm and knee warmers to at least 65 degrees, many of them advised me to keep them on to 70 degrees, even though I wasn’t quite as lean as they were. That said, I’m not really interested in debating the point. What I will mention is that your comment is dangerously close to trolling and trolls aren’t exactly welcome around here. If you can’t make a meaningful contribution to the conversation, we do have a solution for that.

      Les: Because the fit is so excellent, the dexterity is superb. Not quite what it was with the glove liners, but unless you’re dealing with a really tight tire when grip is at a premium, you’ll be able to change a tube with no problem while wearing these.

  2. Les Borean

    I can attest to the colder micro-climate around Redondo and the west side of the Palos Verdes mountain. I’ve taken off for rides in that direction with what I consider suitable attire, only to get the chill on the other side of PV.

    And also can I attest to the fact that we living here in this Mediterranean climate are averse to any Farenheit temperature that doesn’t start with “7″. I’ve gotten somewhat more resilient since cycling, but acquaintances from anywhere else on the planet seem impossibly hearty to me.

    Padraig: How’s your dexterity with the gloves on? Can you fix a flat while wearing them?

  3. Big E

    Nice thorough review as always Padraig. I think the phrase, “These aren’t cheap™…” is actually a trademark of Assos. Awesome apparel, but always expensive.

  4. BHK

    Regarding clothing and how much you wear is very individual, and most certainly when it comes to gloves. Living in Denmark Jutland no matter where you are, you’re close to the sea, which means in the spring at 15/60 degrees you’re properly half yeti if going short sleeves. Atleast i can’t but gloves is by far the hardest part to get right. So far i’ve found som Gore gloves that works at 7-12 C, other problem is size, i’m size the biggest you got and it will properly be snugg in euro size that’s 11-12. Will be looking at those Assos now.

  5. tinytim

    I’ve grown to like the wool-blended Defeet gloves (and for that matter, I only wear Defeet wool-blended arm warmers, knee warmers, and base layers). The Assos gloves do seem nice, but for $85 you could easily pick up four pairs of the Defeet wool gloves. I’ve had the same pair of the Defeet gloves for like two years, and have worn them 4-5 days a week 9 months out of the years for road and mtn excursions. And when they get wet, they stay warm. While on the topic of gloves, one cool tip, that I came to learn out of necessity and improvisation while recently visiting a friend in the high Rockies, is to pack a pair of latex gloves in a saddle bag, for the purpose of layering under a light-weight glove. The combination of a water-proof latex under glove and Defeet wool outer glove, created a glove warmer than my mountain hardware skate skiing glove, enabling me to descend for Estes Park for two hours without a problem. For rillz.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Tinytim: Years ago I tried the wool gloves you reference from DeFeet as well as similar pairs that were offered by Rivendell. The Rivendell ones were itchy as hell, so I would always take them off the moment it seemed remotely warm enough to get away without them. With both Rivendell and DeFeet, I never had a pair last more than three months—they always, ALWAYS, stretched out and compromised my grip of the bar—and the fit, even when new, was nowhere near as good as what the Assos are. You could give me a dozen pair of them for free and I would happily pay the $85 for the Assos instead. If I wanted oven mitts, I’d stay in the kitchen—the dexterity they afford is that bad. It may just be that I’m too picky about fit to tolerate them.

      Dave: I’m familiar with Home Depot’s Firm Grip line of gloves. I looked at a pair before my last home move (I got sidetracked by tools when I should have been buying containers). I don’t think it’s accurate to suggest they are in any way equivalent. It’s a good deal heavier glove and lacks the dexterity and light padding of the Assos gloves. That’s not to say the Firm Grips are bad gloves, but it is inaccurate to say they are functionally equivalent.

      Guys, if you’ll pardon me, while the longSummerGloves might not be perfect or even the best glove on the market, I think it’s much easier to put them down if you haven’t actually tried them.

  6. dave

    If you are willing to live without the styling, you can get functionally equivalent gloves for 10 bucks a pair…’Firm Grip’ branded work gloves at Home Depot.

    Breathable back, thinly padded palm, terrycloth patch. Everything you need.

    I almost always wear full finger gloves…no slip, bar tape stays minty fresh, much better protection if you hit the deck.

  7. dave

    No doubt its very nice stuff…I have some bro-deal Assos Prosline (sic) garments, and they are VERY nice.

    But the value for money ratio is so out of whack…I live in what feels like the world capital of Conspicuous Cycling Consumption (Santa Monica) and even around here I really never see Assos garments.

    Who is buying this stuff?

  8. Patrick

    @dave If you don’t have a car payment, then buying one piece of Assos kit is like paying your monthly car payment. A new pair of pants for the office, or a new pair of bike gloves and socks. With enough effort, anything can be rationalized! (Not trolling here, I have a bunch of Assos stuff.)


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Dave: Are you doing any of the La Grange group rides? I see plenty of my La Grange friends wearing Assos when they aren’t in their club kit. Since Assos took over their sales and distribution six or seven years ago, the amount of their stuff I see on the road has soared. When I’m healthy enough to be doing the New Pier Ride, I always see some there.

      Bigwagon: This isn’t about whether or not my skin is thick or thin (ha ha), but about your ability to engage in constructive conversation. As soon as we allow one reader to admonish or insult anyone—whether it’s me, my contributors or another reader—I’ve learned that shuts the intelligent conversation down. We’re committed to making sure our comments don’t devolve into the spewing invective found on sites like Yahoo! and TMZ. We hear from plenty of readers that they prize us because our comments are filled with intelligent sharing. Around here, we’re not so much concerned about how hardened up you are as how grown up you are.

  9. bigwagon

    In the spirit of constructive commentary, perhaps an article on the pros and cons of when and how to wear arm and leg warmers would be a good topic. I’m sure it would spark a lively conversation if nothing else.

  10. Geraint

    It might – but only if you could find another troll to have ‘a lively conversation’ with. You appear to have drawn a blank here so far.

    I think Padraig’s comment about the temperature at which he wears arm warmers helped add context to the review, to which the sensible reader could apply his own ‘adjustment factor’.

    Back on topic… I personally think most Assos stuff is ridiculous in terms of its appearance, marketing, and pricing, but these gloves look quite interesting. Thanks for a helpful review.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Bigwagon: That might just make for a terrific Friday Group Ride. I’ll admit that I start with the assumption that the RKP readers is smarter than the average bear, which is why we don’t do how-to articles. Well, that and the fact that I encounter so many riders who know everything about the LT and nothing about convective cooling of the human body. I’ll ask Robot to consider it as a possible question for the FGR.

  11. Les Borean

    To expand on bigwagon’s suggestion: A topic of dealing with wide temperature ranges during a ride. I’m sure various body-part warmers play a big part here.

  12. Carlos

    Padraig et al. I find the temperature comments rather funny. I live most of the time in NJ but spend enough time riding the Santa Monica mountains to stop being surprised at how overdressed the “Westerners” seem to get before a morning ride. And I don’t mean bling-bling bike clothing but too many layers. Oh well. Not to be a troll, but I also found funny your remark that you see yourself as “not thin” at 160 lbs. Maybe this is why going up Decker, er, I mean Westlake, is so hard for me. Gotta lose those pounds. And for those with light wallets, Assos has an “outlet” store in Ticino, not far from Lugano. You can ride from Como to it. As you can imagine “outlet” and Assos don’t go very well together, even there. Cheers.

  13. Les Borean

    Carlos — Okay, so YOU are one of those cyclists I pass by up in the Santa Monicas in short sleeves when I’m all bundled up. Makes me cold just seeing you guys.

    BTW, Assos has an online factory outlet store too.

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  15. Josh

    Although the topic was summer gloves, I am with some of the other readers in that I see gloves as a protection from road rash before anything else. That is what draws me to the Giro LX or the Rapha GT gloves (for short fingers), both have leather covering the knuckles (which I would assume need the added cover in a fall).
    does anyone else feel okay wearing long fingered gloves in the summer to protect the whole hand? I feel like I would prefer a long fingered glove if it was a) vented to let it be cool during the heat and b) protected my whole hand with leather or another tough wearing material in the case of a spill.
    I don’t want to district the conversation, but if the topic is summer gloves, I would be happy to hear about long fingered summer gloves that others recommend.

  16. Patrick

    @Josh beware of those Giro gloves with the leather palms etc. When wet, the black leather dye would stain any other clothes, like say a favorite white jersey and a base layer. Ironically, the dye that wouldn’t stay on the gloves also wouldn’t come off of the clothing.

  17. Josh

    @Padraig
    Thanks for the tip. I had heard that too, but luckily the Giro LX LF now comes with white palms now, so there isn’t a risk of that bleeding.
    Someone mentioned Rapha long finger summer gloves, but I haven’t seen those before.

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