Let’s start with a little exercise: I’m going to tick off all the body parts that when both cold and wet can make me want to turn home early.
- Regions of nether
History suggests I have a certain capacity to ride through a country buffet of discomforts, so while I really hate cold, wet feet, I ride on undeterred. I’ve put up with being wet and cold all over, and as long as I’m generating enough heat not to go hypothermic, great, but once I actually feel cold, well baby, all bets are off.
I must also stipulate that what I’m willing to endure when a number is pinned to my jersey is orders of magnitude different than what I’ll voluntarily put up with on your (my) average training ride. Therein lies the rub. I can put up with all sorts of sub-optimal stuff in the heat (cold) of an event, but if I’m out pedaling by myself, that third hour of cold, wet and alone can get older than a flapper’s cigarette holder.
Thus, the only way to keep me plugging away in the nasty is to keep me happy. A liberal coating of embro, thermal bibs, a good base layer that wicks like a Bounty paper towel, a warm jersey and a rain jacket that keeps rain out the way a hazmat suit keeps the nasty stuff at bay. Waterproof socks and great booties. But also, good gloves.
I’ve generally hated knit gloves. I went in with an open mind years ago. But for years the ones I tried started out comfortable and then would stretch out just enough that my hands would slip around inside the gloves. As long as I was on the bar tops or in the drops, there wasn’t much of an issue. On the hoods or touching the levers? One big fail.
Add rain to the mix and the combination of cold, wet and slidy was not something I was willing to endure. At all.
So when I was presented with the Showers Pass Crosspoint Gloves and assured they would neither stretch nor allow my hands to get wet. I figured that as long as my hands didn’t get wet, they’d probably stay reasonably warm. I just had to muster the willingness to actually go out when it was raining, actually leave home in the rain instead of just trying to get caught in it.
Reasonable happiness is how I would describe my attitude toward these gloves and my general feeling upon getting off the bike after three rainy hours recently. I get that $45 for a set of knit gloves may seem steep. This is no ordinary knit glove is my answer.
The Crosspoint is made with three bonded layers—a stout outer layer to minimize wear and what will remind you of other knit gloves. However, there is an Artex membrane beneath that to provide the waterproof barrier while still allowing some breathability, plus a Coolmax liner to wick moisture away. Like other knit gloves we’ve all seen (if not used) there is a silicone print on the palms and fingers to give you a solid grip.
They come in three sizes: small, medium and large, and the site includes a solid sizing chart. Aside from the safety orange I’ve been wearing, they also come in a neon green and basic black.
There came a point on my most recent ride when I looked at my hands and could see how the knit had absorbed all the water it could hold. However, my hands were both warm and dry, and if the temperature hit 50 degrees during my ride I’ll sing Queen at karaoke.
There’s one other point of consideration for a set of waterproof gloves, the same one for any other waterproof garment. Does said garment turn that region of your body into a rain forest? I’ve used many products (like those PVC rain capes) that keep the cold water out but inside ends up just as wet, if a good bit warmer. The Crosspoints were impressive because at the end of the ride my hands were simply damp, not dripping with sweat. Such a welcome experience.
Final thought: When people ask me what makes me happy, I don’t say warm and dry often enough.