Craft Bike Siberian glove £31.5

Fleece-lined winter riding gloves

BikeRadar score2.5/5

Past experience with Craft's top-end Siberian winter glove proved it to be a worthy match for sub-freezing temperatures, and in terms of warmth the new model is just as good. 

High-loft insulation, a windproof shell, and a Velcro cuff (which has been extended relative to the previous version) team up to seal out the cold and trap body heat, for a cosy feel without feeling too bulky when gripping the bars.

Overall fit is excellent throughout, with a snug – but not tight – cut and a trim, elasticized wrist that do a good job of keeping the glove on your hand. The base of the thumb is armored with an extra ply of suede-like material to prevent wear from lever hoods, the back of both thumbs is covered in fuzzy material to wipe your nose, and there's ample reflective material on the back to give you a little more nighttime visibility.

Craft has modernized the Siberian a little, too, with touchscreen-compatible tips on the index finger and thumb so that you don't have to risk frostbite to tweet mid-ride ("OMG it's so cold outside!!!"). We had a hard time getting them to work consistently, though, especially on devices equipped with a protective film. Given how blunt the fingertips are, it usually took us several stabs to perform the desired action ("OMG that totally wasn't supposed to go to my dad!!!").

Unfortunately, we also found that the latest Siberian has taken a distinct step backwards in one key area: grip. While the old glove was built with a suede-like fabric on the entire palm and finger area, plus lots of silicone rubber dots, Craft has inexplicably switched to a fabric that's much more slippery, plus a sparser array of appliques.

The grey appliques help with grip but the other materials don't 

We managed a reasonably secure grip on road lever hoods or rubber mountain bike grips. However, switching to handlebar tape or foam grips – such as ESI's popular Racer's Edge – proved much less confidence inspiring. Moreover, we found the Siberian's rubber appliques oddly squeaky in everyday use.

Despite the improvements – not to mention a US$10 decrease in price – the downgrade in grip is a major bummer. Warmth is fantastic, for sure, but cyclists need to hold on to things, too ("OMG I'm totally falling!!!").

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