Thursday, August 31, 2006 11.00pm
By Dan Joyce
Apart from the lack of a towelling thumb upper and some differences in trim, this looks very like the cheaper (ahem) Rapha Criterium glove.
In that it has knuckle holes, a classic D-shaped open back, a Velcro strap, and it uses the same '2mm pads from army sniper gloves'. So far, so retro chic. So why the price hike? Principally this is because of the leather. This isn't the kid leather of the Criterium, although it feels like it, but 'African hair sheep leather', which Rapha claim is the strongest, toughest leather in the world.
The gloves are hand stitched, grippy, fit very snugly and are available in more colours than the Criterium. Because they're leather they're also breathable, weather resistant and tough. Comfort is much the same as the Criterium: pretty good. It's a classic look, it's well made, and it's about as exclusive as it gets. But I don't think it offers enough over Rapha's own Criterium or other cheaper gloves. Eighty quid is a lot: I could buy shorts, shirt, gilet and mitts for that.
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