It’s cold. It’s breezy. But, you can only do indoor trainer sessions so long before you drive yourself batty. To get out in the cold, a good pair of gloves is a necessity and the new Bontrager Velocis Winter Gloves offer supreme warmth and coverage on the coldest of winter days.
Bontrager Velocis Softshell Winter Glove Features:
- Softshell fabric is wind- and water-resistant for inclement weather protection
- 200g Thinsulate traps heat to keep hands warm and dry without compromising dexterity
- Non-padded design provides ultimate connection and control
- Soft fleece thermal lining adds next to skin comfort and warmth
- Soft nose wipe on thumb to rid frosty nose-icles
- Conductive thread creates touchscreen-compatible fingertips
- Wetgrip palm provides exceptional bar control and grip
- MSRP: $79.99
Darth Vader approved
Yes, I’m a Star Wars fan, so naturally, these gloves reminded me of Darth Vader’s famous leather gauntlets. The shape and design is uncanny. So, with the Imperial March ringing in my mind, I ventured out into the cold universe.
With a variety of cold-weather gloves at my disposal, these are decidedly on the side of “only use them when temps are really cold” spectrum. By that, I mean below 45 degrees. There’s some grey area in the 40-45 degree range, but that’s when I used them the most. On one particular ride, I thought the Santini Acquazero Vega Gloves would suffice only to return to my car after a few miles to swap them for the Velocis Softshell Gloves — boy, were my digits thankful!
The Velocis Softshell Gloves use a combination of materials to ensure comfort on cold, wet or snowy rides. The softshell exterior offers 4-way stretch to ensure a natural feel. And, the Thinsulate insulation ensures warmth (and does a fine job) without too much bulk. There’s no getting away from the fact that these are bulkier than other gloves, but they are on par with the best cold-weather gloves on the market.
Something that could be debated is the gauntlet-style design. Yes, it does make for a Darth Vader look, but the added coverage is outstanding when riding in the coldest temperatures. It also helps them be more compatible with a variety of sleeve cuff designs. Adding to that are the butter cuffs (light, fleece inner-cuff) that further aid in weather protection. With some jackets, the inner cuffs did get in the way, but was always easy to re-adjust as needed. A Velcro strap also adds security and protection.
Bontrager is proud of the Wetgrip palm and I agree, it’s pretty good. The bar feel is better than most winter gloves I’ve used and it plays well with all bar tape I’ve tried. It’s stretchy and grippy and allows you to dance around the bars with the same quality of grip you’d expect.
I’ve never had much luck with Shimano shifting while wearing thick gloves. Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8070 is okay with these gloves, but still frustrating. SRAM Red eTap AXS is consistent, reliable and smooth. Shimano mechanical is going to remain the most vexing, I’m afraid. That said, dexterity is good overall, but hitting tiny buttons is going to be difficult, no matter how you cut it.
Keep in mind that these gloves are not waterproof. The gauntlet portion does have DWR treatment, but the fingers and fleece areas on the index/thumb are particularly absorbent. If it’s snowing hard or raining, there are better options, like the Castelli Tempesta Gloves.
They do include touchscreen-friendly pads on the thumb and index fingers, but don’t count on it for extensive use. On my Google Pixel 3a, it worked pretty well, but my iPhone 7, it was pretty poor. Newer iPhones with FaceID would be better because most of the issues related to TouchID.
- Nice warmth for cold rides
- Gauntlet length adds more coverage
- Wetgrip palms offer a nice feel
- Softshell material is stretchy and natural
- Awesome with SRAM eTap shifting
- Touchscreen sensitivity is mixed
- Still difficult to use Shimano shifters
- Breathability isn’t the best (but, warmth has its price)
- Aren’t waterproof (stick to cold, dry days)
The Bottom Line: Bontrager Velocis Softshell Gloves
When venturing out in the coldest of conditions, you’re okay sacrificing some dexterity, but you’re not okay with frozen digits. That’s where I’m at with the Bontrager Velocis Softshell Gloves. They do offer excellent warmth for cold rides and they are reasonably dexterous, but don’t expect the same feel you’d expect with a summer-weight glove.