The Sportful Fiandre product line is the backbone technology for the entire Sportful inclement weather line-up and it has impressed us many times in myriad iterations spanning jackets, rain vests and cycling shorts. We’ve been testing Sportful Fiandre Light Gloves pictured here for a while now and have a good idea as to how they stack up against the best winter cycling gloves.
Design and aesthetics
The Fiandre Light gloves are completely un-insulated and also lack any padding. The focus is on keeping the wind and elements at bay and, to that end, the back of the hand uses a 2.5-layer construction. This straddles the line between the excellent feel of a two-layer construction and the added protection of a three-layer design.
Flip these over and the inside is composed of synthetic leather with stripes of silicone that run across the entire palm and fingers to help with grip. It’s only half covered, but it’s enough to make it the most dominant feature.
The cuff is a tube of thermal NoRain Fabric, which uses silicone embedded in the surface for similar performance as fabrics coated with DWR (durable water repellent), except that it will not wear out over time. It is a snug fit but not overly tight and there’s plenty of stretch so as to make pulling the gloves on easy. The gloves are not waterproof and will not seal out water but can keep light rain from immediately penetrating.
Gloves like these are something I start wearing in late summer and will wear well into November as the northern hemisphere transitions from autumn to winter. The Sportful Fiandre Light gloves have seen a lot of use on my rides.
Just like in the Sportful Fiandre Light NoRain Vest, I love the feel of the fabric. It’s a high-stretch material and there’s a bit of compression that feels great. Given that the Fiandre Light gloves are so minimal, I carry them with me even more than I actually use them. When the days were warmer, I used them in the morning and took them off as the day warmed up. Now that it is colder, I bring more substantial gloves to use when I need the extra insulation, then I swap to these if things warm up.
The other attribute I appreciate is the bar feel. All that silicone in the palm makes for an amazing grip on the controls and bars. It’s far better than without any gloves and it might be the best of any glove I’ve ever used.
If you are wondering about fit, I find the size chart to be perfectly accurate – I’m on the very limit when it comes to small, which means my finger-tips touch the edge of gloves but it’s still comfortable. It also makes it easier to use a phone without removing them.
The Sportful Fiandre Light gloves prioritise dexterity while providing protection from the wind. If it rains, there are technologies there to help water bead and run off but the low-bulk design means when they do soak through, they can’t hold much water anyway. These are gloves you can wear for cold morning starts in the summer and if your winters are temperate, you might even keep wearing them straight through.
Tech Specs: Sportful Fiandre Light Gloves
- Price: £60 / $45 / €49.90 / AU$86
- Available Colours: Black, Blue Sea, Orange SDR
- Material: 2.5-layer membrane back, synthetic leather palm, Thermal NoRain cuff
- Weight: 37g (small)
- Size availability: XS-XXL