The Assos Assosoires Winter Gloves have all the quality and style you'd expect at this price and from this brand, but they are not for the very coldest days or the very rainiest days – Assos has specific gloves for those conditions. Instead they are versatile all-rounders that should get a lot of use in milder winters provided you like the palm padding arrangement.
Palms absorb water easily
Padded palm inserts might not be for everyone
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The Assos Assosoires Winter Gloves are lightweight but warm and windproof. They will keep out the chill during early spring and late autumn into winter, but for the very coldest winter days something a bit more padded, such as the brand’s Ultraz Winter Gloves, would be necessary.
Assos is clear that the Winter Gloves bring “moderate insulation” and suggests pairing them with its lightweight Spring/Fall gloves for added protection during deep winter, and they actually are stretchy and roomy enough for that to work. That said, for the mostly mild UK winters we get these days, the Assos Assosoires Winter Gloves would be a great choice and would get much more use than a bulkier deep-winter pair.
Assos Assosoires Winter Gloves: Construction
The backs of the gloves are made from Assos’s own windBlock textile, which it calls a “hydrophilic softshell material, designed to retain warmth and great breathability.” There's a single layer of fabric, which is fleece lined on the inside, but it has a degree of loft, like a very thin foam, and insulates well.
Assos says windBlock delivers “high levels of protection against wet weather and icy air.” I found it was effective against rain initially, with raindrops beading on the surface, but around 20 minutes into a rainy ride it had wetted out. However, windproofing remained excellent, so although you may get wet hands they won't chill off. So though I wouldn't go as far as to say the level of protection against wet weather was "high", I would certainly back up the icy air claim.
The palm is made from Microfiber, a “lightweight, soft material that promotes grip, while also supporting and protecting the hand.” Microfiber is a synthetic suede, which does supply good grip and is soft and comfortable. Unlike Specialized, which says the AX suede of the Prime Series Thermal Gloves is hydrophobic, Assos doesn’t claim any waterproofness for its Microfiber, and I found the single layer did absorb water very quickly.
On the palm are “strategically positioned pads [that] flex with the hand to eliminate hot spots and bunching." There’s a gel pad on the outer heel and a strip of foam across the palm, both sewn into the inside of the gloves (pictured above). Some people like squidgy gel pads but I wondered for a moment if my kids had slipped a Haribo Yellow Belly snake into each of my gloves for a 'hilarious' prank. They were particularly noticeable – but not uncomfortable – in the drops. I prefer a smooth palm, but I could easily be in the minority here.
As for the fit, Assos’s size chart isn’t quite as detailed as competitors, using just the circumference of the palm as a guide. The medium was on the big side for me, definitely with room for the Spring/Fall glove underneath, but I prefer a glove to be a bit too big rather than a bit too small.
There’s no Velcro or means of adjustment on the cuff, but it’s a good length and stretchy enough to go under or over jacket sleeves. The finger and thumb have touchscreen-sensitive pads that work well, even in the wet. There are no reflectives.
The Assos Assosoires Winter Gloves feel plush without being bulky. Dexterity is good. There was enough fingertip feel to execute all the pre-ride fine-motor-skills tasks wearing them, such as locking the front door and stashing keys in pockets, zipping up jacket, doing up helmet buckle and setting up computer.
I’ve done winter rides and school run/commutes in various conditions wearing them, and for me their sweetspot is probably somewhere around 7°C in the dry. I’ve worn them in colder but their moderate insulation, as Assos puts it, isn’t quite enough for much below 4 or 5°C. Generally speaking, I was impressed with the level of warmth considering how lightweight they are
As I mentioned, I did try them in heavy rain. If you absolutely insist on riding in heavy rain, there are more waterproof gloves.
Assos gear is generally priced higher than most people’s, but for that you get innovative ideas, high-quality fabrics, very good durability – I've had Assos clothing that's gone on for years – and Assos’s renowned chic styling. You get all that with the Assosoires Winter Gloves, and Assos fans will not be disappointed. For me this time you get a little too much for your money. Although I loved the windBlock backs, both for their comfort and their performance, I could have done without the gel pads and foam strips in the palms. For me cycling kit is doing its job if you don’t notice it’s there, but I found the gel pads, the strips of foam and their associated seams and edges inside the gloves unnecessary and not very neatly executed considering Assos's legendary attention to ergonomics, which has always worked for me in the past.
Castelli's Perfetto RoS gloves are £5 more expensive than when we first reviewed it, but at £65 are just cheaper than the Assos. The Rapha Pro Team Winter Gloves are more expensive at £80 and designed for a similar temperature range.
Overall, these are comfortable, good-quality, good-looking gloves that mostly do what Assos says they do. Taken at face value I wouldn't go along with the claim for "high levels of protection against wet weather" but if by "protection" Assos means these gloves stop your hands from getting cold in wet weather, then it's valid.
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Simon Smythe is a hugely experienced cycling tech writer, who has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2003. Until recently he was our senior tech writer. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
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