Specialized Element 2.0 gloves review

Great gloves for the coldest winter days

Specialized Element 2.0 gloves
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Specialized Element 2.0 gloves are some of the warmest winter gloves you can buy without compromising on dexterity and going for the full lobster glove design.

For
  • +

    Exceptionally warm

  • +

    Semi-lobster design maintains dexterity

  • +

    Work with touchscreens

Against
  • -

    Short cuff

The Specialized Element 2.0 gloves might not be the top priority for the American cycling giant, but it’s still managed to do a great job producing a superb pair of winter gloves that will keep the blood flowing through your digits in all but the very coldest conditions.

It's something that you would want all of the best winter cycling gloves to achieve, a fundamental must have.  

Of course the biggest talking point with the Specialized Element 2.0 gloves is the semi-lobster claw design. It might look unorthodox, but the thinking behind it is sound, with the reduced surface area limiting heat loss and enabling greater head build up within the gloves.

And goodness me does it work. These are one of the warmest pairs of gloves I’ve had the pleasure to use, keeping my hands warm even when the thermometer was well below freezing and I should probably have been tucked away at home on the turbo trainer.

The only annoying factor is that I'm now also going to have to invest in one of the best winter cycling jackets in order to ensure my torso is just as warm. 

Clearly a warmer design would have been to go a for a full lobster design, with your index and middle fingers combined together too. However, this design impairs dexterity, and the Specialized Element 2.0 gloves do a good job of balancing warmth with the dexterity needed to change gear, particularly if you’re lucky enough to be using a less tactile electronic groupset while wearing these gloves.

Buyer's guide to winter cycling gloves

In wet weather the protection isn’t quite as good, but that’s not really what the Specialized Element 2.0 gloves are designed to protect against. The outer is good enough to keep you dry in light rain and showers, but if you’re heading out in truly foul conditions, then the water will get through eventually, and you’ll begin to wish that you’d gone for a different type of glove (maybe neoprene, for example) altogether.

>>> How to get your bike ready for winter (video)

Most of the other features of the Specialized Element 2.0 gloves are just as good as the insulation. With “Wiretap” technology, they’re designed tom be used with touchscreen smartphones, and this works much better than on some other similar gloves, meaning that epic cold weather selfie can make its way on to Instagram to enhance your hardrider image. There’s also a microfiber wipe on the thumb for wiping your runny nose on cold days, and the reflective details do a great job in dark conditions.

>>> Pro rider tips for winter cycling

In fact the only problem I could find with the Specialized Element 2.0 gloves is that the cuff is quite short. This meant that I occasionally had a problem with a gap appearing between the gloves and my jacket – annoying and very chilly when you’re putting in the big miles in the depths of winter.

For more details visit the Specialized website.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.