Cold morning and evening in Springtime can be an issue if you do if you don’t like wearing gloves; more so if you need touchscreen compatibility. The POC Sports AVIP Long glove may be the answer…
If you’ve been following my articles, you may have started to get the sense that I am very much wedded to my phone. That’s not an accident. It’s exactly how I am. I remember when cell phones were first widely available, and at the time, I also carried a palm pilot. I knew then that it would all merge one day, but I really didn’t have an inkling of how powerful that time would be and what it would bring with it. The future is here now, though. We’ve all got these incredibly powerful computers in our pockets, and the things they can do are amazing. I feel like the usefulness of dedicated cycling computers is soon to be an outdated concept. They are fantastic, but the things they address are being handled more and more by phones.
So, I use my phone a lot on rides. Despite some niggling annoyances, I prefer the RFLKT to other cycling computers that I’ve tried. I usually take some pictures on rides that post to Strava along with the data, and as I’ve only been in my current city a few years, I’m constantly needing to stop and interact with my phone to figure out where I am and how to get home. All this interacting with the phone means it’s just not workable for me to have gloves without touchscreen compatibility.
I’m also not a big fan of gloves, and if I’m going to wear them, I want something that isn’t bulky and doesn’t interfere with the feeling of the bars. Unfortunately, that list of requirements narrows down the options to a very small group of gloves. When I think about it, I actually find that a bit ridiculous. It’s incredibly easy to add touchscreen computability to a glove. In fact, it’s so easy, I’ve even considered buying some of the thread and doing it myself so I could pick whatever gloves I want. I’ve been a bit lazy about that, though, and during the winter, I’ve been using some inexpensive running gloves that frankly, kind of suck on the bike. And they completely destroyed my bar tape. But were easy to find and buy. Recently though, I found the POC Sports AVIP Long glove.
POC is fairly new to the road cycling scene, although they aren’t new to cycling in general, but they’ve been making a big splash with their products. You’ve likely seen their very recognizable Octal helmet, and they’ve also got a pretty extensive collection of very high quality road riding apparel and some accessories such as glasses. The two main collections are the Raceday Collection, which is specifically designed for racing, and their AVIP collection.
AVIP stands for Attention, Visibility, Interaction and Protection which generally means you are going to want to embrace a very bright orange! From a design standpoint, I actually appreciate the way they handle the orange and integrate it with blues and whites. That said, it looks nice in pictures, but personally, I’d probably opt for the color scheme of the Raceday line more than the AVIP line. The long glove is only available in the AVIP collections very bright orange, though, and I have found it actually looks better than I anticipated with the rest of my kit. I am typically wearing the gloves with black arm warmers and it, surprisingly, seems to work. Let’s get into how these actually perform, though.
These aren’t winter gloves. The back of the hand is covered with a very airy material that does a good job of ventilating and isn’t going to keep a lot of heat in. I’ve been riding with them in typical spring weather for the Pacific Northwest of the United States — unpredictable, wet, not too cold, often sunny but chilly — and I’d say they are about perfect for that use. They take the chill off so that my fingers don’t go white and numb, but they aren’t going to keep you warm on a cold winter ride.
What they are is a really good set of full finger gloves for people who don’t much like wearing gloves. You won’t find any padding in the palm, but they do have some silicon grippers and palms that give you a perfect grip on the bars without getting in the way at all. They fit snugly, not tight, but without extra fabric bunching up anywhere, and I really can’t overstate how great they feel to wear. The pull tab on the wrist is great, and the closure at the wrist is similar to the wide grips you find on higher end bib shorts or jerseys. It’s not a strip of elastic, but it is stretchy enough to keep the fit tight. These gloves are pretty much what I like in a glove in terms of riding. That’s only half the point of the review, though.
The number of gloves out there that could be described as really great, minimal riding gloves is maybe not huge, but certainly it’s a longer list than if you also want touchscreen compatibility. As far as the touch screen compatibility, I will say it works perfectly well. There is one small dot on each thumb, and it’s enough to allow you to use your phone. I have better luck using Google Now to talk to the phone, than I do typing on the keyboard, but I don’t have to take off my gloves to use the phone. When I use the maps, I still keep forgetting that zooming requires my thumbs instead of a thumb and forefinger, but once I remind myself, it works well. My critique would be that the touchscreen spot on the thumb should be larger, and there should be one on the tip of the forefinger as well. Overall though, the gloves are such a joy to ride with that I’m totally fine needing to take a bit more time to interact with my phone.
The bottom line is that these are great gloves for riding that also let you use your phone. Don’t expect a winter glove, but if you typically ride with no gloves and just need something to take the chill off when it’s a bit crisp, then these are perfect. You’ll be able to use your phone, but you’ll probably want to stick to dictating text vs trying to use the onscreen keyboard. These are really fantastic gloves for the rider who spends some serious time in the saddle while adding the ability to use a phone occasionally without pulling your glove off. I probably use my phone more than most people when riding, and these suit my needs just fine.
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