Review: Review: Rapha Classic Mitt
Takes some time to break them in, but worth persevering through, they look set to last for many years!
I didn’t get off to a great start with the Rapha Classic Mitts, having to size up from a medium despite having relatively small man-hands. Even after the size up they still took some time to adjust to me, but once suitably stretched and broken-in everything was groovy.
For me the Gold-standard of road mitts are Rapha’s Grand Tour gloves, these supple leather mitts are glorious and hard wearing, but being leather they don’t cope massively well with wetness or 12 hour days, as they will stretch and deform in that time, if that’s your style of riding they are an expensive luxury, possibly only lasting for 1 season (when your season is 10,000 miles however I guess it’s not all that bad!).
The Classic Mitt is an altogether simpler, and more value-orientated, glove for riding. With a leather palm and lycra back it’s pared-down and simple.
Thumb wipes alternate between sweat and snot on either hand, just remember which is which 😉
The lycra back means that there is stretch for the hand and it will reshape nicely, I found however that it offers less venting than a normal glove back with no air-flow on the hand – this is to some extent negated by the knuckle holes, but it was certainly warmer than my normal mitts.
The biggest issue I found with the gloves was, by far, the initial comfort levels that they provided. It took the best part of 500 miles to really break them in properly. With fingers being far too tight for my liking (even with delicately small hands), and seam imprints being visible on all over the hands.
Once they are broken in they are certainly comfortable, with a good level of military-grade,padding on the palms and a good range of movement for the fingers.
I didn’t take them on the Transcontinental race, but did were them for the Deloitte Ride Across Britain, where they coped admirably with multiple century rides, at the end of which there were no negative side-effects. In fact at the end of the RAB i was really pleased with how well they performed! At £70 they are expensive without being stratospheric ( Grand Tour gloves I’m looking at you!), and having done about 2,000 miles and 50 hours in the gym with them there’s no sign of any breakages or damage to them, suggesting that these will last a long time!