When the temperatures start to drop below 15°C it is time to change your light full finger gloves to something that has more insulation and blocks the cold air thus keeping your hands warm and cozy. The GORE Bike Wear ALP-X 2.0 WINDSTOPPER Soft Shell Gloves are good choice for a late autumn / winter gloves mainly targeting mountain bikers that want to ride through the cold winter days.
As the name suggests the ALP-X 2.0 WINDSTOPPER Soft Shell gloves are made from Gore’s WINDSTOPPER fabric which is breathable and totally windproof. There are small reflective elements on the fingers for better visibility at night along with the WINDSTOPPER and Gore Bike Wear logos on the top. The wrist-cuff is a bit longer then what you see on other gloves and elastic so it fits perfectly. The Velcro straps used, are one of the best I have seen so far. On the thumb there is a piece of absorbent material to wipe the sweat away.
The gel padding is one of the best I used so far and creates additional comfort on longer rides. I have used these gloves on 3+ hours non stop riding rocky terrain / unpaved roads and my hands were just fine till the end.
During the last few weeks I have been riding with these gloves in temperatures from just below freezing to 15°C. My hands have bad blood circulation and as a result are quite cold almost always. With the ALP-X 2.0 WINDSTOPPER gloves I was comfortable in the range from 5-17°C, my hands were warm and well protected.
Below 5°C I started to fill a bit of cold and my finger tips were becoming quite cold when approaching 0°C. One strange thing was when the gloves got a bit wet from a light rain at 2°C they actually were quite warm all of a sudden, showing no chilling sensation. The same thing happened with a light snow/rain at -1°C. These gloves are windproof even wet, but while being quite water repellent they are not waterproof, so try not to push the limits, there are other gloves made for that kind of weather.
Update: Tried them today on a 2 hour ride in -5°C dry weather, on the start my fingers were very cold but as soon as I warmed up I was OK for the rest of the ride. It is all about circulation.
All in all I can say that the GORE Bike Wear ALP-X 2.0 WINDSTOPPER gloves are an excellent piece of winter clothing and I totally recommend them to anyone looking for a non-bulky winter mountain biking gloves. Although they are not cheap at 60 EUR MSRP they are worth the money.
Pros: Windproof, breathable, good shock absorption, warm when used in the range from 5-17°C, good grip, quite water repellent and durable
Cons: A bit more insulation at the fingertips and the thumb would have been nice.
You can get the GORE Bike Wear ALP-X 2.0 WINDSTOPPER Gloves online at Wiggle, Evans Cycles and Amazon.
* Please note that actual temperature ranges are different from person to person and are directly related to the level of circulation your hands have.