Novara Men's Headwind Bike Touchscreen Gloves

3stars

Novara Men’s Headwind Bike Touchscreen Gloves (2013)

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Price: $29.59 (List $39.50)

The Novara Men's Headwind Bike Touchscreen Gloves are a comfortable pair of cycling gloves that are intended for brisk weather rides. While nice biking gloves, they would conduct even better if the touchscreen compatible areas were redesigned.

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Editor’s Note: This model has been discontinued, though a newer model is available hereA review of the newer model will be posted soon.

The Novara Men’s Headwind Bike Touchscreen Gloves are a comfortable pair of cycling gloves that are intended for brisk weather rides.  While nice biking gloves, they would conduct even better if the touchscreen compatible areas were redesigned.

Conductivity

The touchscreen compatible material in these gloves conducts relatively well.  But like their counterparts, the warmer weather Novara Arosa touchscreen gloves, there is not enough of it and what’s there is not placed as well as it could be.

It’s nice to see Novara play with how conductive thread is integrated into their gloves, and their design looks pretty cool.  Moreover, since most cyclists will be not need to type particularly long emails or do much complicated maneuvering on their touchscreen devices, having just the two conductive fingers on each glove (as opposed to three or five) is not too much of a drawback.

On the other hand, the conductive material is not strategically placed.  First, neither finger have conductive material on the top of the fingertips, so taps or swipes aimed directly downward won’t register.  Second, the conductive thread is asymmetrically focused on the center and one side of each touchscreen compatible finger.  This is less of an issue on the index finger where the material is placed on the inside pad of the finger (closer to the middle finger), but on the thumb, where it is located on the wrong side (the side of the thumb facing out), it will mean that most people will find it difficult to swipe.

This placement could be improved by extending the conductive thread across the face and tips of the fingers (even though this might detract from the look), and/or focusing the material on the other side of the thumb.

Construction

These are solid, well made cycling gloves with quality stitching, reinforced seams, and good material.  Both hands have long cuffs for extra warmth, retaining clips to secure the gloves together, and a fleece section attached to the back of the thumbs for wiping sweat from your brow (or the occasional runny nose).

The palms are reinforced with a synthetic leather that runs onto the sides of index finger and thumb for added durability while gripping the handlebars, as well as seven foam pads on each hand that ensure insulation against vibration.

Warmth and Dexterity

These gloves are intended to be used in brisk weather down to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit.  The ample cuffs and fleece lining help to keep hands warm, while the wind resistant material used on the back of each hand is useful when riding fast or on windy days.

The gloves are a little bit bulky which means that some manual dexterity is lost for the increased warmth and vibration resistance.

Design

Aesthetically, the Novara Headwind gloves are attractive with a slick black and grey look and some cleverly added reflective stripes that extend from the back of the little finger to the back of the hand.  Even the design of the touchscreen areas, which look like three concentric pentagons that have been cut off, are attractive and it’s nice to see Novara play with design here.  Unfortunately, as noted above, the placement of the conductive material makes these gloves difficult to use. Indeed, simply by broadening the covered area they could be dramatically improved.

Overall Value and Conclusion

For $29.59 (on sale) the Novara Men’s Headwind Bike Touchscreen Gloves are a little bit pricey for what you get.  At their list price of $39.50, they are quite expensive.  That said, the choice of touchscreen compatible cycling gloves is fairly limited at the moment, so until the market has grown (as it has been in other areas), these may be a good choice for now.

Specs

Material

Shell

  • 90% polyester
  • 7% PU
  • 3% spandex

Touchscreen stripes

  • 100% [material not disclosed]

Styles (2013 line)

  • Black

Sizing

  • Men’s Small
  • Men’s Medium
  • Men’s Large
  • Men’s Extra Large

Gender

Washing

  • not included

About REI

REI is just one of those companies you can’t help but love.

The seed for REI was first germinated in the 1930’s when Lloyd Anderson, a Pacific Northwest mountaineer, began searching for a reliable and affordable ice axe. Eventually, he found a high-quality, reasonably priced model in an Austrian alpine gear catalog and the news of his discovery spread quickly among this climbing friends.  Established in 1938, REI is now the nation’s largest consumer co-op and  it is committed to helping people enjoy everything from the simplest hike in the woods to full scale Mt. Everest expeditions.  Additionally, REI gives back to the communities by supporting volunteer projects of outdoor-focused community organizations with money, gear and “sweat equity.”

About Novara

Introduced in 1983, Novara is a private label brand of bicycles and bicycle accessories sold by REI.

Conclusion Rating
Conductivity
2 stars
Construction
4 stars
Warmth
3 stars
Dexterity
3 stars
Design
3 stars
Overall Design
2 stars

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