Wout Van Aert, Marianne Vos, Tom Pidcock… All multiple World Champions and all with something in common. The GripGrab Raptor gloves have been around for a few years now and have enjoyed plenty of success – we thought it would be good to see why so many athletes are opting for the Raptor Gloves in Cyclocross.
GripGrab, based in the cold climate of Denmark, clearly know how to make a warm glove and this was immediately evident in near freezing temperatures endured during testing, but these are a race glove so although warmth is key for Cyclocross we were confident these could be worn in races all year round, so have focused more on the specific details of the design.
As you’d expect with Grip in the company name, the grip on our muddy handlebars was exceptional, thanks to rubber printing on the palm, fingers and thumb making sure your fingers don’t slip off the bars or levers which was summed up by the brands motto ‘Never lose your Grip’. Hidden from the outside, the InsideGrip™ technology features silicon grips located inside the glove which are claimed to improve friction between glove and palm, making the glove work like a second skin with an unprecedented grip. The fingertips incorporate the same approach and ensures grip to the brake levers and gear shifters.
We too were impressed with the breathability, with the slip-in cuff allowing easy removal at the end of a muddy race, whilst the breathable softshell back allowed air to reach our hands even during high intensity races, yet the windproof design preventing that horrible feeling of wind rushing through your hands.
With ourselves located in the U.K, the typical British Winter provided us with some ideal rainy test conditions. Although the glove is not fully waterproof, we were impressed by how dry our hands kept, and linking back to the impressive warmth avoided us suffering from any cold hands during testing.
Finally a few nice additional features such as the sweat wiper and no padding again show why the Raptor Glove is tailored to suit Cyclocross Racers. We were also a fan of the Touch Screen Compatibility – allowing us to get some photos whilst still keeping our hands warm and dry!
More information at https://www.gripgrab.com/products/raptor-1