Roubaix, the Hell of the North, conjures up all kinds of images of terrible weather: rain, crosswinds, cold temperatures and general meteorological misery. Part of what makes a true one-day classic is the horrific conditions.
The Thermo-Roubaix LF gloves ($45) are Capo’s very stylish take on keeping your hands protected, insulated and firmly in control of your bike when the temps drop and the wind starts howling.
First striking revelation: on appearance you wouldn’t think these gloves would be up to the task. They’re so sleek, lightweight and form-fitting that you make the assumption that they can’t be that warm. I’m telling you, they are.
The Capos punch way above their class when it comes to wind protection and thermal retention. I was consistently surprised how well they insulted my hands — more than thicker gloves I’ve worn.
According to Capo, they’re rated down to 45 degrees Fahrenheit and that feels about right. Thermo-Roubaix is a hollow-core micro-fiber that traps air for maximum insulation without the bulk. These aren’t for arctic conditions but you’ll be impressed with their cold-defying skills.
On style points, Capo once again has you looking super bad-ass cool. I said sleek and these mitts have that scuba-diver meets jewel thief fit. Your hands feel fast and you could probably do card tricks in Vegas while wearing them. The cuff is long and snug and there’s a wrist tab to help you pull them off — we never had the slightest trouble on exits.
Finally, there’s the tactile feel on the palm and fingers that’s done in what almost looks like a pattern of silicon suction cups. On the first ride there was some extra “stick” to the handlebar feel but that wore off to a nice consistent feel. Not too grippy with just the right amount of control on your brakes, shifters, water-bottle and Garmin buttons.
There are two bottoms lines on the Capo Thermo-Roubaix. First, surprising degree of warmth and wind protection given the lightweight material. And second, the always stylish Capo design sense. These aren’t another pair of nondescript long fingered gloves. This is like a touch of Italy only on the cold, windy road to the velodrome in Roubaix.