Taking one pair of gloves on a big trip is always a gamble with the weather as the perfect gloves for staying warm in low single-digit temperatures will be stickier than melted chocolate if the mercury soars much above 15 degrees.
I’ve had plenty of experience with waterproof summer gloves like these Richa Street Touring Gore-Tex over the years, though, and have found they cope well with the likely range of conditions we face from May to October here in the UK.
And thankfully that’s exactly how it developed with these Richas, which I chose for two recent long-haul trips around the UK.
Firstly they kept me covered for a Land’s End-John O’Groats trek of over 2500 miles. Temperatures ranged from eight degrees to the low-20s and the gloves were a bit too chilly at the lower end of that range, but didn’t get sticky at the higher end. I’d say these perform best between 12 degrees and 25.
In a bizarre state of affairs I hardly saw a drop of rain on the whole trip, which was perfect in every sense other than being able to test waterproof riding kit.
Photography: Will Brodie
My next trip came in the midst of Britain’s first heatwave in 15 years, so I started out with thinner summer gloves. But I had a bit more luggage space this time and tucked the Richas in the topbox just in case. Good job I did.
The trip was to the Shetland Islands, which are nearer the Arctic Circle than they are to London. In complete ignorance of their weather, I’d assumed the heatwave had got that far north. It hadn’t, and temperatures doggedly hovered around nine degrees with sustained bursts of heavy rain mixed with high winds.
“We wear winter gloves all year round,” said a local rider who showed me around Shetland. It wasn’t hard to see why.
This time I could have no complaints about the testing environment for waterproof clothing, nor about the performance of the gloves themselves.
They weren’t warm enough for temperatures that low, but I had no right to expect them to be – and I would have been in a real jam if I’d only had thin summer gloves with me.
They were, however, utterly resistant to horrible rain that refused to go away for long. The waterproofing performance was exceptional.
The only fault I could find at the time of my review was the lack of a visor wipe. Thankfully in the time since I reviewed these gloves, Richa have seen fit to add a rubber visor wipe, so that criticism is now a matter of history.
Weather-related performance aside, the Street Touring Gore-Tex have been excellent. Comfort is superb, the build quality is excellent and the simplicity of construction makes them a cinch to put on and take off.
The medium-length cuff means it’s easy to get a jacket sleeve over the top, though you should make sure your jacket has a generous sleeve length to be sure of a good seal between the two.
One of my jackets has a short-ish sleeve, which means there’s little overlap between that and the Richa glove. If you’re in this situation, gloves with a longer cuff would be a wiser choice.
But for no-fuss, highly waterproof yet nicely breathable gloves that will perform in the most common weather conditions we experience in the UK, the Richa Street Touring gloves are a very impressive and good value choice.
Fit & Comfort
I’m almost always a medium or large in gloves as my hands seem to fall on the cusp of the two sizes. In these I take a medium. Comfort has been excellent from the off with good sizing proportions, and the Gore-Tex lining has always stayed in place rather than coming out when I remove my mitts.
I’ve ridden in hammering rain in these gloves for consistent periods of time and my hands have remained dry throughout. I can’t fault them at all in this regard.
They don’t have the extras of a race glove, such as scaphoid sliders or wraparound protection for the outside of the hand, but the basics are all in place. Hard knuckle protection is reassuring, all seams are hidden inside the glove (stopping stitching wearing through on contact with the road) and they have CE approval to show they have passed a safety test.
Despite covering almost 4000 miles in a wide range of weathers, the Street Touring gloves remain in excellent condition. It’s picky, but the one dropped mark is because the Velcro wrist strap and leather flap that’s designed to protect it have both curled slightly at the edges.
The initial glaring omission of a visor wipe on the left glove is now gone, so all essentials are present and correct.