Caught out by the unseasonably warm autumn and don't want to go full-fingered yet, or need some lightweight mitts for riding round in circles indoors? The LTZ II Glove is a lightweight minimalist cycling mitt for anyone who likes to feel every ripple of road (or board) but might just want something grippy between them and the handlebar or a bit of palm protection should they crash. And somewhere to wipe their nose.
Giro points the LTZ II at those who like to do time trials, Alpine climbs or ride the hottest days on the road. I just wore them like any other cycling glove for a variety and multitude of days in the saddle. Coincidentally, some of those days were hot, some were also Alpine climbs. Not one was a time trial, although I did go quite fast on my own a few times.
There's not much to this Giro glove at all: a single layer palm with a thin Lycra top and a long strap-free cuff. No padded lumps on the palm, ergonomically placed or not, no closure flaps on the wrist, no Velcro, no buttons, no pull loops, reflective highlights or flashing doo-dads, none of the fancy bells and whistles that others feel the need to decorate their mitts with. And it's all the nicer for it.
The LTZ II is a tight fit to get on, but it's meant to be; a process that's aided a little bit by the tiny pull tab at the wrist. Once on it conforms to the hand snugly with little bunching or wrinkling. The wrist has a flat elasticated band around the opening to keep it taut and in place on what is actually probably the forearm.
The palm is constructed from three panels of CoolSkin synthetic leather to help with fit – Giro calls it SuperFit – but it's still just the one layer of material all over, well ventilated with pinhole perforations throughout for those warm days.
The back of the glove has a broad mesh Lycra section down the middle, flanked by strips of lightweight plain Lycra, all joined together with flatlock stitching. There's a microfibre panel on the back of thumb for nose wiping, but it's not the most absorbent piece of material, more a nice soft place to wipe away errant drips of effort than somewhere to unload your streaming snotty nostrils.
Once the ride is done, the middle two fingers of the LTZ II mitts feature small tabs made of the same synthetic leatherette material as the palm, little pockets that you can hook your fingers in and use to pull the gloves off. In practice it's easier just to take them off by yanking the gloves inside out.
I prefer a glove with no padding, be that for road riding, cyclo-cross or even bumpity mountain biking. I like to feel what's going on underneath my palms, and I often find that where glove manufacturers put their padded lumps is more often in the wrong place for me, doesn't offer any perceptible level of comfort and can actually raise pressure points. Also I can get annoyed by where they might put their closure tab, and the Velcro bits gnawing delicate clothing in the washing machine. I'm fussy, me. I like these gloves.
Once you've got the LTZ II gloves on you hardly know they're there. They're gossamer light, the fit is snug all the way around the hand and there's nothing in the way between you and the handlebar. They're comfortable in that they're easy to forget you're wearing gloves, but if you see comfort in large lumps of padding to rest on your fat, spongy bar tape then you're better off looking elsewhere. I've done many all-day rides with the Giro LTZ II gloves on and never felt any discomfort or the need for any padding, but then I prefer and am used to thin gloves.
I can see that for time trial applications the way the Lycra cuff extends well up the wrist might offer the smallest degree of slipperiness, as it fits tight to the skin and is long enough to smooth any gap to a long sleeve, but for more everyday uses that wrist extension and snugness can interfere with watches and other wrist adornments.
Being light and thin and well ventilated, it's a great glove for winter velodrome riding, warm days or high tempo work, be that racing, climbing big hills or time trials. But that doesn't mean it isn't a suitable day-to-day glove for those who want minimal palm coverage and something just to hold the bars a bit better with.
Light, minimal, fuss-free, comfortable gloves for those who value tarmac (or wooden boards) feedback
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Giro LTZ II Road Cycling Mitts
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Giro says: "The LTZ II is a pro-level, ultra-minimalist glove that offers incredible ventilation and bar feel. The combination of a tailored Lycra upper that's cut to wrap the hand like a second skin and unique Cool Skin™ synthetic palm creates a custom-fit feel with just enough structure to enhance grip and control. This is the ultimate glove for time trials, alpine climbs and the hottest days on the road."
All of that, it's a snug and easy to ignore glove.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Super Fit™ Engineered three-panel design
Lightweight, highly-vented Cool Skin™ synthetic
Microfiber pull tab
There is no padding.
Lightweight, slip-on design
Moisture-wicking, 4-way stretch Lycra™ fabric
Tear-off finger pockets
Highly absorbent microfiber wiping surface
It feels like you might rip them apart every time you put them on or take them off, the fit is that tight, but they're wearing well, with few of the stray or unravelling threads that seem to be a standard feature of most cycling mitts.
Light, comfy, faff free, aero-ish glove.
The LTZ IIs have been worn a lot and despite their minimalist design and light weight materials they're wearing well.
It's a 'not there' glove.
Not for you if you see comfort as lots of padding though.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
A lightweight performance glove for those who need minimal protection, maximum feel and fewer 'features'.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort, lightweight, looks.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing much, that long cuff could get in the way with watches and stuff though. And the snot wipe isn't very absorbent.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes, I'd buy a few pairs actually.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
Age: 47 Height: 180cm Weight: 73kg
I usually ride: It varies as to the season. My best bike is: The one I'm on at the time
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo-cross, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, fun
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.