Tested: Cold hands riding off-road? Try the S3 Ice-Nano gloves
Struggling with cold hands while riding off-road this winter? S3 Parts’ well-priced Ice-Nano gloves keep the cold out, the warmth in and still offer normal handlebar feel.
It’s a fact that our hands suffer more than most body parts when doing any sport in colder temperatures. But when you’re holding a set of handlebars it can literally be a pain and seriously inhibit your control.
Spanish-based off-road hard parts and clothing specialists S3 Parts have a solution to this age-old problem with these Ice-Nano gloves.
Who are S3 Parts? They’re perhaps better known in the trials world where their parts and gear (including original equipment cylinders and pistons on some of the leading brands) are very common place. Lately you’ll have spotted their logo on the riding kit of Billy Bolt and Graham Jarvis too, plus their enduro hard parts range on Mario Roman’s Sherco for example.
We’ve had these gloves on test since autumn 2023, testing them in a full range of enduro conditions all through winter so far. Before winter is fully over, here’s why these are some of the best cold weather off-road gloves we’ve ever used…
Specifically designed for practicing sport in the winter, the Ice-Nano gloves are constructed from comfortable, thin material in the palm of your hand and wind-stopper Nanofront material for thermal protection on the top to both maintain body heat inside but ensure perfect sensibility and control on the handlebar grips.
Enduro21 is pretty new to the broad S3 Parts clothing range but with a glove fetish and winter here, we’ve made good use of this Ice Nano set over around four months testing. Treading the balance between feel on the bars and warmth, they promise to answer the problem we face over winter, particularly on cold mornings when numb fingers are a royal pain in the ass.
* We know that not everyone reading this has cold fingers while riding off-road due to climate, but for those of us who do ride through all weathers and all seasons, it’s a big issue.
The Ice Nano’s biggest positive is having two sides to the coin, or glove. The palm material is basically the same as normal. A thin, grippy material without seams or stitching which offers plenty of feel on the grips.
The grip feel is pretty good when wet too, which can be a problem in the winter if you fall off and put your hand in the mud/ice/snow (the forefinger still gets just as cold on an aluminium brake lever though – there’s no cure for that until they invent heated levers!).
The other side to the coin (or glove) is the Ice-Nano’s trump card, the wind-stopper and thicker material on top-side. Basically it does exactly what they say in keeping heat inside, being soft and, to a decent degree, keeping wind blast out.
For the record, our tests have included enduro, trail, trials and a decent amount of MTB riding too while wearing these gloves. Across many hours holding different grips the Ice-Nano offers noticeable better warmth retention than regular gloves and are better than equivalent winter glove products from other manufacturers which we have tested.
Moving at speed can be the biggest source of cold to the hands (not actual wind) but the Nano’s outer material keeps much the icy wind blast out while feeling comfortable on the knuckles.
They’re effective because they keep body heat in, like there’s a barrier to the heat escaping – although the old pinkies struggle to generate much on a freezing morning.
The truth is they’re effective enough at doing this it’s often meant carrying a spare set of regular gloves for when the weather either warms up, or the terrain gets technical and your hands get hotter.
That’s appoint which need making too, if the temperatures are just cold, not freezing, a few times we’ve over-estimated and ended up with hands being too warm inside these.
Other plus points include the adjustable Velcro wrist strap which sits firm and has not come undone during riding, the softer towelling material on the inside of the thumb and forefinger is good for wiping goggles or moisture off your face too (there’s no cure for a runny nose yet either).
The one negative in so many hours riding is the cuff stitching began to undo on one glove. A bit of needle a thread work (jacks of all trades we are) fixed it but for a four month-old glove it was a point deducted for build quality.
All-in-all the positives far outweigh that single negative. These gloves are the best solution we’ve tested so far in many decades riding to that common problem of needing good feel on the bars to ride off-road at our normal ability level and not have your fingers falling off with the cold.
Cost: £34.88 /$52.99/€41.50
Sizes: S to XXL
More information: www.s3parts.com