31 May 2010

bikefix Exclusive Review: Dakine Highwire gloves

These Dakine's are the most comfortable gloves I’ve owned in a long time. I have a lot of gloves too, because they get so gross so quick that I like to have a number of different pairs so I can rotate throughout the season. The Highwires were bought with this in mind. They are thin enough, with enough light color to them, that I felt they would be acceptable during the hotter months. Alas, they don’t have any armor. I really like a little bit of armor on the outer knuckles but there just aren’t that many gloves out there that both have armor and are suitable for long days of trail riding in hot climates. Many gloves have a rubber strip or two but that isn’t what I mean- when my hand hits something I want some protection, damn it. Anyway, I don’t mind having a couple pairs of no-armored gloves around for less aggressive riding and these fit the bill perfectly.

One of the most important features of any glove is the amount of area devoted to the snot/sweat wiping. That is what the terry cloth thumbs are for, and the Highwire’s have more than enough. A nice feature that most gloves have is the rubber traction that is molded to the ends of the braking fingers to increase your grip on the brake levers. The Highwire’s are some of the first gloves I’ve owned where this rubber has remained intact- most gloves’ rubber will peel off eventually, and on many gloves it happens annoyingly early. It will probably happen here too, but it is taking its time and there is no sign of it happening yet.

There is a foam (Neoprene looking) material that covers the knuckles. It is not protective in any way so I hope that’s not what Dakine had in mind. I do believe however, that it’s responsible for much of the comfort that I’m impressed with. The foam probably doesn’t help with the summer heat- these aren’t the most breathable or coolest gloves when it's hot- but they aren’t that bad either- perfect for high altitude days. The wrist strap is very comfortable and effective, but counter-intuitive to how most gloves strap these days. The last time I owned a pair of gloves that did this, I managed to rip the Velcro tab off because I was always grabbing it and pulling from the wrong direction out of habit. The Dakine strap is much stronger and better attached though so that isn’t an issue here, but it always takes me a minute to figure out why I’m having trouble taking my gloves off. There is no padding on the palm (which I prefer) but there is a second layer of material sewn-in to most of the palm on the inside which adds a tiny amount of thickness. It seems to be some type of micro-fiber. I couldn’t get any info on it but it looks like it’s there to pull moisture away from the skin.

This is a great pair of gloves that I’ll keep until they fall apart. If Dakine could put some proper armor on the outer two knuckles without ruining the comfort, these gloves would be my favorite ever. They retail for about $ 25, which is pretty reasonable.



1 comment:

sacoche said...

I had those to, I love them, except that I won’t buy white glove again for playing in the mud…