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24

Oct

2011

Giro Xen, Hestra Multi and POW Skinny Mountain Biking Gloves review
Written by Keith Pytlinski   
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Hestra MultiMultiWhile finding a mountain bike glove can be a daunting task, it's a good time to be a mountain biker. Good hand protection doesn't come at the cost of comfort and style. The gloves below are a small sample of the many options today's mountain bikers enjoy.

 Hestra Multi

New to North America in 2011, Hestra cycling gloves have been protecting hands in Europe since 1996. Their full fingered Bike Multi glove is described as a "multi-use glove that can be used mountain, road and bike path cruising." The Multi features an upper section made of breathable Lycra and spandex with grip duties handled by a Clarino palm and tacky grip fingers. Hestra also included a Terry cloth sweat wipe and light reflective logo and piping.

The breathable Lycra/Spandex outer proved to be a good combination for the warm days of cross country riding in SoCal, while still offering some of the protection needed in a full finger glove. The Terry cloth sweat wipe was an appreciated option often over looked by other manufactures.

The Clarino palm continually stood out in all riding environments. Clarino is described as synthetic leather which doesn't normally bring up images of being tacky, but Hestra has found the right product for the palm of their glove. The palm proved to be tacky and comfortable in both wet and dry conditions.

The Multi sits well up the wrist area but lacks any sort of closure/fastening system causing an open or unfinished feeling. Either a shorter overall length or Velcro type closure would improve the feel of the glove in the wrist area. (MSRP $45)

XenXen

Giro Xen

A name synonymous with bike helmets, Giro shouldn't be overlooked when searching for a mountain bike glove. The Xen glove comes at you with a full list of trademarked features that can be summed up in two words, comfort and protection.

The Xen features a three-panel palm for tailored fit and vented Clarino synthetic leather that "enhances durability". As with the Hestra glove, the Clarino palm on the Xen offered up excellent grip. The upper part of the glove has a moisture-wicking, 4-way stretch breathable mesh and sonic-welded armor.

The Xen's fit was spot on and Giro has been listening to what riders want. This rider loves a glove with a place to wipe his nose and the microfiber wiping surface on the Xen is wonderfully soft.

I'd like to see Giro dial in the Velcro wrist closure on the Xen. During rides one glove would remain closed while the other would constantly come undone. (MSRP $39.99)

SkinnySkinny

POW Skinny

The leadership at POW is out to get gloves on all bike riders. They are currently offering protection for roadies, XC riders, downhillers and free riders. POW's glove offerings don't stop at bike riders, snow and golf athletes will also find a nice range of gloves.

At first glance the Skinny glove might remind you of a glove by a big motocross apparel company, with a bold design featuring colored striping on both the top and palm of the glove. This Skinny's palm is made from Clarino synthetic leather again offering a grip that was tacky and comfortable.

Wrist closure is handled by a low profile gasket cuff. The cuff provides a secure feeling but never felt too tight during rides. The top of the glove is made up of corded nylon which gives you solid feel but I wouldn't use the thumb area for wiping like other gloves. (MSRP $21.99)


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Keith Pytlinski

KPytlinskiBorn and raised in Southern California, Keith Pytlinski lives with his wife and two children near Los Angeles. He has 20 plus year on going love hate relationship with mountain biking, with a hate for the climbs and a love for the downhill.

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