Thursday, May 21, 2009


Yup, Fits Like A Glove
See Original Post.

Besides shorts, gloves are probably one of the more personal articles of bike clothing on every cyclist's shopping list. Not only is fit important, but comfort, function, style and how much space there is to wipe your snot are all factors in choosing the right gloves for you. I chose the Dakine Covert (for girls) and I'd do it again, too.

I wore these gloves for the first time in an early season ride out in Squamish, BC. I felt I would really put them through the ringer before I offered the world my opinion on them. They held up great, and even with some discomfort due to thorns I added myself (not advisable) you can put these gloves on and then forget they're there.

The BC trip was three days of solid riding in all imaginable conditions. Each day, despite wet west-coast weather, the Coverts were dried out and as soft as ever. But it wasn't all fog and mist - one day was hot and sunny, and I found that not only did they hold up to the elements, but they breathed and ventilated nicely too when the temperature was turned up.

When I got home, I washed them in the laundry (cold-water settings to help conserve) and they came out good as new. No new sizing surprises, and still just as pretty as the day I got them. The feminine details embossed on the back held together and the black is still deep and dark. No threads came loose, and since there are no Velcro tabs (they've got a slick, slip-on design), the rest of my laundry load was kept safe from the annoying damage Velcro is known to cause.

Dakine lists the following features for their Covert gloves. Here's what I thought about each.

Performance articulation: What does this even mean? This sounds like some sort of "marketing lingo" but what I think they're trying to say is that the seams are sewn in a way that won't interfere with the fits-like-a-glove feeling. I would agree that they've met that objective, but points off for the mumbo jumbo. Sounds like I might be able to have a deep conversation with them, and that's just false advertising.

Neoprene knuckle flex panels: In the past, I've had major complaints with gloves sporting rubber padding on the knuckles. The rigid squares, while useful for run-ins with trees and branches, mostly just end up rubbing blisters into my fingers. The Neoprene flex panels solve this nicely. They're low-bulk, soft and padded, so the only damage to my hands I'm worried about will come from the trail.

Silicone gripper fingertips: Since I am having trouble sorting out the best position for my XT controls (the topic of a review for another day perhaps) this feature has come in handy more than once. Wildly reaching for my shifters, that tiny gripper is a big help. Plus, they're just pretty. A very delicate design with Dakine in script for a feminine touch add function to some very lovely form.

Palm padding: A must for any endurance athlete, the padding in the palms is a welcome - nay, necessary! - part of the design. As the gloves are broken in, the padding is finding its natural place under my grip but my one other complaint is some slight bunching at the base of my fingers and in the crook of my thumb. I am hoping that as I continue to ride with them this effect will be reduced, but it is definitely something to consider if you pick a pair up for yourself. Make sure you break in your equipment before you introduce it to a race situation. That's just a good rule of thumb.

It's been a few washes now, a few races, and lots of snot and saliva too since their first trial out west. They still look and feel new and I would recommend them to any female rider. You can get your Dakine gloves and apparel at Sweet Pete's Bike Shop

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