Men’s Mountain Biking Gloves
The right glove for you… It boils down to two things: fit and style.
Fit: Gloves, like shoes, have a number of different sizing standards, from S, M, L, and so on, to different Euro and US versions of numerical sizing (7, 8, 9, etc). But all of these are derived from two, simple measurements: the circumference of your hand measured just below the knuckles (not including your thumb) and the length of your palm and middle finger (some companies just measure the middle finger; maybe they have an excessive number of haters?). Get those measurements to establish a baseline for sizing and then make a decision about whether you prefer a snug fit or a loose fit. My hand, for example, measures 9” (23cm) around the palm, and 7.25” (18.5cm) long; I’m at 3.25” (8cm) for the middle finger measurement. Based on that size information, according to most glove makers, I‘m right on the edge of being too big for a size M glove, so I should size up to L. But with my finger length, a size L glove will likely be too long. So… I’m basically screwed—I have to try before I buy with most brands.
Style: Some people have it, some don’t. It’s the same with gloves. There’s everything available from full-on armored gauntlets suitable for jousting on down to pixie wing and fairy dust xc racing gloves, and everything in between. Do you get hand pain on chattery trails? Maybe look for something with a padded palm. Do you sweat a gob-ton? Something breathable, then. Are you racing DH or Enduro? Maybe knuckle padding might be in your future. There are no rules, just personal preferences. But no one wants to wear a pair of gloves that make them look like an extra in a bad movie of some kind. So it’s gotta tick all the function boxes and look good—a tall order!
Leatt DBX Flow 2.0 ($35 USD)
Sizes: S–XL (8–11). size L (10) tested
Colors: Black/Blue, Black/Ivory (tested), Black/White, Brushed, Fuel/White, and Lime/Blue
Oh. My. God. If Sam Blenkinsop had a Leatt sponsorship, the DBX Flow 2.0 are the gloves he’d reach for when gloves are mandatory. It literally feels as if you’re wearing nothing on your hands at all. The bar feel, consequently, is exacting and I could feel every nubbin on my ODI Ruffian grips. This led me to doubt their durability, but at the end of the test period, the palm appeared good as new, despite my throttling the grips a bit aggressively during some technical riding and extended climbs in sweltering heat (when I’m suffering, I tend to over grip my bars for some reason—anyone want to play armchair psychologist on that behavior? Be my guest). And while there may be some “brush guard” technology at play in the weave of the fabric, I certainly couldn’t feel it. But I could feel every blade of tall grass brushing my hands and knuckles as I reeled off multiple laps on a particularly fun trail—the glove’s mesh back is that sheer. The fit of the size L glove was nearly perfect; a touch long in the fingers, but that’s to be expected by now. And they breathed well (duh!). When sweaty, I had a nice, secure grip on the bars despite the lack of silicon grippers, too. There was no uncomfortable bunching of the fabric, either, even when sweat soaked. All around, I’d call this a home run if you like a minimalist glove. I still don’t trust the light weight NanoGrip palm for durability, but they held up like a champ for two lengthy rides. Total winner if you don’t want to wear gloves but have to.