9 May 2012 - 0:24New Flavors
It was going to be “Flava in your ear”, but that really doesn’t make any sense, considering this post has nothing to do with your ears. It does have a lot to do with hands though. More importantly, gloves. I’m picky. And I like new stuff. And I need new gloves. For the last couple of years, it had been in my best interest to get my gloves from one place.
But now, I can do whatever I damn well please, and I’ve resumed offering the products that a) I like, and b) are good. One of the reasons I started my own bike shop was so I wouldn’t have to sell mundane, ill conceived “me too” products. Let’s just say I’m getting back to my roots.
So, I’ve been in the market for new gloves for about 2 years. I still wear my trusty Oakley Factory Pilots, when I can find them, which have provided 4 years of faithful service, but are now showing signs of giving up. Not bad for a $20 glove. I like my gloves to be simple. I don’t need padding, extra seams or frills. They need to be light, comfy and above all, fit. I’ve had some craptastic gloves in my past, so my tolerance for sub par shit is less than 1 ride. I’ll peel them off and ride bare knuckle if I have to.
I first became aware of the Ergon gloves last year, when I crashed the Topeak Ergon Training Camp. The gloves that everyone (except me) was wearing looked spiffy, and my interest was piqued, but I had to wait a full year before I finally got to get my hands into a pair. That isn’t important. But this is. I bought a pair of HA-2 and HE-2 gloves to try out. Yes, I bought them, which allows me the privilege of being completely honest about them. And we should make clear right away, that I don’t waste my money on crap when I could get it for free. These are not $20 gloves though, so my expectations are going to be a bit higher. These gloves are $40, which is still quite reasonable for a good pair of hands, only if they hold up.
So let’s have a look shall we?
Both gloves have nearly identical palm construction. Minimal fabric, silicone brake grabbies on the pointer and bird finger, with a bit of extra padding under the heel of the palm. I’m guessing that this little bit of extra material is designed to work with Ergon’s paddle style grips, I’ll let you know how that is. Visually, the most obvious differences between the two are the way the thumbs are put together, and the closures at the wrist. The HE has a more textured thumb, while the HA is perforated.
The HE fits amazingly snug, yet very comfortable right off the bat.
The HA was a little tight at first. The silicone application over the fingertips of these gloves made my fingers feel like they were being pinched I’ve had these gloves on and off my hands a few times, and the fit seems to be improving. The silicone seems to do a good job of keeping the glove from bunching under the fingers when you make a fist, making them suitable for punching dogs right in the snoot.
The one true test of a great bike glove, is one you will never see in any bike magazine glove shoot out. The pull tab test. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to open a beer with my teeth while riding my bike. There are few things more disturbing than metal on teeth to me, but when you need to open a beer, dammit you need to open a beer. All of my future glove assesments will include this test.
So far, funny fingers aside, the HA is showing it’s merits early….