I love Giro bike helmets. Even its less-expensive models are beyond reproach.
This track record had me pretty excited about trying out its Giro Xen gloves. I picked some up at South Mountain Cycles in Ahwatukee, Ariz., in December of 2009. Since then, Iâ€™ve been able to test two pairs and have some strong opinions about them.
They had a lot to offer: full fingers (nice for cooler temperatures), lack of bulk, nice fit. And they looked cool with a swirly gray-and-black urban camouflage pattern. The hook-and-loop fasteners were a bit odd, wrapping counterclockwise around the wrist. But that seemed to be the only major deviation from convention. They were reasonably priced at $30.
Unfortunately, theyâ€™re also the flimsiest gloves Iâ€™ve ever owned. Within four months, stitching on the palm of the right glove started coming unraveled. I couldnâ€™t find my receipt, but Giro was accommodating enough to send a new pair. They arrived for the hot summer riding. I split my time between the Xen gloves and an old pair of Fox half-finger gloves.
Despite a fairly light workout, the newer pair developed problems. By December, the left gloveâ€™s index finger developed a pinhole. By December, my finger was poking all the way through.
My Fox gloves, on the other hand, are so old that I canâ€™t even remember buying them. Age and heavy use have made them crusty and skanky – even after a thorough tumble in the wash machine. But they are still in one piece.
That makes my next glove purchase a no-brainer: Iâ€™ll get another pair of Fox gloves. Unfortunately, Giroâ€™s gloves are nowhere near a match for the excellence of its helmets.
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