Outdoor gear has to be a little outside the norm for me to really want to do a review on it. The product has to appeal to my love of things that can be used in more than one way. I think I’ve found something that meets the criteria.
On a recent research mission utilizing Google and a repressed fear of pushing the buttons, I came across an interesting product that functioned in support of a couple of my loves, mountain biking and beer. In proper moderation, both are enjoyable; put together they are a touchstone for some of my favorite social memories. It’s not just the Après-ride party either. Sometimes a sip of beer in the middle of a tough ride or race is just the right thing to pull an old mountain biker like me through to the finish.
Of course, the regular padded cycling gloves most mountain bikers use can be a little slippery when trying to grab a small plastic cup of the elixir handed up by one of Arkansas’s not so mythical Beer Fairies while trying to drop the wheel sucker behind you. So this guy named Cody had an idea, “I started the company early last year with the idea that cycling gloves were getting too complex with all the padding. When I raced motocross, the gloves I loved to wear were simple, no padding, slip on gloves. Exactly like the ones we make now. I wore my old motocross gloves until they were getting worn out then I decided to make my own. The only difference is I wanted the sweat – wicking (snot-rubbing, lets be real) material on the thumb like I saw on a couple other cycling gloves because that was one thing my motocross gloves didn’t have.” He came up with Hand Up Gloves.
One other feature Cody added was some sticky substance to the palm and fingers. Much like the stickem used by NFL receivers to get a little better grip on the “Hail Mary” pass, these gloves allow the sprinting mountain biker to grab a quick sip of a cold beverage. Of course it not only allows the precise handling of your favorite ale, but also helps in the removal and replacement of water bottles in their cages as well as the added benefit of helping maintain your grip on the handlebars, which brings me to my trial of these new gloves.
So far, I have tried these gloves on three different occasions. I have used them on the bumpy, rocky trails of Burns Park, the twisty, tight trails of Boyle Park and the little bit of everything trails at Camp Robinson. I use Ergon grips on my steed so a padded glove is not really necessary although I usually ride with them because, oh heck, I’m old.
I found the full finger gloves to be comfortable even for longer rides and had little hand fatigue. They kept my usually cold hands at a comfortable temperature except for warmer days that have gotten into the 60’s. A little more breathability on the backs would be nice. So I don’t know that I will use them much in the Summer. A half finger glove would be nice for the warm days of Arkansas cycling. They currently only have the full finger version.
As far as grabbing a cup of wonderfulness during a ride? Well I never ran into a trail fairy while I was out, but I did my own testing of post ride bottle grabs and at some point I stood on my deck holding a beer while wearing them and the stickem worked admirably. The gloves come in a variety of bold colors and are chic addition to a cycling wardrobe. Plus they have a really cool logo when you put your hands together correctly. This is a fun new product and a reminder that we shouldn’t be taking ourselves too seriously out there.
(I was compensated only with the pair of test gloves by Hand Up Gloves)