Giro LXLF Gloves

Giro, for those who haven’t been paying attention to one of the world’s top helmet manufacturers, has entered the glove market cannonball-style. That’s in addition to the eyewear and other accessories that the manufacturer has moved into.

It was a risky move. Giro’s place as one of the top three helmet makers is virtually decreed by government. All it would take to crack the foundation would be a crappy lens or two and gloves that didn’t fit or didn’t last.

Last fall I reviewed the Lusso glove, which has since been renamed the LX. I liked the Pittards leather glove a lot, but in the comments, I did get a bit of pushback. One owner of a set complained about how the gloves dried out after washing them.

The folks at Easton-Bell Sports read RKP after they are all caught up on the real news over at Cyclingnews. The brand manager for the gloves saw the comment, contacted the reader and addressed his concerns personally. It makes for great PR when you do something like that publicly, but I only know about it because someone at Giro contacted me.

I can say that no other bike company has shown the same level of concern for addressing consumer issues as Giro. The opportunity is certainly there.

Late this winter I received the long-finger version of the LX glove, called the LXLF. Like the LX, the LXLF comes in either a black and white or all black color scheme. Unlike the LX, it blends some more stretchable fabric at the knuckles to make the gloves more dextrous without forcing the leather to stretch. The perforated Cabretta leather on the back of the glove helps keep it breathable. And the alternating black and white makes them look like a classy costume accessory for the Oaxacan Festival of the Dead.

Compared to the short-finger version of the glove, the LXLF, rather surprisingly, features much less of the 3M technogel padding. While the pads are nice and do a great job of preventing vibration from reaching your hands, it is a little on the bulky side. The LXLF features but two pads at the heel of the palm. As a result, the palms move with your hands much more naturally. Yet, as thin as the glove feels, it still provides more than adequate protection in terms of padding and temperature control.

I wouldn’t advocate using this glove much below 50 degrees and certainly not above 70 degrees, but that temperature range describes my typical ride for at least eight months of the year.

Ever concerned that I’ll do something to stretch the LXs out, I’m super-careful when I remove them. With the LXLF, not so much. With a gentle tug on the fingertips, it’s easy to pull them off my hands. And after more than a month of near-daily use they still look new.

The gloves feature a section of microfiber fabric over the thumb to give you a place to wipe your sweaty, drippy bits, but honestly, the fabric behind the knuckles does just as good a job at absorbing bodily fluids.

Speaking of bodily fluids, in reviewing another company’s short-finger Pittards-palm glove, I had a less-than-fun incident involving the black dye used in the leather and my bar tape. I sweated so much on a hot day that the black dye not only stained my hands the color of coal, but stained my bar tape so that it looked brick red. I have yet to pick up any hint of dye on my hands from either the LX or the LXLF gloves. Some details you just don’t notice until someone else messes one up.

Easily my favorite feature of the gloves is the incredible sensitivity and dexterity they offer. My son’s butt is only slightly softer than these things, but LXLF has the advantage of being wearable for hours at a time.

In my climate, I can make use of a spring-weight glove, as I mentioned, for at least eight months of the year. I’ve tried a lot of lightweight, long-finger gloves. You’d be shocked if I told you how few of them are memorable. The LXLF is not only memorable, it is easily the best long-finger spring-weight glove I’ve ever worn. Periodendofstatement.

Because they retail for $70, it’s not a glove I’d be inclined to wear, say, during a cyclocross race or a six-hour, rainy training ride. I know they can be cleaned, but the cleaning process requires a bit of care and they aren’t indestructible. For those reasons, I don’t wear them on rides I anticipate will be messy.

If this whole global warming thing turns out to be a hoax and supposing my morning rides maintain their 55-degree start temp, I won’t mind. These gloves are so enjoyable, I’d gladly wear arm warmers year-round just to help justify wearing the gloves.

In the grand scheme, what makes these gloves so great isn’t how Giro got all the details right. What makes them so great is the fit of the glove combined with the feel of the leather on your hands; the combination of softness and dexterity is simply unparalleled. Pardon me, but I think I’m going to put them on and retype this review just so I can have another hour to wear them. Seriously—these gloves are so nice, you’ll rethink why you wear gloves … and the standard you hold them to.

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18 comments

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention There's a reason why some glove leather is compared in softness to baby bottoms. proves why: -- Topsy.com

  2. Jonathan

    I’ve had 2 pairs of the Lusso’s (1 black, 1 white). I love the weight, thin padding, and style. Excellent there. But they are incredibly hard to get off. Also, the dye on the black ones bled out upon hand washing (even after a couple washes), and the color became very dull. Also, after wearing these for less than a full season, and only hand washing them…they ripped in half while I was putting them on.

    IMHO, gloves are made to be worn. I’ll pay more for nice looking perforated leather, but I expect them to last as long as any other pair of gloves. In this regard, the Lusso’s did not reach the bar. Perhaps the newer LX’s are an improvement over the previous version. But I’m not willing to pay the $65 to find out.

  3. Jim

    I have wanted to try the LX gloves since I first saw the news about them. Only problem is I can’t find them, anywhere.

    Hopefully, someday.

  4. TFT

    It’s a great review. One hopes that the finish on these gloves is better than the Monacos I bought, their replacement, the re-replacement and their possible re-re-replacement (I might just give up at this point).

  5. Clausen

    Great review of a nice looking glove. But a spring glove your not inclined to wear in spring conditions. Try DeFeet Dura gloves. I slide them over my regular gloves, easy to remove and store for changing conditions. Good down to 5°C, still warm when wet, multiple colours and cheap enough to be disposable even though I’m on year 5 with my original pair.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Clausen: DeFeet does really nice work. I’m a huge fan of almost all their socks. The gloves are perfect for ‘cross racing or anytime things are nasty, but honestly, they don’t get me excited the way the LXLF gloves do. I mean, I wrote the review precisely because the gloves are so incredible that I thought people ought to know about them. I’m inclined to think of them as a “cool weather glove,” rather than a “spring glove” if you know what I mean.

  6. Dan O

    Dude, $70 for bike gloves? They better be pretty damn nice.

    Every pair of full fingers gloves I’ve owned – AXO, Northwave, etc – seem to explode the fingers out in a matter of months – turning ‘em into semi fingerless gloves.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Dan O: The price is a bit hard to swallow, but the whole reason I reviewed them is that they are that much better than everything else I’ve tried in the last year.

      I know some folks are harder on gloves than others. I can’t say why that is, but gloves tend to survive well with me. In your case, it could be crappy gloves, or maybe your fingers are bionic. Check with Oscar Goldman.

  7. tlove

    these gloves are exactly like the review states,that is from my personal use of these gloves,had them for 7 months,my two thumbs UP! People pay way to much for most of out bike gear! $70 for gloves, i would pay it again for these gloves!

  8. Tony

    Nice review. I use full finger gloves throughout the summer. Just like ‘em better.

    I’m using the Pearl Izumi Veers currently and I’m already breaking through the mesh fabric on my index and middle fingers after a month of use. The pad-less Pittards palms are quite nice, but that lack of durability it totally unacceptable.

    Last season was spent on the long finger Specialized BG Gel, which were more durable yet destructed after a season. The padding on those is excessive and the black palm fabric/leather dyes my white Fizik tape blueish black. Also the white mesh fabric never cleaned brighter than a dull gray-white after a few washings.

    So, my question:

    Are the LXLF’s really not appropriate for summer? It gets up above 90F/32C where I’m at, but I was never bothered by the Specialized full fingers, and I’m very interested in trying the LXLF’s as a full time glove. If anybody has experience using them in summer conditions I’d love to hear it. Thanks.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Tony: I don’t know that the LXLF would really be breathable enough for comfortable use in weather hotter than 80 degrees. If the back of the glove were mesh, I could see it, but perforated leather, while breathable, isn’t super breathable.

  9. Dan O

    Maybe my gloves are crap – that’s possible. Commuting a few days a week also seems to kill stuff – for some reason my gloves. Maybe it is the bionic fingers….

    To break up the monotony, one of my Specialized fingerless gloves wore a hole in the palm this week. To give ‘em some credit, they are a few years old.

  10. blacksocks

    Jonathan-

    We appreciate hearing your comments regarding the LX gloves. As we get more riders in our gloves, we learn more about the market’s expectations, and the many ways that even the tiniest details can impact a rider’s experience.

    We’re committed to making the best gloves possible, and we’re working hard to continue the evolution of our materials, techniques and the processes used in order to create even better gloves down the road. Our gloves are evolving all the time and I hope that we’ll nail it for you in the future…

    -eric@giro

  11. Tony

    Eric,

    Thanks for contributing to the comments.

    If I may make one request, it’s that you consider offering the Monaco LF in white. I would be using those gloves if they existed. Nothing else has to change, just white where the red and blue variations have their coloring.

    Thanks.

  12. Dan O

    Eric,

    If you need a real world glove test – I’m a good example. Let’s see how 10 hours of riding/commuting a week takes its toil on some Giro gloves….

    Dan

  13. Pingback: Giro LX LF Gloves : Red Kite Prayer

  14. Masshoff

    Can anyone comment on how the sizing runs on these? Is a Giro Large comparable to other brand’s Large, generally speaking?

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