Bontrager Race Gel Glove Review
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A well padded and perfectly fitting pair of gloves can make the difference between a good ride and a great one. The Bontrager Race Gel Glove is a light-weight carefully designed half finger glove for warm weather riding. It’s liberal use of light mesh paired with features to minimize hand numbness make it a winner.
It can be hard to pack lots of features into a small pair of gloves. That said, Bontrager successfully squeezed everything you could want into the Bontrager Race Gel Glove.
The first thing you notice when you pick up the glove in the amount of gel padding. Bontrager used a special memory foam to relieve pressure on the ulnar nerve and eliminate hand numbness. The padding is thick, firm and feels very durable. It compresses fairly easily under pressure. There are small pads at the base of each finger and larger ones at the base of the thumb and palm.
The palm of the glove a patchwork of synthetic leather with mesh in some key places. The concept is that the use of perfectly sized panels will prevent any bunching that could occur when the hand is bent in the riding position. While this may add a tiny bit of weight to the glove it provides unbeatable durability and flexibility.
The backside of the glove utilizes 2 different types of mesh. The blue mesh is thicker and provides some form while the orange is very light allowing for excellent air movement through the glove. The thumb is accented with a soft absorbent chamois nose wipe.
This glove performed outstandingly through the abuse of my daily bike commute. Frankly when I first put them on I was fairly skeptical. I typically use a glove with much less padding. When you look at a side angle of the glove, the amount of padding is actually pretty impressive. My assumption was that this “bump” would actually make the glove uncomfortable in a sustained position. I was wrong. The gel foam compressed very nicely and really made my hand quite comfortable. The first few times I wore the gloves I realized that I was switching hand position less frequently than normal. I’m not sure if this was due to the gel padding or the design to minimize pressure on the ulnar nerve but I have to say it worked very nicely.
After wearing these gloves for a while I was very impressed with the Velcro. A lot of gloves use cheap velcro that pops open from time to time but these closures stayed shut. The other feature I really enjoyed about the glove was the molded pull on tab on the palm side. I thought this was just a gimmick when I first got the gloves but it was actually really handy.
The gloves are adequate for summer and shoulder season riding. The mesh on the back wicks well. The synthetic leather absorbs a little bit of sweat on the hot days, but this is to be expected. They have significant venting making them pretty cool in summer but there are lighter gloves out there if you spend a lot of time in intense heat.
The one down side to these gloves is the quality of the stitching. While I never hand any of the seams come apart, the lose strings made the gloves look a little cheap. This was a bit of a surprise because the rest of the glove was so well constructed.
The Bontrager Race Gel Glove is a great all around road riding glove. The use of gel foam padding in key places succeeds in its mission to minimize hand numbness and the combination of synthetic leather and mesh make it both durable and lightweight. See more at the Bontrager Website: Bontrager Race Gel Glove.