Endura Singletrack Glove
From the moment they landed on our desk, the Endura Singletrack gloves looked like a solid all-rounder. The gloves are full-fingered yet maintain a very low profile. For three-season use, they feature terry cloth for sweaty months, and just enough material density to block during the chilly ones. We could see both an Endurance and Gravity rider in the Endura Singletrack Gloves, and neither question his choice. Endura is based out of the UK, and while they are quickly growing their fan base State Side, across the pond they are the go-to brand for quality apparel in otherwise undesirable conditions. The saying goes something like this -- there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. With that in mind, Endura has been narrowing our climate-related excuses to not ride.
We have seen many potentially good gloves ruined by the over use of 'technical' features, often adding bulk with no real value to the rider. To keep the Singletrack as low profile as possible, Endura axed anything non-essential to an everyday glove. The back uses a single layer of durable yet highly breathable four-way stretch mesh. Imagine a breathable Cordura material -- this is what you find here. Although our hands got warm when the mercury capped 85, it was to be expected with an all-black, full-fingered, 'tough glove.'
Through the years, we have become accustomed to wiping our sweat or nose, with the back of our thumb. Endura changed all that -- they took the common terry cloth patch and made it better. The Singletrack has moved that terry cloth to the index finger, and also given us about twice the amount of surface area to work with. After a handful of nose wipes with the thumb's tougher material, we quickly adapted to the new location of the soft cloth on the index finger.
Sometimes the best designs go unnoticed, by design. Does that make sense? All too often the back cuff of gloves is either: A) too tall; B) too thick; or C) a lethal combination of both. When we pull our hands off the bar to rest our palms, we don't want to see red irritation marks or creases in our skin from the gloves. Endura has used a short neoprene cuff to provide unrestricted movement at this crucial point. It is perforated with tiny holes to disperse heat, and also gave us something to hold on to while pulling the glove on. The outermost seam of the wrist uses soft neoprene piping so the stitching never touched our wrist. Again, we never noticed it, which was a good thing.
The palm of the glove featured multiple layers of "suedette", a washable faux-suede. The first layer created a base for the palm, while a second layer was strategically placed for added comfort, starting under the knuckles. That layer disappeared in the middle of the hand to allow for flexibility, but returned towards the back of the palm. The material is also wrapped over the area between the thumb and index finger, an area that typically sees lots of friction with brake/shift levers, lock-out controls and whatever else lives atop your handlebar. Endura built this glove specifically with all intersecting seams on the top of the hand to prevent any possibility of chafing while the weight of your body presses against your hand.
Very thin silicone strips extended across the base of our metacarpals to provide grip in both wet and dry conditions -- this proved to work very well for us. There are also three short lines of the same silicon at each fingertip, helpful in buckling our helmet, or reaching in our jersey pockets to grab something. At the base of the palm was a dense but thin pad, which kept the thickest part of our palm comfortable without being overwhelming. Again, there were silicon grippers which provided just enough assurance from slipping off the bars. We realize some gloves have no added padding, while others brag about lots of it in key areas. The Endura Singletrack glove had a good combination of the two, but we found it leaned more towards minimalistic riders who require close contact with the handlebar.
Two-needle overlay stitching was used throughout the palm for durability. After months of abuse we cannot find a single loose thread -- the fancy pants stitching seems to have held up well. Another thing that worked well is the Velcro closure strap on the underside of the hand -- the strap itself was thin and flexible, so it conformed easily to our wrist. Atop the strap was a second reflective Endura logo, this time raised to help grip the glove when pulling it on. The Velcro was very soft. Heck, even the "tough" side was soft. This was a welcome attribute -- we've experienced all too many a glove whose Velcro irritated the soft skin on the underside of our wrist.
The Endura Singletrack Gloves are great for a variety of conditions and riding styles. The breathable and durable mesh is cool enough for warm temps but still blocks the chill when needed. It is not a glove for extreme hot or cold, but will cover your bases when conditions are right in-between, rain or shine. They are not hardwired for XC, all-mountain, or downhill -- their practical, tough design feels right at home in whatever you throw at them.