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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ATTENTION CYCLISTS, IT'S HESTRA GLOVE TIME....FOR SURE.

Hestra Gloves, a company which has specialized in making gloves in Sweden for 75 years, primarily in the ski industry, both Alpine and Nordic, has branched out to now give all those years of experience to cyclists. Road, Mountain, Cyclocross, recreational riders all have a choice or two which will fit them perfectly somewhere in the Hestra line-up of functionality and comfort in hand protection. The gloves are designed with you the cyclist specifically in mind. This means materials endlessly researched and quality which is second to none. Their Alpine ski line is endorsed by and of course worn by Seth Morrison, with a model he himself helped research and design. Interestingly enough, Hestra has also come out with Hestra work gloves under the moniker Hestra Job, so put away the Wells Lamonts and check out Hestra next time you need a quality long lasting work glove. I had the opportunity to test some of this new product (incidentally, Hestra is a sponsor of the Vail Town MTB series), and had a couple of pairs, both full fingered which I prefer, because if I take a spill riding, I'd prefer to have my digits at least covered with some fabric if they are going to eat asphalt or dirt, but that is simply a personal preference. There is a fantastic selection of half finger gloves as well if you prefer.

Below is the Bike Long model and my the test ride for this bad boy was a 92 mile jaunt from Longmont, up Lefthand Canyon to the Peak to Peak, over to Estes Park and back to Longmont. Some big climbing, flats, rolling terrain and descending on this ride. The Bike Long (referencing the full fingered glove) has a sweet lycra back which breaths and stretches to fit your hand perfectly, I wore an XL which is a Euro size 10. The palm has a low profile gel pad which is awesome on long rides, and the palm area is made from a tacky Clarino fabric. The index and middle fingers tips have an extra patch of "grippy" material which also will prolong glove use as this is the spot that I always have problems with on my other full fingered cycling gloves, they always wear here, but the Hestra has built in the solution with the Bike Long model. These small reinforced patches also grip the shifters big time to insure smooth shifting, even in the drops. The terry cloth "booger pad" is perfectly placed as well. I also like the addition of reflective piping on the gloves as I ride at night, a lot, and any safety measure is a huge plus for me. I've ridden these gloves 3-4 times now, including the 92 miler, and the gloves feel invisible, but provide the protection I need, perfect. The bonus is that there is no Velcro closer on this glove, they have been designed with out it so you simply pull them on and off. As you know these Velcro closers always wear out and become a pain in the ass and a hindrance while riding, no worries about that with the Hestra Bike Long or any of their other models.



So what to do on the Mountain Bike? Fear not, Hestra has a glove for every type of rider out there and I like MTB gloves with some beef, as I've been known to do some "light" trail work while out riding. The Hestra Downhill Sr. is the perfect fit for me. It's heavier duty, has a stretchy mesh back, they use high quality and more supple goat leather in construction, a neoprene cuff for a snug fit, the palm and fingers are made with a tacky grip material which is critical for bike control when things get tight and fast on the trail. The knuckles are padded, and my first ride in these gloves was this past weekend at Curt Gowdy State Park. Gowdy is full of technical, rocky sections. One in particular I had a run in with. My bars were too wide for a narrow part of the trail which I attempted anyway and pinched my fingers between a large protruding rock and the handlebar. These small pieces of exterior padding saved some skin for sure if not more, and came out unscathed. Perfect and thank you Hestra.
So, in conclusion, Hestra, which absolutely dominates the Euro glove market in Europe is now here, in the good ol USA, and they are going to be a force in cycling, alpine and Nordic Skiing as well as in the work place. Look for them everywhere soon and tell your local shops to get em on their shelves.

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