Couple of days ago I managed to snatch two pairs of Dakine Step-Up Glove off www.chainlove.com. My trusty AXOs stated to develop holes and the price of Dakines was hard to ignore: regularly priced at $34.99 they were on sale for $15.99. There was quite a variety of color schemes. I pulled the trigger on Bomber (black with white inserts) and Psychedelic (black with funky colored inserts). The logic was that Bomber perfectly matches color scheme of black Yeti ASR 7 with white rear triangle and Psychedelic could add a nice touch of color to the desert rides pictures. Few days later I was excited to rip the bag open and try the gloves on.
Let’s start with the bad news: I’ll be returning the purchase because they’re too small for me. When I buy something in size large it usually fits me so I didn’t even bother to check the sizing chart at the time of ordering. I can put them on, but the process is like getting into the latex glove when you have to fight it all the way. In the end there’s plenty of pressure everywhere which can be quite uncomfortable on the long ride.
Because chainlove.com is one-deal-at-a-time site the sale there is long gone so I searched for same product online and found it at hucknroll.com. The chart says that size Large should fit hands with cirumference 8.5-9.5in. I measured my hand according to the instructions provided and the cirumference wasn’t even 8.5in. I want to see somebody at the end of the range trying to put them on. Another indication that there’s something seriously wrong with the Dakine’s sizing was the fact that almost every review warned about sizes running too small.
Another thing is that although the gloves seem to be well reinforced when it counts on the palm side, the back side doesn’t have anything to protect the fabric. There’s padding on the knuckles but it doesn’t look like something that will survive the contact with abrasive surface of slick rock. My AXOs on the other hand (pun intended) have strategically placed strips of plastic on the back side.
Though I need to give the credit where it’s due: Dakine Step-Up are good looking, light and well built. The stitches are neat, quality and selection of materials is great. All the good features are there: mesh on the sides of the fingers for breathing, rubberized fingertips for good grip on the breaks, additional padding etc. And last but not least very impressive design selection.
Given the chance at the same price point I would buy them again in XL, but for now I’m sticking return labels. The lesson is learned: size up Dakine gloves, don’t trust sizing charts, always read reviews.
As luck would have it the gloves showed up on sale again and I had to fulfill my promise. The variety was limited this time around and I ended up with XL bombers and black gloves in XXL. Stepping up the site was what the doctor ordered. The fit of the larger glove was precise and they felt well articulated. I haven’t noticed much difference between XL and XXL sizes. The folks with larger hands may be out of luck after all. All other aspects (mostly positive) still stand.
PS: I will post the updates about the durability of the product as time goes by. Hopefully I will not have much information about protective function of the glove in major crashes.
PPS: My dreams of Bomber glove design exactly matching the colors of Yeti frame have crashed and burned. The inserts that looked white on the picture are actually a bit greenish. The biking style police will be knocking on my door any day now.
PPPS: Over several month of use one of the gloves developed a problem – the seam on the palm started to fall apart. Read about Dakine’s handling my warranty claim.