I’ve been a fan of full finger gloves for on and off-road riding for years now. Newer gloves aren’t all that much hotter than half finger gloves, but they provide more protection in case you don’t keep the rubber side down. I started with gloves from Fox and Oakley, before finding Handup Gloves. But there is another brand out there: Handske.
Made by the guys behind Kogel Bearings, Handske offers full palm printed grip with a stylish back that is far from boring. We’ve had a pair for a few months now, and put them through many miles of spring and summer conditions, and now it’s time to tell you about them.
After starting up Kogel Bearings (expect some reviews this fall!), Sem Gallegos and Ard Kessels needed a break from the technical side of producing bearings. They wanted to do something more creative, so they created Handske. They started as a Kickstarter campaign, and officially launched at this year’s Sea Otter. Ever since, they have been creating small batch runs of gloves with designs created by artists to help you hit the road and trail in style.
The gloves use a pretty standard recipe for a great glove, synthetic leather palm, breathable mesh back, and a full thumb terry cloth. Handske adds full palm silicone printing for exceptional grip, touchscreen compatible index finger, and a neoprene cuff for an exceptional fit without the build of a velcro strap.
What separates them from other gloves out there is the design on the mesh back. Handske works with artists to create unique and stylish glove backs.
Our gloves, the Astek1, features artwork by Dutch graphic designer and graffiti artist Micha de Bie. The backs feature sections of one of his pieces from a wall in Delft, The Netherlands. He uses bold geometric shapes and blocks of colors to create striking pieces, challenging you to find the letters and words in the piece.
When it comes to fit, they are made to fit like a surgical glove to avoid bunching up. I wouldn’t go as far as saying they fit as tight as the Park Tool Nitrile gloves I use in the shop, but they definitely do not fit loose. If you prefer a looser fit, they suggest going up a size. We went with our usual size large, which fit snug, but not too tight. The only negative I could find in the fit was that the fingers were a little tight, but talking with Gallegos, he mentioned that future production runs will have a little bit roomier of a fit.
On the bike, they worked well. They fit a touch smaller than the gloves I usually ride, but the stretchy mesh back moved well with my hand as I moved through different hand positions around the bar. The mesh back also kept my hands comfortable in temps from the 60’s through the 90’s without any issues. I wouldn’t be surprised if they would be comfortable down to the 50’s, but from experience with similar style gloves, anything below that will start to be a bit chilly on your hands.
The synthetic leather palms have held up well and the silicone printing is still in place. The unpadded palms are comfortable, even on longer rides. The touchscreen capable pointer fingers worked well on an iPhone 8 Plus in an Otterbox case, but obviously don’t expect to use the print reader option to unlock your phone. It’s not something I used often, but it was nice to know that if I wanted to, I could use my phone without taking my gloves off.
The area that they really shined for me was grip. I had a chance to wear them through some wet rides, and the grip was phenomenal. I tend to ride pretty grippy bar tape to begin with, but grip in both dry and wet conditions was solid. Even grabbing muddy water bottles while riding was never an issue.
The underrated feature on any good glove is the terry cloth thumb. Whether you are wiping a snotty nose or sweat from your eyes, the full thumb terry cloth was always there to take care of the job. I tend to keep one thumb for the nose, and leave the other for sweat or cleaning sweat off of my glasses at stops when needed.
Overall, Handske gloves are solid. They offer great grip, a trim fit and low profile, and stand out from the crowd. At $34.99 ($30 for pre-order styles), it’s not a bad deal for a well-made glove. Without going as far as crashing in them, they have held up to many hours of riding and multiple trips through the washer and drier, and yet they look as good as new. I expect they will continue on in the glove rotation as I head into cross season and next spring out on the road.
I look forward to seeing the future designs as well. So far, the Astek we received happens to be one of my favorites, but I also like the clean lines of the Pista. If you have an idea for a design, check out their site for more info on how you can submit your own. If selected, not only will your gloves make it to rider’s hands, but you’ll receive a cut for it as well. So get designing!
For more information: https://www.handskegloves.com
Scott Kingsley does more than a little bit of everything. A cyclocross racer who found his way into running through his wife, he’s also a journalist, photographer, mechanic and creator of the handcrafted organic beard balms of Lancaster Beard Company. Scott is also the tech editor at BikeWorldNews.com and contributor at VeeFit4Fun Fitness.
Scott is based in Lancaster, PA and is a Veggie Powered Athlete.