Examen: HandUp Gloves
“Best for grabbing bars and beers.” The tagline emblazoned on the palms of HandUp Gloves resonates the ideals many cyclists approve of. Yet even more important is the fact that in a day and age where gloves are reaching towards the $40 retail mark, the list price of $25 for these should make it a no brainer on value. But doesn’t cheap equate to cheap? Non. The advantage of HandUp Gloves is that they are designed to be exactly what a glove should be, and in that, the markup is at a natural low point. So what do you get for your blue collar dollars? Lettuce look into this now.
We had been in the gutter for early winter training blocks when Cody called suggesting his HandUp Gloves would be a good match for the Superissimo Examen “Wrecking Crew’s” box of dirt. but we weren’t on dirt, nor are we. Would these gloves be any good for our roadie shenanigans? Out in Superissimo East, it has been said like this:
HandUps are like a medium, helping to communicate the ever-living passion between my dead hands and the vital handlebar. What once was a gap in faith, has now been filled with glove. Whether on bar, can or face, they are sticky annamug, these gloves.
The designation of HandUp gloves is listed as a “mountain bike” glove at handupgloves.com. We accept this as an American problem, dirty biking, and we will look for dirty samples soon, however these gloves work equally for any bar, drop, flat, riser can, bottle or road or dirt or wherever you need the grip. There are no conditions for limits. HandUps do gloving exceedingly well so we will focus on details of why. Let’s talk about maximum tacky first.
I’m pretty sure no other glove on the market is as tacky as what HandUp offers. Sure, gloves are gloves right? Not much to differentiate, I can generally agree, but havn’t you met that one cyclist who complains about there being no simple glove out there anymore? But Cody had things thought about in this regard. He even states HandUp gloves are simple, but it’s what IS simple, and how those simple things are applied that make or break a mit. The major secret winning way of HandUp gloves is the silicon swath on the palm face. This is the no fuck around full deth grip zone. It is the fattest glove grip zone I’ve ever seen on a glove and it’s been a long time coming. Why hasn’t this already been a standard in the market? I digress. This tacky patch is huge. Look:
Mud Sweat, Beers. The moniker is real. We say yes to this. In the dirtiest of times, HandUps will absolutely be your best friend. Even in the worst CX situation, these mits have the best chance of not slipping. Each ride is sprinkled with thoughts of oh my i’m digging this grip! It goes on and on. They just work.
The HandUp design continues from the MegaGripZone©® to maintain simplicity throughout. It is the essence of what a glove should be. They fit, breathe, and don’t bumch up in the palm. This unlike so much of the mainstream glove offerings these days which are equipped with copious Transformer-like injection moldings for the knuckle scrapes, and gelulose paddings for excessively soft hands, and velcro cuff lashings at the wrist as if there is ever a chance a glove will fly off the hand without a high impact reason. HandUp gloves are minimally processed, and simply built with single layerings of Clarino on the palms sans any added padding. Nope. It’s straght to the bar, for positive contact and a thick enough layer of Clarino to keep the meathooks protected. Add a light mesh on top, they are the answer to an obscure yet pertinent question among so many cyclist in that these gloves are thankfully no fluff. The fit and feel is second skin. They put on and get off easy.
The other, perhaps most important detail is the often overlooked brow sweat cloth. Some mainstream gloves actually don’t have this, which is insane, but HandUps come ready to mop up the dirtiest mud stash and sweaty brow tears with a wide swatch of terry going across the thumb and index finger. This is HORS in detail, although you might think it’s a given in glove standards; yet it is not. Thank you HandUp, for your mits smash in performance ways that matter.
We are on long term daily testing of these grippers. Remaining questions include the ever present durability consideration. Will they last? This is always a concern. Gloves are easily one of the fastest wearing contact points on a ride. With single layer Clarino palms, bar/can contact is absolute positive input, but when will the holes form, and will the duration between then and now be appropriate for a $25 glove? We are confident this will be the case, but Mother Time is going to tell us for certain. Stay tuned. Still, without due endurance testing, the jury is IN regarding the value of HandUps: there is no question. These are the goto gloves for cyclists who avert the fluff in favor of a clean secure grip, hands down.
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[Editor’s note on sizing] – Glove sizing can be fickle. I, a small medium man (gnome) run large on gloves in most brands. Thus, I ordered large glvoes from Cody at HandUp. As they arrived, I donned them, and to my amazement, they are actually large in size, thus slightly baggy on my medium hands. That said, order your gloves with logical expectations on fit and you will be stoked. Large is as large does, unlike the rest of the glove market.