I don’t like wearing gloves. It wasn’t that long ago that, if the temperature was above 50 degrees, I would always ride knuckles-out. I enjoyed the childish freedom of it, kinda like riding without a pack. It makes a day on the mountain feel a little bit more like a day on the cul-de-sac. I also enjoyed the fashion of it. It conveys confidence, like a T-shirt and jean shorts in a slopestyle competition. But that’s the thing. I don’t necessarily deserve to have that kind of confidence. I make mistakes, and if I’m lucky, my hands will get to the ground before my face does. Like a MIPS layer on my palms, that little bit of initial deflection can save a lot of skin.
But I still don’t like wearing them. So, I opt for a minimalist approach. No knuckle protection, no velcro straps, and please, no padding in the palm. I don’t want to even know they’re there. Thankfully, this is a popular category now, but once you strip away all that stuff I don’t want, there’s very little left to say about a pair of gloves. That’s why I just burned about 200 words before even mentioning what these are called.
The Giro Trixter was one of those products that showed up on my doorstep unsolicited along with a couple other softgoods from the brand. I hadn’t heard of this specific model, but it checked all the boxes, as well as not checking the boxes mentioned above. They quickly became my go-to, which is why the pair pictured here are brand new. Mine haven’t left circulation, even for some photographs. The Giro Trixter’s approach to the no-frills glove has a few subtle advantages that got them on this list. For one, there are no extra panels reinforcing the high-wear areas in the palm. I understand why some brands do that, but in my case, my gloves tend to tear at the fingertips or the web between thumb and forefinger long before the palms wear through. I prefer the suppleness of an uninterrupted palm over any durability feature that would interrupt it.
And the touch-screen-friendly thumb and index-finger tips actually work, though I’ve noticed them to be a little spotty in the cold. Another thing about the fingertips on the Giro Trixter is that there are no silicone traction strips. Will someone tell me why brands think we need our gloves to stick to our brake levers? It’s one of the benefits of wearing gloves at all that, as we pull our brake levers, our fingers can slide on them as we compress deeper into the stroke, and then slide back as we release. Again, minimalism.
Unfortunately, paper-thin gloves share the same disadvantage as anything else that’s paper-thin. They don’t last forever, and after a month-and-a-half of mostly-on, sometimes-off use, I’ve blown through the index finger on one. But that brings me to possibly the most impressive thing about the Trixter gloves. They’re $20. $20!! I remember working at a shop that sold boatloads of Fox Dirt Paw gloves for $20, and that was back in 2003.
The second most impressive thing is that, at the time of writing this, the Giro Trixter gloves are actually in stock. It’s as if someone out there thinks people should be wearing gloves.
Photos: Anthony Smith