Wednesday, September 16, 2009

An Ode to My Gloves

It is true that sometimes we do not realise how much we need something until we lose it. I bought these "AIRius" bicycle gloves at Open a month ago, because the attractive crochet promised a more breathable alternative to the synthetic ones I owned. I did not know then just how much I would love them.

The top is crocheted cotton and the underside is a padded gray suede-like material. The gloves are inexpensive and generic, and I worried that they might be a novelty that would fall apart after a ride or two. Well, nothing of the sort happened. In addition to being more attractive, the AIRius gloves are more durable, more breathable, and more comfortable than the Pearl Izumi ones I wore previously. I especially love it that the padding on the underside does not bunch up after long rides, but remains evenly distributed. My hands remain dry even in the hottest weather. And the delicate-looking crochet was completely intact after a month of near-daily use.

As you can see in the photos, our happiness together knew no bounds... until I lost them on a long ride over Laborday weekend. I realised what had happened only after we were almost home and 12 miles from the area where I might have left them. We did not have the energy to return and search for them, and it would have gotten dark by the time we got there anyway. So I let the gloves go - but I knew no peace until I finally bought a replacement pair. Now order is restored in the universe and my hands are happy again. And if you happen to have found a pair of crochet bicycle gloves somewhere in West Newton or Waltham, please enjoy them in good health.

A double-ode: The old dropbars on Marianne and the lost chrochet gloves. Good-bye to them both.

12 comments:

  1. I have similar ones! They are Giant brand, though. I do love them so!

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  2. A lovely ode :) Those gloves look great. I never used gloves until I realized that sweaty hands and cork grips resulted in calluses. Mine are similar crocheted gloves from Planet Bike and, as you mentioned, crochet has the double benefit of being stylish and breathable.

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  3. I have not yet bought any cycling gloves, though I have been tempted several times. Love the look of these, and now I know they're useful, too. Your ode has inspired me to put them on my "to buy" list. :) Great pictures.

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  4. Shellacked cork is what made me feel the need for gloves as well. It is very comfortable in terms of cushioning the handlebars, but it can get slippery (especially in hot weather and in the rain) and that makes pressing the brakes more challenging. It never gave me calluses, but cloth tape did when I first tried that on drop bars.

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  5. Love my crochet back gloves. I have been wearing them for close to 40 years...old habits die hard. ;-)

    Aaron

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  6. What lovely gloves - practical, comfortable AND elegant.

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  7. They look just like string back driving gloves such as I use when I drive my Jaguar. Mine have no padding besides the leather palm.

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  8. You girls shore love to accessorise ya'll.
    Gloves in Winter: check. Gloves on rough terrain: check. Gloves for the love of crochet: check.

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  9. Cork bike grips are made from the same type used for fishing-rod handle segments. Fishermen don't shellac their rod handles, they don't want them to slip, and the cork handles last forever. Solution: don't shellac your grips. I love gloves in the wintertime, never-the-less.

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  10. Aaron - Is that 40 years for the same pair of gloves? Now that's quality.

    David - And in "us girls" you are including Steve A and Aaron? : )

    Dave - Alas, in my experience cork bicycle grips do not last forever. I tried them un-shellacked and they get filthy and crumbly immediately.

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  11. I remember when all bicycle gloves were like the ones you've just lamented. For some time, they were unavailable; I'm glad to see that people have discovered (or rediscovered) them.

    I use leather tape on my drop-bar bikes and on my commuter (with upright bars), I have rubber grips that more or less match my Brooks saddle. Great grip, though not much padding. That's where the gloves come in for me.

    By the way...Velo Orange is talking about making gloves like those. Given my experience with their other products, I'm sure they'll be great.

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  12. Justine - I did not know that these were discontinued for a time. Glad to know they are re-instated in the velofashion world. I saw the VO gloves prototype on their blog a couple of days after I made this post. I hope they go ahead and produce them!

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