It wasn’t that long ago that I opted for gloves with some palm padding and a little bit of extra protection. But, as grips and bar tape have become more comfortable and ergonomic, I have gravitated towards gloves that provide the best feel. I want protection, but I still want to feel every nuance of the trail to feel more in tune with the bike. The Gore Wear TrailKPR Gloves have been my primary mountain bike gloves for two full seasons and they are still going strong.
Gore Wear TrailKPR Bike Gloves Features:
- Reinforced palm is abrasion resistant and durable
- Cordura backing for durability
- Silicone printing for increased grip
- Touchscreen sensitive material on thumb and pointer finger tips
- Flat feel elastic cuffs
- Available in black (tested), blue or green
- MSRP: $40
Minimalist trail gloves
Over the past 10 years, I have standardized on Ergon mountain bike grips (GE1 and GA3). I find their grips to provide the best ergonomics and bar feel for my hands and prefer that ergonomics be at the grip-level and not in the glove. Because of their grip shape, gloves with palm padding can feel disconnected and clunky. So, I am always searching for just the right gloves that jive with them and the Gore Wear TrailKPR Gloves do just that.
Looking them over, I appreciate the simple, closure-free design. Instead of a Velcro or snap closure, Gore Wear has designed the TrailKPR’s with just an elastic cuff. Straps are often catching on things and end up losing their closure strength over time. With the simple cuff, I get a close fit without any added clunkiness. In addition, finger depth is perfect for the size large on my hands and the overall package stretches perfectly without restricting movement. All typical hand positions are met with the proper snug-ness and natural movements are smooth.
In the beginning, the gloves had a small silicone rectangle for added braking feel. It lasted the full first season before eventually falling off of the left index finger. Now, after the second full season of use, I haven’t missed that silicone grip too much and don’t notice a huge difference between my left and right fingers when braking (it’s still mostly intact on the right finger). Either way, lever feel remains excellent.
The TrailKPR Gloves also feature touchscreen rubber on the thumb and index fingers. At first, this worked well with my iPhone, but over the course of two seasons, it has degraded a little. I’d say it works about 75% of the time, but does require wetting the tip just a little for a more reliable interface. Oddly, the seam at the inside tip of the thumb pokes out a little and makes for odd touchscreen use.
On the bike, the softshell materials don’t get stretched out of shape on with rough terrain or hard use. I can stand and power through anything and I can plow through rough rock gardens without thinking about the gloves. The thin palms allow me to feel every inch of the terrain and have been very durable — even after a few falls. I appreciate the wind protection they offer while still remaining very breathable. I’ve never once felt hot-handed in the TrailKPR’s.
The side finger vents aid in breathability and comfort. I do have a small seam on my left index finger that is starting to stretch out and that finger has rotated inward a little and doesn’t sit perfectly square on my finger. Outside of that, I can’t really complain much because it’s rare that a pair of gloves — particularly a lightweight pair — will last a full two seasons of abuse.
Fit: The size large fits true-to-size. I usually wear large across all glove brands.
- So lightweight and comfortable
- Minimalist palms allow for the ultimate bike connection
- Have proven durable for two seasons
- Breathe really well and block wind too
- Touchscreen function worked great initially (and still does, mostly)
- Closure-free design makes for a simple cuff that won’t break down
- Clean up easily and dry out in a jiffy
- Silicone grip fell off one finger after the first season
- Odd thumb seam pokes out a little
- Touchscreen function is degrading
The Bottom Line: Gore Wear TrailKPR Bike Gloves
After two seasons of hard use, I still grab the TrailKPR’s for every mountain bike ride. They are lightweight, breathable and offer superb grip feel for the ultimate in bike control. The backside features stretchy Cordura and the palms stay put on even the roughest terrain. I love these for XC/Trail riding and gravel.
Buy Now: Visit GoreWear.com