With a nod to the golden era of cycling, Bontrager has a few items in their Classique lineup. The Classique Full Finger Leather Gloves have been excellent so far on tarmac and singletrack.
Bontrager Classique Leather Gloves Features:
- inForm design with gel and memory foam provides great durability, reduces pressure on the ulnar nerve, helping to eliminate discomfort and hand numbness
- Genuine Pittards® WR100X natural leather palm provides great durability, softness, and handlebar feel
- eSwipe technology for seamless interaction with touch screen electronics
- Pieced palm for a no-bunch fit
- Soft nose wipe on thumb
- Palm venting for summer day comfort
- Hook and loop closure for a precise fit
- Price: $74.99
Bringing Back the Leathers
It has been a wet and cool spring here in Utah, so the Bontrager Classique Full Finger Gloves have gotten more than their fair share of use on both road and dirt. With the unmatched feel of Pittards leather, these gloves are something special.
I’m reminded of a time when I pulled alongside a man driving a classic Ferrari who was wearing leather driving gloves. That memory has always made me chuckle a little bit, but after riding with these full-finger gloves, I might as well be piloting a classic sports car. The natural feel and suppleness of the leather simply can’t be duplicated by man-made materials — no matter how nice.
On the road, these have staved off the chill of early morning rides up American Fork Canyon and yielded excellent bar feel with excellent tactility for shifting and braking. Breathability has been pretty good overall, but I’ve yet to ride them on an Africa-hot summer day (I’ll post follow-ups later this summer).
For mountain biking (where I think I’ll put these to the most use), the durability of the leather has been great thus far and the equally-superb bar feel has been great to have. To aid breathability, the leather is perforated and mesh inserts have been placed at the base of the fingers and between the inForm gel palm padding. Hand comfort is excellent overall as I’ve continued to be impressed with Bontrager’s glove designs.
As with most gloves, they are initially snug, but these seem a little more snug than typical. Gloves do stretch and leather can stretch a little more than synthetic materials, so the fit is improving more and more with use. When wet, the leather gets grippier and the overall feel only improves.
While it’s definitely not a good thing to have an extra long Velcro tabs, I’d say these are a little on the short side as I’ve only got about 3/4″ overlap. This hasn’t yet posed a problem, but may become problematic once the Velcro starts losing its muster.
I have appreciated the eSwipe tips on the thumb and forefinger. I’ve been able to interact with my iPhone without a single hitch for photos, email and Strava use during breaks. It’s still not as good as a bare finger, but these are the best touchscreen gloves I’ve worn.
- Excellent feel of Pittards leather
- Classic design reminds me of yesteryear — and car racing
- Microfiber thumb panel for wiping snot, sweat, etc.
- Breathability has been good thus far — we’ll see when the temps soar
- inForm pads aid in comfort and don’t feel overly bulky
- They dry out relatively quickly
- Fit is pretty snug… might need to size up
- Tend to feel heavy when wet
- Not much overlap on closure could prove problematic with use
The Bottom Line: Bontrager Classique Gloves
The experience of riding in full-leather gloves has been refreshing. No, I’m not pitching my regular gloves, but I’m really digging these. If you’re a classic cyclist or really appreciate the finer things in life, you won’t be disappointed with the feel and performance of the Bontrager Classique Full Finger Gloves.