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Gear Review: Dakine Women’s 2010 Cross X mtb gloves

When I think of Dakine, I think (beyond packs) gloves. The company’s got a well-deserved hold of the winter market.

I recently got a hold of their Women’s Cross X mountain bike gloves.

And I put them to the ultimate test immediately, at Whistler Mountain Bike Park—for two days of wickedly intense riding in a women’s downhill and freeride mountain bike camp.

I’ve been riding in them many times since.

Check out how they stack up:

Aesthetically, they’re badass. They’ve got a moto feel going on with thick padding across the knuckles and the back of the hand. Graphically, it’s carved up by stitching, giving the gloves a robo look.

That padding is the reason they’ve become my downhill gloves. I take them out when we’re going to go fast and down scary ‘ish. The extra protection is going to save the hand against trees or rocks, or if you roll the disastrous OTB.

Turn the gloves over and an extra-thick chunk of padding is located at the base of the palm. This sensitive area of the hand rubs constantly against the grips. Adding that comfy cushion makes these gloves ideal for long rides, saving the hand from fatigue or soreness.

The wrists on are covered with Neoprene, which protects against sudden impacts, but remains soft and comfy on the skin.

These gloves are for intense all-mountain, freeride and xc riding, so Dakine’s used synthetic suede material for the palms, adding a double layer at the base of the fingers where your hand creates the greatest friction with the grips. It’s a comfort- and durability-thing.

Laced on to the two cockpit fingertips are silicone strips for grippier control on the brake levers.

Both of the thumbs are covered with soft terry cloth for snotty noses or wiping away sweat. It’s those little luxuries that are appreciated far out on the trail.

These gloves are a bit on the warmer/heavier side due to all the protection they’re packin’. They do have a nylon-mesh back, but the holes don’t fully punctuate the glove. They’re less likely to rip on a fall, but you compromise breathability.

As performance-driven as they are, the Cross Xs are pretty comfy; though you’re definitely aware that you’ve got them on. They’re not as low-profile as all-mountain gloves that incorporate “next-to-skin” elasticity. But when you’re about to graze a tree or wreck, you’re not too worried about low-profile or ultimate comfort.

The one caveat to these gloves is that the lining between the fingers and stretching over the fingertips, is really thin—probably to keep the gloves as comfy, cool and low-profile as possible. But it also results in less durability. After three months, I’m starting to see wear in the fingertips.

Overall, the Cross Xs have great protection and comfort elements for super gnarly and long rides. They are a bit on the warmer side. And depending on how gnarly you are, these gloves may, or may not, make it through your entire season. But at less than $30 a pair, your hands will be stoked (and badass) for that season.

Me, being very un-badass; except for my hands. Well…my matching outfit is pretty badass, isn’t it?


Gloves provided by Dakine.

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