TESTED: Fox Flexair gloves

Introduction

The Fox Flexair full finger mountain bike gloves are a pro level option for riders looking for all the performance benefits of a minimalist design.

Design, features and fit

The single layer palm is intended to optimize feedback through the hands which improves your interpretation and response to the trail. A stretchy Cordura material increases durability and prevents ripping whilst providing a snug fit. The material around the fingers is meshed for airflow and flexibility. A true minimalist and racer’s glove, there is no bulky padding running along the top of the hand.

Perhaps the neatest feature of all is the conductive thread on the thumb and index finger which enables touch screen compatible.

For all gloves, we generally recommend you go for a size that provides you with a snug fit which will prevent any bunching up or folding around the base of the fingers and palm area. Incorrectly sized gloves will result in discomfort, poor trail feedback and eventually blistering.


On the trail

Comfort: The Flexairs are a slight squeeze to get into, yet the flexible and stretchy material conforms perfectly to the shape of the hand once on. We rode them for an extended period through winter and well into summer on all kinds of race tracks in Cape Town and Europe. The comfort level is simply superb. Whether running thin or thicker grips we had no issues with bunching up around the palm area or discomfort. We had three riders try the gloves out and everyone confirmed the bar feel is great.

Protection: In terms of protection we had a couple of crashes with them on some gnarly trails in Europe and Cape Town and our hands were unscathed and the gloves never tore. Naturally there is wear showing after 12 months of regular riding and machine washing but for a minimalist glove their durability certainly has impressed. They are still going strong.

Performance: Your contact points with the bike are more than just places to hold on, sit on or stand on. They play an important role in delivering feedback from the trail which helps you interpret and respond accordingly. The single layer palm of these Flexair’s facilitates excellent crisp feedback through your hands which means you ride better. It’s that simple. Touchscreen compatibility is not a top priority for racer’s but it is a real convenient feature – and it actually works! Available in four sizes and various colour options, they are priced around R500.

Summary

A lightweight glove that is hard to beat on style, fit, breath-ability and function. In our opinion they are likely the very best option available in the minimalist racer category.