The Elevate Mesh glove is marketed as a lightweight XC glove, focusing on minimalism and breathability. But it could also aptly be described as gloves for those who hate gloves.
Words and photos by Georgina von Marburg
The upper mesh is obviously very thin, while the palm is a synthetic suede leather with air holes throughout. The gloves are secured to your wrist by nothing other than a narrow, non-adjustable elastic band at the opening.
Given the purpose, I believe Pearl iZUMi could have made an even tighter fit for these gloves. This would serve to enhance the next-to-bar feel and morph into a second skin. Good mountain biking gloves should minimise the amount of fabric in the palms; this prevents excess material from crumpling into uncomfortable contours when the hand is in a grip position. Much like how a skinsuit forces a rider into an aero position, a glove should feel best in a gripping position.
I found there was slightly too much fabric in the Elevate Mesh palm, taking away from what would otherwise be a perfectly fitted glove. In comparison to the Troy Lee Designs Air or 100% iTrack gloves, the fit was not as refined.
On the trail
After several hours of use in the hot Adelaide sun, I was thankful for the ultra-breathable mesh upper. The soft sweat wipe on the thumb also came in handy and dried relatively quickly.
Nearly all mountain bike gloves come with touch screen compatible finger tips now, and in this modern era, their efficacy should be taken for granted. While my smart phone responded instantly to the Elevate Mesh fingertips, the dexterity wasn’t as good as other gloves I’ve worn. This again came down to a matter of too much material, with the stitching being surprisingly bulky near the fingertips.
While I desperately wanted to love these gloves, some minor imperfections in an increasingly competitive glove market forced these down the list. However, if you loathe Velcro straps and live in a hot climate, the Elevate Mesh should be a serious consideration.
- Extremely light
- Breathable upper
- Minimalist design
- Should be tighter