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  1. #1
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    Recommendations: Best shock absorbing gloves

    Riding a rigid 29er which I will use in XC races beginning next month.

    As I train my elbows are taking a beating. Addressing this issues in various ways.

    I've been using 661 Raji gloves - and will race with those, however.....

    ....while training I'd like to use something else - padded/gel gloves to soften the blow.

    Any recommendations on best gel/padded shock absorbing gloves?

    I thank you in advance for your suggestions.

  2. #2
    Brant-C.
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    is there such a thing? all i can think of is riding loose...really loose on the handle bars...but you could lose your grip and crash. i haven't ridden rigid since 1991. so my post is probably worthless.
    I just like riding my mountain bike.

  3. #3
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    Like a friend told me when I went back to a hardtail: "why don't you also take the shocks off your car while you're at it!"

    I like the hardtail (hell, it's a carbon 29er!), but can't imagine riding with no front suspension. Some technological advancements make sense (computers over a typewriter), but others don't ( www.ezcracker.com ). Front suspension for mountain biking is definitely high on the list of things that do.


    Also, I have a friend (52 years old) who swears that MTBing with no suspension (he did that for several years) has permanently messed up his elbows. Of course, it could be totally unrelated, but that's what he believes.


    Ooops, almost forgot about the gloves. These have gel elastomers in the palm. Check it out:

    http://www.pearlizumi.com/product.ph...368055&outlet=
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  4. #4
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Yeh....it's called front suspension. Take those reflectors off your bike too while you are at it. If you insist on punishing yourself riding your full rigid, I have had luck with P. Izumi high end gloves. They tend to have better padding.

    Why did you choose a bike with no shock again. I know why most people do it, but it sounds like the wrong set up for you. Just my 3 cents..

  5. #5
    It's about showing up.
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    Gloves may manage vibration but not shock.

    Rigid is great for certain kinds of handling but you take a beating no matter how much carbon fiber you put in bars, a stem or fork.

  6. #6
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    I train on a 26" wheel rigid aluminum SS with a steel fork...pretty much as unforgiving as you can get. I don't have any winter gloves with gel/vibration absorption features, but I do like the SixSixOne half finger Altis Gel gloves. I find them very comfortable.

    SixSixOne also has a new Evo full finger glove that they claim has "Internal revolutionary d30 technology inserts are specifally engineered material with intelligent molecules that flow with you as you move but on shock lock together to absorb impact energy." I was thinking about trying a pair.

    I know that I'm skewed toward SixSixOne, but I really like their gloves much better than the Pearl Izumi, Bontrager, or Fly Racing gloves that I've tried.

  7. #7
    bi-winning
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    It sounds like you want something with gel in the palm. Any type of foam tends to flatten out, and break down over time. I'm not sure gloves will really help your elbows though....
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.


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  8. #8
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    Get a pair of Ergon grips. And get some skills.

    Riding rigid takes skill and strength. A thin layer of foam or gel isn't going to make up for lack of either. Ergon grips work because they spread the load over a wider area. But in truth, it's more about having skills and strength.

  9. #9
    Jumper
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    Mechanix M-Pact. Research it. Those flimsly bike specific gloves just plain suck (in my opinion). Once I read the reviews and tried the M-Pact, I never went back. Each set lasts me about a year. I ride 4 times a week. I just bought 3 more sets.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the responses - especially those that actually mention a type of glove.

    I did research on this board ("soft gloves, gel gloves, best gloves, shock aborbing gloves, what gloves do you use, best palm protection, etc.) - didn't get a good answer so I asked.

    I ride as loose as I can - as the miles roll under me I believe I tire and lean more - I'm trying to strengthen myself to avoid that. Also having someone work with me on my bike fit.

    For those others - I appreciate the thoughts none of which are novel to me. I have a front suspension 26er but want to race a 29er rigid so I'm training on it. I know full well the dispute between rigid and non and am not interested in debating that as it has been done ad nauseum on this board. Yes, my skills need continued work - as most of ours do - and I'm working on that. Yes, my avatar picture is my 29er with refelctors on it - it was the day the bike came home with me and I took some pictures of it before I started making changes and upgrades - the reflectors and anything else uncessary is gone - but thanks for noticing. Maybe I do need to update the photo.

    Having said all of that, the question was about gloves. Any further thoughts appreciated.

  11. #11
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    By the way - looking back at my original post I sound as if I want a pair of gloves to solve all my problems. Poorly written - just want something for training to help a little. Not expecting a pair of gloves to ameliorate the shock absorbing deficiencies which come with riding rigid.

    Also, thanks for the grip comments: I'm considering a change to Ergon or ESI Chunky's.

  12. #12
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    Take a look at Specialized BG gloves....along with Ergon grips, they help my old moto hammered hands

  13. #13
    LA CHÈVRE
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    Having ridden both Ergons and ESI, I feel the ESI are actually better at absorbing small shocks, vibration and improving long time comfort while cutting hand fatigue, I can stay more comfortable longer and that's with the thinner ESI racer's Edge, the Chunky's are even better. I felt instantaneously comfortable on Ergons but after hard technical races/rides on rough trails, they were no better than any other grip, just a lot heavier and more limiting as far as hand position is concerned. But I had the GX2. The GX-series use thinner and harder rubber, or it may have something to do with how I like to place my hands or something, a lot of people swear by Ergons so they are worth trying...

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  14. #14
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Another suggestion for your rigid..

    Another huge thing to consider would be to ride tubeless with a low (25 psi) air pressure in a wide front tire. If you have not tried this, I think you will be amazed at how the trail chatter almost disappears..

    Glad to hear you took those reflectors off I didn't want you to suffer from rotating weight issues..ha.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk
    Another huge thing to consider would be to ride tubeless with a low (25 psi) air pressure in a wide front tire. If you have not tried this, I think you will be amazed at how the trail chatter almost disappears..

    Glad to hear you took those reflectors off I didn't want you to suffer from rotating weight issues..ha.
    Thanks for the comments on the Specialized gloves and the Ergon/Chunky side issue.

    Regarding the above quote, I've been considering tubeless and am trying to learn more about that. I've actually avoided looking t into that (for no good reason) but am intrigued.

    Right now I ride Navegals normally and will switch to Continental Race Kings for the race (unless it keeps raining - the first course is a soupy mess right now as I understand it so perhaps I should remain with the Navegals). I'm a rookie at this so I'm learning.

    You got me on the reflectors. I should have expected that to rear itself sooner or later. Reallllllllly need to change that picture.

    Thanks for all the comments folks.

  16. #16
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Look into doing a Stans conversion. It is pretty simple. You will most likely want to use an air compressor to get the tire to "seat" properly. Call Stans and ask if your current rim and tire are good candidates. You will love it if you install properly. Also, Stans will seal small puncture (thorns etc) and no more pinch flats which is great too.

    I put off the tubeless thing forever... I am really happy I switched over... I run the stans wheelset with eight blocks, but it is not necessarily a requirement to use stans wheels...in fact most don't..
    Last edited by rydbyk; 01-22-2010 at 02:51 PM.

  17. #17
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    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...&category=1859

    i love these and only $25 at most places
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk
    Look into doing a Stans conversion. It is pretty simple. You will most likely want to use an air compressor to get the tire to "seat" properly. Call Stans and ask if your current rim and tire are good candidates. You will love it if you install properly. Also, Stans will seal small puncture (thorns etc) and no more pinch flats which is great too.

    Thanks for those suggestions. You know, I was asking someone about Stans the other day and when asked why I was curious I said "weight savings." They said the weight savings were minimal over a light tube. Without researching in depth I'm assuming that is the allure (weights savings). Would you agree?


    Also, thanks for the Spenco recommendation - looking at those - don't like the blue but....

  19. #19
    LA CHÈVRE
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    Weight saving is minimal compared to a light tube, but traction, comfort and reduction of flats are good reasons to do it. Personally, I prefer a real UST setup for the ease of setup and change of tires and I prefer it over tubes by far even with a weight penalty.

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van-Go
    Thanks for those suggestions. You know, I was asking someone about Stans the other day and when asked why I was curious I said "weight savings." They said the weight savings were minimal over a light tube. Without researching in depth I'm assuming that is the allure (weights savings). Would you agree?
    Not at all.

    DanGerous has it right, it's about being able to run low pressures without fear of pinchflatting.

    If I were retrofitting a standard wheel to tubeless, I would stick with tubeless-specific tires (UST, etc) or a wire-bead tire. Using a standard kevlar-bead tire is a bit risky, although many do it successfully.

  21. #21
    CB2
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    I raced 3/4th of my races last year rigid. I never really gave my gloves much thought other than full fingered. I used PI Pittards, Salsa Bajas and 661's (don't know the model, I believe it's a light DH glove).
    What made a greater impact was grips. The right thickness / diameter for your hands is more important than how cushy they are. For me that's old school Yeti Speed Grips. I tried different lock-ons, Ergons, and even bar tape before settling on them.

  22. #22
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    I second the Spech BG gloves. The padding is pretty thick but put in such a manner that is really does not get in the way like some other padded gloves. The gloves also ventilate really well. I would further recommend the ESI silicon grips.
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  23. #23
    Always Learning
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van-Go
    Thanks for the comments on the Specialized gloves and the Ergon/Chunky side issue.

    Regarding the above quote, I've been considering tubeless and am trying to learn more about that. I've actually avoided looking t into that (for no good reason) but am intrigued.

    Right now I ride Navegals normally and will switch to Continental Race Kings for the race (unless it keeps raining - the first course is a soupy mess right now as I understand it so perhaps I should remain with the Navegals). I'm a rookie at this so I'm learning.

    You got me on the reflectors. I should have expected that to rear itself sooner or later. Reallllllllly need to change that picture.

    Thanks for all the comments folks.
    I'd go directly big and tubeless.

    I've got a 29"er rigid in my stable that I race on occasion, so I know what "pains" you are talking about. As mentioned, probably the best way to address it is with the large volume race tires available for 29"ers. The Nevegal is notoriously one of the slowest tires in the 29"er version, although run up front with a quicker tread in the rear probably isn't too bad of a combo. I've got a pair of the Nevegals and of all the tires I own - they are the slowest.

    And the Nevegals rank down the list in the "volume index". What's a "volume index"? From Shiggy's Mt. Bike Tire Site: (a relative number to compare air volume. Calculated by multiplying casing width by casing height (in mm) and moving the decimal point two places to the left).

    Maxxis Ardent 2.4 = 32.64
    Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.4 = 31.95
    Schwalbe Big Apple 2.35 = 31.5
    Geax Saguaro 2.2 = 29.3
    Panaracer Rampage = 28.6
    WTB ExiWolf = 28.3
    Maxxis Ardent 2.25 = 28.1
    Kenda Karma 2.2 = 27.9
    WTB Stout = 27.7
    Kenda Nevegal = 27.

    **WTB WeirWolf 2.55 (I don't know what the volume index is on it, but it is one you need to consider - especially for the rear). There are also some big volumes from Bontrager and Specialized, but I don't have any measurements on those yet.

    There's more to a tire than simply the amount of air volume in the casing, but I believe we are trying to address your need for improved "cushion" on your rigid bike - so I bring this topic up.

    You see how far down the Nevegal is in terms of providing air volume for a cushion to provide more suspension on your rigid ride. I would suggest looking at more volume to try and improve the "cushion" and address your sore elbows and other body parts . Provided your frame can take a big 2.4 tire in the rear, the Racing Ralph 2.4 is where I would start in terms of sheer volume. Or the WTB WeirWolf 2.55 is a fast roller, excellent rear tire for a 29"er rigid. The Ardent 2.4 is big, rolls very fast for it's weight due to it's center tread block spacing (much better than a Nevegal), has good traction and is a very durable tire. You could throw that big sucker on the front and a big Ralph 2.4 or WeirWolf on the rear. Or another 2.4 Ardent on the rear as well. The Ardent 2.4 casing height is 2.1mm taller than the Racing Ralph 2.4 which is why the Ardent wins the "volume index" game.

    After improving your tire volume, I would suggest that you immediately convert to ghetto tubeless (Redneck Tubeless) using the split tube method with some sealant to give it a try. I suggest the ghetto method because it is an inexpensive way to give it a try with just about any rim and pretty much removes the issue of burping due to the tire bead/split tube interface seal that is formed with the sealant and the overlap of the cut tube that sits between the tire bead and the rim. If you really like it - which you will - and swap tires often, you can invest in tubeless ready rims or the dedicated tubeless rimstrips. But the ghetto method works in the same manner and you can just use 24" or 26" cheap tubes (they stretch fine and dandy on a 29"er rim). $2-$3 a tube.

    It's not really about saving weight, but having the ability to run lower air pressures to improve traction, suspension and avoid thorn flats and pinch flats. Those are the real beneficial elements of the tubeless game. You would be able to run those bigger meat 2.4 29"er tires in the 18-21 psi range without suffering any loss in speed. Your "suspension" would improve. Traction would improve. And your factor just might increase.

    And all of that translates to improved elbow and other body parts comfort (at least as much as possible on a rigid bike).

    I'll race my 29"er rigid from time to time and don't really feel any pain during the race. It's the 2-3 days after that costs me the most in shaken up innards, kidney damage, sore arms/neck/you name it. The body can only provide so much suspension before a toll starts to be taken. Hence, that's why I usually race with suspension both front and rear. It has nothing to do with strength and skill in my case. It has to do with age. ;-]

    Pictured with the Bontrager 2.25 XR's set up tubeless....

    KMPostIowaGames2

    The 2.4's provide more cushion than those tires I have pictured.

    BB
    Last edited by BruceBrown; 01-23-2010 at 08:07 AM.

  24. #24
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    Thanks for taking the time guys.

    Bruce, going to save your post - great information. I appreciate it. The Navegals I like but I will switch to Continental Race Kings for the race(s) (unless the course remains a soupy mess like it is right now). I really want to study your thoughts a little more closely - very interesting.

    Very helpful folks.

  25. #25
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Yeh..weight savings are minimal...but still shaving anything off rotating weight is great. Most people change to tubeless for ride comfort, increased traction and a decrease in flats....

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