Fox Ranger Fire Glove Review
Words by Drew Rohde
Chances are, unless you live in the southwestern US, you’ll be looking to ride your mountain bike in weather below 50 degrees and sunny. The high desert climate of Bend, Oregon makes testing winter gear easy enough, as long as we’re brave enough to go outside…We’re still thin-blooded southern Californians to our core. Fox Racing recently sent us their winter mountain bike gloves, the Ranger Fire glove. Billed by Fox as a lightweight weather-resistant low-profile glove, the Ranger Fire gloves were a welcome addition to the winter stockpile and we quickly put them to use. We quickly learned however, they weren’t the best in a few areas and may not be the right glove for you.
The gloves feature an Ax Suede, water-resistant palm with very large, thick strips of silicone grippers on the thumb and fingers. The grippers are not beard friendly, if you’re wiping your face or mouth, be prepared for major traction on your beard hair. The upside is, your thumbs and fingers have great grip on wet levers. On the outside of the thumb is a very comfy nose wipe that got a lot of use.
Fox uses a brushed fleece interior, which helps the glove remain comfortable and increase insulation. We did notice the insulation worked both ways however as our hands did get a bit sweaty for warm-handed riders or on long climbs. This then made them feel a bit cold once speeds increased as our damp hands hit cold air.
Once on, the Fox Ranger Fire gloves are comfortable, however getting them on is a bit of a pain. They have an extended cuff, which we loved in terms of warmth and wind blockage, however the narrow wrist opening made them very tight when putting on or taking off the gloves. Fox also claims they use conductive threads on the thumb and index finger however we found them to be less-than-conductive 95% of the time.
After our time testing the Fox Ranger Fire gloves, we’ve definitely come to find them a bit limiting in terms of application. If you’re a rider with poor circulation or cold hands, then these gloves won’t be good below 38 degrees. However, because they don’t breathe super well, they also are a bit sweaty and warm over 48 degrees. If you’re in that window of temperatures and need a glove though, they do work. They’re also water resistant, so light sprinkles and wet days are another solid application. If you’ve got warm hands and don’t chill easily, then you could definitely take the gloves out into the low 30’s as one of our testers did.
Putting the gloves on and taking them off is a little bit of a pain due to the very tight wrist opening. Luckily the long cuff, which we really like, has a pretty sturdy tab that we pulled on to get the gloves up. Once on, the fleece-lined gloves are comfortable and offer great grip and feel on the bar. The tall cuff offers great wind protection and sits under our jacket very nicely. Our cold, runny noses were no match for the comfortable thumb wipe, which is always a nice feature.
The Wolf’s Last Word
We’ve been testing a lot of winter mitts lately and always search for the best mountain bike gloves available. The Fox Ranger Fire gloves are a pretty solid glove all around but have a few variables that need to be addressed. The conductive thread does a poor job engaging our smart phone, and they are a pain to take on and off, which makes taking ride pics or answering emails on the trail inconvenient.
Fox’s Ranger Fire gloves are comfortable once on, have a great thumb wipe and fleece lined inside, but don’t breathe very well when warm. They also don’t keep cold hands warm when the temperatures dip into the 30s. The 100% Brisker is a warmer, easier to put on glove for sure, however it may be a bit too warm for riders with warm hands or 40-48-ish degree riding temperatures. On the other hand, they’re nicer and warmer than the Tasco MTB Dawn Patrols if you’ve tried those and need just a little bit more protection from the elements.
Ultimately, gloves are a very personal product and we think that if you’re riding mountain bikes throughout the winter, you’re already aware that you’re going to need multiple gloves throughout your riding season. These could be a great pair of transitional gloves to either start your ride on cool mornings before going to a thinner glove, or could be great to finish your ride on really cold mornings after you peel off a thicker, warmer pair to start the day.
Putting Them On
Not Warm Enough For Cold Days
Smart Phone Compatibility
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