A few years back I was headed to Morzine, France for a month of all day bike park lapping and figured it would be wise to bring some gloves. I am generally a gloveless rider, but with the amount of descending I had planned over the 4 weeks of riding it was a good idea to protect my hands a bit more than usual from both wear and tear and crashing. Fast forward to today I am still using that same fricking pair of Fasthouse Speed Style Air Gloves!
The $32.00 Speed Style Air Glove is not found under the MTB category on the Fasthouse website, instead sitting in the Moto section, but they’ll sit happily on a mountain bike grip too. They are offered in sizes Small through Extra Large and a limited range of relatively subdued yet racey colorways. I wear a size XL and find them to fit as perfect as perfect can get. For reference my middle finger is 4.25” (measured on top from the center of the big knuckle to the fingertip) and my pinky to thumb spread is 9” (think spreading your hand as wide as possible and measure tip to tip). I can squeeze into a large, but the XL’s have a perfect balance of tight in the palm but not restrictive in the fingers.
These gloves have a four-way stretch material on top with stretch-lycra finger gussets. These are paired with a low-profile neoprene cuff and a strap with “industrial strength” hook and loop fabric to keep it firmly stuck in use. The palm is made of perforated Clarino, a soft leather that is synthetic and manufactured in a non-woven way making it extremely resistant to wear and tear while still being supple and forgiving under the palm. It is lighter than natural leather and significantly more breathable. And to top it off, it is processed in a way to lessen the environmental impact. Touchscreen tips on the index finger and thumb avoid the need to pull the gloves off to snap the Insta bangers.
When it comes to putting these gloves on a set of grips you will be rewarded with a tight fitting and little to no bunching in your palms. This is one of the few gloves that has encouraged me to use them repeatedly. Overall, my first pair had seen over 300K of descent with two trips to Morzine, many Mt. Bachelor days and countless weekday rides. There was plenty of crashing during that time, yet the gloves have shrugged it all off with not a single tear in the palm. Sure, most of my crashes happened in the PNW where we are blessed with perfect loam most of the year, but still the durability of these is top notch.
During the summer months breathability is perfect – the small holes in the Clarino allow for enough air flow to keep your palm sweat at bay and the rest of the glove maintains a good temperature when air flows through. In the Fall these are also warm enough to keep your hands feeling just good enough to ride, down to the high 30’s. Overall, I would call these an all-season friendly glove if your cold temperature swings are not too low. The capacitive threads on the fingers were a bit hit and miss, so if you are concerned about using your phone with these, you may have luck and you might not. Don’t rely on using these to type any trailside essays anyway.
Why these are not in the MTB section on the Fasthouse site I don’t know, as I found there to be no real drawbacks at all. At the end of the day, I am still a fan of riding gloveless, but the Speed Style Air Gloves are dang near good enough to turn me into a full-time glove rider. They’re so good in fact that I purchased a second pair – those white ones will not be white for too long, but dang do they pop in riding photos!
Whether you’re a fan of gloves or are a long-time gloveless ride like me, you cannot go wrong with the Speed Style Air Gloves. With great fit and feel, impressive durability and good temperature management, Fasthouse has done a stellar job with these.
Disclosure: Our team selects all of the products we review and do so with honesty and objectivity in mind. Some of the products we receive come directly from Competitive Cyclist, who also value our readers and have offered them a 15% discount (exclusions apply) on their first purchase by using LOAMWOLF15. Through this program we may also receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for your support, TLW.