FUSE PROTECTION STEALTH GLOVE REVIEW
FEEL GOOD, PLAY SAFE
Words by Robert Johnston | Photos by Adam McGuire
Originating in the BMX world, Fuse Protection has typically tended towards the bulkier and more durable products to suit the extreme level of abuse that BMX brings to ride wear. Making the move into the mountain bike world, where the demands share a lot of similarities, but the expectation of breathability and maneuverability is higher, has been a bit of a learning curve for Fuse, and their products are starting to pop up with some clear intentions to cater for this new market. Enter the minimalistic Stealth glove, designed to offer a “barely there” feeling without sacrificing the grip and protection a good glove should offer. The Eurowolf got his hands on a set to put to the test.
The design brief for the Fuse Stealth glove was clear – offer a thin, slim, minimalistic glove that will still offer a small amount of protection and increased grip on the bar. This minimalistic, barely there feeling is produced by the NANOFRONT palm material – the world’s first ultra-fine Polyester nanofiber that produces an extra thin palm without being fragile. This palm features ventilation holes in key areas to keep things cool, and the braking fingers and thumb are equipped with silicone print to increase grip on the controls. The backing material is an extra-durable Polyester-PU mix with a slimmer profile than the rest of their range, to give a more form-hugging fit. On the braking fingertips there are lycra inserts on the back to increase agility. Rounding out the features are the Neoprene cuff with a multi-fit gusset and a generous pull-tab to make taking them on and off easy. The Fuse Stealth gloves are available in Black or Olive (tested), in sizes S-XL (8-11), with a retail price of £30 /€37.99 /$40 (approx.).
Pulling the Stealth gloves on for the first time, it’s clear that Fuse Protection have listened to the demands of mountain bikers, with a slimmer cut and all-round lighter feel than the Echo gloves we tested previously. The backing material is still a bit thicker than many lightweight gloves, feeling particularly durable, whilst the palm is impressively thin. Though I tested an XL opposed to my usual large size, the cuff still runs a little looser than average, but not to the extent of being baggy. The fingers are quite average in length for an XL, but with a slightly bigger diameter than some, which will suit the thicker-fingered riders like myself very well.
On the bar, that thin palm feels very close to gloveless, but with that extra bit of grip and protection. The XL size did allow for a small amount of bunching, but due to the thin material it didn’t prove to be an issue. Though it’s very thin, the palm isn’t the airiest I’ve used, explaining the need for the ventilation holes, but it’s certainly no winter glove either. When wet – be it from Eminem style nerves, heat buildup or rainwater – this palm material continues to do good things, avoiding absorbing too much and becoming heavy or thick under the hand, and effectively increasing grip on the bar.
The backing material continues this slightly warmer feeling than most minimalistic gloves, and while it’s comfortable, it does produce a slightly sweatier environment than some. In the past I’ve had issues with the perforation holes on a glove palm increasing in size as they’re pulled by the grip, but the Stealth gloves have avoided any sign of this so far. In fact, the whole glove has gone through the test without showing any real signs of wear, offering some quite impressive durability, even after being used for a spot of trail building. One thing that was of note though is the fit “relaxing” over the ride or two after a wash. Because of this, to maintain the slimmest fit possible I was washing the gloves after most rides, which does have its benefits in the stench department of course but isn’t ideal for riding consecutive days. The price seemed a little high to begin with, but with the longevity that appears to be on offer here they may well justify it and then some.
The Wolf’s Last Word
Fuse Protection’s Stealth Glove is a great step forward for the company, catering well to the needs of a thin-glove loving rider who isn’t looking for the most breathable glove out there. Perfect for the intermediate conditions without compromising on bar feel to gain a small amount of extra warmth and protection.
Price: £30 /€37.99 /$40 (approx.)