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by James Huang
September 7, 2019
Photography by James Huang
You may not be familiar with the brand name, but chances are quite good that your favorite pair of cycling shorts has a chamois made by an Italian company called Elastic Interface, and on that chamois is a small rectangular logo you might not have even noticed before.
There’s a reason why Elastic Interface has become such a popular choice for chamois in recent years: they’re really good, with features that include seamless one-piece thermomolded construction, strategically placed multi-density foams, excellent breathability, a huge range of size and shape options, and advanced fabrics that feel good against your skin, stretch as needed, and hold up over repeated washings.
Elastic Interface is now bringing that same know-how to cycling gloves, hoping to essentially do for your hands what its chamois do for your rear end.
Padding locations and densities vary by palm model. Photo: Cytech.
The new gloves feature one-piece thermomolded palms with integrated padding, no seams (aside from what’s required to join the palm with the rest of the glove), and a complex shape that is intended to match the contours of your hand. You know how your shorts don’t really fold flat? These gloves are the same way.
Elastic Interface will offer four different styles of gloves to start.
The Race model is intended for road riding, with padding restricted to the base of the palm and the span between the thumb and forefinger. The so-called Gravel model adds another strip of padding along the first knuckles, and has more generous padding around the thumb than the Race. The Slim has the most minimal cushioning, with a single-density foam used throughout, and finally, there’s the Ultra, with a similar padding location and design to the Gravel, but with different foam densities.
The molded construction produces no seams that can potentially irritate your hands over time, and the thermally bonded edges shouldn’t fall apart over repeated washings.
All of the gloves are short-fingered for now, but it isn’t hard to envision the line expanding to long-fingered options for mountain biking, as well as more protective versions for inclement weather.
Don’t expect to see many — if any, in fact — of these gloves under the Elastic Interface brand name, though.
It’s important to remember why you may not have heard of either one of those names. For chamois, the company only works behind the scenes as an OEM partner, producing the pads that better-known labels use inside their higher-end shorts but wearing no identifying logos on the outside other than the occasional telltale little orange tag. It’s much like how Boa operates in the footwear world; they may be Specialized, Shimano, or Giro shoes, for example, but the closure components are supplied by Boa.
Elastic Interface will offer two standard exterior fabrics to start. The one on the left is sturdier and gripper, while the one on the right feels lighter and more like a second skin.
In this case, Elastic Interface will supply the completely built palm — with a variety of customization options — along with as many additional glove components as are requested by the customer. But they’ll still wear someone else’s brand name.
As such, timelines for the release of Elastic Interface Technology-equipped gloves are a bit fuzzy — partners haven’t even been announced yet — as are estimated retail costs.
But given how easily you can find an EIT chamois these days (regardless of the brand of the shorts), it’s a fair bit to expect that an awful lot of gloves will start looking quite different in the very near future.
The palms of the new Elastic Interface Technology gloves feature one-molded molded construction with notably anatomic shapes.
It perhaps shouldn’t come at all as a surprise that Elastic Interface is constructing its new gloves using the same techniques found in its wide range of chamois pads.
Elastic Interface worked with researchers at the University of Padua to develop the padding design for its new EIT gloves, with locations and material densities supposedly selected based on where nerves and blood vessels are located in the hand, as well as objective testing using digitized pressure mapping equipment. Photo: Cytech.
Generous perforations and breathable fabrics promise to keep your hands dry, just as found in EIT-equipped shorts.
Elastic Interface had a variety of complete prototypes on hand at the Eurobike trade show, but how these ultimately look whenever they hit the market remains to be seen.
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