Spotlight is a new series on CyclingTips that we’re using to briefly showcase new products we’ve just received, and/or products that require just a short review. This regular and short-form tech coverage replaces our previous Tech Round-Up series.
Using the same construction methods as its ultra-common chamois inserts, Elastic Interface made the jump over to cycling gloves back at the 2019 Eurobike show. But just as the company prefers to be more of a behind-the-scenes component supplier to apparel manufacturers for its short inserts, it was always unlikely that Elastic Interface was going to go it alone in the glove market.
Giro has now emerged as Elastic Interface’s first major partner with the debut of Giro’s new Supernatural road gloves.
The Supernatural gloves feature a one-piece, three-dimensional molded palm panel with strategically placed padding that “allows for a smooth channel between padded areas to help protect arterial circulation, improve blood flow, and reduce common discomforts.” The surface of the palm is also finely textured to enhance grip.
In contrast, the nylon mesh back of the glove is far more conventional, built with a hook-and-loop closure tab, a snot wipe on the thumb, handy pull tabs on both the wrist and fingers to make the gloves easier to get on and off, and several reflective bits to enhance low-light visibility. Giro offers the Supernatural in four sizes and four colors for men, and three sizes and three colors for women. Retail price is US$50 / £65 / €70 (Australian pricing is to be confirmed).
First impressions of these gloves are quite promising.
The fit quality is superb, with a genuine next-to-skin feel and none of the squirming that I find so annoying with far too many other gloves (this is the reason I usually prefer to go without gloves when riding on the road). The fit around the thumb opening might actually be a little too tight, but time will tell if it loosens up a bit.
If you’re a fan of cushioning in your gloves, you’ll find a lot to like here, too. The molded pads are fairly thin, but still of sufficient density that they’re not just for show. Breathability is also excellent on the nylon mesh back, and the pull tabs actually work as advertised (and also seem sufficiently sturdy that they’ll hold up over time)
Best of all, however, is the textured palm material. It almost feels like it’s slightly rubberized, and offers an outstanding amount of grip, especially when matched to certain bar tape types and even when wet.
Giro may be the first major brand to partner with Elastic Interface on gloves, but given the brand’s popularity with chamois inserts, and my early experience with these new Giro gloves (not to mention some earlier Elastic Interface-branded gloves I’ve been using for the last few months), it seems safe to say we’ll be seeing a lot more companies pairing up sooner than later.
Price: US$50 / £65 / €70 (Australian pricing TBC)