FIST Handwear is based in Queensland Australia but the brand’s irreverent, colorful sublimated print gloves have made them a cult hit with BMX, Motocross and MTB riders all round the world. My samples were from an exclusive, limited edition FIST Handwear Evel Knievel collection and they’re either a fun way to celebrate a stunt legend or a Confederate flag-loaded invitation for instant “cancellation”, depending on your view. So how do they match up to the best mountain bike gloves on the market?
Gloves are an important part of what to wear mountain biking, and the complete FIST Handwear range has dozens of designs to choose from – from plain primary colors to cosmic cats with laser beam eyes – but they’re all basically the same design. I tested out these Evel samples to concentrate on what FIST Handwear gloves are actually like to wear and ride in. Read on for the results.
Design and aesthetics
The all-important palm is a single piece of thin Clarino synthetic suede which also curves round to form the inside of the thumb. Most designs have a silicone print of some sort in the mid-hand and the first two fingers to add extra grip; the fingers are perforated too.
The spandex fourchettes between the fingers are super stretchy and the backing is a single piece of spandex twill with a sublimated/rubberized print design. You also get the letters F, I, S & T in rubber lettering across the knuckles to provide vestigial punch protection, brand awareness and basic anatomical education. The neoprene cuff has a rubber raised logo pull tab for the velcro closure and there’s a small double-side logo tab on the outer seam. You also get a FISTARMY sticker to be totally sure people know what brand you’re repping too.
The thumb and first finger tip get conductive threads which actually work okay if you’re keen to ‘gram your gloves shots on the trail or just use a touchscreen without taking them off (also useful if your best MTB action camera doesn’t come with voice command).
Tactile connection to the bike is excellent too, with no pads or wrinkling to get in the way of raw feedback and grip is good even when wet.
Luckily – as I got sent Medium gloves when I normally wear XL – there’s a lot of stretch in the materials mix too, so they fit snugly without accelerating arm pump. It also reduces strain on stitching as I normally kill gloves from bursting them, not wearing them out.
While we started getting some scuffing of the palm from the first ride, Clarino is generally very durable in terms of wear and there’s an additional rub panel on the thumb to protect them from flanged grips. So far I’ve not had any of the rubber trim peel off either.
The FIST gloves are super tactile, snug, smart enabled, tough so far and they come in a huge range of styles and sizes. There’s no escaping the fact you can get very similar gloves for a tenner less, though, so it’s the cosmetics you’re paying extra for, not performance gain.
Tech Specs: FIST Handwear Evel Knievel Gloves
- Price: $44.95 / £32.99 / AUS$44.95
- Sizes: Youth, XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL