Review and photos by Joe Schneider
Enter another player into the minimalist glove game, the Giro Rivet II. Starting at $30 these thoughtfully designed gloves give you a layer of protection and a confidence inspiring feel. They're ideal for riders who spend some time pedaling. I've been riding with them day in and day out for a few months, so let's take a look at how they performed.
- Moisture Wicking, Soft, Breathable Mesh Upper
- Three Panel, Micro Vented Palm Construction
- Touchscreen Technology Material
- Color Options: White, Black, Olive
- Sizes S-XXL
- MSRP $30
When I held the gloves for the first time, I thought, hmm, these look a little plain. But after freeing them from the packaging and trying them on, I was impressed. The lines of the glove shaped up into one bold statement, with a simple yet functional design. Visually, the pair will accent just about any kit well. I ended up with the white color; I like the white for the contrast, but really I wanted to see how much discoloration I could stain into the material, a common fault of lighter colored gloves.
Other than aesthetics, the fit is actually what matters. Guess what? They fit like a glove! I was legitimately impressed with the fit. The fingers were not too loose, too baggy, or too tight to cause circulation issues. Giro got that right. The pinky finger is also the appropriate length - all too often that digit is extra flappy for me, and I like to think my hands are pretty normal. The wrist has an elastic cuff to replace the traditional Velcro strap, which fit securely and felt like it had good potential for long term use. I was pretty excited to hit the trail.
On The Trail
According to Giro’s claims, the gloves practically disappear after you put them on. This is pretty much true, especially in the sense that the breeze cuts right through the material on the back of the hand and the light mesh between the fingers. It was noticeable enough that my hands were cold, especially compared to my previous gloves. Even compared to the several other minimal gloves I've had over the years, these ventilate among the best. The fabric and its moisture wicking and breathability characteristics are impressive.
You can see in the pictures exactly where my hand was sweaty by the darker dirt/sweat line. The unfortunate part of the sweat line is that it’s caused by the cuff material. Whether it is neoprene or spandex, it doesn't breathe like the rest of the glove. The vast difference in material characteristics highlights the effect on a sunny day. On the plus side, the cuff does a decent job of keeping the glove from sliding down the palm too far.
The palm material is soft and comfortable. I never noticed it acting funny or bunching during my rides. It even seemed to keep my calluses happier at the end of the long rough days. The palm fabric wraps over the top of the index and middle finger tips, which is a subtle feature but a personal favorite of mine. There is no stitching to hook under your fingernails which helps keep the notorious hole in the finger tip from happening.
As for the "Touch Screen Technology," it may be true, but it’s not really any better than any other thin cloth layer between you and the screen. It takes several attempts and lots of pressure when your fingers are dry, which they usually are because of the glove's ability to dry quickly. However, if you give your finger tip a little lick with your tongue, operation becomes fully functional and uninterrupted.
Giro kindly put a soft fabric on the back of the thumb for your sniffles. I’m not super dainty about wiping my nose, so I typically need a little more real estate. I am happy to report that all locations on the glove are very acceptable. Between the soft fabrics and the relatively simple construction void of large stitches and joints, these gloves are probably the best snot rag I've ridden with.
The pictures were taken after roughly two months of use and several dozen rides worth of dirt and sweat (oh yes, and snot). The white color doesn’t hide much: green vegetation marks, red blood stains, and every kind of dirt are visible.The white came pretty clean when I washed them finally to write this review. I had started to notice the gloves feeling baggier then I had initially remembered. Fortunately, after the wash they fit much, much better, the cuff was snug again, and the fingers and palm had a nice stretch to them. The Warm/Cold setting, some Tide detergent, and a hang dry got 80-90% of the stains out, plus the white is still pretty bright. This is better than some of the other white gloves I have had as well.
The Rivet II gloves performed up to my expectations and met my initial impressions on the trail. They fit well, were comfortable, and looked great.
Long Term Durability
These gloves are high performance in terms of being thin and light, but they compromise some durability. The mesh on the side of one index finger has split open already and the other is well on its way. A few of the finger tips have stitching and threads hanging off, adding to their artificially aged looks. They are still usable, but I do feel it is early to have this happen. Then again, they weren't intended or built for durability like a DH glove is - they were built for lightweight performance.
Things That Could Be Improved
Overall the gloves are well executed from the design to the construction. Increasing the cuff material’s ability to breath and wick moisture would add to the comfort on the warmer days. Boosting durability would be an additional bonus.
What's The Bottom Line?
The Giro Rivet II gloves are the reusable Trojan Ultra-Thin for your digits. Seriously though, there is elegance in simplicity. These gloves bring an enticing level of performance and function in a simple, well executed package. I am always stoked to pull them on before the start of each ride, and I feel comfortable saying you will too. Factoring in the durability and cuff material, I give them an excellent rating of 4-stars.
Visit www.giro.com for more details.
About The Reviewer
Joe Schneider grew up in Durango, Colorado. Beginning in 2002, at the age of 13, he started riding mountain bikes and racing in the local race series. One thing led to another and he eventually made it into the mid-ranks of the pro cross-country field. Collegiate racing shed light on technical riding and he began to pursue longer travel bikes and most recently dirt bikes. He enjoys smashing through rocks or getting loose on flowy singletrack. Ultimately the alpine shuttle is his favorite, with a couple thousand feet of climbing and two or three times that in descending. He is currently a Mechanical Engineer who designs tools to blow things up. He loves to ride snowmobiles, motos, and mountain bikes whenever possible with his lady and many good friends. As a practiced mechanic, he enjoys spending the remainder of his free time fixing and maintaining all of his rides.