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Every 30 days, we award the Top User Reviewer with a little prize. This month Jenson USA pitched in a $100 gift card! Vital MTB member xyian wrote a few in-depth reviews that we'd like to highlight. They helped earned him the Top Reviewer spot.


Dakine Exodus Bike Gloves - "I bought these last summer as a cheap glove that breathed well so my hands wouldn't sweat so much. I wanted something light, cheap and with no padding so I could contact the bars. I looked at competitors' gloves but saw these for half the price. They couldn't be half the performance, right? Right? Well....

Fit - The gloves fit great. I normally wear a size large glove and these fit great. No extra length in the fingers and it conformed to the palm well. The velcro enclosure wrapped around nicely and didn't cause any pressure points. The velcro was clean and didn't come loose but tears away easily when you attempt to remove the gloves. A great thing about the gloves is when you grip the bars they don't bunch up like a lot of gloves do. They fit well with the bar and with no padding they allow you to feel the bar and the response is great. You're getting all the feedback for your bike. Whether you need padding or not will depend on what you seek from your gloves. I prefer next to nothing or no gloves at all.

Look - The look of these gloves is understated. I have the grey model which is grey on top and black on the bottom half. There's some red striping as well as the index finger paint for touch screens. Not loud (like some other brands) and just there to do it's job. I'm not into flashy gear that pronounces you to someone five miles away. Good for avoiding being shot by a hunter but do we need neon streaks in the forest? No. No. We really don't. Personal preference, I suppose.

Performance - These gloves feel great on the bar as I stated before in the review. They have a tactile feel to them that allows you to get the feedback from under your bars. The snot wipe works fine and is nice and soft for those with a tender nose. The velcro doesn't come loose under any situation yet when you go to unlatch it the velcro lets go easily. The print stripes on the index finger works great on an iPhone touchscreen (and likely just about any other touchscreen) but after near a year of washings of the gloves the paint is left at about 50% of the original. So, these likely are one season gloves.

The big issue with the performance is that after my second ride the stitching on the side blew out on both gloves. This is just unacceptable. Fortunately, I'm like a cheap MacGuyver and fixed the gloves myself. Mama taught me how to sew and I grabbed needle and thread and ghetto stitched the gloves. Worked a charm because my skills are that good. Unfortunately after that on an index finger side the stitching blew out. The craftsmanship as far as the stitching on the gloves is horrendous. It's a shame because they're a decent light glove but the stitching just doesn't hold up. I'm not certain if it's the wet weather I subjected these to or too much bar drag. Point is that they're just not passing the tests.

Temperature range - I've ridden these in all seasons in the NorthWet. They're fine for about 50 to 90 degrees. Really is anything good above 90? Your hands are going to sweat. Period. But below 50 and they're pretty uncomfortable. The gloves breathe really well as they are mesh on top. Unfortunately when it's wet and cold it lets all that in and nobody needs cold hands. Once it hits your hands it starts permeating your body. Then it's game over.

Protection - These offer basic protection. Not much more than that. There's no fancy rubber armor on them. There's no frills. There's no padding. These are basically a condom for your hand. They offer a coating and are durable for wrecks but you punch a tree and your hand is gonna have to take it. They are basically to help you with resisting cuts but that's about it.

In short they would be a decent summer glove. But the stitching just isn't enough to be able to recommend them for anyone. One blowout I can understand. Two blowouts is bad. But three blowouts? Shame on you Dakine! Get some better overseas stitchers. Seriously."


Pedro's Ice Wax 2.0 Lube - "We've obviously come to a different era. An era where guys discuss lubes with other guys, right? Right. Wait. What were we discussing again? Oh yeah. Chain lube. I got this lube in a pack with a degreaser and chain cleaning tool. This was the product I was most jazzed about as it seemed really different. I have tried many a lube (from TriFlow all the way to B-9 to Dumonde) and have liked some and realized others were a waste. Unfortunately I'd have to put the Ice Wax in the latter category. I hold B-9 as my gold standard as it goes on easily, wipes away easily and stays adhered to the chain for at least three rides or more in the NorthWet winters.

This lube is more of the waxy, goopy type. It goes on easy enough with the applicator bottle but you'll likely have to press it into the chain with a finger as you spin the cranks to get it all up in yo chain. It dries well and wipes off in a so-so manner. There were certainly still chunks of it inside the links. I can't say I enjoyed that aspect of the lube. Oil and grease still on a chain in larger quantities means more area for which dirt can stick. Fortunately, this lube is really only going to stay on for one ride. It seems to come off rather easily and each time I noticed that my chain was squeaking by the next ride. Up in the Pacific NW that can't happen for me. I need something durable and relatively waterproof even in the summer. This might work better somewhere more dry as it's a dry lube.

For now, it was cheap, it smelled good but it didn't cut the mustard. I'll have to ask my neighbor if he has any Grey Poupon..."

Big congrats to xyian! Thanks for helping out the riding scene with your thoughts on these products.

Want to be in the running for next month's award? Start reviewing the parts you use in the Vital MTB Product Guide and keep an eye on the Top Reviewer leaderboard. We'll announce the next winner in early April.

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