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Dakine Cross-X Gloves and DT Swiss Champion Spokes Reviewed by Top Member Reviewer and Jenson USA Award Winner

You can earn $100 at Jenson USA for your Vital MTB member reviews. See the best reviews from last month's Top Reviewer and learn how you could earn the top spot in September.

Every month we award the Top User Reviewer with a little prize. This month Jenson USA pitched in another $100 gift card! Vital member nature.culture took home top honors in August after writing a handful of in-depth reviews. Here are some highlights:


Dakine Cross-X Gloves - "After I had bought a pair of Dakine Covert gloves which didn't last very long, I was still keen to try another model from their lineup. I went with their sales' recommendation after telling them about the Covert's durability issues.

Construction - They are well made, with an upwards-facing velcro closure system (doesn't pull your shirt's fibers), some protection on the top of the fingers and hand, and some padding on the side of your outside hands' grip zone. One annoying thing is the inside stitching on one of the fingers which I can feel while riding (I wear M size as L was too big). The other hand is fine and I couldn't feel it when trying them on. They have new colors every year though, so you can match it with your bike or kit.

Durability - The problem in the long-term is still the Ax suede palm material which seems to use much faster than the one used on their lower-priced options (like the Exodus which I also own). They have some additional material stitched in wear spots, but the fabric still isn't super durable.

I still don't know why they have made a cutout in the velcro closure, as it gets stuck in your fingers when you close it, thus reducing the finger's fabric durability. At least they have given it their velcro closure, as the Covert's velcro-less system did make the gloves bunch up in the palms which didn't feel good or secure when your hands got sweaty. (I still use the Coverts for commuting).

Compared To - In Dakine's lineup, I prefer their Exodus glove (a bit thinner, better palm material) but the velcro's hole on the tab is still a bit annoying when putting them on your hands. It's better than the Covert, but less than the Exodus. My favorite gloves are the Sombrio Spun gloves, which don't bunch up even if they don't have a velcro closure, so there must be a way to make good gloves without velcro." - Read more»


DT Swiss Champion Spokes - "Choosing spokes seems like an afterthought, but I like to take my time and try to pick everything on my bike for a reason. I built my last season's wheelset with DT Champion spokes even if people said that butted spokes are better.

I built up a WTB asym i29 rim on a Nukeproof Neutron rear hub (which died) and I did not feel like paying $2 to $3 per spoke. I don't build wheels often, and I am usually not too hard on wheels so I thought that these spokes would do the job. I'm glad I didn't invest too much on spokes since my hub died and I build a new wheel with DT 350 hubs and new rim + spokes.

I used a Park tension meter to build the wheel with even tension, and I didn't have to touch the tension once in the season even if I rode lots of fast rocky trails and jumps on a short-travel bike. If the hub hadn't died (freehub pawls broke and destroyed the inside mechanism) I'd probably still be riding the same wheel without having adjusted the tension. Butted spokes are apparently more durable and compliant because of their taper, but I didn't feel much difference with the same tension vs my new wheel built with Sapim Race butted spokes.

The finish is durable, the length are consistent in the same size, and the threads are clean and well cut. I have used DT brass nipples and didn't have a single issue when building the wheel.

For people who want durability and strength the DT Champion are a good choice. I'll see after this season's use if the butted Sapim spokes hold better, but so far this is pretty much a tie." - Read more»

Shop Dakine Cross-X Gloves and DT Swiss Champion Spokes at Jenson USA


Want to be in the running for September's award? Review the components, apparel, or bikes you ride in the Vital MTB Product Guide and keep an eye on the Top Reviewer leaderboard. We'll announce the winner in early October.

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