If you are looking for a set of gloves that are going to stand the test of time, suit pretty much every ride and don’t cost an arm and a leg, the Giro DND may be for you! In this review, we look into what makes the Giro DND gloves excellent (and what isn’t so great) and whether or not they will suit you and your riding.
For me and many others, the Giro DND gloves are a staple item in the riding kit. They are simple, comfortable, and I would trust them to keep the skin on my hands after a slide.
Before we get into the gritty stuff, it helps to know what to look for in a great pair of gloves.
What makes a good pair of bike gloves?
There are a number of things to keep an eye on with a set of gloves, which we will break down below.
1. Fit and comfort
These are key. If they are uncomfortable or don’t fit well, it is unlikely you will actually wear the gloves.
What to look for: When trying on the glove, curl your hand around like you are gripping the bars. If there is a heap of excess material around the palm, it is likely the glove will rub and pinch your skin while riding. Find a MTB glove that doesn’t bunch when your hand is curled around.
2. Finger length
Half-finger gloves (otherwise known as fingerless gloves) don’t keep your fingers protected from low branches or in a crash. Full finger gloves are a must. They keep you protected and help with reducing vibrations and increase grip on the brake levers.
Have a look at full-finger vs half-finger gloves here.
What to look for: Long-fingered gloves!
This one is up to personal preference. Gel padding can reduce pressure on the nerves in your hands, which leads to a more comfortable ride. However, others find the gel padding distracts from the ‘feel of the bars’ or find it causes a bit of rubbing and discomfort.
What to look for: If you get sore or numb hands, look for padding on the outside of the palm (closest to the pinky) and base of the palm. This will stop the nerves from being compressed. If you don’t want padding, stay away from gel padded gloves!
The more grip, the better! Having more grip will also help reduces pressure on the nerves as you don’t need to grip the bars so hard physically.
What to look for: Synthetic leather palm and silicone grips on the fingers. Also, any material that draws away from the sweat from the palm will prevent your hands from getting slippery, which increases grip.
There is a heap more to look for, including how warm or breathable the mountain bike glove is. But that will be explained as we go.
Giro DND Mountain Bike Glove Review
- Very durable
- Look good
- Fits really well over the top of the hand
- Microfibre nose/sweat wipe on thumb
- Three-piece palm causes pressure points
- Touch screen compatibility a bit limited
Giro’s best-selling glove, the Down N Dirty, is a fantastic minimalist glove- without being so minimalist it won’t last more than a season. The DND is actually a super durable glove, with a lot of thought gone into the construction and user-friendliness, so you can just enjoy the ride!
The grip the DND provides is significantly better than many other minimalist gloves you come across. The combination of silicone grips, grippy palm, and great ventilation will keep your hands on the bars!
The synthetic leather palm draws sweat away from the palm, allowing your hands to keep a hold of the bars for longer. The palm is also quite grippy in itself, as with the silicone grippers that are placed strategically on the fingertips to help hold the brake levers.
These silicone grips don’t generally last all that long, but in my opinion, they don’t really add much to the glove anyway.
Breathability and Ventilation
The 4 way stretch material on the top of the hand allows air to flow in and out of the glove pretty easily. This, combined with lightweight, breathable materials on the rest of the glove, meaning you get a well ventilated glove that prevents sweaty hands on warmer days.
The Giro DND glove is the kind of glove you could wear all day and not have to worry about taking off to get a bit of air.
Fit and Comfort
The Giro DND glove is excellent if you have reasonably long fingers. For the short and stubby hands, unfortunately, the fit isn’t great. But if you don’t fit this category, you are in for a great fitting glove.
The 4-way stretch material makes for a very comfortable glove over the top of the hand. The material stretches well over the knuckles and allows for plenty of movement.
My primary issue with the Giro DND is the three-piece palm construction. The aim of the construction was to reduce the amount of material on the palm and hence stop rubbing and pressure points. However, I found that it just creates more issues.
After riding for a while in the gloves, you end up with grooves in your hand from the seams of the 3-piece construction. These caused pressure points that actually created indents in the hand (particularly around the base of the thumb) that lasted for a good hour or two after a day of hard riding. Not overly comfortable, and definitely something Giro needs to reassess!
The Giro DND doesn’t have any padding, but it does have a bit of reinforcing on the palm. While this isn’t going to stop any hand numbness, it will help with a bit of protection if you go for a slide!
If you are looking for a glove to help with hand numbness, see here.
Touch Screen Compatibility
The thumb, index and middle finger each have conductive threads which allow you to use your phone without taking your gloves off. A very handy feature if you constantly take photos, need to reply to a call quickly, or check trail forks as you go.
The actual compatibility of the glove was pretty limited, though- it is a bit touch and go sometimes. It often takes a few swipes to get where you want, but if you have persistence, the touch screen threads do end up getting there!
Cuff and Closure System
The Giro DND is a ‘pull on’ glove, with elastic keeping the glove secure once it is on. The pull-on tab underneath the wrist doesn’t get in the way and makes it pretty easy to get on and off- even with larger hands.
The glove doesn’t have much of a cuff, which unfortunately means if the glove isn’t tight around your wrist, you are likely going to get a bit of stuff in the glove. Either water/sweat while riding or a bit of dirt if you crash. Not a major, but it would be an excellent addition to an already great glove!
While I haven’t tested the Giro DND’s in a crash as of yet, I would fully expect them to come out of a crash fine (I promise to update following a crash!). The materials feel durable, and the construction is very high quality. Many riders have the DND for years and years without ever replacing them.
The stretch material on the top of the hand is not going to stretch out of place any time soon, even while pulling the glove over my hands constantly.
The Giro DND works really, really well for a select group of riders. Essentially, a rider with normal length to long fingers, wanting a light, unpadded glove, will love the Giro DND!
This glove is perfect for beginners, through to your more experienced enduro riders, and everyone in between that won’t be riding all day bike park laps all that often. The pressure points on the palm caused by the seams (see Fit and Comfort section) was a bit of a letdown for me, but the majority of riders wouldn’t notice if they weren’t riding non-stop all day!
The Giro DND is a great glove at a great price, and it will be sure to last you a good few years of riding.