Dirt Fest 2017

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Dirt Fest 2017

There are so many random cycling events across the country but, Dirt Rag's Dirt Fest Stands alone. It's basically the best time you'll ever have but vaguely remember. (Or not at all remember if you're Tim - see #1 spot below.)

Here are our top 10 stories from the weekend of debauchery.

10. Tent set up with Pit Viper Shades. Side Note: (Handup Gloves and Pit Viper Shades hooked up and it felt so good. More stories below too. Click the picture below to see more of what they're all about.)  -- So tent set up, they first rolled up on Honda Helix Scooters in the best apparel your local thrift store could offer. After 1 hour, 4 of them, and 2 of us, trying to set up their Mint Saloon Big Agnes tent we became good friends. (But directions on the tent set up would have been solid.)

 
 

 

9. We spent the weekend sitting across the way from Wilson and Kurt at Pello Cycling (A kids bike company). We loved this as kids test riding their bikes led to subsequent wrecking all day, erryday, which led to great entertainment and forgetting about our daily hang over. 

8. We also met Rebel Yell Bourbon and got a couple free bottles for the night, which we polished off quickly and that led to more chaos (read more below). We were going to try and save the sweet liquor for the office and cherish it as a Dirt Fest present, but nah....it tastes so good once it hits your lips!

7. Shai (pronounced "shy") Guy gave us no less than 4 hugs each, a day.

 
pit viper
 

 

6. Vendor Parking expo tags are basically do-whatever-the-fuck-you-want tags. You don't even need to stop and explain yourself to the guards. One night though while leaving the event, Wilson - only sober one in the bunch - felt the urge to stop on the way OUT of the event to tell the guard that we were with the Expo and just leaving for the night. He really wanted to drive the point home. Or maybe the guard was blind and Wilson was being nice #staywoke.

5. Watching one of Pit Vipers guys wreck the mopeds they brought, twice, in a 5 minute span. Once off a bridge obstacle and the other time in the "slippery grass" as he claimed.  

4. Shai Guy's dancing --- Enough said, just check this link and search more on Instagram under #DirtRagDirtFest you'll find some gems. 

3. Now that you have seen, Shai Guy, imagine him rapping, because yes, that happened too. This was displayed at the first night's party as a beat was just playing on loop in the background. All of a sudden Shai Guy comes out of no where in the middle of a crowded tent and just spits rhymes equivalent to Kendrick Lamar. (Well, if Kendrick were in the middle-of-nowhere-Pennsylvania on a Friday night. So kinda like Kendrick we guess.) Regardless, it left everyone speechless. 

2. For 2 years running, one of our own has eaten a pasta and, by nightfall, has thrown up said pasta. Both have been tomato based sauces and he will be attempting to hold down the big time next year... fettuccine Alfredo. 

1. As we said before, our  friend Tim may not have any memories of Dirt Fest and here is why. 2 bottles of bourbon leads to nothin' but trouble. Unfortunately most of that trouble befell (pun intended) our friend Tim as he went head first onto the side of the Bro-boat party. (To scale drawing below)

 
 

NEED TO LISTEN TO THIS WHILE READING REST OF ARTICLE FOR MAXIMUM EXPERIENCE.

As you can see, the already sketchy jump from the tree roots to the boat would be even too much for a free-throw-line dunker from Michael Jordan, let alone our friend Tim. Needless to say he didn't make it and his body landed between the boat and the bank with his head breaking the fall. Sorry about your concussion Tim. You'll get'em next time!

And that is what we like to call "Dirt Fested"!

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Trail Builder TT Series Nashville!

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Trail Builder TT Series Nashville!

 
Mountain Bike Nashville
 

We pulled up to a small park and no one was there except a huge family that were all dressed to the 9's and drove Benz's. Also this is like 7:45am. Weird stuff. So we called Jason Campbell, the sexiest cyclist in Nashville (who ran this series) and he guided us to the other side of the park. SO... we'll have to give it a 4/10 on directions which is a definite need for improvement.. 

Then we got there and the directions issue was soon behind us with immediate beers in our hands and positive vibes all around. Jason is a hard worker and already had the whole course set up (leaving us utterly worthless for race setup) so we simply got the party rolling! 

Now if you didn't go, it was a super rad course of both fun flow and rocky knar knar. The 11 mile TT had people ripping through sections and carrying their bike through others. Jason also made us a spot to heckle! Therefore, in very Handup fashion, we took our Donger MFG bell, beer, and best insults out to the race course to "give'em hell". All riders went through with smiles across their face which leads us to believe the race was indeed very VERY fun. 

Finally, all of the riders came in to what seemed to be one metric ton of free BBQ!!!!! Don't miss free BBQ.... It was Free.... Free.

Anyway, it was an 8/10 event. We just have to give a 1 point deduction for the Nashville folks that did not show up to an absolutely AMAZING event. People even came from Huntsville, AL for it...  And another point for the lack of Handups actually taken during a race. 

Thanks Nashvegas!! You guys do racing right, let's just party harder together next year!

Example of Handup oppurtunity that was not taken!

Example of Handup oppurtunity that was not taken!

Trail Builder TT Series Custom gloves complete with 80's hair band wig 

Trail Builder TT Series Custom gloves complete with 80's hair band wig 

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Jinglecross Trip

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Jinglecross Trip

Hanborghini

            I-24 has an 8 mile stretch of road that is completely missing. I know this for sure because every time we go to an event, our navigation lady (I’d say SIRI but our driver has an android*) tells us to bypass it for some reason. We’ve decided that it can only be one of a few things… 1) Aliens took it to study our overwhelmingly poor road making skills. 2) an earthquake dropped it into a giant sink hole or 3) there was a wreck. The only positive here is that there is a DQ about half way through. And quite frankly, I don’t think we can pass up a Dairy queen any more on the account of us being 100% American.

            Now the Dairy Queen stop has its moments too. Of course the ice cream is glorious. There’s almost nothing better than ice cream. In fact, if I were on death row, my last meal would be a gallon of Blue Bell’s Coookie’s n Cream with a side of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate chip cookie dough (I like cookies). But what completely thwarts the Handup Team is the drink machine. The one that when used should also dispense a certificate that qualifies you to fly a space shuttle. First you click coke. Then you click a special coke out of all the different cokes. Then you can add a flavor to that coke but then when you go to dispense said coke, you forget you haven’t added Ice yet cause that’s hard too. You know what machine I’m talking about. Let’s just say, we miss the days when you just walked up and pressed your cup.

Caroline Mani crushing people's dreams. She's SOOO fast. 

            After DQ we hopped in the car, looked at some corn fields, and next thing you know, we are in Coralville, Iowa. Home of the beautiful hostesses of 30Hop Restaurant. I mean just strikingly pretty for no reason at all. I digress. I could give you detail after detail of the hotel and all that but lets just say we got to Jinglecross. AND we stayed for 3 AWESOME days. Then we watched everyone race in the absolute mud hole of a course.* We made a friend named Ben who brought us beer and kept us company. Only con here was the flys. Those tiny devils bit us no more than 1 million times and no less than 990’000 times. So to keep it simple, we definitely got bit 996’435 times. Just an absurd amount. Figure it out Iowa.

 

                                                                             Our Friend Ben

 

            There was so much more we could share but you know how races go. We saw some crashes, ate a pizza, watched world class athletes race, watched someone lose a shoe in the mud, filmed Ellen Noble and set it to a song with her name in it, and then we ate another pizza. Just a typical/wonderful/itchy cycling event. Oh! And I got sick day two and spent the night in the hotel room!

            I’d like to take this time to welcome you to our blog. I can assure you that this will never be about a race for the majority of it’s existence. You can read that shit at Velo News. We are here to bring you the good stuff about our personal adventures at Handup Gloves.

Ride on

Tonto

* Iphones have always been and will always be.. better

* Iowa said their weather was going go sunny - kinda sunny - rainy on those respective days. It actually went pouring rain - totally sunny - and not really sunny but not rainy. So i'll let you guess which glove company event team was completely unprepared. Iowa, figure this shit out too while you figure out the flies. 

If you wanna know what the HANBORGHINI is, watch our Instagram. I can't give you all the goods. 

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bicyclecrumbs Review

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bicyclecrumbs Review

A month or two back I started the glove discussion. I took the stance of gloves being a "consumable" and was looking for a quality low cost new pair. Nothing is worse then buying a new glove or bibs and after one crash they are done. The gloves I ended up purchasing were from Handup Gloves ,at $26 dollars they are super affordable. I would call them a medium weight glove. So far they have been durable and the silicon design printed on the palm side provides an extremely good grip. Now I must point out I absolutely love these when I'm on the MTB, but I found them to be way too hot to be comfortable during the summer on gravel, especially if it's over 90 degrees. Now that the weather has cooled a bit they are perfect for all conditions. I would absolutely recommend these for the price as long as it's not summer. My only real gripe is the sublimation printing on the back. If there is any stretch it distorts the print to a faded white, this is common with everything printed in this style, but it still bugs me. I would rather have a solid color and a design on the palm side. But that's only a matter of aesthetics. Some day I might try a more premium glove but for now these are doing the trick. My question for you now is, with the weather getting cooler again what is your go to winter glove? 

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Tyres and Soles Review

TESTED: HANDUP GLOVES

Words by: Jason Lorch

Pics: ©Jason Lorch

I have something to admit to you all. My name is Jason, and I have a glove fetish. There I said it.

It’s always been gloves or helmets for me. I just can’t help myself. I’m like a bloody magpie for them. Constantly getting side tracked when I’m supposed to be researching something else. Those pesky sale pop ups at (add favourite bike shop) offering tantalising discounts…stop, please just STOP!

So lately I’ve put a block on any new helmets or gloves….Ha! So I thought.  Then one day literally out of nowhere, I stumbled upon HANDUP GLOVES. I think it was via Instagram, you know, just going from one feed to the next until Whoahh!!!! Back up right now!  Oh yes sireee. It was love at first sight. I quickly got on the dog and bone (that’s a phone, for all you non-Cockney slangers out there) and made contact with their Australian distributor, being Full Beam Australia, who very kindly agreed to send a pair across to me. Which was very nice of them, and pleased me considerably considering my whole affinity with all things gloved. Don’t worry, I didn’t tell them about my little problem, that’s just between you and me.

HANDUP GLOVES Mmmmm….I need a cold shower! Pic: ©Jason Lorch

The gloves arrived a couple of days later and I dutifully teared the living shreds out of the packaging like a six year old on Christmas day. Straight out of the packaging my initial reaction was “Wow, these look really nice!” with their unique graphics and quality materials I was impressed right off the bat. But looks are not everything so I tried to remain calm.

I was hesitant with the fit as I seem to have rather large hands. Often referred to by my other half as garden shovels. Well, I don’t think that’s quite fair but hey, we all know what big hands mean?…..yes, that’s right, big hands. Hold your breath….YES! They fit! Just like they said they would with the online size chart.

HANDUP GLOVES…MERICA..F*&K YEAH! Pic: ©Jason Lorch

I really like the humour that these guys put into their packaging. The small things make the difference for me.  The little reminder on the packaging for example…Best for Grabbin’ Bars & Beers! Well yes, of course.

HANDUP GLOVES…Just in case you forgot how to use them. Pic: ©Jason Lorch

Fit

Straight out of the packet they felt, snug, supple yet had a certain strength about them. If you wear Troy Lee Designs, then they are a very similar fit. Some gloves when I make a fist, feel like they could explode apart any second. These felt like they were made of sterner stuff, so no glove exploding going on here.

So, initial fist pump test done,  all that was needed was to take them out for a spin at the local trails to see if they would perform. Yeeeew!

HANDUP GLOVES…for grabbin’ bars. Pic: ©Jason Lorch

On The Trails

On the trails, the bar grip felt good, with enough feedback due to the soft leather palm which reduced any material bunching.  I don’t like gloves that bunch up, it tends to cause blistering on longer rides, but there was no such issue with these. I particularly liked the sticky silicone printed graphics on the palm of the gloves, which added some extra grip. I was concerned that they may heat up on longer rides because the material feels quite substantial, but I had no issues at all with overheating, which I put down to the laser cut ventilation holes on the palm, helping the breathability of the glove.

To my enjoyment, the gloves turned a few heads on the trails with their unique styling. I have to admit, it makes a change to see some new products on the trails and I was more than happy to chat to fellow riders about them.

Although these didn’t come with wrist clasps or straps, I never felt like they needed them. They certainly never felt as if they were going to slip off at any point. They were easy to pull on and off with a neat little pull tab on the wrist and the lightweight mesh on the back of the hand was stretchy enough to avoid any tearing.

During the ride, I bashed my hands a couple of times on trees going through some of the tighter sections, but no tearing or any significant damage was done. I’ve done the same thing with some very well known brands and they’ve literally ripped open. I appreciate not every tree bashing is the same every time, but these just seem to cope better than some other gloves out there.

HANDUP GLOVES in action on the local trails. Pic: ©Jason Lorch

HANDUP GLOVES For grabbin’ beers!! Pic: ©Jason Lorch

Conclusions

At the end of the ride my hands were feeling pretty damn good. No hot spots or blistering and the construction was still in tact even with a few tree bashes and overall bar feedback and sensitivity was good. I was really impressed with the huge sweat cloth section on the thumb in wiping the stream of sweat coming down my face. I can’t think of another glove that has one this efficient.

It’s early days, so I’ll report back after a few more months of riding and washing machine sessions. But all in all, a bloody great set of gloves for a smidgen under $40 and do exactly what they say on the packet… best for grabbing’ bars n beers!

Tech Specs:

  • 4-way stretch, lightweight mesh on the back of the hand
  • Stretch cuff to easily pull on and off gloves without fumbling for a strap
  • Durable, single layer Clarino leather palm for maximum bike feel and no extra material bunching up
  • Laser cut ventilation holes on palm for breathability
  • Silicone printed graphics on the palms for extra grip so you’ll never drop that frosty beverage or muddy handlebars
  • HUGE towel sweat cloth on the thumb for wiping away your dirt-stache or foamy upper lip

Price: $39.90

Where to get them: FullBeam Australia

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SSKC Gallery

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SSKC Gallery

We recently teamed up with 8lumens  and Oddity Cycles to create a special edition, New Belgium designed, glove for one of the greatest race/parties that mountain biking has to offer. These are some pictures we took at the race. If you really like one but can't click and drag it to your desktop, shoot an email to support@handupgloves.com. I'll gladly send you the beautiful picture of your choice. 

Here's what you missed if you didn't go:

  • 2 full grown men in a speedos
  • someone eating 4 Carolina Reaper Peppers at one time (a hellishly hot hybrid of the ghost pepper)
  • 30 miles of perfectly maintained single track
  • warm mid-lap wine handups with captain morgan shots to follow
  • beer
  • more beer
  • the painfully best time ever had on dirt

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Bike Rumor Review!

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Bike Rumor Review!

Nothing quite says ‘Merica like some good old camouflage. Making a name for themselves with bold colors and wild designs, Handup Gloves is continuing on the path to manual domination with additional designs rather than completely new models. According to company owner Cody Wallis, Handup was started to combat the rising cost and complexity of most mountain bike gloves.

Harnessing design inspiration from his motocross racing days, Handup gloves are meant to be simple with no padding and a slip on design. That results in a glove that will protect your hand, provide adequate grip on the bike, and won’t slip on the post ride beverages either – all at an affordable price.

Since the basic design of the glove remains unchanged, Handup is free to concentrate on fun new designs that may or may not include camouflage…

Joining the ranks of camouflage offerings from Handup, the new Green/Orange Camo ‘Merican Will be sold alongside the Grey Digi Camo gloves. All Handup gloves use a four way stretch, light weight mesh on the back of the hand which is mated to a single layer Clarino leather palm. Along with laser cut ventilation holes, the palms include huge silicone printed graphics which form a single image when the two hands are placed together à la College football.

The gloves use a stretch cuff for Velcro-less security and offer a large absorbent sweat cloth on the thumb to help keep things dry. Like every pair of Handup gloves, the camo ‘Merican models sell for $26 in small through extra large.

Also new to the range is the Reeb model which should be popular with anyone who likes good beer. With Oskar Blues on the palms and their Reeb bike brand on the tops, the Reeb gloves take things an extra step with a tiny little rider in silicone on the index finger for added grip. Like the other gloves in the line, you can put on a pair of Reebs for $26. Distributed through Torcano Industries.

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Don't Drop it! Handup Gloves Keeps the Can in your Hand!

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Don't Drop it! Handup Gloves Keeps the Can in your Hand!

Every now and then a product comes along that does things a bit differently. Sealskinz made socks waterproof,Stan’s sealant eliminated the inner tube and now Handup Gloves has created a glove that makes the common hand-up nearly foolproof. The gloves have become quite popular thanks in part to the company’s savvy social media presence. So we wanted to see what Handup Gloves were all about, aside from the slick style.

Handup Gloves. © Cyclocross Magazine

Handup Gloves. © Cyclocross Magazine

Perhaps designing a glove that simplifies the hand-up is not as big of a game changer as the introduction of tubeless. However, anyone who’s been to a local cyclocross race and seen fumbled red cups and beer cans can attest that there was room for improvement. The underlying problem–apart from one’s own hand-eye coordination–is getting a grip on slippery, iced-down cups and cans.

Handup addresses this problem with silicone. All of their gloves feature a tacky silicone layer printed across the upper-half of the palm and fingers, which achieves a Velcro-like grip on handlebars and hand-ups alike. Handup only makes gloves in one basic style, so you must figure, “they’d better get it right.” In short course, they do. The gloves are minimalist, snug, true to size and fit like a glove! 

The long finger gloves contour nicely to the volume of your digits. Handup Gloves. © Cyclocross Magazine

The long finger gloves contour nicely to the volume of your digits. Handup Gloves. © Cyclocross Magazine

 

In reviewing Handup Glove’s offerings everything from frosty cans to wet bars of soap were put to the test. The cold cans fared very well. During a drop test, the can stayed in hand with even the smallest amount of pressure applied, and it was only with a near-limp hand that the can went tumbling across the pavement. Money grabbers will be happy to know that the silicone provides extraordinary grip on the green goodies. It wasn’t until the the bar of soap that the grip failed. But who’s doing soap handups anyways? Admittedly a hamburger was not part of the test.

But the fun doesn’t stop at hand-ups. The silicone palm also features a printed design revealing a message when the two gloves are held side-by-side. The messages on one test pair read “mud sweat and beers” written across a cartoon depiction of a frothy beer mug. There is also a “‘Merican” design, patriotic in a tongue-in-cheek way, with the stars and stripes across the back of the hand and a finish-line palmprint that spells out ‘Merica in two halves so your victory salute will reveal your allegiance in case anyone needed to know.  Ironically they’re made in China, though to exacting specifications we’re sure.

All of the Handup gloves feature a design on the palms that take shape when the hands are held side by side. While not particularly easy to read at a glance, the messages–in this case “Mud Sweat and Beers”–seem fitting to throw up at your local races. © Greg Evans / Cyclocross Magazine

All of the Handup gloves feature a design on the palms that take shape when the hands are held side by side. While not particularly easy to read at a glance, the messages–in this case “Mud Sweat and Beers”–seem fitting to throw up at your local races. © Greg Evans / Cyclocross Magazine

 

There’s also one that reads “EPIC” for the enthusiastic mountain biker, and one that spells out “ride dirty” for the aging Chamillionaire fan. While it’s hard to imagine these messages being thrown up with regularity on a ‘cross course, they could be used to add some fun to a post race photo-op.

The gloves are constructed from several materials. The underside is Clarino leather, with laser-cut holes aimed to ward off sweaty palms. The back of the glove features 4-way stretch mesh, which never felt constricting, and provided the right balance of ventilation and wind stopping. The cuff forgoes a strap in favor of an elastic band for easy slip-on, and the same elastic material makes its way onto the sides and webbing of the fingers. A small pull tab at the base of the glove eliminates any issues with slipping the glove on.

However, all of these materials are trumped–both in thickness and convenience–by the snot wipe. Off all of the gloves that have come and gone, few, if any, featured a “sweat cloth” as large and absorbent as that found on Handup Glove’s. The Handup glove provided never-ending absorption, serving like a thumb mounted roll of Bounty paper towels…yuck.

One of the best nosewipes in the business, but the slighty abrasive stitching and leather interrupt a good thing. Handup Gloves. © Cyclocross Magazine

One of the best nosewipes in the business, but the slighty abrasive stitching and leather interrupt a good thing. Handup Gloves. © Cyclocross Magazine

 

But what good is a glove that doesn’t fit? Thankfully, the fit is actually quite good. Save for what felt like a bit of extra material on the backside of the hand, no other complaints could be made.

After several months of riding (and crashing) the Handup gloves have proven resilient. There is slight wear on the leather at the base of the palm, and a couple of small nicks in the mesh. This is nothing to shake a stick at considering some gloves would be in far worse shape after the same amount of use. The ‘Merican style glove is mostly white and gets dirty quickly, but cleans up decently in the wash. Overall, the gloves are very minimalist. They offer good bar feel and some crash protection, but won’t absorb any shock on your 100 mile gravel ride. They also offer a bit of warmth, but clearly aren’t winter gloves. They aren’t the most ventilated glove either, but work just fine for spring, summer and fall riding.

Handup Gloves has taken the tried n’ true bike glove and given it a bit of that “fun and flare” that we all love about grassroots ‘cross. It’s a bonus that these changes also improved the functionality of the gloves, albeit for hand-ups. Now all we have to do is be ready on the sideline with a cold one and a couple of fresh bills.

A pair of Handup Gloves runs $26.00 USD for full finger and 25.00 USD for short finger

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Mountain Bike Action Review!

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Mountain Bike Action Review!

Minimalistic gloves are all the rage right now, and for good reason. Outside of a high-speed and treacherous downhill setting, they provide plenty of protection in the event you decide to go from riding your bike to doing a handstand down the trail. Handup gloves are lightweight, yet still have a Clarino leather palm and silicone printed graphics to deliver plenty of grip without losing the feeling of a direct connection to your bike. They have a stretch cuff that eliminates the need for a bulky strap, while a sweat-wicking fabric is attached to the thumb for wiping sweat and gunk away on the toughest of days. They’re available in six different colors at $26 per pair.

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Road Bike Action Review!

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Road Bike Action Review!

HANDUP ‘Merican Short Finger Gloves
If you are looking for a set minimalist with a bit of American theme, Handup’s ‘Merican gloves would be a perfect fit. Four-way stretch fabric backing with a durable, silicone-layered, leather palm. Laser cut holes in the palm provide breathability, while two loops on each glove give easy removal of the gloves. These Handup gloves are great for those riders that want a durable glove, without the padding, for the added protection from the ground.

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Handup Gloves Goes Small Batch, adds lines, colors, hats

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Handup Gloves Goes Small Batch, adds lines, colors, hats

Here at BWN, we love grabbin’ bars and beers, and we’ve already praised Handup Gloves for making some rad gloves. Since our that article, they have brought out some new colors, some new hats, and now some limited edition gloves.

As far as the design goes, nothing has changed here. They are the same great gloves with soft and grippy palms, breathable backs, and sweat wiping towel on the thumb. Handup has added colors with the Epic Trail, Prizm, and ‘Merican lines.

The Epic Trail line celebrates some of their favorite trails in North Carolina. The olive green/yellow and black/yellow gloves feature a topographic map on the backs with the topography theme transferring to the palms as well. Put your hands together as you celebrate the epic run you just finished.

With the Prizm gloves, things get a little more colorful. The teal/yellow color way is almost a full rainbow across the backs, while the pink/red keeps things more in the red and blue family. They’ll see you rollin’, the haters be hatin’, so put your hands together and show them you “ride dirty.”

For the ‘Merican line, Handup brought back the blazing orange from their woodland camo/blaze orange glove from last year, but added a blaze orange/black/grey camo on the back. Bambi might not see you coming, but hunters will. The Stars N Bars has also been updated with red palm graphics in their V2.

Finally, a candidate I can agree with!

So unless you use Layrite Super Hold like me, and have that fresh from the barber styling, even after a few hours on the bike with a helmet on, you’ll want a hat to cover up that mop when you are jumping onto the podium. For that, Handup has some hats (I hope Bill Strickland isn’t reading this) to match your ‘Merican gloves. You don’t have ‘Merican gloves yet? Well, pick up the combo and save yourself enough to buy 6-pack of Bell’s Oberon.

Finally, the newest edition to the line is the first of the Small Batch. The Rocky Top Small Batch gloves will be offered in limited quantities and shouldn’t last long, like a good bottle of bourbon. Handup logos on the palms and pointer and middle fingers provide the grip the brand is known for.

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HuGs and Kisses - Team Dicky

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HuGs and Kisses - Team Dicky

I can be picky about somethings.  Free pizza and beer are generally not on that list.  Cookies?  Yes.  I can pass on a lot of store bought options.  Home made?  I hope you brought enough for everyone... unless you're terrible at following a recipe.

As far as bike stuff goes?  Of course.

For gloves, I've almost always liked minimal features over bells and whistles.  I'm old enough to remember when all gloves were generally unpadded, save for an extra layer of faux leather in critical wear areas.  I've seen the rise of padded mountain bike gloves from its infancy.  All manner of gel/foam/marshmallow fluff being inserted in various places I never asked for...

 
 

Nothing against Pearl Izumi as a brand in particular.  These were just the best example I could find with thirty seconds of searching.

These inserts did little for me in terms of relief, reduced fatigue or increased grip.  They were nothing more than annoying hindrances that kept me isolated from the feel of the bars.  I've owned many pairs, and more of them than I can remember met the business end of a seam ripper (if I didn't just end up giving them away).

Some time long ago, I took to riding Mechanix gloves, not just because they are endorsed by the likes of Bill The Thrill Cleveland.

 
 

Back in the late '90s/early '00s, Mechanix gloves were the shit.  No padding, just a super smooth palm and a simple closure. 

But like all good things, it didn't last.  I don't know what to blame it on in particular, but Mechanix expanded their lines and offerings, had much better product saturation in so many more markets (specific gloves for tough opening peanut butter jars?), and the quality went way down.  They didn't last as long before holes and tears started showing up, the Velcro wore out prematurely, and the standard model went through unnecessary and unwanted design changes.

The closest thing I would get to perfection were these:

 
 

Some Giro glove... they don't make them anymore.  Thankfully, Thad "I haven't blogged in seven months" Marsupial helped me corner the market on them.  I have one pair on its last legs, another pair with more than a few rides left in them, another that's going strong, and this pair with 100 kilometers of Wilkesboro on them.  Decent gloves, the best I could find at the time, still an unnecessary seam across the distal palmar crease... across THE pipelines of nerves and vessels going to the fingers.

So what do I want in a mountain bike glove?

Summer weight back.  I have a pair of gloves from Answer that are supposed to be summer weight, but I wear them on my commute to/from work down to about 35° or so.  That's not summer weight.  Gloves should make it easier to grip the bars when you're sweaty WHILE CONTRIBUTING TO THE SWEAT FACTOR AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.

Low on the wrist fit.  I don't need wrist protection anymore than I need ankle protection.  Less glove, less heat.  Less need for... closures.

No closure at the wrist.  What's the point?  Make a glove that fits like a glove... problem solved.

No knuckle armor.  Unless you're wearing those tragic crabon knuckled disasters from Oakley, that rubber padding ain't gonna make much difference when you hit a tree.

No padding.  Even when I'm riding rigid, I don't want padding on the palm.  As much contact as I can get with the grips with the pressure spread as evenly as possible across my palm.  It seems counter-intuitive to pad certain areas only to reduce the amount of contact, thus putting even more pressure on those areas.

To get to the point of all this, I'm happy about these:

Handup Gloves.  Relatively new to the market, they are "light weight, minimalist, long finger cycling gloves best used for grabbing bars and beers."

What features make them winners?

 

* 4-way stretch, lightweight mesh on the back of the hand

 

* Stretch cuff to easily pull on and off gloves without fumbling for a strap

 

* Durable, single layer Clarino leather palm for maximum bike feel and no extra material bunching up

 

If you weren't paying attention, those are the things I was bitching about earlier.

And let me say it is with much stoke that they have agreed to sponsor Faster Mustache: CLT for 2015.

I got my pair yesterday at work.  Wore them on the commute home... I know, not much of a real world test.  Such a nice feel on the bars though.  As close to not wearing gloves as it gets without taking off your gloves.

Disclaimer.  I have one pair of Handup Gloves and a zillion pairs of other brands.  When they release some other colors (they change the available colorways from time to time), I will order more.  Until then, yes you might see me out riding in other gloves from time to time to save these from wear and tear.  Also when I do stage races, I might have to mix it up due to cleanliness factors. 

BTW:  Here's a tip for gentle washing of your gloves (at home or at a stage race).  Wear them in the shower and use them as a wash rag.  You'd be surprised how clean you can get them with bath soap and some scrubbing of your body... and you won't rag your gloves out in the washing machine or accidentally toss them in the dryer.

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Examen: Handup Gloves - Super Issimo

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Examen: Handup Gloves - Super Issimo

“Best for grabbing bars and beers.” The tagline emblazoned on the palms of HandUp Gloves resonates the ideals many cyclists approve of. Yet even more important is the fact that in a day and age where gloves are reaching towards the $40 retail mark, the list price of $25 for these should make it a no brainer on value. But doesn’t cheap equate to cheap? Non. The advantage of HandUp Gloves is that they are designed to be exactly what a glove should be, and in that, the markup is at a natural low point. So what do you get for your blue collar dollars? Lettuce look into this now.

We had been in the gutter for early winter training blocks when Cody called suggesting his HandUp Gloves would be a good match for the Superissimo Examen “Wrecking Crew’s” box of dirt. but we weren’t on dirt, nor are we. Would these gloves be any good for our roadie shenanigans? Out in Superissimo East, it has been said like this:

HandUps are like a medium, helping to communicate the ever-living passion between my dead hands and the vital handlebar. What once was a gap in faith, has now been filled with glove. Whether on bar, can or face, they are sticky annamug, these gloves.

-Snakehawk

The designation of HandUp gloves is listed as a “mountain bike” glove at handupgloves.com. We accept this as an American problem, dirty biking, and we will look for dirty samples soon, however these gloves work equally for any bar, drop, flat, riser can, bottle or road or dirt or wherever you need the grip. There are no conditions for limits. HandUps do gloving exceedingly well so we will focus on details of why. Let’s talk about maximum tacky first.

I’m pretty sure no other glove on the market is as tacky as what HandUp offers. Sure, gloves are gloves right? Not much to differentiate, I can generally agree, but havn’t you met that one cyclist who complains about there being no simple glove out there anymore? But Cody had things thought about in this regard. He even states HandUp gloves are simple, but it’s what IS simple, and how those simple things are applied that make or break a mit. The major secret winning way of HandUp gloves is the silicon swath on the palm face. This is the no fuck around full deth grip zone. It is the fattest glove grip zone I’ve ever seen on a glove and it’s been a long time coming. Why hasn’t this already been a standard in the market? I digress. This tacky patch is huge. Look:

Mud Sweat, Beers. The moniker is real. We say yes to this. In the dirtiest of times, HandUps will absolutely be your best friend. Even in the worst CX situation, these mits have the best chance of not slipping. Each ride is sprinkled with thoughts of oh my i’m digging this grip! It goes on and on. They just work.

 

                                                             Orange and Black. Dope. Others!

The HandUp design continues from the MegaGripZone©® to maintain simplicity throughout. It is the essence of what a glove should be. They fit, breathe, and don’t bumch up in the palm. This unlike so much of the mainstream glove offerings these days which are equipped with copious Transformer-like injection moldings for the knuckle scrapes, and gelulose paddings for excessively soft hands, and velcro cuff lashings at the wrist as if there is ever a chance a glove will fly off the hand without a high impact reason. HandUp gloves are minimally processed, and simply built with single layerings of Clarino on the palms sans any added padding. Nope. It’s straght to the bar, for positive contact and a thick enough layer of Clarino to keep the meathooks protected. Add a light mesh on top, they are the answer to an obscure yet pertinent question among so many cyclist in that these gloves are thankfully no fluff. The fit and feel is second skin. They put on and get off easy.

The other, perhaps most important detail is the often overlooked brow sweat cloth. Some mainstream gloves actually don’t have this, which is insane, but HandUps come ready to mop up the dirtiest mud stash and sweaty brow tears with a wide swatch of terry going across the thumb and index finger. This is HORS in detail, although you might think it’s a given in glove standards; yet it is not. Thank you HandUp, for your mits smash in performance ways that matter.

We are on long term daily testing of these grippers. Remaining questions include the ever present durability consideration. Will they last? This is always a concern. Gloves are easily one of the fastest wearing contact points on a ride. With single layer Clarino palms, bar/can contact is absolute positive input, but when will the holes form, and will the duration between then and now be appropriate for a $25 glove? We are confident this will be the case, but Mother Time is going to tell us for certain. Stay tuned. Still, without due endurance testing, the jury is IN regarding the value of HandUps: there is no question. These are the goto gloves for cyclists who avert the fluff in favor of a clean secure grip, hands down.

Check more, visit, buy and like HandUp gloves through the following tubes:

  • http://www.handupgloves.com
  • https://twitter.com/handupgloves
  • http://instagram.com/handupgloves
  • http://www.handupgloves.com/

[Editor’s note on sizing] – Glove sizing can be fickle. I, a small medium man (gnome) run large on gloves in most brands. Thus, I ordered large glvoes from Cody at HandUp. As they arrived, I donned them, and to my amazement, they are actually large in size, thus slightly baggy on my medium hands. That said, order your gloves with logical expectations on fit and you will be stoked. Large is as large does, unlike the rest of the glove market.

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Southeastern Cycling Review!

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Southeastern Cycling Review!

 HandUp Gloves Merican Review Inspired by “beverage” Hand Ups in cyclocross, HandUp Glovesin a somewhat new company out of Chattanooga, TN. Their motto is “best for grabbing beer and bars.” After coming out first with a long finger glove, HUG finally released a shortHandUp finger version. It is minimalist, which I love. The palm is synthetic Clarino leather and has no padding. The back is a stretch mesh for easy on and off. The silicone printed graphics on the palm provide traction to grab the frosty beverage or your handlebars.

I’ll reiterate this of from my earlier review of HandUp Gloves long finger gloves: “I hate gloves, but they are a necessity. Most gloves are bulky hunks with terrible padding. I do not need or want ergonomic padding as it makes it difficult for my short fingers to wrap around the handlebar.” I received pair of the Merican Short Finger gloves just in time to test them on a few of the last Daylight Saving Time rides of the year. They performed as expected. They were very grippy, and my hands felt secure on the road bike bars. I did one dry cyclocross race with them, too. Again, they made me confident that my hands were not going to slip off the bars. Without the padding, it was easy to maintain my grip just where I wanted whether I was on top of the bars or on the hoods. I did not get to test out the beverage grabbing capabilities as I cannot drink anything during a cx race. Most of the rides I did were in the 60s, which is my lower limit for short finger gloves, and my hands were never too hot. I’d like to see how the Merican gloves do in a hot, humid Atlanta summer, but that will have to wait until next year.

They are very stylish and would look great with any kit, especially around the 4th of July. A size small fit my hands really well. I normally wear a glove unisex size small or women’s medium or large. I did an urban CX ramble for one of the test rides. A Wounded Warrior commented that he loved the gloves as a show of his patriotism. I hope he was able to get a pair! I would have given them mine, but he said he could not fit into a small.

I’ve been using the long finger HandUp Gloves aka “The Mug Gloves” since last January, and they have held up really well mountain biking and road riding. I had problem with one glove from the start. The stitching came undone up near the top of two of the fingers on the first ride. I emailed HandUp Gloves photos, and they determined that it was a manufacturing defect. I haven’t had the problem with the replacement pair. The ribbon pull tabs kept getting caught on everything during my cx race preride, so I had to cut them off. I’d rather see one tab on top of the glove instead of 2 on the bottom.  I’d also like to see the short finger gloves in a few more color options.

HandUp Merican Short Finger Gloves are everything a minimalist pair of gloves should be. They grip well, fit like a glove, and look really cool!!

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Militia Approved - Handup Gloves - Single Speed Militia

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Militia Approved - Handup Gloves - Single Speed Militia

Some things we love because of the features they have: micro-adjustable this and home-rebuildable that and custom-tuneable whatnots are all the rave among mountain bikers.  We get it. Features sell products and companies need to present “new and improved” every year to get their products noticed.

But there are a few things we love because of their simplicity — like singlespeed bikes.  Add Handup Gloves to that list.  While there certainly may be riders who need gloves that look like a Storm Trooper getting ready to play hockey, most don’t need anything more than good grip, good looks, good protection, and a sweat mop.  Handup Gloves deliver just that.

The minimalist design is perfect for the vast majority of trail riders.  The durable, single-layer Clarino leather palm is thin enough to provide a solid feel for the bars.  No squishy gel padding needed or wanted.  The grippy rubber palm won’t let your hands slip even when the gloves are wet with sweat, creek water, or spilled beer.  And, even better, the palm graphics become a larger graphic when you put your hands together to imitate a college football player wearing Nike Pro Combat gear.

A simple cuff eliminates the need for a Velcro strap and allows the gloves to fit comfortable under a jacket sleeve or on top of arm warmers and the terry thumb is great for mopping the sweat off your face or anything else that may be dripping.

Combine performance with a very,  very affordable price and you have a great product.

But there’s more to Handup Gloves than just the glove itself.  We love the company.  Handup supports mountain biking in everything they do.  You’ll find them at your local mountain bike races, your local trails, and craft beer breweries — basically anywhere mountain bikers hang out.   They ride, they race, and they drink beer with their customers not just to drive business, but because they love to ride, race and drink beer.  

And so do we.  Handup Gloves are Militia Approved(™).

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Could You Use a Handup? - Arkansas Outside

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Could You Use a Handup? - Arkansas Outside

Outdoor gear has to be a little outside the norm for me to really want to do a review on it. The product has to appeal to my love of things that can be used in more than one way. I think I’ve found something that meets the criteria.

On a recent research mission utilizing Google and a repressed fear of pushing the buttons, I came across an interesting product that functioned in support of a couple of my loves, mountain biking and beer. In proper moderation, both are enjoyable; put together they are a touchstone for some of my favorite social memories. It’s not just the Après-ride party either. Sometimes a sip of beer in the middle of a tough ride or race is just the right thing to pull an old mountain biker like me through to the finish.

Of course, the regular padded cycling gloves most mountain bikers use can be a little slippery when trying to grab a small plastic cup of the elixir handed up by one of Arkansas’s not so mythical Beer Fairies while trying to drop the wheel sucker behind you. So this guy named Cody had an idea, “I started the company early last year with the idea that cycling gloves were getting too complex with all the padding. When I raced motocross, the gloves I loved to wear were simple, no padding, slip on gloves. Exactly like the ones we make now. I wore my old motocross gloves until they were getting worn out then I decided to make my own. The only difference is I wanted the sweat – wicking (snot-rubbing, lets be real) material on the thumb like I saw on a couple other cycling gloves because that was one thing my motocross gloves didn’t have.” He came up with Hand Up Gloves.

 

One other feature Cody added was some sticky substance to the palm and fingers. Much like the stickem used by NFL receivers to get a little better grip on the “Hail Mary” pass, these gloves allow the sprinting mountain biker to grab a quick sip of a cold beverage. Of course it not only allows the precise handling of your favorite ale, but also helps in the removal and replacement of water bottles in their cages as well as the added benefit of helping maintain your grip on the handlebars, which brings me to my trial of these new gloves.

So far, I have tried these gloves on three different occasions. I have used them on the bumpy, rocky trails of Burns Park, the twisty, tight trails of Boyle Park and the little bit of everything trails at Camp Robinson. I use Ergon grips on my steed so a padded glove is not really necessary although I usually ride with them because, oh heck, I’m old.

I found the full finger gloves to be comfortable even for longer rides and had little hand fatigue. They kept my usually cold hands at a comfortable temperature except for warmer days that have gotten into the 60’s. A little more breathability on the backs would be nice. So I don’t know that I will use them much in the Summer. A half finger glove would be nice for the warm days of Arkansas cycling. They currently only have the full finger version.

As far as grabbing a cup of wonderfulness during a ride? Well I never ran into a trail fairy while I was out, but I did my own testing of post ride bottle grabs and at some point I stood on my deck holding a beer while wearing them and the stickem worked admirably. The gloves come in a variety of bold colors and are chic addition to a cycling wardrobe. Plus they have a really cool logo when you put your hands together correctly. This is a fun new product and a reminder that we shouldn’t be taking ourselves too seriously out there.

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