Troy Lee says its Air Glove “came out of a demand from downhillers, BMX’ers and freeriders looking for a lightweight glove with more venting and greater palm feel at a competitive price”. Race Face claims the Deus XC is an “ultra-lightweight, ultra-breathable and ultra-simple glove, that’s the perfect choice for long singletrack rides or XC races”. Think of the lightweight thing as more to do with a lack of bulk and increased freedom of movement.
Troy Lee achieves this by a combination of a ‘cuffless’ design and a superlight Stretch vented mesh construction. The ‘Air Mesh’ on the back of the glove is similar to a two-layer polypropylene (used for base layers) — the larger pores are designed to wick moisture from the finer inner layer.
Race Face still uses a Velcro closer on the Deus glove but it has a shorter cuff, which does reduce the amount of bunching in this area. The back is an ultra-lightweight mesh that’s really breathable and also stretchy, so offers a better fit.
Both gloves get a synthetic leather palm, which is hard wearing and machine washable. Troy Lee uses branded Clarino, which is perforated and is covered with silicon appliqué on the palm and fingers for extra grip.
It says synthetic on the Race Face tag, which we assume means the glove is made with cheaper unbranded synthetic leather. It gets some extra 2mm open cell foam padding on the palm for shock absorption. All four fingers are vented, there’s a terry sweat wipe, with an articulated thumb and reinforcement between it and the index finger.
Troy Lee Air £17.99 (left)
Sizes: S, M, L, XL / Colours: red, black, blue, white / Contact: www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk
Race Face Deus XC £23.95
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL / Colour: red, green, black / Contact: Silverfish 01752 843882
Troy Lee’s Air glove is a better fit around the fingers and has a thinner and, we think, more durable palm, which improves contact and feel. The Deus is way better vented but a couple of times through the brambles and there are a few pulled threads on the back of our sample. The palm has also started to scuff up and the grey colour does show the muck, which doesn’t bode well.
Traditionalist or cross-country racers will like the Deus glove because it’s super light, but that counts against it — we doubt it’ll last a season of hard use. Although slightly warmer and lacking a sweat wipe the Air glove is definitely more durable, making it even better value than the £6 difference in price and the winner here.