Tag Archive: bike safety gear

Review: Pryme Trailhands Full-Finger Gloves

Back in the early springtime, the good folks at Seattle Bicycle Supply (SBS) sent me a courtesy pair of their company Pryme’s “Trailhands” full-finger gloves to try out.


The gloves are very simple and lightweight…Amara palms (sort of a synthetic suede), a terry wiping surface on the thumb and a stretchy spandex mesh back. There is no padding to speak of, and the wrist closure is a simple strip of hook-and-loop material with a rubberized pull tab. These gloves are aimed squarely at the mountain bike crowd, where handlebar control trumps the need for comfort, so palm padding wasn’t a consideration. With typical mountain bike grips and flat bars, these gloves are utterly unobtrusive and grippy without the need for any silicone dots on the palms. On road bike-style drop handlebars, some folks may want a bit more padding, but I found them comfortable when paired with foam bartape…up to about 20 miles or so. Beyond that, I could use a little more cushion for the nerves in my hands.

The mesh back is airy and comfortable, letting a cooling breeze in at all times. That mesh extends the full length of the fingers, too, and is incredibly lightweight against the skin, even in summer temps. If you’re planning on cooler-temperature rides, these may not offer enough insulation for sensitive fingers. I wore them in temps down to about 60 degrees; below that, my thin fingers cried out for more warmth.

Cool mesh:

One of the features I enjoyed about the gloves is the reinforcing gusset at the connection between thumb and index finger. I’ve blown out dozens of gloves in this area, both on- and off-road. I have big, flexible hands and my hands seem to terrorize gloves in that location. The gusset on the Trailhands gloves prevents any stretching or blowout in that crucial spot, and I appreciate it. By nature of the way a MTBer grips their handlebars, this area is a weak spot on many other glove models. Good engineering, Pryme!

Amara palm, reinforcing gusset:

As I mentioned in my Ergon gloves review, I really need a soft nose-wiping surface on my gloves. The Pryme Trailhands have me covered…with an entire thumb covered in luxurious terry and not a rough seam in sight. Sheer snot-wiping bliss! What seams ARE located in this area are covered over with spandex piping, making them soft and scratch-free. Also, I like gloves with simple closures — a big flappy pull tab gets in the way and annoys me to no end. The Trailhands gloves are stretchy enough to fit snugly around my hands, and a simple, narrow pull tab is all that is needed to keep things secure.

Terry thumb, simple pull tab:

Does a bike commuter really NEED gloves? Perhaps not, at least not in the way that a mountain biker might. I like the added protection for my hands, although I don’t always wear gloves when I am riding. And, I do love something to wipe my nose on…keeping your hands clean on the way to work is always a plus as well. For a retail price of about $24.00, these gloves are reasonably priced for what they offer — a simple, grippy, light solution to basic hand protection.

Check out the rest of the Pryme accessories line by visiting their site…they even have a whimsical pair of basic bike gloves that ties in nicely with our “Zen and Bicycle Commuting” article yesterday!

Please click here to read our review disclaimer as required by the Federal Trade Commission.

BikeGlow Bicycle Lighting — Review

A few weeks ago, Chris Cobb of BikeGlow sent us a sample of their bicycle safety lighting to test. I’ve had a chance to install it, play with it and ride several nights with it.

bike glow

Powered by two AA batteries, this light kit is comprised of a ten-foot length of EL wire and quick-disconnect battery pack. The light functions in both steady and flashing modes. Included in the kit is a full roll of electrical tape. No mounting brackets are included…the electrical tape is meant to both seal the battery pack and to mount the light tube and battery pack to the bicycle. At very first, I was a bit taken aback by this mounting method, but quickly realized that it makes the light incredibly versatile…no brackets and a full roll of tape means that I can swap the BikeGlow from bike to bike as the mood strikes me!

I had some concerns about water resistance of the kit (I have an uncanny knack for getting caught in the rain), and asked Chris for his input:

One of the beauties of the tape, besides the ease of use and flexibility, is that you can literally wrap the whole battery unit and connector wire in tape. It then becomes completely weather resistant. The light [tube] itself is waterproof.

I haven’t tested the waterproofness of the light yet, but at some point I KNOW it’ll get soaked. I’ll report back if I have any problems with it.

Mounting is simple — simply wind the light tube around the bicycle’s frame, affixing it at a couple points with a strip of tape. Pick a place for the battery pack (the pack comes with a belt clip, too), tape it into place and plug the light tube into the pack. Done!

The flashing mode is more of a pulsing effect — and it catches the eye with a mesmerizing glow. The beauty of EL wire is that it can be used to outline pretty much any part of the bike you want…you could even use the BikeGlow tube to accent your body, your backpack, your panniers or whatever your heart desires. It is incredibly flexible stuff.

The light itself isn’t particularly bright — it doesn’t need eye-searing capabilities like rear blinkies or a headlight. However, it is amply bright enough to help motorists distinguish you as a bicycle in those crucial side-vision encounters nighttime cyclists face, where blinkies and headlights don’t offer much in the way of side visibility.

in action

BikeGlow comes in eight colors: aqua, blue, green, pink, purple, red, white and yellow, giving the color-coordinating cyclists among us the perfect color to accent our bikes. And, for the price of $24.95 for the kit, that’s a pretty good deal for adding some visibility to your night rides. I have been unable to test the battery life beyond running the light for about 8 30-minute nighttime commutes, but BikeGlow estimates that a pair of AA batteries will last 120 hours. Not bad at all!

For more information or to order your very own BikeGlow lighting system, please visit the BikeGlow website.