PRIMAL ONYX GLOVES
48g Medium (as tested) £15.00
The Primal Onyx Gloves are a simple but well-designed spring/summer staple. One that have performed equally well, on and off road. On their own, or paired with liner gloves, when the temperature’s struggled to hit double figures. Indeed, all round performance is superior some I’ve used, costing considerably more. Taking everything into account, I’m struggling to find any downsides.
Pros: “Everyman” design, low maintenance, Great performance on and off road
Cons: Check that the cut suits but otherwise, nothing given the price point.
Nothing out of the ordinary perhaps but a decent spec. “Pri-Flex” is Primal speak for an 80/20% Polyester/Spandex mix. This yarn also offers UV repelling SPF50 protection. Mesh panels between the fingers for improved ventilation, Terry thumb pads bode well for clammy brows and runny noses. Bold Primal logos add a welcome splash of colour to the backs. Low cut Velcro cuffs continue the sleek theme. Flipping them over reveals a faux suede palm.
These also feature distinctive “Tribal Tattoo” retro-reflective detailing, which have grown on me. Padding is EVA foam, rather than gel. Tried and tested rather than anything to drool over.
Nonetheless, it all seems up to the job. Stitching and general standards of construction are also uniformly good, with no hint of fraying, or shrinkage in several hundred miles and a few machine washes.
Modern “skin” mitts are snug by definition, and these are no exception. However, I’m pleased to report ours proved roomy enough for a liner type glove. Perfect for those changeable early Spring days/ late Summer evenings. Conditions where it’s a little chill for mitts, yet too mild for lined, full finger gloves.
A few years back, large was my default. Now I seem compatible with most brands’ medium. Being picky, the fingers could’ve been fractionally longer (I am blessed with long, willowy digits and slender wrists) but there’s a little “give” in the material, so on balance, the best fit. Something to consider if you fall between sizes, and are buying online.
Overall performance has been impressive. The palms offer excellent defence against persistent, low level vibration, regardless of handlebar covering. Admittedly, modern polymer and silicone wraps make a considerable difference. That said; I’ve alternated between EVA foam types, such as the Easton Pinline Foam Bar Tape, polymers, including Lizard Skins DSP 2.5 and silicones.
Purchase and control proved universally dependable, come rain, shine and indeed, hail. Inspiring confidence when pushing things hard, especially when tiredness has been encroaching toward the end of a long ride.
Talking of which, I’ve regularly ridden 50 odd miles, sometimes with extended detours along unmade roads. No hint of numbness or tingling at the sensitive ulnar region, or fatigue elsewhere around the palms.
Moisture management has also been consistently good, helped by mesh panelling at the fingers and the relatively thin Lycra backs. Drying times following a sharp shower are around twenty minutes or so, given a light breeze. The thumb pads, though less generous than some, are perfectly positioned for taming a runny nose, too.
I’ve tested ours in temperatures between 12 and 22 degrees. That scope for liner gloves, ensured their viability, when temperatures have slid to 10 degrees.
Obviously, quality and cut of the liners play a big part but to date, I’ve had no issues with bunching, or related discomfort. They’ve also provided some additional defence against brambles and other, prickly stuff, off road.
Thankfully, I’ve not taken a major tumble but several hundred miles in, and the Onyx gloves are still looking very sharp. No hint of fraying, or other degeneration. I’ve tossed them in the machine, three, or four times. I’d feared they had shrunk following the first 30-degree machine wash. However, gentle stretching restored their original shape, and size.
Fifteen quid represents superb value for money. I have some skin mitts commanding £20 more, which aren’t obviously superior. The Onyx are £5 cheaper than the otherwise excellent Tenn Global Eurosport GC Men’s Cycling Mitts , or the Santini Micro Mesh Gel Mitts, which are arguably their closest rivals.
True, the excellent Passport Crochet Back Cycling Mitts ooze retro cool and are also proving durable in the long term. However, there’s a slight weight penalty and though durable, leather palms require more care than their synthetic counterparts.
The Primal Onyx gloves have proven extremely competent staples. Overall performance is excellent, and the classic colour scheme will complement (or indeed contrast) most riding kit. Brilliant if you only want a single pair of mitts, for all occasions.