Icon has made a name for itself with splashy, innovative designs, but I’ve always wondered how durable their products are; particularly those items that aren’t at the top of the price range. I wondered whether product quality suffers when the item is economically priced.
One Icon product I’ve had in use since 2011 is a pair of Twenty-Niner riding gloves. Indeed, the Twenty-Niner glove is the Icon glove product line’s economy model with an MSRP of only $35.00.
The Twenty-Niner glove has been in the Icon product line since 2008 and is motocross-inspired in design, but is a street-specific lightweight riding glove. That is not to say these gloves couldn’t be used in off-road applications, but street riders are the target market. I didn’t use the gloves in any off-road situations, but they have seen a lot of use in street riding and some touring.
The Twenty-Niner glove has pre-curved palm and finger design, thermoplastic rubber knuckle armor, and a hook and loop wrist closure. When I got the gloves, one thing I noticed was that the hook and loop was really delicate looking. The material seemed finer and lighter than is common in many motorsports applications. It made me wonder if the hook and loop material would still be able to hold the wrist closure securely in a year. Nearly four years later, to my pleasant surprise, it does still work well.
The Twenty-Niner glove has an abrasion resistant premium grade goatskin palm. The palm doesn't have any gel padding in it, which I don’t mind since some gloves I’ve had with gel padding have it in the wrong place and it can tend to be more irritating than comfort enhancing.
There is patterned stitching in the heel of the palm area, which is not noticeable when the glove is in use in terms of feeling any pressure points on the palm when holding the grips. It was in this area of the glove where a very small thread raveling has occurred, but since the stitching doesn’t join any glove components together, there is no seam separation—only a very small bit of loose thread. It occurred on only one glove—the other shows no sign of it.
The backhand of the glove includes hi-flow mesh textile material which does ventilate well, so the gloves are cooler than solid leather gloves on a hot day. The seams between all the textile parts of the glove and the leather tend to be areas that fail in hard use. Areas of the glove where the seam is put in tension and must bend or fold with the grip of the rider usually are the first to go. These are areas such as the side seams of the fingers and the base of the thumb where it meets the palm. In the case of these Twenty-Niners, neither glove has any seam separations or failed stitching in those areas or any others, with the exception of the ones noted on the palm.
The Twenty-Niner glove is available in black, blue, red and yellow, and sizes range from men’s small to 4XL. Size runs true to the size chart on the website (at least in my case) and the gloves are comfortable for all-day riding with the inner finger seams being only slightly noticeable after wearing them for extended periods.
For more information on the Twenty-Niner riding glove and other Icon riding gear, see: http://www.rideicon.com/