It’s cold here in Grand Junction. Below freezing, heck, below zero temps have plagued us for weeks on end. Snow that fell in December was still on the ground in late January. I have to wear gloves to drive to work, to lunch, and home after work. It’s cold.
Because it’s cold and snowy and because I don’t have a fat bike, my biking days were non-existent between December and February. To make matters worse, I have a new pair of gloves and helmet from Giro that are just calling out for the trail!
I did get a chance to wear the Xena gloves on a quick solo ride at the end of last season and they worked out great! Even though these gloves have mesh on the sides of the fingers for added breathability, they still kept my hands plenty warm. They also have a nice velcro wrist fastener to keep out drafts.
The best part though, for those of us who just can’t stop taking photos with our phones or who have to answer every text, even when we’re on the trail, is the built-in touch-screen technology. This also works with my Apple Magic Mouse at work. Yes, sometimes it’s so cold at my desk that I have to wear gloves. These Xena gloves fit so well I can type, with them on, without too many errors.
That’s not really the point of these gloves though. They need to be worn on trails! They need to get dirtier!
So how do the Xena gloves compare to the LA DND gloves from Giro I reviewed earlier? The LA DND gloves were a little warmer I think, but lacked any way to tighten the cuff. For me this wasn’t a big deal, but for smaller-framed women, like my friend Adelle, having a way to tighten the cuff around a small wrist is a nice benefit. The LA DND gloves also do not have touch-screen compatibility.
I like both the Xenas and LA DNDs so far. I’d like to try them both out a few more times before deciding on a “favorite,” but they both fit so well and have so many great features like breaks at the knuckles and plenty of padding, I’m sure they’ll take the top two spots in my bike glove rotation this season.
Giro also sent me a new Xara bike helmet which, after a few crashes with my old lid this past season, I was in desperate need of.
Admittedly I ran into some difficulty with sizing at first. Of course if you were shopping at your local bike shop you’d be able to try the helmet on and determine which size would fit best. I measured (apparently not very well) and ordered the medium, which turned out to be way too big. The small, though, fits just right! The Roc Loc 5 Plus retention system makes adjusting the helmet very easy and the visor is a feature I like very much. It’s a personal preference, but there are more low pinyon limbs around here than you’d think and I like having the visor for a bit of extra protection against those.
I also love the color scheme on this helmet. It’s more feminine than a black and silver or white and silver helmet, but not overly so. It also comes in white with yellow accents and black with pink accents.
I’m really excited to get out on the trails with this new helmet. It may be a little while but eventually I’ll be able to “trail test” it and provide even more information about the helmet and its pros and cons. Stay tuned for warmer temps and more rides from the Western Slope!
Thanks to Giro for providing the gloves and helmet for review.