The DBX 4.0 Windblocker gloves offer serious protection for your hands. Not only do they keep hands comfortable and firmly attached to the handlebars, they also offer a level of protection most mountain bike gloves do not, thanks to Armourgel armoring. But more on that later.
First, the basic stuff: the DBX 4.0 Windblocker gloves are designed to keep your hands warm during spring and fall rides. These aren’t thermal gloves so don’t expect to use them in the winter (unless you live in Georgia like I do), but they do offer excellent wind protection without feeling bulky or heavy. I’ve already found them to be a little too hot for some rides, so I probably won’t be wearing the DBX 4.0 Windblocker gloves this summer.
The DBX 4.0 Windblocker gloves utilize a suede-like material on the palms called “NanoGrip” and the material feels softer than baby hair, even on the inside of the gloves. And on the outside, this material works to provide excellent grip while allowing for maximum movement and dexterity. NanoGrip is even touchscreen-friendly, so you can use your phone with gloved hands without resorting to nose-dialing your buds to find them on the trail.
I ordered XL-size gloves based on sizing I’ve worn with other gloves, but these turned out to be a little large for my hands. So if you’re unsure about your size, consider going down a size for the best fit and to avoid bunching, which can cause calluses. Luckily, I haven’t had any issues but still, a slightly smaller size would probably be a better fit for me.
Now, onto the protection side of things. Leatt is known for offering serious protective equipment from neck braces to full-face helmets to pads, and the DBX 4.0 Windblocker gloves fit right into this model of protecting riders. These gloves are “CE tested and certified as personal protective equipment” thanks in part to special knuckle and finger protection made from Armourgel. I actually put the Armorgel knuckle protectors to the test at Interbike last year, forcibly punching a wood block with no ill effect. Trust me, it works!
Now, what might not be obvious is how knuckle and finger protection helps riders. After all, helmets, knee pads, and neck braces are designed to protect riders in the event of a crash. But who bangs up their knuckles in a crash? (Not saying it can’t happen, but it’s not an issue most riders will encounter.)
Actually, the finger protection is designed to guard against smacking your hands into trees and rocks as you whip through tight singletrack. Now this is definitely something I encounter fairly regularly, so having this added protection in a pair of gloves is a nice feature! The one tradeoff is that I have to be strategic about using my gloves as a snot rag–those protectors don’t feel good on the face.
The Leatt DBX 4.0 Windblocker gloves retail for $54.95 (the “Lite” version retails for $5 less) and are a good choice for riders looking for extra protection–from the elements AND from hand strikes. Not only that, they’re super comfortable and lightweight to boot.
Thanks to Leatt for providing the DBX 4.0 Windblock gloves for review.