Just recently, my cycling mitts finally crumbled after years of hard use. I was thinking about getting myself a simple Decathlon’s cycling mitts when I stumbled upon Avelio, a budding local cycling glove brand, currently running an aggressive online marketing campaign. I thought to myself, why not give them a go?
Most of Avelio’s offerings are full-finger gloves. They only offered 2 mitts model with identical price point: Avelio Basic and Avelio Dash Fighter. Described as the one for those who prioritize speed, with coolmax material and oversized mesh for sweat-free palm, the latter seemed like the better option for me.
I deliberately chose the black-black color scheme, which gave it a subtle, simple fighting glove-look, because I’m not fans of huge AVELIO text on its outer back, which looks unnecessarily overbearing in other color schemes. Aesthetic design might not matter much, since I believe it is down to personal preference. More important question is, how well it performs?
The comfort and fit from spandex and coolmax combination, padding, and velcro closure are the features listed on Avelio Dash Fighter’s product description. There were more details on the actual product, however, including the snot patch as standard cycling gloves/mitts feature, additional textured layer on lower palm padding for improved grip, as well as simple reinforcement layer in middle fingers, which is useful to pull the mitts off.
I personally prefer elasticated waist combined with pull tab instead of velcro closure, but I don’t think it makes much difference; velcro closure is fine as long as it works, and it does work.
The absence of perforation holes on the palm, on the other hand, is surprising, given the fact that generous ventilation is its primary selling point. It is a small detail that Avelio seems to miss, though it is hardly a deal-breaker.
The stretchy coolmax mesh, to me, is the main highlight of the product. It is what gives Dash Fighter its precise fit as well as plenty of ventilation for sweat-free hands—two of its most highlighted features.
Detailed sizing guideline helped me came up with correct size. When it finally arrived, I found it looks much smaller than my previous mitts, to the point that I was worried it would be too tight, even cause numbs. The stretchy material, however, made the mitts fit comfortably to my hand; it made my old worn mitts flappy in comparison. Kudos to Avelio for its careful sizing.
The oversized mesh, in theory, should provide superb airflow and cooling for those hot day ride. Testing it with car air conditioner and small fan, I found negligible difference compared to my old mitts. After wearing it on actual ride, however, I found that the mesh does give a significant fresher feel on the hand compared to other mitts I have tried in the past. The mesh works very well, that I wondered why Avelio didn’t use it 100% on the back on the hand, for even better airflow and feel.
When I laid my hand on the mitts for the first time, I was concerned with its stiff palm material; I wondered if it would become an issue for long ride. Unlike my concern about the sizing, which was proven unfounded, the stiff palm material did pose a real problem.
Wearing it for the first time on a ride along smooth tarmac, I found the stiff material turned the upper palm padding into a wedge that hinders full grip on the handlebar, which wasn’t nice, but wasn’t a big problem either. When the road turned to steep climb, however, tighter grip on the bar turned the wrinkle around the padding into painful pinch, which made the climbing struggle unnecessarily harder than it was supposed to be.
Things went from bad to worse when the ride strayed to steep rough road—both uphill and downhill. The padding, which was supposed to take the sting off the road, stung the palm with agonizing pinch on every shock instead, to the point that it was nearly impossible for me to hold the bar for proper bike piloting—and to enjoy the supposedly fun ride. Just an hour of riding offroad left a red pinched mark on my upper palm for a day or two, which is serious.
After several days of use for gentle bike commuting, the material softened; the wedging and pinching problems faded, and the mitts became more comfortable, even though I could still feel it pinching when grunting up the steepest climbs.
There are reasons to love this product: the airy oversized coolmax mesh, the precise fit, as well as nice little details like snot patch, textured grip, and reinforced middle fingers, indeed, made a potentially nice mitts to ride with.
That being said, there’s one small niggle that held this product back. Comfort is paramount in cycling, and it is the one aspect where Avelio Dash Fighter lagged. Yes, the stiff material softened over time, and the wedging and pinching problem diminished without particular treatment, but I don’t remember my previous mitts having the same problem. I do think Avelio needs to give its palm material special attention to make sure their product works well, especially from comfort standpoint.
At IDR 119K (USD 8), it is on par with Chinese brand offerings, and much cheaper than ones from western established brands. It’s not a bad product—in fact it’ll feel nice, provided you give yourself time (and usage) to adapt to its material stiffness issue.
Pros: stretchy coolmax mesh gives precise fit and generous ventilation; little detailed features improves usability
Cons: discomfort from wedging/pinching issues on early use; huge AVELIO logo might not suit everyone’s taste
Overall rating: 3.5/5