Gear Review: FXR Attack Lite Glove
Mountain Sledder | On 01, Feb 2017
A thin glove is what you need for riding in the mountains. Sure, those wool-stuffed leather gauntlets that go all the way up to your elbow are nice when you’re gassing up at -30°C in Edmonton. But not when you’re on the pipe, holding on for dear life and desperately trying to avoid pinballing off trees as you charge uphill with a hope and a prayer. That’s what mountain riding is; and for that you need a tight tolerance between your hands and your only set of controls. For that, FXR makes the Attack Lite Glove.
FXR Attack Lite Glove
FXR’s Attack Lite Glove looks built tough. It’s hard to say what kind of durability it will have after a full season of use, but after several days of riding there’s no reason to think that the glove will suffer. It’s got a nylon shell on the back of the hand that looks and feels pretty bomber. There is some knuckle protection in the form of thin padding on the outermost knuckle areas, which comes in handy when you don’t quite make it past that tree when you’re boondocking.
The glove has an under-cuff style wrist, which I prefer (a gauntlet style is also available). And the cuff features an adjustment strap that makes it easy to put on and remove, and helps the glove stay in place when secured. The plastic buckle also helps to prevent your jacket cuffs from riding up.
FXR uses the Hipora brand waterproof-breathable membrane in the Attack Lite Glove. It is designed to work in the same way as the more well-known Gore-Tex, but at less cost. In any case, we did not experience any wetness with the gloves in the cold, dry snow conditions that we’ve had so far this winter.
The Attack Lite may be thin, but it’s not totally devoid of insulation. In fact, it sports 100g of Thinsulate on the back of the hand and on the outside of the thumb and fingers where it’s needed. In practice, that’s good enough for all-day riding in average winter temperatures in Interior BC. During cold snaps—like we were subject to back in December—the Attack Lite feels warm enough while actively riding or moving about. But when the mercury hits the deck, you’ll probably want to pack a slightly warmer glove for the trail or sitting around at lunch.
On the inside, a microfleece liner feels comfortable against the skin. I can’t say how it performs for wicking moisture, as I’m not one of those sweaty palms kinda guys (thank goodness).
As always, good fit and size is crucial for riding gear—so it’s best to try before you buy when possible. If that’s not an option for you, at least be aware that the Attack Lite runs a little on the small side. I have long fingers and most XL sized gloves are pretty snug on my hands. I tried the Attack Lite 2XL and I find it fits more like many XL gloves that I’ve worn, so I would recommend going a size up from your usual. Snug is good for control, but tight will lead to poor circulation and cold hands.
The Attack Lite is built with pre-curved fingers, which is a crucial feature for snowmobilers. The fingers are shaped into a natural curve just like the shape of your relaxed hand. This means that less effort is required to hold on to the bars because you’re not working against the resistance of the fabric when you’re holding the bars all day.
The gripping half of the glove is thinner than the exterior, which is helpful for maintaining crucial contact with the handlebar, brake lever and throttle lever. The palm is constructed of a synthetic leather material and the fingers are covered with a silicone outline for good grip. It feels tacky in all conditions.
The glove comes with a rubber goggle wiper on the outside of the index finger. It’s a neat idea, and the wiper is nice and soft when your gloves are warming by the fire. But once you get them out in the cold, the wiper stiffens up considerably and I wouldn’t risk scratching my goggle lens with them. That said, I’m pretty meticulous with the care of my goggle lenses so I’m always sporting goggle bag cloth handy anyway, which probably works better.
The backside of the thumb is dressed up in suede, which is easy on the nose when wiping away cold weather drips.
The FXR Attack Lite Glove has some great features, and it contends well in the group of gloves that mountain riders tend to prefer. It’s a glove that’s thin enough for good control but still sports enough insulation for active riding in moderate temperatures. It’s got a waterproof membrane, which is an absolute must for mountain riders. And, perhaps best of all, at C$89.99 the glove is priced at $30 less than similar gloves from other manufacturers.