Home Fitness & Exercise Leatt MTB1.0 GripR gloves – Review

Leatt MTB1.0 GripR gloves – Review

Leatt MTB GripR 1.0 glove

Mountain bike gloves are about protection, but also ‘feel’. Lance Branquinho tried a pair that offers a balance between these two requirements: the Leatt MTB 1.0 GripR gloves.

Riding gloveless isn’t clever. Your hands are a contact point, and when you crash, the instinct is to put a ‘hand out’, to brace your fall. And if a glove does not protect that hand, you will suffer an avoidable abrasion injury.

Key product features

  • Construction: MicronGrip
  • Sizes: S-XL
  • Touchscreen-friendly material: Yes

Reason for purchase

Although South African riding conditions vary between warm and sweltering, with that latter making gloves uncomfortable to wear, you should always ride with hand protection.

Like some purist mountain bikers, I have ridden ‘gloveless’. Yes, it feels freer, and maybe there’s a touch more lever feel when you brake. But I have also suffered agonizing palm scrapes from crashing with ungloved hands.

I decided to try gloves from South African motorcycle and mountain biking protection specialist, Leatt. Due to their slim design, these Leatt MTB 1.0 GripR gloves promise to feel more ‘natural’.

Riding with the Leatt MTB 1.0 GripRs

Mountain bike gloves generally segment into two design types: heavily padded and slim.

Gloves with more padding feel less natural and never truly form to your hands’ shape. They do offer better crash protection, though. Conversely, slim gloves will tear easier and don’t offer the same calibre of impact strike protection, but they offer much better finger dexterity.

Despite being slip-on gloves, without an adjustable cuff, I found the Leatt MTB 1.0 GripR gloves comfortable from my first ride. After a month, they had completely reshaped to my fingers, and there were times when it felt like I was riding gloveless. Brake lever modulation and trail feedback through the handlebar grips are very tactile.

I haven’t crashed with them, so I can’t vouch for the impact protection.

What we like about them

These Leatt mountain bike gloves’ best feature is that they don’t feel like gloves.

The slim design and expert cut make it feel like you are wearing the most minimalist gloves. And for some riders (myself included), this delivers the most natural riding feel and trail feedback through the handlebar grips.

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The inside thumb section features a coarser material wipe-pad, which is handy for clearing nasal drip. You can also use the wipe pad to clean riding eyewear.

Leatt’s gloves feature device-friendly fingertips, and I found it easy to use my smartphone’s basic functions.

Can Leatt improve the GripR gloves?

Not really. These gloves are superbly comfortable and lightweight. Are they going to last many seasons? No. That’s the sacrifice in durability for having such a tactile feel, with thin material. They could also breathe a little better on extremely hot riding days.

Conclusion and score

If you values the tactile feel of your handlebar grips, shifter trigger and brake levers, these Leatt gloves do a great job of not numbing finger feel.

At R500, they aren’t cheap, but by mountain bike accessory standards they are reasonably priced.

The Leatt MTB 1.0 GripR long finger gloves rate 4 out of 5.

4.0 out of 5.0 stars
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