Endura's full-finger Hummvee Lite Icon gloves are lightweight options that go big on maximising contact, grip and control. In fact, they're so good, they even bear the signature of stunt bike supremo Danny MacAskill. But anybody looking for cushioning and weatherproofing will be disappointed.
I might not have his fame or product endorsements – and certainly not his bike-handling skills – but thanks to Endura, I at least now have bike-stunt master Danny MacAskill's full-finger gloves. Endura proudly proclaims that the Icon is 'the glove of choice of MacAskill, Kris Kyle, the Athertons and Hazzard Racing'. But is a product favoured by extreme sports stars ideal for everybody?
Let's start with the good news. That man MacAskill isn't going to put his name to any old bit of kit, and the Lite Icons are fantastic when it comes to enhancing the relationship between rider and handlebar. Grip is superb thanks to their ultra-thin construction and silicone prints on the palm and first two fingers, and the feeling of connection is excellent.
Unfortunately for anybody wanting a pair of gloves to provide extra cushioning, the way the Lite Icons go about achieving their awesome performance is by excluding absolutely any padding on the palm: there's nothing more than the synthetic leather between hand and bar grip. That said, I actually found the Icons were surprisingly comfortable in use.
Part of the reason for that is because fit is so good. I don't have huge hands but I've been wearing a pair of XLs and they're perfectly snug. They're simple elasticated pull-on affairs – no wrist straps or Velcro – but these are one of the few pairs of gloves you'll use where you can just about extract bits from a multi-tool without needing to remove them first.
When it comes to more general abilities, breathability is good. The mesh fabric used on the back of the hand is already thin, while laser-cut perforations on the palms help to keep those areas sweat-free, too. The downside is that the Icons offer little in the way of weatherproofing – they're not too bad at keeping wind out, but they'll get soggy quickly in rain.
Also, I have to point out that thanks to their mesh construction, the backs are going to come off worse in any fight with Velcro (how many treasured bits of kit have you have knackered by the dreaded micro-hooks?). One brief encounter with my rucksack's phone holder resulted in some threads being pulled.
And talking about electronic devices, it's a shame the Lite Icons don't have any touchscreen-friendly provision. You're going to have to whip them off if you want to tweet the the video of that gnarly backflip you just did. They do have a terry cloth thumb for sweat and drippy noses, though – which suggests MacAskill may be human after all.
Most full-finger gloves are designed to protect hands from inclement weather – quite obvious, when you think about it – so it's hard to compare the Hummvee Lite Icons with much else. However, we have tested Specialized's Grail Long Finger gloves which offer some of the same features for £35. And if you want to spend big bucks, the Hirzl Grippp Tour FF 2.0s offer premium quality and premium grip for £55. In short, then, the Enduras seem like fantastic value.
Endura's Hummvee Lite Icon Gloves are specialised kit that are extremely good at what they set out to do. If grip and feel is your ultimate desire, the ringing endorsement of the world's best trials and stunt riders would suggest there is little better. But it's also only fair to point out that if the open road or trail is your normal playground – rather than the bike park or precarious mountain ridge – you'll probably want something with a wider range of talents.
Fantastic gloves for riders who demand exact control – for weatherproofing and padding look elsewhere
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura Hummvee Lite Icon Glove
Size tested: XL
Tell us what the product is for
This is a lightweight glove designed to maximise grip and contact feel. Endura says: "Danny MacAskill's favourite glove EVER! As the glove of choice of Danny MacAskill, Kris Kyle, the Athertons and Hazzard Racing, the calibre of the Hummvee Lite is undisputable. The lightweight, minimal construction delivers a great fit and max bar feel and isn't short on durability. We understand that some people want as much connection with their bike as possible. That's why we have made these gloves with zero padding on the palm, delivering exceptional bar feel, whilst still being thankful for the layer of protective fabric covering your skin during the occasional spill."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
4-way stretch, breathable lightweight mesh backhand
Pull-on stretch cuff
Durable synthetic leather palm with laser cut perforations for ventilation
Zero padding for maximum dexterity and bar feel
Silicone print palm and fingertips for grip
Terry sweat wipe on thumb
Despite their lightweight nature, they're very nicely put together.
Fantastic performance when it comes purely to holding the bar securely. Not so good if you're looking for other abilities, such as padding and weatherproofing.
I'd say these are fairly delicate and not really intended to protect your hand over and over again if you skid down the road multiple times. My test pair are already showing war wounds after some minor skirmishes with Velcro.
Really fantastic fit – calling them a second skin might be a cliché but it's true.
I ended up with XL fitting me perfectly, although I don't think my hands are actually extra-large. So go bigger than you expect.
Can't really get much lighter for full-finger gloves.
Again, really good despite having no padding. You don't need padding! Who knew?
Specialized's Grail Long Finger gloves offer some of the same features for £35. If you want to spend big bucks, the Hirzl Grippp Tour FF 2.0 offer premium quality and premium grip for £55. Which means, at under £20, the Enduras are fantastic value.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy: stick them in the washing machine at 30 degrees (make sure there's nothing with Velcro in there as well), then put on the radiator to dry.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a conduit for better purchase on the bar and a product to maximise control, they can't be faulted. As an all-round glove to protect your hands, not so good.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Grip, weight, comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
They offer next to no protection against the weather.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
There's no question the Hummvee Lites do what they set out to do supremely well and at a fantastic price. However, this is a product aimed at a very specific function. Giving them full marks would be a bit ridiculous when they don't offer anything like the kind of general protection that most people buying a pair of full-finger gloves would be looking for.
About the tester
I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29 My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Leisure