I’ve said this before and I will say it again – there are two vital things I look for when shopping for new riding gloves: fit and comfort. I like my gloves to be snug, almost on the tight side. I can’t stand any extra material on either the fingertips or inside of the palm. If the inside of the glove (e.g. grip area) is too loose, it tends to give me bad calluses, especially when the gloves get wet from riding all day. I like to feel the handlebar grips in the palm of my hand, therefore I like the palm section of my gloves to be somewhat thin – one downside to thin palms is that they either wear out quicker or tear easily in crashes, but that’s a compromise I’m willing to live with in favor of comfort.
Judging from the looks, when I first got the gloves I thought they would be bulky – but once on my hand they felt real good! They felt snug, but not too tight, no extra material at the fingertip and just enough padding to protect your hand without being restrictive. My only problem was that little extra added round pad located on the outside of the palm. Like I mentioned above, I don’t like any thick padding on that area. I then decided to do a little surgical work and remove this pad from the inside of the glove – I did this by doing a little incision, removing the pad and closing it up with a few stitches! Not recommended by Dakine btw! But for me it made a difference in the feel of the grips. Instantly these gloves became favorites of mine. I’m a glove whore – I own a plethora of them. But this year I chose to wear the Cross X Gloves for all my riding.
Whether you ride XC, DS or DH: the Cross X Gloves works great for all disciplines. The terrycloth thumb is useful during those hot weather rides to wipe that sweat out of your eyes or during those cold morning trail rides to wipe those pesky snots. The breathable mesh blackpanel and Airprene wristcuff/kuckles make the Cross X Gloves a good choice for either summer or winter riding here in Northern California (Not sure about those mega cold Canadian winters though).
Love these gloves! They have a solid 15 months of riding time and are still going strong. The thumb area is starting to show some wear – might have to get a new pair later this summer. They come in a variety of colors and sizes. Dakine also offers a few more models – see their web site for more details.
Since these two packs are pretty similar, I decided to just group them into a single review. I’ve never like riding with a pack, but this was before getting the Dakine packs. Every one I’ve owned never stayed in place and felt uncomfortable after only a few miles into the ride. In my opinion a riding pack is an essential tool when doing long trail rides – especially if you’re like me and tend to do solo rides more often than group rides. Nothing is worse than being stuck in the deep back country with a mechanical and no tools to fix your ride - that or getting lost with no reserves such as food or water!
Both the Nomad and Apex pack share common features such as a 100oz Flowlock Reservoir, Molded back panel, dual density Dri-Mesh shoulder straps, front expandable pocket to carry a helmet, organizer pockets and a fleece lined pocket to carry sunglasses.
When compared to the Nomad, which has a volume of 1100 cu. Inches (19L), the Apex has a bigger cargo area with a volume of 1600 cu. Inches (26L) The Apex also has two mesh water bottle pockets and a few more straps to carry gear and/or body armor.
I’ve only used the bladder that came with the packs a handful of times. Not because it’s not a quality bladder, but simply because I never use 100oz of water on any given ride – even on 4-5 hour rides. The most I need is 50oz – so most of the time I use a smaller bladder I’ve had for a while. I know I could just use the 100z one and just put 50oz in it..but oh well! The times I’ve used the Flowlock bladder, it worked flawlessly. It didn’t leak while riding and it was easy to drink out of. The shut-off valve is pretty nice, especially when driving to and back from the trailhead. No risks of having your bladder accidentally empty itself on the back set of your car.
I use the Nomad for most of my riding since it’s just big enough to carry all essentials without being restrictive. In my pack I carry my water bladder, food, tools, spare tubes, C02 cartridges, car keys, wallet, and sometimes extra clothes. Even when fully loaded – the pack is still comfortable and simply doesn’t move when securely fasten via the shoulder straps and waist belt. I use the Nomad when I need to carry more gear – like DHing, hiking and traveling. Yes it works great on and off the bike!!
A pet peeve of mine with some packs I’ve used in the past is weak zippers. I know this may sound dumb for some, but if you’ve ever had to deal with wormed out or jammed zippers before, you know exactly what I mean. Well the zippers on the Apex and Nomad get my stamp of approval. They are super smooth and continue to operate smoothly even get dirty/muddy.
What could be improved? On the Nomad I would love to see the addition of a few more easy to reach stash pockets for things like energy gels, energy tablets, bars, etc.. Right now if you need anything you have to either take your pack off or ask one of your riding buddies to reach into your pack for you. Other than that I think the Nomad and Apex are well constructed, comfortable and stylish on and off the bike.Edit: A I was writing this review I got word from Dave at Dakine that for this year he already added a small pocket on the sidewall of the Nomad, which works great to store allen keys, cay keys, power bars etc..
For a while now I’ve been traveling with my bike at least once or twice per year – so I decided to get this nice Bike Bag. Ironically, last year I did all my road trips via car – even drove all the way to Whistler. So unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to use my bike bag :o\ I’m still going to mention it here since every biker that travels with their bike should own some sort of bike box. The Dakine Bike Bag it’s a nice piece of luggage that can fit a full DH, XC or Road bike.
The heavy duty EPE foam/ployethelene padding is sure to keep your bike safe during transit while the internal pockets will keep those spare parts or tools from moving around. Multiple carry handles + one retractable one + large sealed bearing wheels will help you moving thought those crowded airports.
The bag is 48” x 14” x 30” and weighs in at 16lbs. To prevent early wear and tear, the bag has abrasion resistant Hypalon panels, which are strategically located in high wear areas. Great way to protect your investment.
For years I’ve been lugging my gear in a non-wheeled bag. Let me tell you, when you’re trying to move through an airport and you have to drag your bike bag, gear bag and traveling pack – having wheels on some of those bags is essential. Dragging them on carpeted surfaces isn’t much fun.
Just like the Apex and Nomad, the Split Roller has great zippers, including a long one that allows you to swing open the top and expose three separate zippered compartments. The upper level compartments can be accessed either via the top zippers, located outside the bag, or from the inside. The bag has mesh dividers to help keep your equipment put when on the go. The only problem with that is if you use the top compartments so store dirty gear – then the grit might make it trough the mesh and make its way to the compartments with your clean clothes/gear. But if you’re like me and use garbage bags for your dirty stuff – this shouldn’t be a problem.
Just like the bike bag, the Split Roller gear bag has a retractable handle and high quality urethane wheels. The large bag has a volume of 7300 cu. Inches (120L) and is 32.5”x16”x14”, which makes it too large to be used as a “carry on item” during flights. There is also a small split roller bag which has a volume of 5500 cu. Inches (90L) and is 30”x14”x13”.
The bag is made from super sturdy nylon, which won’t rip on your first trip. Again, great solid construction as you would expect from Dakine. The addition of one or two smaller separate pockets on the top or side of the bag would be nice. Just some little added space to maybe store your flight tickets/itinerary, magazines, first aid stuff, etc. But other than that I have no complaints about this bag.
Dakine also offers a full line of clothing and accessories. Definitely check out their new 2006 line. You can never have too many riding Jersey’s – nuff said!
I would like to thank Dave Bisset at Dakine for being very helpful and patient during my gear selection. He took the time to answer all my questions/e-mails in a timely fashion. And even after pestering him with a gazillion questions, he was still kind enough to throw in a few extra freebies in the package. Needless to say he didn’t have to do that in hopes of swaying my opinion – Dakine gear is really that good! If you go to their web site at www.dakine.com
, click on Company Info and check out their history, you’ll see that they’ve been around for over 25 years! Just like good vino, it gets better with time. :o)