Review: Fox Ascent Gloves

Jul 4, 2018 at 1:55
by Alex Evans  
Fox Ascent Gloves. Photo Alex Evans


The Ascent glove is Fox's answer to those who are looking for a set of minimalistic gloves that feel like a second skin rather than a pair of clumpy oven mitts. Fox claims this is their lightest glove, and at 34 grams for the pair we're inclined to believe them. The goatskin leather palm certainly makes the gloves stand out from the crowd and Fox says that the leather's properties create comfort, grip, and durability.

The back of the glove features a discrete, embossed 'Fox' logo made from a rubberized plastic and the cuff has a ribbed Fox Head logo on the underside.

Fox Ascent Details
• Goatskin leather palm
• 4-way stretch Lycra back
• Touch screen compatible
• Colors: black, green, blue
• Weight: 34 grams (a pair, size medium)
• MSRP: $44.95 USD
www.foxracing.com
The cuff is mid-length, sitting just above the wrist. The back of the glove is made from 4-way stretch Lycra, that is indeed very stretchy. The thumbs and index fingers have conductive threads sewn in so that you can use a touchscreen without removing them. Fox's Ascent glove retails for $44.95 USD or £35.


Fox Ascent Gloves. Photo Alex Evans
The conductive thread is stitched into the leather on both the index finger and thumb.
Fox Ascent Gloves. Photo Alex Evans
A minimalistic design that's perfect for those wanting a 'no gloves' feel.


Construction

People who love the minimalist feel of riding bare handed but also want some protection and grip when things get sweaty or wet will feel right at home with this set of gloves. Their backs and palms are exceptionally thin to help cope with overheating and the material's thinness is key to that nearly-naked feeling.

The gloves' palms are shaped to the fit your hand and the leather doesn't have much stretch, so choosing the correct size is key for a great fit. The palm is all one piece, but the back, thumb, and side of the thumb are made up of three different bits of material. The stitching between each panel is internal, maintaining that sleek look.

The embossed logos are a nice touch, and in black they are particularly discrete. The gloves feature a small micro-fiber pannel on the outside of the thumb that'll cope with small amounts of sweat or some goggle cleaning.


Fox Ascent Gloves. Photo Alex Evans
Fox Ascent Gloves. Photo Alex Evans
Although the leather looks shiny and smooth, there's plenty of grip and serious levels of comfort.


Performance

The Ascent gloves' sleek feel is apparent as soon as you get your hands on and in them - it's like being transported into a new dimension (of glove wearing, at least). They're exceptionally comfy from the get-go and Fox's claims of a "barely there" feel are certainly true. Wrap your hands around a handlebar and the goatskin palm emulates the feeling of being gloveless so much so that it's liberating. As a barrier between your grips and hands, the unique feel of the leather is worth every penny or cent of the Ascent's price – okay, they might not make you 10-seconds faster but they parallel levels of feedback that are normally reserved for gloveless and daring individuals.

I was initially concerned that the leather palm would become as slippery as an ice rink when wet – a common problem for those with sweaty palms or people who live in wet climes. Luckily, this fear didn't hold true and the gloves remained as grippy and comfortable as they were when they were dry. Talking of being sweaty, I didn't notice the gloves being any hotter than traditionally-made synthetic-palmed models, however, as a bonus, the leather palm did away with any discomfort normally associated with hot, long and sticky rides.

These gloves have become one of my favourite bits of riding kit, period. They do away with the dilemma of worrying about hurting your hands in a crash when in search for the next-level feedback from your bike that only going gloveless can offer. This unparalleled performance is thanks to their leather palm and lightweight construction.


Fox Ascent Gloves. Photo Alex Evans
Fox Ascent Gloves. Photo Alex Evans
Subtle logos are the order of the day.


Issues

Do not wash these gloves! This can't be expressed enough. The label stitched inside the gloves' cuff does clearly rule out machine washing, tumble drying, dry cleaning, ironing or bleaching. Heed those instructions, and disobey them at your peril.

I washed the gloves in the washing machine once to check on the effects, should you do this erroneously. They fended off the onslaught of washing powder and fabric softener well, but I wouldn't recommend caring for the gloves in this way indefinitely due to the thin material. You can hand wash them in warm water, and this has worked well for me since their foray into the washing machine.

Pinkbike's editors have heard a few reports of longevity issues, but after several months of hard riding and careless cleaning, my pair are yet to show signs of rips, tears or damage.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesIf you're looking for a pair of sleek, grippy and comfortable gloves, the Fox Ascent should be at the top of your list. They're as close as you can get riding without any gloves at all, and the leather palm's performance and feel is unlike any synthetic material I've tried. These are a seriously good glove, just be careful when you're washing them.Alex Evans







129 Comments

  • 162 3
 They will finish off my gimp outfit nicely.
  • 7 5
 As I scroll down needing a good laugh knowing someone would come up with suttin funny.Sir,you did not disappoint.
  • 5 0
 There is no pocket to store a watch but I am sure you will figure something out
  • 4 0
 @Lo-J: That's what pocket watches were invented for...
  • 3 0
 Dr Strangelove would certainly wear these.
  • 1 0
 Nailed it.
  • 2 0
 @Lo-J: 10/10
  • 48 7
 All the Fox gloves I've owned have fallen apart very quickly.
  • 30 2
 ALL the gloves I've owned have fallen apart very quickly. Are there any gloves that actually last? The finger stitching always goes on mine — maybe it's my big sausage fingers...
  • 7 1
 Bought two sets of XL flexairs last summer. Seemed nice until I tried to get them on. They were smaller than a medium of any other glove I've had, I could barely get them on my hand. While they did stretch in a bit eventually one of them ripped before I got to my bike. All the stitching in the fingers came out on both sets after 2-3 runs. Absolute shite.
  • 4 0
 @fox one time wear for life gully status.
  • 4 1
 @jamieridesbikes: even with pretty thin hands, thumbs says hello within a week.
  • 8 1
 @tamallama: Endura! they're really good, I was so stupid to try something different:
I loved my fox ascent till they got ripped apart, it was a good half year of intense use. My sidewinders are also decaying fast Frown
no more fox for me!
  • 5 1
 I bought 2 pairs of Dirt Paw gloves a few seasons ago... Both fell apart within 3 rides. The cuff separated from the glove body on both. It's a pity as I love all other fox products.
  • 9 0
 Giro's DND the have lasted me 2 years and they are still running. The only glove I would consider part the aforementioned are the Hirz Grippp, which have a kangaroo leather palm…
  • 3 0
 @t-stoff: I've just destroyed a pair of Endura Hummvee Lite gloves (finger stitching) — they lasted 9 months, which is actually pretty good compared to others. Going to try Endura Hummvee Plus or some Giro DND gloves next.
  • 7 10
 the only gloves that I have owned that haven’t fallen apart quickly were older editions of troy lee SE gloves. Each pair lasted me for 2+ years. The rest lasts a year. Apart from Giro which started falling apart after no more than 5th ride
  • 5 1
 @tamallama: TLD? i used to use fox, i feel TLD lasts longer in the stitching
  • 11 0
 @tamallama: I buy moto gloves and jerseys. Cheaper and far more durable.
  • 5 0
 @tamallama: I bought a set of Kitsbow gloves at Christmas for $35, and they've held up very well. I don't love them in a soaking rain, but I try to avoid riding in that anyways. Quality is there for sure!

To the topic at hand... I don't understand how these are minimalist gloves and they cost more than full weight gloves...
  • 5 0
 @tamallama: I've had a pair of Giro DNDs for nearly 6 years now, and the finger stitching is just now busting. Given, I don't always wear gloves, but they definitely have some mileage.
  • 2 0
 @jamieridesbikes: yea, cant believe how small they fit. Generally I wear xl, with fox I believe I need 3xl.
  • 2 0
 Well I’ve had the opposite experience with TLD Ace gloves. Now that’s minimalistic garbage!!
  • 1 0
 @jamieridesbikes: I returned the Flexairs because I couldn't get them on, and they also felt cheap. But mostly Fox has been all right by me. I had a pair of Dirt Paws that lasted 10 years or so. I also had another pair of Fox glove (forget the model -- maybe Rangers?) that lasted just as long. I had a really good pair last year that fit excellently, but I lost them, to my dismay. Went to replace them, but the fit these days seem inconsistent -- one pair of dirt paws is too tight, the next too big, and they're supposedly the same size.
  • 3 0
 @tamallama: Mechanics Gloves. Those things rip on you.
  • 2 0
 @tamallama: my aplogies. The company name is “Mechanix Gloves”
  • 1 0
 I've had good luck with TLD Sprint and Seven (MX) Zero gloves. Everything else falls apart.
  • 2 0
 @tamallama: I have got a 2 year old pair of DNDs which are going strong, and also a pair of Endura Singletracks which are a year old and doing great.
My fox gloves have fallen apart very quickly.
  • 3 0
 For me, TLD Air lasted two seasons, Fox Sidewinder lasted two rides and the stitches started to come apart at the fingers and they were not undersized.
  • 1 0
 Dainese here, after 3 years and a dozen washes incl. tumbling still looking good. But more on the sweaty side of things
  • 1 0
 @Vulhelm yeh I find this, they also have to much material in the palm area, meaning they bunch up under your palm when holding into the bars - you can visibly see these gloves reviewed will likely have the same issue.

Best gloves I've used for fit, feel and durability are Thor gloves and I couldnt recommend them enough, only brand I will buy now! I have a pair still going strong after 2 1/2 years of frequent riding and crashes, they haven't stretched heaps after the first couple of rides like Fox tend to as well.

Other honourable mentions for brands I've tried are Dakine and Dainese. Biggest fails were One Industries and 661
  • 1 0
 @tamallama: pow gloves shame they don’t make mtb gloves anymore
  • 1 0
 Thanks for all the suggestions. I've ordered some DNDs to try and I sewed up the fingers of the Endura Hummvee Lite's.
  • 26 2
 Goat skin??
Are you kidding me?
  • 7 3
 I know right with all synthetic material available nowdays
  • 2 0
 love this
  • 8 0
 “Kidding” very funny... goat... kid... tip of the hat.
  • 6 0
 Climbs like a goat, descends like a demon!
  • 20 1
 From what part of Minnaars body exactly?!
  • 3 0
 What were they thinking? Pretty terrible choice considering the other options out there.
  • 4 4
 @Audican: better they make gloves out of goat skin rather than a synthetic material as it is likely kinder to the environment than manufacturing a synthetic equivalent. Also the goat skin is just going end up being made into burgers otherwise..
  • 3 0
 @Will-McCurrach: Very true. Although PB obv doesn't like reality, based on the downvotes.
  • 10 0
 I bought these and really liked them, right about until they got any sort of moisture contact. If you're sweating a lot or riding in wet conditions, the leather becomes slick and all grip is lost. At least this was my experience, seems like Alex didn't have this issue.
  • 7 2
 I found that when my hands (and therefore gloves) were wet with either sweat or moisture, the gloves were grippier than just bare hands on the bars. They're maybe not as grippy as a synthetic material when wet but then they don't bunch, become uncomfortable or feel like you're wearing a giant wet fish! Cheers!
  • 1 0
 Couldnt also been your grips selection that made the difference. I know the common specialized lock on semi waffle grip gets so slippery when wet. No matter what glove youre wearing.
  • 10 1
 A glove review where their should be US National Champs coverage. What gives PB?
  • 1 1
 Of course an American only cares about the US national championships. What about the Ugandan champs? learn some culture dick
  • 1 0
 @Joelukens00: You're right! I'm ashamed of myself
  • 1 0
 No, we need another promotional video from new shredder ____ instead.
  • 6 0
 Leather and MTB gloves dont work. Ask Giro owners how well their fancy leather palmed gloves lasted ... I can tell you. Not very.
  • 4 0
 Fox glove sizing has gone wonky. I used to fit in their XL’s “like a glove”. Now the webs in between the fingers is way too small. XXL kinda fits with the web, but the wrist sizing is huge. Gotta find something else, which sucks because I loved the Ranger glove.
  • 3 0
 I have the same problem! Normally, the Ranger gloves fit perfectly in XXL, now they are to small and i can not strech my fingers anymore. The most other brands are to small.
  • 5 0
 The closest you can get to crashing without a glove on......with a glove on. They do feel amazing but after my first off they were toast. But they are called ascent soooo.
  • 1 0
 i have a pair and was wondering what would happen when i do a random gravity check. i still have to find out. Frown
  • 3 0
 I have been having issues lately with how non-protective gloves have become! I have been wearing Fox sidewinders for about a decade, going through their various iterations. I was always satisfied with the level of protection and feel (hence why I kept going back). With the latest model they released I went through 2 pairs in 6 months. Winning 6 stitches on the palm of my hand in my last crash with them...

I am now back on a older pair that s almost falling apart while looking for an alternative...
  • 5 0
 I have a friend who's destroyed two pairs...from just wearing them. thanks but no thanks.
  • 3 0
 Whats the point to buy these gloves or any at these price That you can brag here, that you have them 4 usd Chinese gloves work for me anyday same quality same cost to produce 1 usd
  • 6 0
 Will it match my shoes?
And purse?
I mean fanny pack?
  • 1 0
 I was wondering what color your stuff is? I have had similar questions and thought maybe we could collaborate? Feel free to message me Smile
  • 2 0
 Been mountain biking for 25 years and Fox full finger gloves used to be my go to gloves... in the pat it was usually the synthetic leather that would tear through and that always meant a set of new Fox gloves. Recently though, there are 2 problems for me: 1 - under wrist closure (always opens on its own), 2 - poor stitching - gloves coming apart at the seams. Giro DNDs have been good and long lasting... in general I like the Giro gloves now more than Fox. NEVER buy leather gloves for mountain biking - can't wash them... well guess what happend when you get caught in heavy rain while riding - the gloves are never the same after that.
  • 6 1
 Home Depot, wide selection of gloves ranging for $10 to $20.
  • 10 0
 When you’ve got a kitchen to fit under the road gap.
  • 3 0
 $50 for gloves?!? c'mon you gotta be kidding me. Whoever buys these at retail price is nothing but a chump.
  • 8 3
 @telemarc67: i heard from a pinkbiker millenial at the 99% anti Trump pro bernie rally that dentists buy boxes of these to use during their work.
  • 2 0
 I've owned a bunch of different work gloves for car projects. To me they are great for projects and ok for riding. Many are thick on the back and don't breathe well, some are too thick in the palm and don't have good feel, some have a strange fit that can bunch up, some are made too cheaply. Some mechanics gloves are indeed good. The Mechanix Original is nice, and the close knockoffs from HD or Lowes. But a Fox Ranger is about the same price ($25 retail) as many decent mechanics gloves, fits nicer, and is much lighter and more breathable.
  • 1 0
 They will likely breath a lot better too.
  • 1 0
 @showmethemountains: I can find mechanix originals for cheaper than that, and they always seem to last significantly longer than any mountain bike glove. I've never tried the Ranger, but it would have to be better made than every other one I've tried (including several from Fox), and also cheaper than those, on average, as well. Seems unlikely, but I may give it a shot, just out of curiosity.
  • 1 0
 @jayacheess: All fair points. I don't think the Fox Rangers I'm using are better made than my Mechanix gloves; probably the opposite really. But the price of any cheap gloves isn't much so I'd rather trade off the extra $5-10 to get what are better riding gloves for my preferences, with tighter elasticized fit and much better breathability (crucial in 105°F+ summers!)
  • 4 0
 I slid my hands on the ground after a crash with these on, palms ripped right off.
  • 2 1
 just returned mine to backcountry. nice gloves but for 45 bucks they shouldn't be ripping at the seams on the first ride. for another 5 bucks you can get the kitsbow ones which are probably the best out there, although the fit is a little odd.
  • 2 0
 I bought these and wore them once - hated the feel. Feels like you're wearing a thick trash bag and from my experience they didn't breath well at all. My hands felt claustrophobic if that makes sense...
  • 1 0
 Wanted to like these gloves. IMO, not many synthetic materials can supply the feel as well as the durability that a properly treated leather can for something like a glove. These gloves do feel amazing but, the downfall, the leather traps water inside the glove so your hands just float around as the gloves become filled with sweat/rain/water. I live in a very humid/hot area, the gloves are some of the best gloves I've worn but only for about 30 minutes, then I have had to take them off and stow them.
Switched back to my old gloves but will wear these when it gets cooler.
  • 3 0
 I have been using baseball batting gloves (I prefer Franklin) for a long time now for the good feedback of thin leather and good construction quality.
  • 2 0
 Can,t ride barehanded , did a short Duro race last week and climbed with no gloves.What a mistake could barely keep my grip. My hand sweat way too much so I will stick with gloves.
  • 1 0
 Must have madd watts bro. Couldn't hang on climbing! dizamm
  • 1 0
 I have 2 pairs that I've ridden past year. They are XL and I have average hands for a guy 6'1". After cold washing and hang dry, they looks like raisins, and they also shrink. The result is my hands started going numb from the ringers being too short and you can't loosen the cuff. Once of them is starting to pull apart at the seam.

It is pretty typically Fox softgood - feels and looks great in the store, but not durable in the long run. Go a size up and get them on sale, YMMV.
  • 2 0
 Goat skin and hot summer days doesn’t seem like the right combo to me,I’m stoked on my Dakine ventilator’s but if I’m getting fox gloves it’s going to be the attacks cause my hands sweat too easily!
  • 1 0
 These have been reviewed before and there are always people complaining about what happens to them when you wash them. I even heard people have been putting them into the washing machine! I don't know on what planet people put leather into the washing machine and expect it to survive. Handwash, people. Luke warm water. The mildest detergent you can get. I use lycra specific wash, and a minute amount of it. They come out absolutely fine and mine have lasted me longer than any other gloves I've had. They're like a second skin. I've even come off a couple of times, grazed my palm UNDER the gloves, and the gloves are fine.
  • 1 1
 I've had very good luck with my last two Fox glove purchases. I have been riding with Fox Attack gloves for the last two seasons and haven't had any failures or issues. They're very minimalist, and don't seem to wear out too fast. I use them not only for MTB but also for my daily commute and they've held up great. I also have the Fox Attack Water gloves, which don't have too many miles on them but work well in the inclimate weather and down to about 0c.
  • 2 0
 Careful when you was them, don't last long enough to wash them, 2 pairs ripped at seams with just a few rides and no crashes.
  • 1 0
 Same here. They are fantastic gloves for maybe 5 rides, then the seams start to rip and the glove leather hardens like a potato chip. Handwashing doesn't help.
  • 3 0
 They look like ladies winter driving gloves. Gloves should be $20, just like the work gloves you get at Home Depot.
  • 1 0
 I've been using the Legions for about 6 months and was looking for a lighter glove, we get next to no returns on Fox gloves, so not sure why everyone claims they break by looking at them?
  • 1 0
 The entire glove feels synthetic, hot, and claustrophobic except for the leather palm.
  • 4 0
 Dexter?
  • 8 0
 OJ
  • 3 0
 @Ron-C: ha ha… beat me to it.

yup..

Johnny C called.... reminding everyone, if they dont fit, you must aquit
  • 2 0
 Giro Rivet are another good minimalist glove, last a lot longer than I expected too.
  • 2 0
 I feel like I just read a condom review. “Thin barely there feel”. Don’t wash and reuse them.....
  • 1 0
 I sill miss the NEMA Breather glove. Looked like this, but with a synthetic palm. A pair would last a couple of years, but it looks like the company went tits up.
  • 1 0
 Charging that amount of money for something that would probably/most likely fall apart after an hour to give you that bare handed feel anyway seems a bit expensive, no???
  • 2 1
 G.O.A.T. Ok so is this made from Minaar’s or Gwin’s extra elbow skin? I need to know before I plop down hard earned cash!
  • 2 0
 Where are the water bottle mounts on these things? And no boost, forget about 'em!
  • 1 0
 I feel like they would be more minimalist if they just printed on the logo with ink, this rubber bits tend to rub on the hand
  • 1 0
 Time for that Seattle brand POW gloves to come back to mtb, I’m still using there pipe glove called skinny.
simple long lasting design
  • 1 0
 Had this gloves but falling apart after 6 month ... the seams between fingers are really bad... now norrona skibotn gloves much better for the moment ...
  • 1 0
 The real issue here is sell me some grips that I don't need to where gloves with. Like foamers that just absorb the sweat and funk.
  • 2 0
 "I'm not wearing hockey pads!"
  • 1 0
 Legendary line.
  • 1 0
 $45???? For what???? Yeah I'll stick to my dirt paws for $22 that last a long time.
  • 1 1
 Just looked at their selection: Black and Military green... I can't wear anything black, I ride in the sun all the time. and that green is awful.
  • 2 0
 If the gloves don't fit, you must acquit...
  • 1 0
 give them to blenki and we'll see if he thinks they are any good? No gloves for the win
  • 1 0
 Ive been using work gloves from Granger like these for years..they cost 1.50 usd...They work awsome
  • 2 0
 Looks perfect to murder with
  • 1 0
 Troy Lee gloves are comfortable, last extremely long and provide great protection.
  • 1 0
 You can't wash them. WHAT??? Old sweaty glove smell is one of the strongest know to man.

100% ridefit gloves. £20.
  • 1 0
 Bumper sticker; "velcro kills",,,
  • 1 0
 i've had horrible luck with Fox gloves, i'll stick to my TASCO's
  • 1 0
 Had these and the stitching came apart on a finger
  • 1 0
 Shouldn't these be called BLENKIS?
  • 1 0
 these are deathly scary if they get wet. do not use for gravity.
  • 1 0
 Compatible with all wheel sizes and industry standards!
  • 1 0
 I’ll sell you a set of latex free gloves for $40!
  • 1 0
 My last pair of fox gloves fell apart after only two ride.
  • 2 0
 Fox kills goat.
  • 2 0
 OJ Simpson edition !!!
  • 1 0
 People wash their gloves??
  • 1 0
 TLD makes some decent gloves
  • 1 0
 Looks like the guys gloves from who framed Roger rabbit
  • 1 0
 Mechanix 0.5. Cheaper, thinner, better durability
  • 1 0
 That microfibre won’t be very useful once it’s covered in snot
  • 2 1
 New secret sex gloves.
  • 1 0
 Alpkit - £18
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