Updated: Apr 14, 2020
Before I begin this review, I need to make it known that I hate riding in gloves. I don’t know what it is about them, I’ve just never meshed with them. Call me crazy, but I’d rather ride without them - and risk cheese-grating my hands should I crash - than ride with them and spend the entire ride questioning why I put myself through wearing gloves. I really only ride in gloves if it’s next-level rainy, icy cold or super-hot and dusty and, because I pretend they don’t offer any protection benefits, I usually find myself reaching for the most minimal pair of gloves I can find. Enter the 100% Cognito glove.
The Cognito glove is, for all intents and purposes, a minimalist glove. Featuring a thin, perforated palm, the glove rides pretty cool. The gloves are made up of a durable material that’s stretchy enough to keep movement free, with additional material between your thumb and index finger, right where your handlebars sit, to offer a little more comfort on long rides. The thing that makes these gloves different to every other pair I own, is that they offer protection against more than just abrasion. The Cognito’s feature D30 knuckles. You might have heard of D30 kneepads? If you’re not sure what D30 is, it’s a soft foam that firms up under impact, meaning you can absorb higher impacts with less material, versus traditional foams. I’m not a fan of the rubber some gloves place over the fingers to offer protection, so this was a welcome addition.
When 100% reached out and asked if I wanted to test a pair of Cognitos, I jumped at it and asked for a pair in L. It wasn’t until I got the dispatch notice that I realised they suggested going a size up a size from what you usually ride in. The gloves arrived and sure enough, the cuff was super tight when going over my palm. What surprised me, though, was that once I got the gloves on, the cuff sat as it should around my wrist and the rest of the glove fit well too. A few months in, the cuff is still super tight around my palm but once the glove is on, it’s super comfy. And the D30 is great: you don’t notice it at all when riding, but it’s nice to know there’s something there for you if you do come off. I haven’t, yet, so can’t attest to its ability to protect.
Durability wise, the gloves have been great. They’ve stood up to wet rides where I’ve spent the whole time death-gripping the bars, a little bit of patchwork at the local trails and a spin through the washing machine. I was expecting the silicone grip on the palms and fingers to come off pretty fast, but they’ve also lasted! Speaking of fingers - the gloves feature special material on the fingertips and thumbs so you can use your devices whilst wearing them…. but that’s one of the last things I care about.
No matter how nice a pair of gloves, I’ll never wear gloves on every ride. However, if I went riding somewhere and had to ride with them (say Wairoa Gorge for example) the Cognitos would be the gloves I reach for. They’re just as comfy as all of the minimalist gloves I currently own, while offering more protection than every other pair I own and that’s about as good as it gets…. from someone doing his best to channel his inner Blenki.
Words & Image: Cam Baker