Back in late June of this year (2014) I needed to replace a pair of Airius Retro Mesh half-finger gloves I’d bought from an Amazon vendor in April 2013. The Airius gloves had got to the point where there was little point in continuing to wear them, but at the less-than-seven-dollars-a-pair pricepoint, by my reckoning, they’d served me well. You can see the pictures and read my Amazon.com review of the Airius gloves here.
I’ve been very happy with the Burning-Sun-Orange colored wool long-sleeve Kucharik jersey I got last Christmas, and had looked at the Kucharik website to see what other clothing and accessories they offered. Kucharik’s a California company, located in Gardena – a place I’ve been that’s not too far from where I grew up. I like to buy U.S. manufactured items when I think their quality makes the usually higher price a reasonable value. Kucharik offers a leather and knit-back short-fingered cycling glove priced a little more than twice that of the Airius gloves I wanted to replace. But I thought, “Heck, their jersey’s very high quality, so their gloves will be good, too.” At the same time, I bought a pair of clearance bib shorts, a cotton-poly blend jersey (also on clearance), some cycling togs for my young son, as well as a cycling cap for him because he kept taking mine.
When they arrived, I started wearing them right away. The Kucharik gloves fit correctly, and, although lacking a snot-wipe strip on the gloves’ thumbs, were quite comfortable and satisfactory. The leather palms have simpler construction and stitching than the Airius gloves, but more padding. They are quite comfortable to wear and I liked them very well.
Here in southern Middle Tennessee, climatic conditions tend to the humid, during the warm-weather months. I ride almost every day and sweating is my mutant power (and yes, I’m an Alpha-class mutant in this regard). So, when I hang the gloves up sopping wet in the garage after a ride, they’re usually damp the next day when I put them on again.
Within a couple of weeks of purchase, I noticed stress tears forming between thumb and forefinger. Here in the last two or three weeks, those very small tears have become gaping holes. I snapped some pictures last weekend while out riding with my son and they appear at the top and bottom of this post. I emailed the pictures to John Kucharik to let him know the product wasn’t holding up well – it’s probably been more than ninety-days since I bought them. He emailed back saying I am the first to report this problem and suggesting that if I ride hard and ride often, these may not be suitable gloves. He also suggested washing the sweat out of them every couple of weeks with cold water and letting them dry indoors, out of the heat. If you’ve read my Amazon review of the Airius gloves, you’ll know that it never occurs to me to wash cycling gloves, and, anyway, for this pair Kuchariks, it’s too late.
I’ve got a new pair of Airius gloves on order.