I have gone through a lot of cycling gloves over the years. I have worn out gloves from such brands as Pearl Izumi, Rip n Hammer and Fox racing, just to name a few. I have no complaints. They all performed as expected and wore away over time, none of them ever really falling apart. So I wasn’t really in the market for anything else, hell I wasn’t even in a bike shop at the time, when a product caught my eye and I had to try it. I was in the Home Depot wandering through the aisle looking for some large rubber coated hooks for my DIY indoor vertical bike rack when I passed their display of work gloves. The ‘subcontractor’ glove stood out. It had the same look and feel as the many pairs that I have worn over the years while mountain biking and commuting and was clearly made tough enough to hold up to the demands of someone that might be wielding a hammer for 10 hours a day. The seams and finger tips were well reinforced, the fingers well shaped, the palm was ever so slightly padded and it had a velcro closure at the wrist. The only real difference between these and my last pair of cycling gloves was the price. If I recall correctly they were only $20! You’ve seen a cheaper pair perhaps? Well, these lasted 7 years! That’s 7 years of daily rides to work from April to November (when my winter gloves finally come out) and some recreational riding, trips to the grocery store etc. 7 years! When I finally replaced them a couple of years ago the ‘Subcontractor’ must have been out of stock so I settled on the ‘Handyman’ as they are nearly identical. From a quick look at the Home Depot website just now it would seem that the branding has changed a bit. My gloves are both labeled CLC (Custom Leathercrafts), now the gloves carried are DeWalt. I looked up both companies and it would appear that CLC makes DeWalt’s work gear for them so I doubt anything has really changed.
Okay, so if you’re on the Bradley Wiggins and/or Cavendish bandwagon after their success in the 2012 Tour de France and you’re looking for the latest ‘SKY’ labeled gloves to match your new jersey then obviously these gloves are not for you. If however you are looking for something to protect your hands everyday for the best value then you may want to think outside the bike shop.