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Knog 8-ball gloves



Stylish but pricey compared to more modern offerings

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Knog’s 8 ball mitts have a deeply old school feel about them. No gel padding or Ulnar nerve protection here, just good old high grain goatskin. Despite my initial cynicism-they only lose out to the latest generation of anatomic hand protection over prolonged periods but chic doesn’t come cheap.

The supple leather feels every bit the second skin and tricky to remove for the first few outings, making sizing a little hit and miss. I’m usually a large in gloves but allowing for a bedding in period and softening the hide with Nikwax, I might’ve been better served going a size up-especially given they’re cut shorter in the fingers. I know that another tester had the similar problems with the sizing of the Love/Hate mitts and ended up with distinctly negative feelings about them as a result. Build quality is generally good with double stitching around the palm, although I would’ve liked this extended to the wrap over cuffs.

White detailing and gold logos make for fun, fetching retro livery that quickly grew on me. Despite Spartan appearance, they feel surprisingly luxurious-even after several hours’ continuous riding and purchase on wet, glossy bar wrap inspired confidence especially laden descending.

Form wins over function at some levels though-perforated thumb sections make very effective sweat wipes but unlike modern synthetics cannot be tossed in the machine wash when their fragrance changes for the worse (although dry cleaning’s not out of the question) and white detailing seldom looks crisp for long.

There are more practical designs and given the asking price, these wouldn’t be my first choice. However, those in the market for a stylish retro mitt will not be disappointed.

Shaun Audane


Stylish but pricey compared with the latest generation of synthetic gel mitts.

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Make and model: Knog 8-ball gloves

Size tested: L

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

The 8 Ball are an old school track mitt aimed at fashion conscious riders. Very much a fun mitt yet surprisingly competent for longer fair weather riding.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Goat-skin hide might not appeal to some-especially vegans but makes for a mitt with good lateral strength. Old school double stitched leather pads make for excellent grip and should resist the odd spill.

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Generally well stitched.

Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:

Gernerally good, although double stitching would've been welcomed around the cuffs.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

32g pr

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Much better than I anticipated over longer periods.

Rate the product for value:

Chic but pricey.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

These performed surprisingly well over longer periods, offering excellent grip even in the wet. Sizing could've been more generous though.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Retro cool, soft hide, excellent grip coupled with good padding.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Asking price quite steep and fit could've been a little more generous.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly

Overall rating: 7/10

About the tester

Age: 35  Height: 1m 81  Weight: 70 kilos

I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset  My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)

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workhard | 12 years ago

When they get wet they dye your hands black. Don't accidentally put them in the washing machine with other kit, or that will come out grey. The 'velcro' is crap and wont last beyond a few months, after which it will get really annoying. The leather at the point where fingers join palm will split/wear through in less than a year of occasional use. But apart from that they are great.

Binned mine on Saturday. Won't be buying knog again.

John_the_Monkey | 14 years ago

Have the love/hate mitts myself, and they're really nice. After a few rides, the leather seems to adapt to the shape of your hand, and they take on a really nice "custom made" feel.

leguape | 14 years ago

and if you need to wash them, just do it with handwash while wearing them, that's what I do with my Rapha ones and they've lasted three years pretty much as new. Just squeeze them out, reshape and then let almost dry before putting them on to stretch them a bit.

TheHatter | 14 years ago

I have the love/hate Knog mitts that do have some padding and I'm pretty impressed. Make sure you get the right size though.
As for price - I think they'll outlast synthentic gloves and they're a third of the price of rapha.

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