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Black Mamba Latex and Nitrile Workshop Gloves

8
£30.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Great single-use gloves that are grippy and don't rip
Very resistant to ripping
Keep your hands clean
Textured for good grip
Expensive
Not great for the environment
Weight: 
809g

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Black Mamba's Latex and Nitrile Workshop Gloves are surprisingly good for bike fettling – they're almost impenetrable while working on bikes. They do come at a pretty high price, though, and with obvious environmental drawbacks when compared with reusable alternatives.

I must admit that a box of nitrile gloves for £30 had me very sceptical, and I was expecting to write a review stating that these were no better than a generic box of nitrile gloves from Amazon that cost a fiver. But I've been really impressed. These gloves from Black Mamba have done their job really well, so much so that I'd thoroughly recommend them.

If you've ever used single-use nitrile gloves before to work on your bike, whether cleaning it or doing a total strip-down and rebuild, you've probably had that same issue I have – if you touch a sharp corner or chainring then the glove will almost certainly rip, making wearing them almost pointless as you still end up with dirty hands. These gloves really don't have that problem, which is very impressive.

2023 Black Mamba Workshop Gloves 3.jpg

During the testing period I have carried out some basic bike maintenance, bled some brakes, replaced some frame bearings on a mountain bike, and even replaced the discs and pads on my car. I did all of these jobs while wearing a pair of Black Mambas, and not once did I manage to rip a glove – even having snagged them on the inside of my car's wheel arch multiple times.

> Six essential tools for cyclists who do their own bike maintenance

This really impressed me, and I can confidently say the outcome would not have been the same with generic nitrile gloves – I would have had multiple rips and tears.

In fact, to actually rip one of these gloves I had to stab and rip it aggressively with a small hex key multiple times – so in general use, I think it's almost impossible to rip them. I certainly haven't managed it.

The gloves seem true to size, with the large on test fitting my reasonably large hands well, so I'd recommend getting the same size you would choose for long-fingered bike gloves.

The gloves have a slight texture to them, which is useful when doing anything fiddly or slippy, and they grip really well, ideal with all the small bolts and tasks encountered during bike maintenance.

2023 Black Mamba Workshop Gloves 2.jpg

All good so far then... But a big downside of single-use gloves is their unavoidable impact on the environment, especially if they're not biodegradable.

The advantage of single-use gloves is being able to do messy jobs like bleeding brakes and then simply binning them, not worrying about contaminating discs, for example. With reusable gloves, such as Muc-Off's Mechanics Gloves, you'd need to be careful about not getting grease or oil in places they shouldn't be, but they don't have such a cost on the environment – or your wallet, at less than a third of the price of a box of Black Mambas.

> Check out our bike maintenance video series

If it's single-use gloves you want, though, at £30 for a box of 100 the Black Mambas are about six times the price of a box of generic nitrile gloves, which is a huge markup, but the advantages of being impervious to ripping is a very big benefit. It also means you can reuse them a few times, if you take care (don't contaminate your discs!).

Overall, I was really impressed with these gloves and would thoroughly recommend them over generic nitrile gloves – if you can stomach the price. Bearing in mind their eco impact, though, I would recommend saving them for the super messy jobs and using a reusable pair for everything else.

Verdict

Great single-use gloves that are grippy and don't rip

road.cc test report

Make and model: Black Mamba Latex and Nitrile Workshop Gloves

Size tested: Large

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?

Black Mamba says: "Made with our patented NITREX® polymer, this super strong (6.0 mils) powder free nitrile glove boasts 3 times the chemical and puncture resistance of a comparable thickness latex or vinyl glove. These gloves feature our grip rite finish for secure handling and dexterity even when working with fine objects"

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

From Black Mamba:

Patented Nitrex Polymer.

Over 6.0 mils thick Black Nitrile.

Two-Ply Fusion Strength. Superior chemical resistance.

Fully textured with Grip Rite Finish.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
9/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
9/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
9/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
7/10

Like all nitrile gloves they can get quite sweaty.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

At roughly six times the price of generic nitrile gloves they certainly aren't cheap, but they are much tougher in my experience.

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

These were great for working on my bikes, looking after my hands, and not ripping when coming into contact with anything remotely sharp.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

How tough they are – I was able to do anything and not rip them.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

I don't like the environmental impact of single-use gloves.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

These are much more expensive than generic nitrile gloves, but they last longer.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your overall score

I was really impressed with how well these did their job, not ripping and being easy to work with. The price is high compared with generic nitrile gloves, but they seem a lot tougher than others I've used.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 23  Height: 174  Weight: 72

I usually ride: Storck Aerfast   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Semi pro

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, touring, club rides, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,

Add new comment

7 comments

Avatar
EM69 | 11 months ago
1 like

£30 really? box 100 blue nitrile that do the same job around £7 

Avatar
Rome73 | 11 months ago
1 like

"In fact, to actually rip one of these gloves I had to stab and rip it aggressively with a small hex key multiple times"

did you take it off first? 

Avatar
jaymack | 11 months ago
0 likes

I apprecaite that people don't like getting greasy fingers, that some can have allergic reactions and that those whose job involves grease and grime may wear gloves for health and saftey reasons but do most of us really need to wear them to fettle with our bikes?Just have some old rags to hand and buy a tub of Swarfega.

Avatar
Hirsute replied to jaymack | 11 months ago
1 like

I always have a pair when on the road - how would you get your hands clean ?

Avatar
jaymack replied to Hirsute | 11 months ago
0 likes

That's why I carry a rolled up piece of old tea towel in my saddle pack to use as a rag and some wipes. It's worked for decades,  mind you I've used several different tea towels.

Avatar
Xenophon2 | 11 months ago
1 like

If you're happy to pay a 23 GBP premium to have a snake + fangs label on the box then by all means, knock yourself out.  Else, go with discreet labeling and pay 7 GBP/box for the same.

Avatar
Jules59 | 11 months ago
0 likes

Gosh, way too expensive for me. I find cheap nitrile ones don't rip particualrly when I'm doing bike DIY and can be re-used too.

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