Deft Family's Catalyst Divide glove is a lightweight trail glove with an excellent fit, thanks to perfect panelling that runs to all the right places. It's not one for cold weather, but perfect for short trail sessions, warm days or faster riding.
The Catalyst Divide's 4-way stretch material allows a close and sag-free fit with no tightness or restriction anywhere. The palm is a single layer of Clarino, and while there's no extra padding, it works well to give you a very connected feel to the bars. It can also cope okay with your little unintended lie downs, and despite their low weight, they take bramble pulls and branch scuffs happily.
There's a small pattern of silicone dots on the brake fingers for grip, plus an ‘integrated tech panel’, which translates to ‘phone-friendly finger tip'. That's great if you need to get the socials in yet somehow can't take your gloves off (maybe you're in a ditch with two broken wrists but still #love #life?), but it’d be more useful on the thumb, and is of debatable use.
The cuff is on the tight side, but on the positive side the stitching is holding up fine to all the pulling on and off. The ‘Airprene’ fabric has enough stretch to let you wriggle them on and off while keeping the glove very secure. They're never too warm either.
The back of the glove is pretty thick, and whilst there is no padding or knuckle guards, it does help hold some warmth in cold weather. I used the Deft Catalyst in temperatures down close to freezing, and found them fine for active riding with lots of hand movement. They're certainly not thermal in any way, though, and its definitely a mild to warm weather glove.
Deft Family offers plenty of colour options, which is good considering the black and white of these is quickly muddied up and never washed clean (they otherwise deal with washing without issue). They also don’t have a dedicated snot pad – although there is a part of the palm that wraps round that's handy for such times – and I’d have really liked one. They're useful most of the year round.
Small niggles aside, the Catalyst Divide is a great trail glove: strong, light and with a fit that really shines. For trail rides in everything from cool to hot conditions, they're a minimalist option that gives you all you need.
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