Comfortable, well-fitting mountain bike gloves that will see you through autumn, spring and mild winter days
Dec 26 2017
Reinforced and grippy braking fingers
No protection on little finger
Velcro wrist closure can snag
You want a quality pair of well padded gloves
Madison’s Zena women’s full-finger gloves are designed to offer “great feel combined with subtle protection” and that’s exactly what they do. The Zenas are perfect for spring and autumn days, just about warm enough for mild wintry ones, and are fairly priced considering their abundance of features.
The Zena's fit well without bunching at the palm, while durable silicone print on both braking fingers means good grip on wet or muddy rides. The middle and index fingertips are also reinforced, with the suedette extending up and back over the top of the fingers. This is a very good feature as I find the stitching can go here on other gloves, leaving you with your finger poking out a hole!
Another detail on those two fingers is a slit at the knuckle for complete freedom of movement. This is enhanced by the very stretchy thin fabric between all the fingers. The reinforced thumb arch and generous microfibre snot wipe are two more plus points.
Madison says the pads on the top of the middle and ring fingers are to protect you if you bash a tree, accidentally of course – a useful addition but why not on the little finger too? That’s the one you’re most likely to knock on tight, twisty singletrack.
The Zenas use two different fabrics on the back of the hand, a thicker diamond-pattern material and a tightly woven mesh, which is cooler but snags more easily if caught on a bramble.The extensive gel palm padding on the palm is quite thick (about 3mm), but it doesn’t feel obtrusive and you still get good feedback through the bars.
The Velcro and rubber tab at the wrist is very strong, but I found it hard not to snag the finger material when doing up the second glove. Niggles aside, these are a very good pair of gloves, and they should last well – I’ve got a pair of Madison’s Leia gloves and they’ve stood up well to over a year of abuse and washing. These Zenas also come in pink/black – and you don’t need to take them off to operate a touchscreen.