Elastic Interface Palm Technology
Science in the palm of your hand
Science in the palm of your hand
You’ve got to hand it to Elastic Interface, literally – you really have to. This dynamic and forward thinking Italian technological fabric solution brand have done it again. I mean, how do you reinvent a cycling glove? After all, it’s just a glove isn’t it; with bits of fabric stitched together in the shape of a hand and then pads sewn into the fabric. Well, as the saying goes: ‘the past is another country – they do things differently there!’
Elastic Interface have certainly done things differently with their latest palm technology. It’s super stylish and performance laden, being the first three-dimensional, seamless and elastic palm for cycling gloves. In producing this one-piece molded palm, they’ve set a new standard of comfort for your hands, in four options, with specific versions for road, gravel, mtb and crossover rides. What makes it unique I hear you ask – time for the detail then.
Our hands are simply a set of layers of various structures in various thickness dimensions, evolved over time to allow us ease of use and a degree of protection. For instance, the heal of the palm is padded, because when we fall over, we usually place our hands outstretched to take the fall – it’s evolution. We have fleshy bits in certain areas, once again to protect how the hand is used. What Elastic Interface have done is to examine how cyclists use their hands, what the various pressures are in key areas such as the ulnar nerve, and to the design and produce a single 3 dimensional fabric pattern of the ideal cycling palm. It’s even vented with strategically placed laser cut holes to assist breathability. The usual glove palm is a series of fabric shapes, sewn together and with pads inserted. This new way of thinking, developed by Elastic Interface mimics the hand palm itself and adds the necessary cycling exaggeration so that the hand is protected against vibrations, pressures, falls etc, and it’s all done in a single elastic elasticated and stretchy molded form, like a layer of skin – but with bumps in – clever bumps!
Working closely with brands who take the Elastic Interface technology, such as Q36.5 who choose their fabric and then work on their own required design and reflectivity, the technology is brought to life in an active product. Q36.5 look at the aesthetics of their own specific glove product and how this can work alongside the technological aspects. The single thin stretch fabric weave to the rear is slim and light and hey presto – a super single piece glove is born. When worn it truly does feel like, well…like it’s an extension of my hands palm, literally. It feels so light and snug and comfortable that I’ve taken to wearing it over winter on warmer days. It literally feels like a glove should, and there’s no better accolade than that.
When you’re choosing a partner in development, there’s no better option than science, which is why Elastic Interface turned to the very clever people at the University of Padua. Time for some more science from Italy, so here goes. What inspired Elastic Interface to reinvent the glove? In short, they’re also a company that’s always thinking, always striving for the very best, to make cycling and sport more comfortable and through this to help improve performance and to reduce injury. Ultimately, protection is what has always inspired Elastic Interface®. But what does this concept mean for a cycling glove?
Cyclists have complained about discomfort while holding handlebars due to tingling and soreness. I know the feeling, gripping on for life as I descend the steep hills of the north of England or an alpine pass! My hands often tingle at the end of a long day. This kind of discomfort leads to reduced focus and performance for the rider, so here is when the Elastic Interface® Palm Technology comes into play, and it genuinely does work.
The Elastic Interface Palm respects the anatomy of the hand, as I’ve already mentioned; it reflects and utilises the anatomy to produce its form in fabric, improving blood flow and relieving pressure from the ulnar nerve. Its three-dimensional design is developed according to anthropometrical parameters, and with the support of the University of Padua (Department of Biomedical Sciences). Paddings placed between the bike and the hand, then, help to absorb energy that comes from a firm hold on the handlebars. I recall being at Eurobike in recent years, speaking with the people from Elastic Interface about cycling pad technology, and they struck me as being a company driven by the desire to examine technology and how it can improve fabric development in cycling. It stayed with me, and in truth is where this series of articles about fabric tech was borne – through listening to the very committed and very intelligent people within Elastic Interface. I’m known from a research background in a previous career and it fascinated me; plus I love excellence – which the Q36.5 Unique glove, produced by this high end clothing brand using the Elastic Interface technology is all about.
Q36.5 have taken the Palm Technology from Elastic Interface and added their own styling and subtle brand aspects, including how they want they glove to fit their customers, and in doing so they’ve given cyclists a unique design that simply feels terrific in action and which is soft and protective for every layer of your hand – including those parts under the skin, thanks to the work of these very clever Italian fabric technology experts.
When you’re looking for cycling products, there are so many things out there, and so you need a few signs to look for – just look for the Elastic Interface logo on brands and you’ll be more than fine – you’ll be riding comfortably with the very best of science in the palm of your hand. Best of all, it simply feels like an extra layer of skin for protection, and that’s the ultimate goal of any glove – which is why this is now the ultimate glove protection. !
Science and sport can go hand in hand, pardon the pun – and we as cyclists can grip with bar in the knowledge that our hands will be as comfortable as scientifically and practically possible – and that’s definitely worth a round of applause 😉 !