O'Neal Element Switchblade Gloves
I saw these gloves on the internet and I just had to have a pair. They
suit me perfectly and look so cool I just couldn't go without them.
The problem was, they weren't available locally and I had to order
them online. I don't mind shopping online, but of course choosing
the right size can sometimes be as issue. I know some suppliers
offer a return arrangement if they don't fit, but I wanted them quickly
and the seller I picked doesn't have a policy like that.
So I headed off to the official O'Neal website and managed to locate their sizing charts. Using their
directions, I measured my hand and found I was right in between a Medium and a Large size. According to
the size chart, I could use either size glove, depending on if I preferred a tighter or looser fit. I went for the
larger size and placed my order.
My gloves arrived nice and promptly and straight away I loved the look of them. I verified they were genuine
articles (always important when shopping online) and slipped them on - well, tried to anyway. They were way
too small for me. No way would they ever fit my pudgy hands. My petite little wife tried them on and they fit
perfectly - like a glove as they say.
So I was stuck with a pair of gloves that looked good, but didn't fit. Luckily my good wife liked them so I gave
them to her for Christmas. Now all she needs is a bike, helmet, boots, pants and jersey to go with them and
she's all set.
I still wanted a pair, so I placed another order for the biggest size available - XXL. Again they arrived quickly
and this time they fit beautifully, definitely not too large. The first lesson here should be obvious - be very
careful of sizing charts!
I was stoked with my snazzy new gloves and of course I took them on our next riding expedition.
First ride was perfect. My gloves fitted perfectly, were very comfortable with good palm padding and gave a
good hand feel on the bars. Not only that but they matched my helmet design and looked wicked cool!
Getting ready for the second ride of the day, I went to slip my gloves on and the stitching between the thumb
and back of the glove split on the left hand!
Torn stitching on the left glove on the second use
Being that I only had the one pair of gloves with me, I had
to wear the damaged pair for the rest of the day's riding,
but the seam didn't appear to split any further.
Before the stitching split the gloves hadn't had any form
of abuse and I hadn't come off the bike at all, so the
damage had to be the result of a manufacturing defect.
As O'Neal is a large and well known company, I had no
doubt that a warranty claim would be a quick and
painless affair. I'm sure it would have been, except that I
purchased the goods online...
O'Neal returned my email promptly, and advised me that I'd have to return the item, with the proof of
purchase of course, to the retailer. The retailer would then send the gloves to O'Neal, who would
process a warranty claim and forward a new pair to the retailer, who, in turn, would then send them to
me. All this would take some time, and I would be liable for the return postage of the gloves, and
possibly the postage cost of getting the replacement pair from the retailer (although this depended on
the retailer I think).
So I learnt an important lesson when ordering gear over the 'net - warranty returns are difficult and
In the end I weighed my options and just decided to cut my losses on this pair of gloves. I'd already paid
2 lots of purchase price and postage (because of the sizing chart) and I had to pay at least 1 more lot of
postage, maybe 2 lots, just to end up with one pair of useable gloves that may, or may not, have
out-lasted my original pair.
Overall, while they were intact, the gloves looked awesome and felt quite comfortable. If they had lasted
for an appropriate time I would have recommended them. My pair being defective may have been
completely out of the ordinary and other pairs may last for a long time, but based on my experience with
this pair, plus the obvious fault with the sizing chart, I personally will probably not risk purchasing a pair
of these gloves again.
At least I learned some valuable lessons about online shopping that I'd never given much thought to in
Happy riding and see you on the trails!
I was ordering some new riding gear and these gloves were out on clearance, plus they
suit the new gear awesomely, so I ended up buying another pair after all.
I ordered the XXL again, and this time they were actually a little too big! Turns out I could have used an
XL pair, but the sizing chart was still way off base. I figured that at least this pair was from a different
batch and might last longer.
Towards the end of one full days' riding, I was checking the gloves for tears / rips, and I noticed part of
the plasticy trim/armour was coming unstuck. Again, the gloves haven't been abused, scuffed or hit the
ground at all - just used as they are supposed to be.
So 2 out of 2 pairs have now failed to survive one full riding day intact. I've gotta say I'm less than
impressed with the quality of these products and I certainly will be concious of it when I consider
purchasing O'Neal products in the future.
If you've had any experience, good or bad, with O'Neal gear, drop us an email at
firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how it stood up.