The greatest glove ?

Words and Pictures by Simon Bradley

How long the palms will stay this clean is currently the subject of an office sweepstake...One of the first products we ever tested was a glove. Well, a pair of gloves actually. Racer Aeropower gloves were so impressive that I continued using the same pair right up until they saved my hands from oblivion during my little off last year. The fact that they lasted three years of continual use and a major crash without letting me down is testimony to how good they are.

But time waits for no man and, since that particular glove is no longer available, I needed to get something else. Happily, Racer are still around, still producing excellent products and still willing to let us test them. So now I have a new pair of Racer Airforce gloves.

First impressions are very similar to before. They feel reassuringly well made, they have some useful features and they are incredibly comfortable straight out of the box. Palms are now made of kangaroo hide with little carbon studs to add additional abrasion protection in the event of a spill. Carbon is used because it doesn't conduct heat, of course, as well as being less likely to wreck your paintwork.

 

Vents, check; armour, check; looks like it's a race glove then...The backs of the gloves are reinforced with the by now de rigeur moulded shell. Unusually, though, these gloves seem to have the backs in two halves, joining just behind the knuckles. The finger part stops halfway down the back of the hand, and carries the aroured part, while the back part goes underneath and joins at the fingers. This slightly strange arrangement gives you very thick leather, padding and armour without becoming stiff and unwieldy, and it seems to work. There are vents on the back of each finger and there are two extractor vents on the back of the hand. Fingertips get extra padding and memory foam armour while the little finger gets reinforced leather down the side. The first two fingers also have some higher friction material at the tips inside, presumably to help working levers though this seems a little over the top.

Closer examination shows that stitching is extremely neat and the finish is second to none. In a brief straw poll survey nobody guessed that these gloves still cost the right side of £100.

I've been wearing them for a few weeks now and can confidently say that they are as good as the ones they replace in every way and possibly are even more comfortable. Not tested in action yet, and I have to confess that I don't plan to change that, but overall I'd say that they are a worthy successor to the title of "Greatest glove I have ever known."

You can get Racer gloves from Infinity Motorcycles - www.infinitymotorcycles.com - and they retail at £99.99. They come in black as shown plus black and silver or black and red.

Look, how many ways are there to photograph gloves that don't involve young ladies covering their chests with them? Not many, I'm afraid...

 




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