Do you wear gloves while riding, just to look cool, or to only save your fingers from the cold? If yes, then you are probably using the wrong type. The primary motto of wearing riding gloves is protection to your palm, fingers, knuckles and wrists in case of an accident.
If this criteria is met, and looks cool too, nothing like it. Do note that, when one falls during an accident, the body’s natural reaction is to pull out your palm and brace yourself for impact and hence, in most cases, your palm and fingers are the first to hit the road. This is why wearing a pair of decent protective motorcycle riding gloves is paramount.
Let us take a look at the types of gloves and their use:
- Protection: Leather, having very good abrasion resistance, should be your material of choice when looking out for a pair of motorcycle riding gloves. Depending on your use, you have the option of open finger, semi-gauntlet or full-gauntlet ones. Forget about open finger ones as they are useless when it comes to protection. Semi-gauntlet ones do not provide wrist protection, but are however, easier to use as they can be easily removed and put on. On the other hand, full-gauntlet ones provide protection to your wrists as well, have a secure fit around your hand, but are however, a tad more time-consuming while putting them on and removing them. Personally, since safety is our prime objective, I would suggest going in for a full-gauntlet one.
- Most gloves have added knuckle, palm and wrist protectors. These can be made out of hard plastic, kevlar, carbon-fibre or titanium studs. One critical area to look at is the palm area. It should have an extra leather layer, and should preferably have an added rubber padding as well.
- Another key area commonly ignored is the stitching. Ensure the stitching is of decent quality. The last thing you would want is to have the stitches tear apart on impact. The velcro straps should be non-elastic and should fit firmly over your hand. A full-gauntlet generally has three-way adjustable straps.
- Comfort: A riding glove should be comfortable to wear even over a whole day of riding. One crucial advice: If you have never worn leather gloves while riding before, then the first time is going to be agony. You no longer have feedback from the handlebar, your fingers feel totally cramped up, you are unable to operate the switch-gear easily, and your hand feels tied up. But hold on, leather breaks in pretty quickly. What this means is: within two to three days of usage, the gloves will feel comfortable and all your qualms will be erased. So do not shy away from full-gauntlet leather gloves for this very reason. Ensure the glove is snug-fit: it should not come off your hand on impact.
- Weather compatibility: Leather by itself is not waterproof, so these can be used in summer, and in mild to cooler conditions. If you want waterproof ones, look out for those with Gore-tex lining or other waterproof membranes. For cold winter days, look out for ones with good insulation. You also get the option of battery powered heated gloves. For hot weather riding, look for perforations in the areas of lesser impact probability.
Click here for a detailed review of the Aspida (Spartan Progear) Ares full-gauntlet gloves.
- Protection: In essence, textile based gloves are generally made of strong nylon or other textiles, and provide lesser impact abrasion resistance than leather. However, with the inclusion of strategically placed armors made of Kevlar, leather patches and further reinforcement at the impact areas, textile gloves could provide good protection too. In general, I would recommend using leather gloves on rides where you would be riding at speeds higher than 70 kph/43 mph, and textile gloves can be used for city commuting at relatively lower speeds.
- Comfort: Since we have different type of leathers and textiles, the comfort will vary from product to product. Do note that textile gloves will not exhibit as much break-in effect as compared to leather ones.
- Weather compatibility: Textile gloves are more breathable than leather ones. On the flip side, rain resistance is virtually non-existent. Again, a sewn-in Gore-tex lining should help turn this into a waterproof one.
Click here for a detailed review of the Probiker mesh glove, retailing at around INR 350.
Whether it is a quick trip to the supermarket or a day/week-long ride, there are a plethora of riding glove options available to choose from, depending on the weather conditions. The cost can be as low as INR 350 ($6) and as high as a $500 or more. So go ahead and purchase an appropriate one, if you have not done so already.
To know more about the importance of a Helmet, click here
To know more about the importance of a Riding Jacket, click here
To know more about the importance of Riding Pants, click here
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