Racer Guide Gloves Review

DaveM

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Published in: Gear

Racer Guide Gloves Review intro

Since adventure riding combines off- and on-road riding in a wide range of conditions, many adventure riders carry two pairs of gloves to cope with a large variety of circumstances. No single pair of gloves covers the entire spectrum of weather conditions or riding applications. However, when compiling my gear list for a three-month trip last year, I was faced with a dilemma—whittling down my gear to the absolute essential. The bulk of the journey would be off road, and carrying as little as possible was imperative; I couldn’t justify taking two pairs of gloves.

So, the search was on for the unicorn of gloves, the elusive multipurpose pair that could do it all. While browsing online catalogs, a friend suggested Racer Gloves, a brand I had always associated with high-quality road-racing gloves. From their Adventure line, I shortlisted three short gauntlet models: the Mickey, the Rally, and the Guide, all combining a high level of versatility, comfort and protection. The differences in design and materials were minimal, and I chose the all-leather Guide Glove, a popular model that’s been around for many years and has received good reviews.

Racer Gloves Guide Review FB


Protection from the elements, abrasion, cuts, and impacts is why we wear gloves. But given that I’d be riding long hours every day for weeks, comfort, fit, tactility, dexterity, and durability featured equally high on my list of desiderata. Apart from an ill-fitting helmet or boots, few things are more annoying than poorly fitting, uncomfortable gloves. You “feel” and control the bike mainly with your gloved hands, and thus they shouldn’t be a source of irritation causing distraction. On the contrary, gloves should ideally feel like an extra layer of (protective) skin, causing little or no loss of tactility and dexterity.

Apart from the use of high-quality materials, it’s the design and underlying manufacturing technology that accounts for the superior fit and comfort of the Racer Guide Glove. The soft and breathable nylon tricot lining is attached to the glove’s interior through the use of the exclusive “mcFIT” (Maximum Comfort Fit Technology) system. This is the technology usually applied for attaching a waterproof membrane to the inside of rainproof gloves, and which conceals the stitching of the seams by facing it toward the leather chassis, making it imperceptible to the fingers. The result is a snug fit and greatly enhanced rider comfort.

Another comfort-improving feature is the ventilation provided by the perforations on the back of the fingers and the large section between the main knuckle protector and the gauntlet. These perforated areas face into the wind, allowing some airflow, although not to the extent of mesh panels.

Racer Gloves Guide Review 1


I also selected the Guide Glove because it is an all-leather glove. I wanted a long-lasting glove that offers good protection, two criteria where leather is superior to nylon mesh. Furthermore, the leather is goatskin, which is superior to cowhide in terms of tensile strength, abrasion resistance, durability, suppleness and water resistance.

The Racer brand’s heritage is evident in the protective Knox SPS sliders at the base of the palm, a typical feature for road-racing gloves. At first, I was concerned that these thick, abrasion-resistant, scaphoid protectors would make their presence felt and interfere with gripping the handgrips. However, the underlying padded leather made these hard sliders impalpable.

The goatskin leather of the palm is reinforced with abrasion-resistant Clarino synthetic leather in the hard-wearing areas, like the thumb-handgrip fold. Impact protection is further enhanced with strategically placed, molded TPR (thermoplastic rubber) pads on fingers and knuckles.

A rubberized, hook-and-loop, wrist strap secures the closure of the short gauntlet, which is partly elasticated to keep it snug around the wrist. This closure system, commonly applied for short gauntlets, keeps the Guide Glove firmly in place.

The quality of the craftsmanship and materials of the Racer Guide Glove is further illustrated by how well they withstood the wear and tear inflicted upon them by 10,000 miles of riding rough trails. They still look remarkably fresh and surprisingly lightly used. The Racer Guide Glove has now become my glove of choice for daily riding.

Is there anything I would like to see improved on the Racer Guide Glove? Yes, the addition of TouchTec pads on the thumb and fingers that mimic the “human touch” for navigating a TFT touch screen. For touring as well as adventure riding, most riders these days mount a GPS and/or smartphone on their handlebar. Adventure-style gloves should, therefore, sport conductive fingertips for operating these touch screen devices without having to take them off.

The website of Racer Gloves USA displays the heading “The best fitting gloves you can buy,”

and as far as I am concerned, the Racer brand lives up to its company motto.

Racer Gloves Guide Review 2


RacerGlovesUSA.com

MSRP:
$119.99

PROS:

  • Perfect fit and comfort
  • Tactility & dexterity
  • Durability
  • Protection
  • Ventilation

CONS:

  • No conductive fingertips (for operating TFT touch screens)

*This review is also published in print in ADVMoto Jul/Aug 2020 issue.



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