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Racer Gloves USA Guide Glove Reviews

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  • Retail Price ~$109.99 Shop Now
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Bryan Bosch

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For this review, I'm either the perfect guy for the job... or the worst. Perfect in that I had no preconceptions about what makes a good/bad ADV glove or the worst because I have no experience riding with any particular brand of the same. I've only been riding ADV for the last year or so and previously, 30+ years of off-road. So, I have a duffle bag full of perfectly good motocross gloves that I've been wearing. They are very light weight, breath well, offer great feel, and are absolutely inadequate in terms of protection when it comes to pavement pounding. When the folks at Racer Gloves USA offered up a couple of pairs of what appeared to be far more suitable gloves to test, I figured that it was time to put some decent protection on my paws.

 

 

PRODUCT OVERVIEW

 

Racer Gloves USA sent me two pairs for evaluation; the "Guide Glove" and the "Rally Glove", both listed in their Adventure category.

 

Guide Glove

This short cuff glove comes in at $109.99 and is offered in all black or black/white. It's is positioned a bit more towards the street end of the spectrum, listed as,  "A favorite among adventure, sportbike, and touring riders." The Guide Glove is made from top-grain leather that is perforated on the top of the hand, top of the middle fingers, and sides of the fingers to increase comfort during warm weather riding.  The palm is made from box weave-patterned Clarino brand material that offers good traction & durability without being too rough.

 

For me, its most stand-out feature is the Knox® SPS palm sliders. When we fall, it's an autonomic response to put our hands out to catch ourselves. In contrast to glove palm materials that can catch/snag the pavement, causing the rider to essentially flip over their own arms, the built-in Knox sliders reduce or prevent this type of tumble, getting the rider to a hopefully less damaging sliding motion. The Guide Glove also has a flexible TPR protector pad across the knuckles as well as smaller pads on the lower section of each finger.

 

 

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Knox brand SPS palm sliders found in the Guide Glove add to rider safety in the event of some on-road crashes.

 

 

 

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Note: for illustrative purposes only. Riding w/o a helmet, much less naked is not advised. :P

Guide Glove Feature List

 

 

Rally Glove

This light weight mesh glove is positioned a bit more towards the off-road side of the riding spectrum, coming in at $79.99. As mesh topped glove, it's well suited to warmer riding conditions and it comes in a few more color combos, that include white/black, white/orange, white/red, white/green. The palm of the Rally Glove is made from very soft, but durable goat skin (bahhhhh) with a Clarino brand section over the base of your hand and thumb.  There are protective padded patches under the mesh on the top of the fingers as well as a flexible TPU pad running across the full width of the knuckles. The index fingers and thumb have Touch Tech material that allow you to operate touch screen devices without removing the glove, something that I miss when riding with the Guide Glove. Not sure why this feature was omitted from the more street credible Guide Glove?

 

Rally Glove Feature List

 

 

Fit

Racer Gloves knows that a glove must fit right in order to feel good on your hand and to function properly. So, they do a good job with their on-line sizing chart. I supplied all the required sizing information and ended up with the right fit out of the gate, something that can be a real pain when ordering on-line (time consuming exchanges).

 

While both of the gloves felt pretty good immediately, I only realized how much better they feel once broken in. I ended being being caught in a pretty ragin' Florida summer rain storm and I was wearing the Guide Gloves at the time. They got fully soaked and in hind-sight, this really accelerated the break-in process. On my next ride, now fully dried, the glove had better conformed to the shape of my hand, not only feeling more comfortable, but with increased dexterity (the glove was not as stiff). As I continue to ride, the fit continues to improve slightly. Also, I wanted to mention that the glove material dyes are colorfast; so no color bleeding when wet.

 

The Rally Glove fits well, but it does go on with slight more effort, as it seems to be narrower at its entry point. It too benefits from water to accelerate the break-in process, probably even more so than the Rally, as it fit a bit more snugly overall. Given that summer is when we get most of our rain in central Florida, this process was unavoidable and welcomed. My rule of thumb is that if I forget about an apparel item when riding, it must be comfortable and with some miles on both the Guide and Rally Gloves, they've met this standard.

 

 

Finish

In terms of build quality, miles is the true test, so I plan to update this review as time goes on. However, I can comment fairly on the initial quality of both the Guide and Rally Gloves. To date, nothing that I've visually noticed or experience left me feeling dissatisfied. Nothing about the gloves feels cheap or cheesy.  The materials used seem to be of good quality, assembled in a way that looks pleasing (stitching is straight and doubled in high-wear areas) and to date, durable. In ,my experience, the product looks like someone cares. Of course, it helps that the product is manufactured by a rider that is no stranger to laying down the miles riding in their own gloves.

 

 

Performance

I rode with both the Guide and Rally Gloves in the same conditions (off-road, country back roads, interstate) and both did all that I asked without issue. So, it's hard to go wrong with either choice. For me, I ended with with a split decision on which I like the best. I really do love riding with motocross gloves, but as I said previously, they are completely inadequate in terms of protection for street riding. This is why I felt more at home with the Rally Glove. When wearing them, I have better lever feel, something that is vital when riding more challenging off-road terrain. The light weight design of the Rally is just more familiar to me. I also like that I can use my smart phone with the Rally Gloves on. Part of ADV riding is sharing when you get back, so this function is really convenient.

 

In contrast, I really appreciate the better hand protection that the Guide Glove offers on the pavement, something that I have to ride a fair bit of to get to any off-road opportunities. That's not to say that the Rally doesn't offer decent hand protection. They do and it's far better than the motocross gloves that I've been wearing. I ride in hot temps with plenty of humidity and surprisingly, the more substantial Guide Glove isn't noticeably hotter than the mesh topped Rally Glove. Wearing both, my hands never became uncomfortably hot or sweaty. I'd love to see Racer Gloves add the conductive Touch Tech material found in the Rally Glove fingers to the Guide, so that I can use my smart phone without taking off my gloves.

 

While the palm materials between the two gloves differ, I found both to offer plenty of handlebar grip traction (I run ProTaper Pillow Top Grips), even when wet. However, I can't comment on their grip in muddy conditions; the trails that I ride in central Florida are almost all sand. Lastly, I don't see either as being suitable for cold weather riding, so I'd call them three season gloves.
 

 

Bottom-line

Which glove is better? Well, that depends upon what you value. For those that ride a lot of off-road, where lever feel is important,  as well as solid venting and decent protection for the roads ridden to connect off-road opportunities, edge Rally Glove. However, if paw protection from pavement dangers tops your list, but still with decent venting and lever feel, edge to the Guide Glove. Both are similarly comfortable when fully broken in, so take your pick.

 

Which glove do I gravitate towards when I ride? Surprisingly, the Guide Glove. The more that I ride with them, the more that I like them. And, should I ever have the unfortunate opportunity to test out those Knox® SPS palm sliders, I'll be counting my lucky stars that I ditched the motocross gloves.

 

More @ http://www.racerglovesusa.com/

 

 

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The Guide Glove is a solid choice for riders who lay down pavement miles between off-road adventures.

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