Byline: Kavya Ashok
Through shop talk we have brought you bikes and accessories that elude our desire. On a request from a reader, we bring you our opinion on the different qualities of riding gloves. Whether cheap riding gloves will just do the trick or are the expensive ones really that good?
This is what came out of our workshop banter over coffee. The participants were expert riders, bruised newbies, price conscious early jobbers and others with silver spoons. Thankfully there was initial consensus about wearing gloves. Cheap or expensive, it was agreed never to get on a saddle without a glove.
We compared three popular gloves. One priced Rs. 410 (X) the other for Rs. 1360 (Y) and a super premium for Rs. 1600 (Z). Broadly speaking, we found that as we climbed up the price ladder the differences go from look and feel to the soul of the product.
A glove’s purpose is to make the ride less tasking on your palms and wrist while providing you with adequate grip. Gloves X, Y and Z are all capable of performing this basic task. Our questions were how well, how effortlessly and for how long.
X is the only glove in this test that has padding made of foam. Both Y and Z have gel padding. Foam padding makes the fit of the glove bulky. Gel padding helps maintain the minimalistic design. Foam won’t serve its purpose if it’s not cut and shaped accurately to fit the palm. This is a downside when palms of different people are not entirely identical. Gel however has the ability to provide cushioning to a wider area without the concentrated cushion pattern that foam provides and enjoys a preference over foam.
It is a human habit to use the wrist to wipe off sweat from the forehead. Glove Y and Z double up as a mini towel owing to the absorbent material used in making their outer surfaces. Glove X’s rubber knuckle pads will get in the way if you attempt the same.
It is important to have good stitching and finishing for the longevity of a glove. Glove X has a few loose ends at the finger tips and needs to be removed carefully to avoid pulling off the stitches. Glove Y has better stitching and can endure some bit of yanking and biting while trying to take them off. Glove Z steals the show with the hemmed stitching and the added provision of removal loops. Ingenuity trumps price point and the neon green glove Y is now our favourite.
To conclude, choosing among the three depends on your riding pattern and duration. As with anything, you need to start somewhere and then build up to a optimum solution along the way. What works for one may not always work for the other. We have listed the merits of the different kinds of gloves and you are free to choose now. Ride safe.
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