Friday, February 25, 2011

Who is Tex, and why is his name on all my gloves? Gear Review

A while back on bolty.net I mentioned it would be good to hear everyone's review on the gear they have collected over time. Stacy called me on it, so I figured I better do my part and try to put together some sort of review. I have to start somewhere, so I pick gloves.

Early on I learned that I liked gloves all the time.  I would ride in a tee-shirt and Salomon amphib shoes (Yeah, I know), but I always wanted my gloves. 

Technic Mesh glove
My first gloves that weren't leather gardening gloves was a pair of Technic Mesh Gloves, purchased for the warm season. These are rather minimalist gloves. No armor, but there are some thicker parts over the knuckles and other vulnerable spots, and no gauntlet running up the arm. The glove ends at the wrist. Like I said, minimal, but I like them. They're unobtrusive, easy to run controls on the bike or on my camera. I've used them down into the 50's F, and up into the 90/100s F.
Technic Mesh glove

Olympia Wind-tex Gloves
 When fall rolled around I needed something warmer. The Olympias were recommended to me, and they've been a favorite. They have been my warmest glove, and were my go-to glove for cold and cool weather. I've used them down into the high 20s F - as cold as I've ever ridden. My finger tips got cold after awhile, but my hands while cool were not uncomfortable. They aren't waterproof, but they held off the rain long enough for my commute (an hour).
Olympia Wind-tex Gloves

Tourmaster Polar-tex gloves
 I bought the tourmasters as a waterproof option to the Olympias. They looked like they might be warmer. They're not, though they are equivalent. They're a little bulkier than the Olympias. Not bad, but enough that I only used them in the worst conditions.  I picked them up in the spring and by the time cold weather returned, I had added heated grips to the bike so haven't really used them that much. One issue I have with this type of glove is the gauntlet isn't quite big enough to fit over my jacket sleeve, but are too bulky to fit inside the sleeve. I've been told the gauntlet goes on the outside and I've been told they go on the inside, I'm still not sure which works best, but either way is a struggle with this particular glove.
Tourmaster Polar-Tex gloves

Rev'it Hydratex Leather glove, waterproof
This was one of those impulse purchases that seem to happen whenever I walk into a gear shop. Leather and waterproof, with no insulation added, just basic leather gloves. They're snug to pull on, but once on feel pretty good. They tend to ball up under my palm with the throttle, so it may be they're a little big for my hands, though they appear to fit well. The fingers are too long, but that's not unusual for me. At first I didn't like them. They felt clammy, didn't breath like my other gloves, but I've gotten used to that and they are a nice mild weather glove. With heated grips they've become my regular glove once the temps get above 45 F or so. I could probably wear them in colder temps with the grips. I can feel the wind over the back of my hands if it's cold enough out, so the definitely aren't quite as warm as my other gloves.
Rev'it Hydratex Leather glove

 Swix Lobster Claw Gloves (REI)
My latest gloves I purchased on a recommendation from Trobairitz. They aren't motorcycle gloves, but rather are for snow sports. They are a lobster claw mitten with good insulation and wind stopping capabilities on the back, and fairly thin over the palms  allowing heat from the grips to easily seep in. They are waterproof, though I think eventually water would get in. With hand guards on the ninja, I don't get a lot of moisture to my hands, so it's been a non-issue. The gloves are very warm. I've used them down in the low 30s F. their only downside is that since they're not motorcycle specific, they don't offer protection in a fall.  These have become my first choice for cold weather riding. Even though they are very warm, they aren't bulky, and I have nice dexterity, able to easily run controls and the camera when needed.
 Swix Lobster Claw Gloves

With my current set up the gloves I'm using are:
  • Hot/warm weather:  Technic Mesh glove
  • Cool weather:          Rev'it Hydratex Leather glove, waterproof
  • Cold weather:          Swix Lobster Claw Gloves

I still don't know who Tex is...

*Most photos from the internet

20 comments:

  1. BlueKat:

    I'm more concerned with your Saloman Tech Amphibs then your gloves. I have a couple of pairs of those Tech Amphibs, easy to pack and they squish to nothing after you change from your RIDING BOOTS.

    Most MC gloves are too bulky, but I like leather ones. and OH, the Gauntlets go over your jacket sleeves to divert the air OUT rather than INSIDE your jacket

    bob
    Wet Coast Scootin

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  2. Dear BlueKat:

    I have learned that you can never have enough pairs of gloves, yet I have four pair with approximately the same mission overlap as yours. I always opt for the thinnest gloves I can find as I hate to feel isolated from the clutch. The lobster mitts were very interesting. I ride with a guy whose hands look just like them.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad

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  3. And here I thought that I had too many pairs of gloves (2). The mesh pair only got used a couple of times last summer. Do you find that you still need all of them with the hand guards and heated grips?

    Richard

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  4. Hi Bobskoot,
    I'll put your mind to rest. I don't wear the amphibs or any low-cut shoe while riding anymore, haven't for a long, long time! I tried it a time or two before figuring out I didn't like it.

    I had to toss it in there though...just for the shock value.
    I like a good shocked reaction (evil laugh)!
    I should have made it clear it was only in the past! Better? :)

    Yeah, I don't like bulky gloves (or jackets, but that's another post). On the gauntlets, I've been told both ways, though outside makes the most sense. I've tried both ways and have had success and failures either way. With some of my gloves I don't have an option.

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  5. Hi Jack,
    Same here, thinnest and lightest I can stand without freezing my fingers off. Your friend must be quite coordinated to ride with lobster hands, but now he can have the perfect glove. :)

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  6. I prefer gloves with a slim cuff when riding in bad weather. The gauntlet style invites rain to enter the glove from water running down your arm. People will tell you to cinch the gauntlets tighter, but you'll cut your circulation off before you can stop the insidious moisture!

    I had the same experience with my Rev'it gloves. They're not exactly the same as yours, but they also feel clammy in the rain. My three-year-old pair still seems watertight, but I see a pair of real GoreTex gloves in my future.

    Speaking of GoreTex, the cachet from having it in high-priced gear is likely the reason why "Tex" is so prevalent in the names.

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  7. Kari:
    I have learned from bitter experience that the suffix "Tex" is Outer Mongolian for "Astronomically priced and still leaks at critical moments".

    With the endurance riding I do, it's sometimes in torrential rain with no option but to keep going. I've given up on hideously-priced gloves, the cupboard is jammed with failures. Instead, I now use a thinner glove with the Kiwi-made Rain-Off mitts over them (http://www.rain-off.com/). Never leak, thin enough to give complete control, tough and only cost about US$50. Keeps your hands warm too with that extra layer. They look a bit odd but take it from me, they really do the biz.

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  8. I am glad you like the Swix Kari. I like them because I can feel the heated grips through them and my fingers stay warmer in in mittens rather than gloves. I do find I wish the gauntlet was longer to go over my jacket sleeves rather than in. I find the wind whips up my jacket sleeves. Part of having scrawny wrists is you can never get the jackets done up tight enough to keep wind out (velcro isn't long enough)

    I was a little concerned about no armor in them at first, but thought they had more padding than my summer deerskin leather gloves (which will be replaced this summer).

    Great post on the multiple styles we need for all seasons.

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  9. Thanks for the insights. I collect gloves like you and Jack, it seems. My problem is that my hands get moist and clammy at any time. Can't wear my heated Gerbing gloves because my fingers get colder! Oh well. :)

    -Lori

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  10. Hi Richard,
    I don't think you can have too many gloves. I find myself drawn to them at MC stores. Addictive little things!

    The mesh are mostly for summer, but for this time of year I still need the other two (Rev'its and Swix).

    For me it's more a problem with keeping finger tips warm. The grips do a great job keeping my palms warm (hot even), but they don't do as much for my fingertips. I seem to have more trouble with this than some riders, so it might not be an issue for everyone.

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  11. Hi Stacy,
    That's what Mike at Premier told me as well. I've only had one incidence of rain getting in since switching to the inside, but I think my shirt sleeve wasn't tucked in and may have wicked in the water. Otherwise I've stayed dry.

    I think you and Geoff nailed it on who Tex is! :)

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  12. Hi Geoff
    lol - Good description for Tex :)

    The rain off mitts look interesting. Looking odd is still better than being wet and cold, especially cold!
    Thanks for the link.

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  13. Hi Trobairitz
    I hope the days are rolling by quickly. I think though, you may be bringing your new ride home in the rain.

    The Swix have been great. Thanks for the recommendation! I think the lobster claw design goes a long way in keeping my fingers warm.

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  14. Hi Lori,
    Well, that's a hard one to overcome! Maybe a thin wicking liner underneath the gloves? I think hands are one of the biggest challenges to keep warm while riding.

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  15. I have two pairs of winter gloves, they both seemed to work well the first season but by the second winter the insulation has broken down leaving my fingertips frozen. It is difficult to justify top dollar every year for new winter gloves. I swore my next gloves were going to be electric but with Lori's comment it doesn't sound like they're any better. Like Richard, something about the glove rack at M/C shops draw me in. I have a pair of Fieldsheer lobster claw rain covers and they help with the cold.
    I wear gauntlet gloves on the outside rain or shine, the trick in the rain is to keep your elbows down lower than your wrists. For me it just takes a little lean towards the windscreen, you and Stacy may have to go for the full sportbike tuck.
    Moose Mitts or Hippo Hands work very well in the cold and if you use a very good rain repellent and antifog on your visor so you don't have to remove your hand to vent or wipe the rain away to see, they work well in the rain too.

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  16. You are correct. A friend recommended a couple to me...but I haven't picked them up yet. Have to order them online. What makes them so interesting is that they are supposed to distribute heat! Cool

    Thermal Glove Liners
    Liner Gloves with ceramic crystals

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  17. Hi Troubadour,
    How do you like the fieldsheer lobster claws for keeping off rain and/or blocking wind?

    I was close to trying heated gloves, but the thought of more wires and more stuff to fuss with turned me off.

    btw, how was your ride today (Monday)? It was terribly windy! Me thinks it's the year for me to overcome my fear of the wind.

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  18. Hi Lori,
    Interesting, I think I've seen something like these in stores. Mine are just simple silk liners. I haven't used them since getting heated grips.

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  19. I have to "hand" it to you, the review covers a lot of gloves.

    Personally, I wear boxing gloves. They have other uses besides when actually on the bike!

    Just wanted to offer greetings. Catching up on your posts, I didn't realize I had been away so long.

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  20. Boxing gloves? Well that's novel! :)
    I suppose they would keep the wind off, but a little too bulky for my liking. Good to hear from you and hope all is well with you and yours!

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