Most of our reviews here at All About Bikes are written on the newest “just released” kind of products. However, when I saw the closeout prices at Competition Accessories on the Speed and Strength 'Above the Influence’ gloves, I had to pen a few words.
When you look at the sport-bike line of Alpinestars gloves, you have some serious choices to make. You must ask yourself how much protection you need and what would be overkill. Interestingly, my first two extended Alpinestars glove evaluations were with the two extremes of the company’s sport line. The first was the entry-level SP-3; the next was the ultra-premium and race-oriented GP Plus.
While the SP-3 was extremely comfortable, I always felt that its lack of any hard armor was a bit disconcerting. On the other hand (but not at the same time…wink), the word “overkill” came to mind as I sampled the GP Plus. It became clear that my riding style and level of aggressiveness placed my ideal glove somewhere between the two.
Sometimes a company’s name fits its product perfectly. The German glove company, Held, is just such a match. However, how appropriate the company's name is to the English-speaking consumer base is purely coincidence. In the 1940s, German glove-maker Edgar Held started the line of high quality motorcycle gloves. Over the 70 years the company has making gloves, Held has built a reputation that is second to none.
As I sit writing this piece, a raw knuckle stares back at me from the keyboard.
Okay, I am officially tired of busted knuckles from a slipped wrench, burned fingers from an unexpectedly hot exhaust, and cuts on my hands from those dastardly sharp bodywork panels. If you work on your own bikes like I do, you know exactly what I mean.
Summer riding gloves pose some real design compromise issues. A glove that is going to be relatively cool needs to be semi-lightweight. However, a motorcycle glove that does not offer a substantial level of protection is virtually worthless in my book. A lot of the summer gloves that I have reviewed have left me totally unimpressed.
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