RoadGear: Cheetah and Carbon Maxx Gloves
By Olaf Wolff
Sr. Staff Writer
I’d never get on a motorcycle without gloves. Gloves are the final ingredient in my gearing up to ride ritual. It’s the ending on the checklist that signals it’s go-time. Yeah, well, unless I forget to pull the key from my pocket first. A highfalutin pair of gloves can cost between 150, and an audible, wallet-sucking, 300 bones. Neither one of these gloves cost over 100 bucks – yet they offer nearly identical features and protection.
How, you may ask, can RoadGear offer such high-quality gloves designed for warm weather riding at such a ridiculously reasonable price? I’m thinking it has something to do with magical glove-gnomes, but it’s only a theory.
I jest, but joke not about these gloves. There are three parameters on which to judge fine hand-wear. First and foremost they must function supremely to protect my digits in the event I find myself inadvertently asphalt surfing. To that end RoadGear hasn’t scrimped one iota. Kevlar is used in contact areas, ample double-row stitching in high-stress points, and floating carbon fiber knuckle protectors. All mixed together with tough, breathable cowhide and special-deluxe rubberized gauntlet and palm-pads.
The next thing to look for is fit, which ties in with the protection aspect. Gloves need to fit properly, so as not to hinder in any way, your feel for the handlebars and controls. More importantly they need to fit to stay put and not fly off when needed. And lastly, they really should look technically sweet. I’ll get back to that in a second.
The Cheetahs serve that purpose best. These are full-gauntlet race gloves, with enough breathable material and little rubber-dome protected air-vents in strategic locations to keep your hands comfy while canyon carving on some hot August morning. The Cheetahs are all about safety first, cool hands second. The fit is precise and exact. They tend to form better to your paws with every ride. And yes, they look real good. You’ll appear maybe 25-percent faster just wearing them.
The Carbon Maxx gloves surrender a scant 15-percent on the total protection aspect, in exchange for a low-cut, fully vented leather glove. They’re short on top of the wrist, but really more of a hybrid-gauntlet along the bottom, which extends under the wrist on the bottom side and includes four small padded sections. The fit is a bit more relaxed to embrace the airflow. However, the top-mounted wrist strap will keep them secure. There’s an understated, all-business appearance about these gloves that’s all money.
And, talking about money, you could afford to buy both pairs, for less than one pair of those other gloves.
Cheetah - $94.90
Carbon Maxx - $69.90