Roadgear Ultra Glove Review
Warm fingers, more feeling, more fun
Keeping your core warm is one of the best ways to keep the rest of your body warm. But the steely-cold winter winds here in Chicago can still do a number on your extremities even if you're dressed in your finest chinchilla fur-lined flack jacket. The two areas to suffer most from exposure are your hands and feet. I can deal with frozen tootsies, but trying to operate the throttle, clutch and front brake with hands that feel like you're trying to pick up a dime with a baseball glove, well, let's just say a good pair of riding winter riding gloves are important.
Coming to the rescue is an excellent pair of digit insulators from one of the best-known names in motorcycle clothing.
Roadgear Ultra Glove
With lots of high-tech features that work well, the Roadgear Ultra Gloves are built for a nasty Chicago winter. The outer surface is cowhide while Thinsulate insulation is used throughout. Moisture-defeating work is the job of a Hipora breathable waterproof insert; not only do those pinkies stay warm and dry from outside H2O assaults, the Hipora liner allows moisture from your skin to escape, keeping you dry on both sides.
Now, I didn’t do this, but they have a "breathability test" you can perform to see how the liner works. Purportedly by pouring hot water into the glove (yes, believe it or not, this is suggested right on one of those promotional tags that so many products are adorned with) you'll witness steam escaping from inside the glove, yet no water will leak out. Pretty cool stuff. Can't be any worse than rubber glove liners, can it?
At this point I'm certain you're all on the edge of your seats wondering how these gloves hold up when the mercury hits the bottom of the thermometer. Well, you can rest easy tonight knowing that they work very well. They keep your hands plenty warm on the coldest days, yet lack the bulkiness of other gloves. Roadgear's website has a comfortable temperature rating for these gloves between 35 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I found those figures to be cautious, as I often rode in temps in the low to mid-20s.
The Keprotec material sewn onto the palm is "five times stronger than steel, gram for gram," according to Roadgear product info. Of that I'm not sure, but it does help grip no matter how cold or wet the gloves get. The gauntlets create a tight seal over the jacket sleeves to keep out cold drafts. The wind, not a Pilsner.
I bet some of you remember buying a pair leather gloves back in the day that didn’t fit quite right and soaked them in water with your hand in there to loosen those babies up a bit. Well things have changed. I tested size XL and they fit perfectly; from the fingers to the palms there was never any restriction or binding. I felt like I had worn them for years. No break-in period means fit and performance are spot on right out of the box.
There's no armor on the gloves, but I think the average user would be satisfied with the level of protection offered by the leather outer, padding on the knuckles and fingers, and Keprotec palms. I believe these gloves would fare pretty decently if a rider felt the need to inspect the pavement up close, at speed.
The only nit that I picked with these gloves would be the lack of a zipper on the gauntlets. Pulling the glove over a jacket cuff could be a much easier task if a zipper existed at this spot. Otherwise, for the paltry sum of $68.90 that's made even less significant when you factor in the two-year warranty, the Ultras should make a fine three-season glove. Visit http://www.roadgear.com/ for more info on the Ultra as well as other products from Roadgear.