First Gear Gloves

MSRP: $89.95

I never really understood folks who get tattoos on their backs. It's supposed to be some big "personal" statement and yet the person that it's supposed to be so personal to won't ever see it, except maybe in a photo. Sounds more like a "public" statement to me. It also seems like a lot of trouble to impress some strangers, who are invariably not going to be impressed anyway.

I don't know what the fashion trends are out there in the rest of the world, but here in L.A. it's those of us who DON'T have any tattoos or piercings who are the fashion rebels. That having been said, if I was going to get a "tat", I would want it on my arms or hands where it could remind ME of whatever it was that it was supposed to symbolize. Maybe some red and orange flames coming off my knuckles, or dragons on my palms like former Ultimate Fighting Champ, Bas Ruten. Depending upon one's line of work, however, such a bold statement could be a serious CLM (career limiting move), so probably not a good idea.Oh cmon Sean, you know you want a pair!

What about a temporary tattoo you might ask? Well, First Gear has taken that concept one better with their Chrome Tech gloves. By day, I am a not-so-mild mannered motojournalist. But when I slip on my Chrome Tech gloves, I become faster than a speeding 'Busa, more invincible than Valentino Rossi, able to blind cagers with a single sunbeam reflected off my mirrored paws. Now before the "too cool to admit they ever fantasize while riding" crew start setting their flame-throwers to "napalm", y'all can just stop reading here, and go back to your tech-wanking chat threads about whether substituting a carbon fiber "start" button will shave an extra nano-second off your morning commute. These aren't your gloves. As for me, as bitter and jaded as my 36 years of unflinchingly staring life in the ass has made me, I still have a little kid somewhere inside that loves to hum the theme to "Speed Racer" as I open up the throttle to begin my drive out of the freeway on-ramp onto the 405. And nothing enhances a good Japanime moment like a set of chrome knuckled gloves, right out in front of my face where I can see 'em.Hey, at least Ebass ADMITS he's a poseur!

The Chrome Techs feature "Action Stretch" flex panels on the back of the hand which allow for flex in the wrist without disturbing the gauntlet. Suede palms are provided for enhanced grip. Fingers and knuckles are protected by the aforementioned chrome armor, and ventilated by positive air intake scoops on three of the digits. The gloves are secured by a full circumference wrist retention strap. Fit and feel is adequate. The fingers are a little stiff and have some extra material bunched at the tips and seams. Not a big deal for everyday use, but you won't get a "second skin" feel from them. I would choose other higher performance (and more expensive) pairs for a day at the track, or pushing hard in the canyons. They feel nice when you hug yourself with them too!

As one might guess, these hand huggers aren't going to show up on the palms of a MOTO GP rider anytime soon, but that isn't really the point. The Chrome Techs are functional gloves that provide fun and fantasy for those of us who still have a Red Power Ranger in us, trying to get out. So let the poseur police sirens wail! I'm Peter Pan dammit, and they'll never take me alive! 


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