There are a lot of bones in your hands, and they aren't very big and strong. There are also a lot of nerve endings. Add these things to the fact that your hands are frequently the first thing to get clobbered in a crash and are in the forefront of all the nastiness coming your way when you ride anyway and you can surely see that the potential for pain and long term inconvenience is really rather high. As a committed performance motorcycle rider (and you can read that as you will) I am pretty picky when it comes to what I wear on my hands. Because I need them to carry on working after I throw myself down the track, you see.
Racer is an Austrian company. We've tested their stuff before, both academically and in the heat of action, and they've yet to come up short. But of course things move on, so let's have a look now...
Their new top glove is called the Sicuro, and initial impressions are good. The leather is thick enough without making them unwieldy. Stitching looks to be of a high quality, and there are plenty of reassuring chunks of armour, ranging from the slab of titanium protecting the knuckles through to the Knox scaphoid protector, more on which later.
There are racer's signature vents in the backs of the fingers and the outside fingers on both hands are bridged to reduce tearing injuries. Which, believe me, is a Good Thing. The palms and inner fingers are covered in a strange material called Super-Fabric which is incredibly abrasion resistant and in turn sits on top of the main kangaroo hide palm.
The cuffs are secured with velcro on the inside of the arm, and have a sturdy rubber plate across the back, offering some extra protection as well as adding a unique touch. More rubber surrounds the titanium armour, also enclosing air extract vents.
Putting the gloves on is a bit of a surprise because they are most definitely on the small side. And yet...they're not. I got a set exactly the same size as my previous pair of Racer gloves, and was worried that I had the wrong size. Because they are extremely snug when you put them on...yet as soon as they are actually on your hand they fit perfectly. Like a glove, in fact. I'd suggest that you try a pair on before buying rather than ordering online, but do bear in mind that they fit much better than initial impressions might suggest.
Once on the gloves are supremely comfortable - light and breathable but still feeling reassuringly solid. Yes, they're quite snug but that in no way effects the comfort, though it can be a bit of a pain taking them off. The good thing, of course, is that they're extremely unlikely to come off when you don't want them to - like when you're sliding down the road - which is a bonus.
On the move, the gloves are sufficiently vented as to allow your hands to stay reasonably cool. Oddly, they don't seem to get cold, even early in the morning or at night when the temperature has dropped. They're not winter gloves by any means, but there's some magic going on in there preventing extremes of temperature. Which is nice, because personally I find overheated sweaty hands to be a bit unpleasant.
I mentioned the Knox scaphoid protector earlier. It's a clever idea - as well as providing a bit of impact protection, this bit of hard plastic is more intended to act as a slider, letting your hand glide over the ground without the snatching and wrenching which causes scaphoid (and collar-bone, and rotator cuff) injuries. Now as these are probably the most common injuries that result from unplanned excursions off the bike, that can only be a Good Thing, right? It's also worth mentioning that the protector doesn't dig in when you're riding. In fact I wouldn't know it was there, which I guess is rather the idea.
So far I've use these Racer Sicuro gloves for about a month, including a trackday and some heavy-duty commuting, and I have to say I'm impressed. They're comfortable, feel well made, look OK and, at just £102, are excellent value for money.
I'd definitely recommend them.