Motorcycle gloves are more than just a fashion statement or a barrier against the elements; they’re a crucial piece of safety gear that can protect your hands in the event of an accident. But not all gloves are created equal, and a proper fit is just as important as the materials used or the level of protection offered. Ill-fitting gloves can be a distraction, or worse, they can compromise your control over your motorcycle. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the importance of a well-fitted pair of motorcycle gloves, how to measure your hand, what to look for in a fit, and how to maintain your gloves for lasting comfort and protection. Let’s ensure your ride is as safe as it is enjoyable.
The Basics of Motorcycle Gloves
A. Different Types of Motorcycle Gloves
Motorcycle gloves come in a variety of styles, each designed for specific riding conditions and preferences. Here are some of the most common types:
- Gauntlet Gloves: These gloves offer the highest level of protection, covering not only the hands but also extending up the forearm. They’re ideal for colder weather and high-speed riding.
- Short Cuff Gloves: Shorter than gauntlet gloves, these provide less coverage but offer more flexibility and comfort, making them suitable for city riding or warmer climates.
- Fingerless Gloves: While they offer less protection, fingerless gloves provide maximum ventilation and tactile feedback, favored by some riders in hot weather.
- Racing Gloves: Designed for high-speed track use, these gloves are heavily armored, especially around the palms and knuckles, and often include sliders for additional safety.
B. Materials Used in Motorcycle Gloves
The material of your gloves plays a significant role in their comfort, durability, and protection level. Here are the most common materials:
- Leather: Known for its durability and abrasion resistance, leather is a popular choice for motorcycle gloves, especially brown leather gloves. It offers excellent protection, but it may require more maintenance to keep it in good condition.
- Textile: Gloves made from textile materials are typically lighter and more breathable than leather. They can also be waterproof and are generally easier to care for.
- Hybrid: Some gloves combine leather and textile materials, aiming to offer the best of both worlds – the protection of leather with the comfort and breathability of textiles.
C. Important Glove Features
Motorcycle gloves come with various features designed to enhance protection, comfort, and usability:
- Padding and Armor: Look for gloves with reinforced padding or armor, especially on the palms, knuckles, and fingers. This can provide additional protection in case of a fall.
- Weather Resistance: Depending on your typical riding conditions, you might need gloves that are waterproof, insulated for cold weather, or ventilated for hot weather.
- Touchscreen Compatibility: Some modern gloves feature touchscreen-compatible fingertips, allowing you to use your smartphone or GPS device without removing your gloves.
Understanding Glove Sizes
A. Standard Glove Sizing
Motorcycle glove sizes typically range from extra small (XS) to triple extra large (XXXL). However, sizing can vary between brands and models, so it’s essential to check the manufacturer’s size chart before making a purchase. These charts usually provide measurements in inches or centimeters and correlate them with their respective sizes.
B. How to Measure Your Hand for Motorcycle Gloves
To find your glove size, you’ll need to measure your hand. Here’s a simple method:
- Hand Circumference: Wrap a soft measuring tape around your dominant hand’s widest part – excluding the thumb. The tape should go over the knuckles and be snug but not tight. This measurement in inches or centimeters is your hand circumference.
- Hand Length: Measure from the tip of your middle finger to the base of your hand where it meets the wrist. This is your hand length.
Remember to write down these measurements and compare them with the manufacturer’s size chart.
C. Common Sizing Mistakes to Avoid
When it comes to glove sizing, there are a few common mistakes that riders make:
- Assuming Size Consistency: Just because you wear a medium in one brand doesn’t mean you’ll wear a medium in another. Always check the specific brand’s size chart.
- Ignoring Finger Length: Gloves that fit well around the palm can still be uncomfortable if the fingers are too short or too long. Make sure the glove fits well in all areas.
- Forgetting About Gear: If you wear a watch or wrist guards, make sure to measure your hand with these on, or consider their presence when choosing a size.
The Perfect Fit: What to Look For
A. How the Glove Should Feel on Your Hand
A well-fitting motorcycle glove should feel snug but not overly tight. You should be able to make a fist without feeling excessive pressure or restriction. The glove should also be comfortable to wear for extended periods, without causing numbness or discomfort.
B. The Importance of Finger Length and Palm Width
The glove’s fingers should align with your own. If the glove’s fingers are too short, they can restrict movement and cause discomfort. If they’re too long, they can interfere with your grip and control. The width of the glove should accommodate your palm comfortably, without being too tight or too loose.
C. How the Glove Should Move with Your Hand
A good motorcycle glove should move naturally with your hand. When you grip the handlebars, the glove should flex easily, without bunching up or creating pressure points. The glove should also maintain a secure fit when your hand is relaxed.
D. The Role of Wrist Straps and Closures in Ensuring a Secure Fit
Most motorcycle gloves feature some form of wrist closure, such as a strap or a gauntlet, to ensure the glove stays securely in place. If you don’t want to spend much on your gloves, you can consider some budget-friendly motorcycle gloves under $50 available in the market. This closure should be easy to adjust and should hold the glove firmly on your hand without causing discomfort. A glove that can easily slip off your hand in an accident won’t provide much protection.
Finding the perfect fit for your motorcycle gloves may take some trial and error, but it’s worth the effort. A well-fitting glove not only enhances your comfort but also improves your control and safety while riding.
Trying on Gloves: A Step-by-Step Guide
A. Where and How to Try on Gloves
If possible, it’s always best to try on gloves in person. This allows you to get a feel for the material, check the construction quality, and most importantly, ensure a good fit. Here’s how to do it:
- Relax your hand and slide it into the glove. It should go in smoothly without having to force it.
- Once your hand is in, make a fist. The glove should not feel overly tight or restrictive.
- Open your hand and flex your fingers. The glove should move naturally with your hand.
- Check the wrist closure. It should secure the glove firmly on your hand without causing discomfort.
B. What to Do and What to Look for When Trying on Gloves
When trying on gloves, pay attention to the following:
- Finger Length: Your fingers should fit comfortably within the glove’s fingers. They shouldn’t feel cramped, nor should there be too much extra material at the tips.
- Palm Fit: The glove should fit snugly around your palm without being too tight. You should be able to grip and release without any discomfort.
- Wrist Closure: The wrist closure should secure the glove on your hand. It should not be so tight that it restricts your wrist movement or cuts off circulation.
- Overall Comfort: Above all, the glove should feel comfortable. If it causes any discomfort or numbness, it’s probably not the right fit.
C. Tips for Trying on Gloves with Your Motorcycle Gear
If you can, try on gloves while wearing your motorcycle jacket. The gloves should integrate well with your jacket’s cuffs, whether you wear them over or under the sleeves. Also, if possible, try them on while holding a motorcycle handlebar or a similar object to simulate the riding experience.
Remember, a good fit is crucial for comfort, control, and protection when riding. Take your time when trying on gloves, and don’t settle for a pair that doesn’t feel right.
Common Problems and Solutions
A. What to Do If Your Gloves Are Too Tight or Too Loose
If your gloves are too tight, they can restrict your movement and cause discomfort or numbness. On the other hand, gloves that are too loose may not provide adequate protection and could even slip off during a ride. If you find that your gloves don’t fit correctly, here are some solutions:
- Re-measure Your Hand: It’s possible that you may have measured your hand incorrectly the first time. Try measuring again and compare the results with the manufacturer’s size chart.
- Try a Different Brand or Model: Different brands and models can vary in size and fit. If one brand’s medium is too tight, another brand’s medium might fit perfectly.
- Consider Professional Fitting: If you’re having trouble finding gloves that fit, consider getting professionally fitted at a motorcycle gear shop.
B. How to Break in New Gloves for a Better Fit
New gloves can often feel stiff and uncomfortable at first. Here’s how to break them in:
- Wear Them Around the House: Before hitting the road, wear your new gloves around the house. This can help them conform to your hands without the risk of riding with uncomfortable gloves.
- Use Leather Conditioner: If your gloves are made of leather, consider using a leather conditioner. This can help soften the material and make it more flexible.
- Be Patient: Breaking in gloves takes time. Don’t rush the process, as this could damage the gloves.
C. When to Consider Custom-Made Gloves
If you’ve tried several pairs of gloves and none seem to fit correctly, you might want to consider custom-made gloves. While more expensive, custom gloves are made to fit your exact measurements, ensuring a perfect fit.
Remember, the right fit is crucial for both comfort and safety when riding. If your gloves don’t fit correctly, take the time to find a pair that does. Your hands will thank you.
Maintaining Your Gloves for a Lasting Fit
A. How to Clean and Store Your Gloves
Proper maintenance can extend the life of your motorcycle gloves and ensure they continue to fit well. Here’s how to clean and store them:
- Cleaning: Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning your gloves. Generally, leather gloves can be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild soap, while textile gloves may be machine washable. Always allow your gloves to air dry naturally, away from direct heat sources.
- Storage: Store your gloves in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. If your gloves are wet, let them dry completely before storing them to prevent mold and mildew.
B. The Impact of Wear and Tear on Glove Fit
Over time, your gloves will naturally wear and may begin to fit differently. Leather gloves, in particular, can stretch and conform to your hands over time. If your gloves become too loose or start to show signs of damage, such as tears or thinning material, it may be time to replace them.
C. When to Replace Your Gloves
Knowing when to replace your gloves is crucial for maintaining optimal protection. Signs that it’s time for a new pair include:
- Visible Damage: If your gloves have tears, holes, or severely worn areas, they won’t provide adequate protection.
- Loose Fit: If your gloves have stretched out and become too loose, they may not stay on your hands in the event of a crash.
- Comfort Issues: If your gloves have become uncomfortable due to wear and tear, replacing them can improve your riding experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
|Frequently Asked Questions
|How should motorcycle gloves fit?
|Motorcycle gloves should fit snugly but not too tightly. They should move naturally with your hand and not restrict your movement. The fingers should align with your own, and the glove should stay securely on your hand with the help of wrist closures.
|How do I measure my hand for motorcycle gloves?
|Measure the circumference of your hand at its widest point (excluding the thumb) using a soft measuring tape. Also, measure the length of your hand from the tip of your middle finger to the base of your hand. Compare these measurements with the manufacturer’s size chart to find your glove size.
|What do I do if my gloves are too tight or too loose?
|If your gloves don’t fit correctly, you can try re-measuring your hand, trying a different brand or model, or getting professionally fitted. If none of these solutions work, you might want to consider custom-made gloves.
|How do I break in new gloves?
|Wear your new gloves around the house to help them conform to your hands. If your gloves are made of leather, you can also use a leather conditioner to soften the material. Remember, breaking in gloves takes time, so be patient.
|How do I clean and store my gloves?
|Clean your gloves according to the manufacturer’s instructions and allow them to air dry naturally. Store your gloves in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. If your gloves are wet, let them dry completely before storing them.
|When should I replace my gloves?
|Replace your gloves if they have visible damage, have become too loose, or have become uncomfortable due to wear and tear. Regularly inspect your gloves for signs of wear and replace them as needed to ensure optimal protection.
In conclusion, the fit of your motorcycle gloves is a crucial aspect that should never be overlooked. A well-fitted glove not only enhances your comfort but also improves your control over the motorcycle and provides the necessary protection in case of an accident. From understanding the basics of glove types and materials, learning how to measure your hand, and knowing what to look for in a fit, to maintaining your gloves for lasting comfort and protection, every step is essential in your journey to find the perfect pair of motorcycle gloves. Remember, safety should always be your top priority when riding, and a well-fitted pair of gloves is a significant part of that safety equation. So, take your time, do your research, and don’t settle for anything less than a perfect fit. Safe riding!