Gear: Racer Sicuro Gloves

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A new brand from Austria, Racer promises to rival more established brands on quality, fit and price. We dug the unique look of these Sicuro gauntlets and have worn them every single day for the last month. Good enough for you to switch brands?

“The best fitting gloves you can buy,” reads the tagline in Racer’s new ad campaign.

“Don’t get me wrong, Held, AStars, Dainese, Rev It etc all make great products, it’s just that Racer is smaller (1-2 factorys) and does not have the variances of some larger brands,” the firm’s US importer, Lee Block tells us. “Those brands make millions of gloves in multiple factories. Pattern making, production tolerances etc vary. That is why you will find you are a different size across various models.”

The Sicuro’s are the 2nd tier race gauntlets in Racer’s new range, lacking the hard external wrist protection of the top-tier R-Safes.

I figured they’d make perfect street gloves. Gnarly enough to offer real protection, understated enough to wear with that Vanson. Lacking much in the way of perforation, they’re also good across a wider temperature range than some dedicated racing gloves, they’re comfy anywhere from 90 degrees on down to 60 or so. These have been my everyday go-tos for a month now and I even wore them to, from and during Taste of Dakar.

Cowhide uppers with kangaroo skin palms. Titanium and plastic knuckle armor. Knox TPU scaphoid and palm sliders. SuperFabric overlays on the heel and sides of your hand. Ring and little finger bridge to prevent finger roll. All that’s pretty standard in a $200 plus race glove, but Racer does a good job combining all that into a cohesive package.

I had a very low speed lowside in the wet in these and, as you’d expect, suffered no damage to my hands. The gloves have a few scrapes on the knuckle and scaphoid sliders, but sustained no other damage. Perhaps more indicative of their ability to protect your hands is how solid they feel, all the armor and whatnot is in the exact right place and held tightly to your hands.

Lee’s not bullshitting, these are some perfectly fitting gloves. When he sent them down, I just gave him my usual size in Astars and he nailed it. The Sicuros required no break in, delivering all-day comfort from the first wear. No hot spots, no pinch points, no finger armor restricting tight grips.

All the various armor pieces fit perfectly to the contours of my hands, even the scaphoid and palm sliders, resulting in zero loss of control, comfort or range of movement.

I’m not a huge fan of most Kangaroo-palm gloves, simply because the stronger-but-thinner material doesn’t feel as solid. I know that’s not borne out in reality, it’s just a feel thing. But not these, I was actually surprised by the Kangaroo spec when I looked it up for this article.

The large, rubberized cuff also manages to wrap itself comfortably and securely around any sleeve I’ve worn them with so far, from race leathers to the Vanson to a Dainese Terren jacket to my Roadcrafter. This is a more universal and comfortable solution than the hard, oversized, plastic cuffs found on high-end Alpinestars gloves. That solution works better with race leathers (facilitating easy rotation around the skin-tight leather) and not so well with textile or more casual jackets.

That I’ve been wearing these literally everywhere is testament to doing what they say they’ll do. They protected my hands in a silly little tumble, worked just as well off-road as they do on and are comfortable paired with any of my suits or jackets.

In that crash I had back in September, the plastic knuckle armor on my Alpinestars gloves was slammed back, badly cutting the back of my hand and resulting in a scar that’s still there today and restricted movement that’s only just worked itself out. I cracked my left knuckle for the first time since just last week. Part of the reason I chose these was due to the longer, lower-profile knuckle protection that should have a lesser tendency to focus impact forces. Because of the flatter shape and larger area of the knuckled protection, impact forces should be more greatly spread out and that protection extends across more of my hand.

After that trip out to the desert and daily use, the rubberized grip triangles on the palm and finger are beginning to wear off.

The Competition:
Alpinestars GP-Pro ($240): Similar in spec with their cowhide uppers, kangaroo palms and tons of armor, Racer has them beat in the use of SuperFabric anti-abrasion add-ons. The armored fingers also tend to pinch and the plastic cuffs don’t’ work with all sleeves. No scaphoid slider.

Dainese Steel Core Carbon ($260): Similar knuckle protection and cuffs and a solid slider on the outside of the palm, but again no scaphoid protection and, bizarrely, no kangaroo for the palm.

Rev’It Jerez ($290): Some of the nicest gloves out there right now, these have everything the Racer’s do, but still lack that Scaphoid protection.

Our only niggle is the heavy over-use of the “Racer” logo. There’s 28 on each glove, in addition to the Racer Triangle on the knuckle and silly-sounding “Titan Protection” scrawled across the back of your hand.

Other than that, these are essentially a perfect glove at a competitive price. Fit is excellent, protection is race-level, feature content is up there with more expensive rivals and they work in wide range of conditions on pretty much any bike.

Oh, and they defeated repeated attacks by my new wolf puppy Wiley with no adverse effects. Various items of furniture, ladies underwear and Apple power cords can not say the same thing.

RideApart Rating: 9/10

How to buy:
Currently, Racer sells direct through its website. You’ll also find them trackside during the 2013 season, with a planned contingency program and Lee hopes to put the brand in brick and mortar stores soon too.

  • Miles Prower [690 Duke]

    Wes, don’t you get a wedgie when you wear ladies underwear while riding?

    • Wes Siler

      I do, but typically I ride commando.

      • Jesse

        Kevlar boxers (nods sagely).

  • FelixP

    Racer isn’t a “new” brand – I’ve got a pair of their gloves that I bought at least four years ago (they’re awesome, by the way!)

    • Ceol Mor

      This is most true and they are in fact available at some brick and motor stores — at least they are stocked at A&S Powersports in Sacramento.

      • 365 Rider

        Yes, they are at A&S, they are also carried at SF Moto in San Fran. Not to mention Johnson leathers in the city as well. Great brand, great gloves. I have enjoyed my pair since last spring.

    • Mitchel Durnell

      Yeah, I think they have been around a while and have been regarded highly as glove makers, I know they were one of the first to have hard protection on the palm.

  • valen

    wolf puppy?

    • Bruce Steever

      Wes’s new dog.

      Damn puppy is so hollywood he’s already getting modeling gigs…

  • Dennis Hightower

    Better than a lion cub I suppose…

    Racer has been in stores in Seattle for a couple of years, and they do fit nicely.

  • Duarte Vieira

    Off topic: from following the same publications and forums for a while, us, readers, get in sync with (some of) the writers, and if and when they’re good, the reading becomes a sort of a conversation with a good old friend rather than just a cold journalistic essay. Before I start any conversation, I like to know who I’m talking to, so
    for the sake of it please move the credits to the top of the articles, already!

    • Wes Siler

      Author credits are on the front page, in RSS and at the bottom of every article. That doesn’t seem to impact the quality of any conversations.

    • gaudette

      That’s like the first thing I do before reading an article! After a few years though I can pretty much tell who it is after reading a couple sentences. Generally, if it ain’t Wes or Sean I find myself skimming through rather quickly.

    • tobykeller

      I’ve posted about this twice. I very often find myself scrolling down to see who’s writing, then back up to read the article. Annoying every time.

      Wes: yes, the author is on the front page and in RSS, but generally the only thing I read before clicking through is the title. Since the author name is already here on the article page, why not move it up to the top (below the title or lede photo)? No, it doesn’t impact the quality of the conversation, but it does impact the quality of the user’s experience. I’m a user interface designer by profession and I’d do this in a heartbeat if it were my site.

      • nick2ny

        Make a bookmarklet that does just that.

  • therubbersidedown

    I think you are forgetting the Knox Handroid as a competitor. Same awesome scaphoid protection and kangaroo leather palms but with the really cool boa lacing system to close them and the “bionic” armor that moves with your fingers. Had them for almost a year now and they have held up to everything ive thrown at them and more. For the price (or any price, really love these gloves) I believe they are the best glove on the market

  • RT Moto

    Puppies love themselves some cords and panties. Idk what is about them, but they will destroy either one. As for the gloves, I had seen them at a store a while back but didn’t really look too much into them because of the excessive amount of logos on it. Thanks for the review HFL. I hope they remove the crazy amount of logos so I can maybe get some next pair.

    • Mitchel Durnell

      Dogs love, uh, the smell from certain garments worn in certain places.

  • worship_mud

    i have a pair of their very fittingly named High Racers… good fit and thought out details.. nice glove.

    • skeelo221

      I am between the High Racer / Sicuro / Held RS-1000

      I am leaning towards the two Racer options since it has the Knox scaphoid protection and “GP pinkie”

  • MeatyBeard

    You sure he’s not a hyena puppy?

  • Jesse

    The remind me a bit of my Weise Vortex gloves, which coincidentally my 100# Akita / German Shepherd mix loves to nibble on. Something about Knox armour and kangaroo leather.

    Best of luck with the new pup. My buddy had a wolf mix that came home with him after one of his cross country hitchhiking trips. Star was a saint. She’d try and tell me secrets, if only I knew how to listen.

  • Juan Sanchez Garcia

    any comparison between Knox Handroid/Biomech and Sicuro Racer? Wes?

    • Wes Siler

      I’m not a huge fan of the Knox Handroid’s. That cable wrist retention mechanism seems like a potential danger if it ever got hooked on something in a crash and the external finger armor doesn’t do anything to limit finger hyperflexion and just seems to be clunky and get in the way.

      You’ll be reading about what I feel is a huge advance in glove technology and safety on HFL in the near future, from a name you’ll recognize.

      • Juan Sanchez Garcia

        Thanks Wes! I guess I just need to choose between the Sicuro Racer and the Held Titan. Both seem to be the gloves that offer the best protection right now

        • Wes Siler

          At this price point they’re a good option. Spending up to Kushitanis or BKS or Astars GP-Techs does get you more.

  • LeeB

    Hey guys. Yes, Racer has been in the US since 2005, but on a very low key and mainly in NorCal shops. The brand has never been promoted on a national level or a cohesive line created. I’ve taken this on and launched Jan 1 and starting to get traction with it. My roots are in road racing and will continue to grow the brand in that area and sport. I appreciate all the great words and is really a true testament to the quality and fit of the brand. Lee

  • Eric

    Wes now you need a sidecar.

  • Motarded

    I see on the website that it says “CE certified”

    Can you confirm if this means EN13594?

  • Davidabl2

    As to excessive logos there’s a simple $4 solution..Sharpie makes an oil-based marker that’ll cover anything that isn’t already black.
    Unlike the standard Sharpies the stuff dries glossy black, not blue-black and covers things that you wouldn’t think would get covered. Like silver leather panels..