Gloves are very personal. The glove that works for one rider may not work for another. They have to have the right features and they have to fit — like a glove, as the saying goes. That’s why there are so many choices out there. The latest pair to cross my desk and make it out on the road is the Summer Fit Glove from Racer ($99.99 direct at RacerGlovesUSA.com).
I tend to travel with two pairs of gloves: One for warm weather and one for cold/inclement weather. The Summer Fit Glove is a “lightweight vented glove for riding in warmer weather,” according to the Racer website. The body of the glove is made from goat leather, which is softer and more supple than cowhide. It is often used for fine gloves, because it requires virtually no break-in period, and is flexible and water-resistant. Goat skin is a good choice for a summer glove, because it is also more breathable than cowhide, elk skin or buffalo hide (I have gloves made from each material). My only concern about goatskin is that it is thinner than the other leathers, but Racer has addressed this issue by doubling the leather in critical areas, adding soft padding to the knuckles and a Kevlar lining in the palms. Fingertip pads with embedded silicon star shapes help improve grip.
The Summer Fit Glove has a mid-length gauntlet with a padded Velcro closure. I found that I could cinch up the gauntlet snugly and wear my jacket sleeves over the glove, letting air go up my arms; or I could cinch the gauntlet around my sleeves, and block the air when temperatures went down, greatly increasing the Summer Fit’s range of usefulness over my usual short gloves (without gauntlet).
The Summer Fit Glove has a perforated panel across the back of the hand, and small perforations in the leather between the fingers. I could use more ventilation in a hot weather glove, but my hands never overheated or got too uncomfortable in temperatures up to 90 degrees (our Los Angeles springtime weather). For desert touring, I might seek out a synthetic alternative with serious venting.
I’ve got big hands, and the 2XL pair fit me perfectly, with plenty of length in the fingers and a comfortable, yet snug fit across the knuckles and palms. The fingers are pre-curved, which helps avoid bunching on the grips and greatly contributes to long-range comfort.
Racer Outdoor GmbH is an Austrian company. Their products are imported by Racer Gloves USA. The Summer Fit Gloves that I tested were labeled “Made In China,” as expected on just about everything these days. Fit and finish were first rate, with tight, uniform stitching and a quality feel inside and out. At $99.99, the price is reasonable, and the gloves look as good now as they looked a thousand miles ago