They say there is not enough material in a glove to obtain a sample for the thermal comfort measure.
While gloves can have extra layers of insulation for winter and perforations and even small vents in the knuckles for cooling in summer, they can’t be an all-weather glove.
They are simply too small to have zip-out thermal liners or zip-open vents for cooling.
It’s a shame as hand comfort is important.
I find that if your hands are cold your whole body is cold and vice versa.
And when you are uncomfortably hot or cold, it affects your concentration which can lead to mistakes with injurious repercussions.
All weather solutions
Many riders wear silk or felt gloves under their motorcycle gloves for extra warmth in winter.
However, we have found it either makes the gloves too tight with the liner in or we have to wear oversized gloves to accommodate the liners and they are too loose when we take them out. That adversely affects throttle and lever controls.
So the simple answer is there is no all-weather glove that we have found and we’ve tested quite a lot over the years.
Our best advice for handling all weather conditions is to take a spare pair of gloves with you.
After all, they are small enough to fit in your jacket pocket or small shoulder bag.
I have a small tail bag in which I keep a neck sock and two spare pairs of gloves.
This is especially handy in South East Queensland’s autumn/winter/spring where temperatures can more than double on your ride from the single digits in the morning to the high-20s in the early afternoon.
The 2018 Canstar Blue customer satisfaction survey found that 9% of riders don’t wear gloves even though they know they should and 6% have suffered a hand or finger injury while riding.
The survey of more than 400 riders also found that Baby Boomers are more likely to choose comfortable motorcycle gloves.
Meanwhile, Millennial riders buy forstyle and are most likely to buy gloves online and in a deal with other protective gear.
The average rider spends $102 on gloves. Some 21% buy online, 42% try them on in a store first and 29% research gloves before buying.
Dickies has been a go-to name for work wear for generations. The company’s garments are tough, cheap, and available almost everywhere. Dickies’ new Moto Collection adds abrasion-resistant cloth to familiar designs. It’s not the kind of stuff we’d trust to save our hide on a real off, but it’s perfect for wearing in the garage or on a quick rip around the block after cleaning out your carbs for the 1,000th time. The Eisenhower jacket’s contoured arms and gusseted shoulders are comfortable enough in a riding position, but an attractive price is the real winner.
Shop pants typically fit like they’ve been imported from 1950, with high waists and baggy legs. The Moto chinos can be had in a variety of fits, and because they’re made from the same tough textile as the Eisenhower jacket, they’ll stand up to years of crawling around on the concrete while you clean chains and change oil. Dickies threw in a contoured waist to keep the things comfortable on a bike too.
A good pair of boots is as at home in the garage as it is in the office. Red Wing has been making its Iron Rangers for over 100 years. Like the Dickies threads, the boots are made to take a beating, but they’re comfortable enough for daily wear. The Vibram sole stays stuck even on wet concrete, and a thick leather upper will last for years with proper care.
The CDC is pretty clear about dermal absorption. For many workers, toxic substances enter the bloodstream through the skin, not the lungs. Disposable shop gloves are our go-to for keeping the nasty stuff off our hands and out of our bodies, but the cheap, thin parts-store variety are about as durable as a paper towel. These 14-mil bruisers walk the fine line between being tough enough to resist tearing and thin enough to maintain dexterity. At $20 a box, they’re more expensive than the kind you’ll find at the dentist, but you’ll use fewer per project, reducing waste while you’re at it.
Deakin Uni Institute for Frontier Materials Senior Research Fellow Chris Hurren says they have so far not been supplied with any test products by any manufacturer.
“At this point the scheme is totally funded by Australian State Governments, some of the auto clubs and insurers and the NZ ACC,” he says.
“All garments are purchased from retail and online without the manufacturers knowledge or involvement.”
Secretive buying system
Their sourcing system is quite secretive with one of the two garments used for testing bought in stores in Australia and New Zealand.
“We never buy more than one garment type at a time so a typical buying run may consist of one leather jacket, one textile jacket and a pair of denim jeans,” Chris says.
“Another buying run may be a textile jacket, a pair of textile pants and a pair of gloves. The person doing the in store purchase is a rider and they try on the garments like a normal buyer so almost impossible to detect.
“We then use the same covert purchasing system for an online purchase of a second garment generally of a different size and/or colour if available.
“The delivery address is changed regularly and never to the University.
“This is all done to ensure that manufacturers can not trick up the garments to get a higher score. The only time industry knows that they have been sourced for testing is when the results are displayed on the website.”
However, manufacturers have been invited to submit rider gear for testing and rating.
“There are two methods for manufacturers to organise for their product to be tested but neither of these have been utilised yet as the program is still in its infancy,” Chris says.
“A manufacturer can pay for a garment to be purchased using the above method and added to the testing program.
“A manufacturer may also get their product tested before it enters the stores by providing a number of boxes (50+ garments depending on the product and size of company) of their manufactured product in a warehouse where it is randomly sampled for three garments.
“Two of these garments will be tested and the third held to be compared with retail stock when it arrives in store. If what turns up in store is different to what was tested then their rating will be rescinded and they will be prosecuted by the ACCC for false advertising.
So far, MotoCAP has tested 18 textile and leather jackets, 18 pairs of jeans and leggings and eight pair of gloves.
The last ratings posted were for textile pants about five weeks ago.
In the next few weeks MotoCAP will post ratings for seven pairs of leather pants and an additional posting of gloves, textile jackets and textile pants.
That means they will have every product class covered: gloves, leather jackets, leather pants, textile jackets, textile pants, ladies leggings and denim jeans.
Chris says they will have more than 150 products on the website by June 30.
“We have purposely targeted only 10% of the market in the first year so that manufacturers have a chance to come along with the scheme,” he says.
“We do not want to put a manufacturer out of business as we want them to improve their products and think about protection and thermal comfort in their design.”
“If they follow this path like car manufacturers did for ANCAP then the rider will always be the winner.
He says their women’s range was greater than 20% of their stock, but they pulled back.
However, James says they are now expanding their women’s range again.
“It’s a small part of the market but there are many more women’s groups emerging,” he says.
“They don’t all want to wear pink. They don’t want traditional riding gear but something that is a bit fashionable.
“Our feedback is that most brands just do dumbed-down versions of men’s gear.
“We recognise that women’s fit is different, even in women’s boots.”
Merlin employs fashion industry expert Melanie Field to help with women’s sizing so “it’s not just a small version of men’s gear”.
“She also has an eye on what colours and styles are currently fashionable,” James says.
Riders are now seeking sustainable, organic materials directly sourced from reputable manufacturers, Steve says.
“The speed of development in organic materials is really gathering pace,” he says.
James points out that 76% of the materials they use is bought directly from “the experts in the field”.
“This ensures we have control of the quality,” he says.
Merlin also employs local inspectors in each of the countries where their products are manufactured to guarantee integrity and quality control.
They produce 60% of their gear in Pakistan and the rest in Portugal, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and India.
“We don’t manufacture anywhere that we don’t don’t have someone on site to make regular inspections,” Steve says.
He and his sons also spend 16 weeks a year doing inspection tours of manufacturing sites.
They say 75% of profits are turned back into the company to improve quality.
Steve says rigid European CE approval standards are “both a curse and a blessing”.
“The cost of gaining CE approval is onerous at $10,000-$15,000 per product,” he says.
“We have to test the smallest and largest sizes and one in the middle, plus each different colour.”
Link International Merlin brand manager Ron Grant also points out that Merlin doesn’t just use high-quality safety materials in the impact areas specified for CE testing, but throughout their garments.
However, James says CE is also a blessing by making it “really difficult to get into this industry”, so it is “flushing out the bad quality and those operating in the black market”.
He says gaining CE approval was easy for them because they were exceeding the full testing process before CE became mandatory last year for manufacturers operating in Europe.
Merlin was registered in 2011 and started trading in 2012.
The name and logo come from “merle” which is French for blackbird.
It is 100% owned by the company’s 200 full-time staff who become shareholders after six months.
Steve’s background was in turning around ailing businesses.
“I just wanted to start a business then get someone to take it over,” he says.
“But once my sons entered the business, we found we had a passion for making good products and not just for business,” he says.
“We don’t cut corners. We wanted to make the best quality product we could with the technology and materials available.
“We’re always improving the product so it is relevant and exceeds customer expectations.”
Leather summer motorcycle glove with exceptional protection.
Link International, the Australian distributor of Macna, has released its 2019 range of summer motorcycle gloves, including the Bold model.
With over 30 years of glove manufacturing experience, Macna focuses on fit and functionality while retaining its European styling. Whether it is hot and humid or just a normal Australian summer day, Macna gloves have you covered.
The Bold glove boasts premium quality, superb summer comfort, fit and protection. The glove is perfect for those hot summer days, is easy to fit on, and super comfortable while providing a high degree of protection.
2019 Macna Bold glove key features:
– Premium perforated goat leather construction.
– 3D Temperfoam knuckle protection.
– Velcro wrist closure strap.
– Ergo thumb one-piece finger and thumb panel.
Available in men’s sizes x-small through to 3X-large, the Bold glove can be purchased through participating dealers and online retailers for RRP $109.95. For more information, visit www.macnaridinggear.com.au.