Sometimes you don’t realize how important something is – how much you always needed it – until it falls into your life through luck. That sounds like the strap line for a bad ’90s rom-com, but what I’m talking about here are gloves.
Before I decided to put on my big-girl pants and get my own bike I was only an occasional passenger on my husband’s motorcycle, and my general attitude when on the bike was looking forward to getting off of it. I just wanted to get wherever we were going. A motorcycle can be a fun way to travel, but if I’m not the one doing the driving/riding I’d rather be at a place than be going to a place.
So, I didn’t invest a lot of time or effort into thinking about the gear I wore. If other women are like me this may be part of the reason there are less of us in the motorcycling world: we’re making the mistake of allowing our partners to dress us. So, we end up with some pretty ugly gear: “Here, babes: here’s a jacket that makes you look like a potato in a rucksack.”
With hand protection, I just wore a pair of my husband’s gloves because they were big enough that I could wear another pair of gloves inside (I get cold hands easily). When it came time for me to buy a pair of gloves that fit – for the sake of doing my own riding – I allowed the same dismissive attitude as before to affect my thinking, purchasing the absolute cheapest pair of gloves I could find.
They were awful. They looked like children’s skiing gloves, they didn’t fit properly, and I’m not sure they would have offered much protection in a crash. I’m pretty lucky that I didn’t have to wear them for long. When Bristol, England,-based Weise (pronounced “vice”) read my article about becoming a motorcyclist it offered to send some gear my way for the purpose of review.
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Retailing at £49.99, Weise Victory gloves are made in China (No. 139 on the Democracy Index) and available in sizes XS to 4XL. A cool-looking, lightweight leather glove with an “old skool” vibe, they are great for summer riding.
I like the old school look when it comes to bikes, and gear, and most things. I guess I am an old-fashioned girl at heart. Weise Victory gloves look like the kind of leather driving gloves Columbo would wear whilst haphazardly solving a murder. I dig the look big time! Officially, they’re men’s gloves, but I would not let a thing like gender get in the way of wearing Columbo’s gloves. I have the brown version but they also come in tan or black, which are equally pleasing to look at (but, in my opinion, not as badass). They are lightweight so they look slick and simple.
Fit is very important to me. I have awful circulation so if I put anything on my hands that’s at all tight my veins give up all hope and stop delivering blood to my digits. This makes important things like sensory feedback and grip strength hard.
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So, I’m always in the market for gloves that are big enough to encompass the girth of my fingers while not being too long. Aren’t we all? These fit the bill.
I got size M. I took the recommendation on a lot of gear sites to get a size up and I’m glad I did. I’d say I have average size hands for a lady, so these are a little roomy, but my hands aren’t slopping about in them in any sort of way that affects my ability to control the bike safely. Importantly, they don’t constrict my hands at all, which makes for a happy Jenn.
These are very much summer riding gloves – solid leather without any vents, they offer reasonable wind protection but there is no lining. They are not waterproof but do stand up to a light shower in my experience. I am considering giving them a wax (and by that, I mean asking Chris to do it for me). I think that would make them a little more rain friendly, which is important in Wales.
They have a simple Velcro fastening at the wrist, which makes them easy to put on when you are geared up. They are relatively short so if you like to tuck your sleeves into your gloves, or your gloves into your sleeves these are not for you. I found having the extra ventilation to be a good thing.
Other features include hard protection across the knuckles and over most finger joints. This certainly gives them a feeling of being safe, but I find one of the ridges of the knuckle protection sits awkwardly over my little finger and bothers me a little. This is likely more to do with the mechanics of my hands, though, not the gloves themselves.
The gloves also have a suede palm, which makes them soft and delivers a bit of extra grip.
Overall I love these gloves. They keep my hands safe, fit well, look awesome, and make me feel like a 1970s detective. What’s not to like?
At roughly £50 I think they’re a bargain. They cost about the same as those Aerostich gloves that Chris loves so much but have more protection and, in my opinion, look cooler.
I’ve used mine through the summer and they still look new. They seem very sturdy and well made, and Weise offers a two-year guarantee on all its gear. So, even if they do fail you – which I can’t see happening – you can get a refund or replacement. Remember to get a pair that’s a size up from what you’d normally wear, but otherwise my advice is: go get your Columbo on!