Gear Gear Reviews

Weise Romulus Gloves – Review

Affordable, good-quality glove is a great option for summer riding

Theoretically it will be warm and dry again at some point in the future. With Britain slowly returning to the sea at the moment that can be hard to imagine, but it will happen. Summer will arrive. Probably. Maybe. Sorta…

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For a kid from Texas summer never really arrives in the United Kingdom; it’s always been my observation that summer is more of a state of mind for the British than an actual climatological phenomenon. Nonetheless, I’ll concede that it does occasionally warm up enough that no more than two layers of clothing are needed. And it’s on those days that you may want a pair of summer gloves.

Because summer is short and sporadic you don’t want to have to pay a lot for those gloves, since you won’t be using them often. But you also don’t want them to be sucky and fall apart if you’re forced to rely on them in a crash. So, you know: cheap but good. In the UK, that qualification usually brings your choices down to two companies: Oxford and Weise. We’re dealing with summer gloves from the latter here: the Weise Romulus.

Gauntlet gloves with track-focused styling, the Romulus are available in sizes S to 3XL, retail for about £60, depending on where you buy them, and are made in Pakistan (No. 108 on the Democracy Index). I bought these gloves with my own dough roughly three years ago – which speaks to their durability.

Style

Romulus, you may know, was the mythological founder of Rome who, along with his brother, Remus, was abandoned, reared by a wolf, then discovered and raised by a shepherd. At some point along the way Romulus killed Remus for reasons that seem to change depending on who’s telling the tale. Some versions of the story have Remus being killed by one of Romulus’ pals, rather than the dude himself. Why you’d choose to name a pair of gloves after either, I do not know.

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Perhaps the person in charge of naming at Weise HQ was, in fact, thinking of the Romulans – a war-prone species of alien in the “Star Trek” universe. That would make more sense, as the armored glove looks like the sort of thing a Romulan might wear. All leather, hard carbon-styled plastic on the knuckles and finger joints, along with padding at the end of the fingers, wrist, scaphoid and palms. It’s a robust look, which I’ll admit isn’t really my style these days. Wearing these things on a Triumph Bonneville T120 as I putt along country lanes feels a little silly. Fortunately they are all black with only a minimal amount of branding, so they don’t look completely ridiculous when tucked into the cuff of a jacket.

Fit

The fit of these gloves is their biggest selling point for me. I often find it difficult to find gloves that fit as I’d like them to. If they are narrow enough for my spindly writer fingers (I would have made a great pianist) they are usually too short; if they are long enough for my fingers they are usually too wide. The Romulus gloves fit just right. So, dudes with big coal miner hands may want to order the gloves from a retailer that offers free returns – lest they be too snug for your manly self.

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The leather is supple enough, but the gloves did take a little bit of breaking in. Wearing them in an unexpected rainstorm did the trick. And even now if worn all day they can create sore areas on the thumb and across the knuckles, where the unforgiving armor rubs. By and large, though, the gloves are comfortable and leave you with plenty of dexterity and feel.

Along with my skinny fingers I have narrow wrists, so I appreciate the fact the Velcro straps can size down small enough for me. Only just, though. Guys with bigger wrists will have no complaints.

Function

All that armor and padding suggests intended track use, which is, indeed, what I’ve used the gloves for in the past. However, because they have considerably more protection than my Aerostich summer gloves I tend to rely on the Romulus gloves when covering long distances. They were my weapon of choice when I rode a Harley-Davidson Street Bob to Prague, for example.

A Velcro strap across the wrist and a double Velcro strap at the radius/ulna ensure the glove won’t come off at high speed. The stitching appears to be solid, not having frayed over the years of use, and the leather is reasonably thick for a summer glove. As a summer glove it lacks any sort of lining and, of course, it’s not waterproof. Equally, there isn’t really any sort of fancy ventilation, but I’ve never found the gloves to be too hot. In fact, off the top of my head I can’t remember ever having sweaty hands when wearing them. (Keep in mind, though, that I can count on one finger the number of times I’ve been uncomfortably hot on a motorcycle)

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As mentioned above, there’s plenty of dexterity and feel when wearing the gloves. I’m able to comfortably operate all the switches and buttons on the bikes I ride, and can even fasten my helmet if so inclined. I’m not able to use my phone, but satellite navigation systems such as the Indian Ride Command system or BMW‘s Garmin-based set-up present no challenges.

Verdict

As the price reflects, the Romulus is a standard leather summer glove. The padding and fake carbon knuckles make it look fancy and offer a degree of additional protection, but I think it’s best seen as a good-quality gauntlet touring glove – one that my experience has proven will last a fair few years. With the benefit of that kind of hindsight I’d have no major qualms about forking out £60 again to get a new pair.

It’s unfortunate, then, that the Romulus gloves no longer appear to be part of the Weise line-up. They’re still in stock in a number of places, though. Meanwhile, it seems the Apex serves as the Romulus’ replacement in Weise’s line-up in terms of price point and function, though it is a short glove.

I’ve always been relatively happy with products made by Bristol,England-based Weise. They have a good look, a good fit and come with a two-year warranty. Overall I’m happy to recommend the Romulus gloves, though I do wish they were made in a country further up the Democracy Index. In fairness, however, I can’t think of any equivalent gloves of any price that are made in the UK (or USA, or EU). So perhaps the option doesn’t exist.