A glove that purports to being suitable for winter should be tested in harsh conditions so I rode to Ireland in early January. The bike I used was Fantic’s beautiful 500 Caballero Scrambler; so pure in style it didn’t have either handguards or heated grips, so these Richa Level 2in1 GTX gloves had to prove themselves. I also didn’t bring my silk glove liners, but only because I couldn’t find them…
I wanted to believe in these innovative gloves as they have a ‘dual fit system’. You can put your hand in one way and have a thick Trifleece and Thinsulate lining all around your fingers, or another way such that you reduce the insulation palm-side and increase the sensitivity to the handlebar grip (especially if it’s heated) while simultaneously increasing the insulating layers on the backs of the fingers.
It’s some time since I’ve ridden distance without heated grips but I must compliment these Richas for the fact that my white finger was minimal and short-lived. They are great at their primary purpose but getting them on isn’t so easy. Generally the fit of Richa gloves is exceptional because they are a company that has been making leather gloves since 1952 and they understand hands.
The fingers do indeed fit perfectly on my average (XL) hands, with no floppy extra bits on the end of a random finger, but I’ve had to completely undo the wrist strap to get them on. It’s a Velcro strap which can then be cinched tight, but it’s too small to grab with the other – gloved – hand. Similarly the expansion zip on the back of the wrist had to be left undone throughout use to enable me to get the sleeves of my jacket inside, something that’s imperative on a completely naked bike in the winter.
As well as the cold, riding in temperatures that fell below freezing, I was lucky enough to ride through Storm Brendan to test the Goretex waterproofing. I’ve nothing to say other than they do exactly what it says on the packet; perfectly waterproof after hours of rain. And the index finger on the left hand has a useable little squeegee strip of rubber for wiping your visor. When you get the angle right it works really well.
Apart from the Goretex lining these gloves are made of goat leather combined with a type of spandex – for strength and suppleness. The stitching is excellent and the limited panelling clearly adds to their overall strength.
Generally a really high quality pair of 100% waterproof gloves. If you’ve got the heated grips and handguards they were designed to work with, I think they’d take you anywhere. They’ll certainly make the daily commute a pleasure.
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Sizes S – 2XL