The AGV Sport Mercury gloves are a lightweight summer choice with barely-there protection.
But, but...at a nearly giveaway price and with probably the best reflectivity you'll ever find on any pair of motorcycle gloves...and a pretty darn nice main knuckle protector, well, why not?
If they had more finger protection in the form of leather or some hard sliders on top, these would go from being just a bargain to becoming an absolute steal, in the webBikeWorld vernacular.
If you're looking for a very inexpensive pair of well-ventilated summer motorcycle riding gloves with a basic feature set, the AGV Sport Mercury gloves may be just the ticket.
My feeling is that AGV Sport, as a brand, is sort of a stylish alternative to the Joe Rockets and Fieldsheers of the world. AGV Sport gear is always reasonably priced (and also heavily discounted) and since not everyone can afford $400.00+ motorcycle jackets or $200.00 gloves, there is a need for good-looking, decent quality gear at a good price.
We have reviewed a bunch of AGV Sport riding gear on webBikeWorld at every price point you can think of, but the AGV Sport Mercury gloves are about as rock-bottom as they come. The list price is $29.00 and the going price is a dime over 26 bucks.
Think about that for a second or two -- a dub and a fin barely gets you a couple of burritos and a bag of chips (hold the guac), so that's a pretty good price for a pair of pretty good motorcycle gloves.
Why am I addressing the price issue up front? Because I think once you understand that, many of the shortcomings of these gloves will suddenly become less so. Let's take a look...
The AGV Sport Mercury gloves are made from a combination of polyester fabric mesh and Clarino synthetic leather. They come in black or black with red, blue or high-visibility yellow fabric. These gloves are minimally protective but designed for maximum air flow in hot weather. Surely they're better than bare-knuckled riding and the price is cheap as chips.
One interesting feature of the Mercury gloves is the surprising amount of reflective material on the fingers. I don't know what brand the reflective material is, despite the retailers' claims that it's "3M". If it really was 3M brand reflective material, you'd think there would be a hang tag proudly proclaiming it and there's not. So I can only surmise it's a clone brand, but it sure does pop in the headlights.
The reflective tape is attached to what looks like Clarino or some type of synthetic leather and there are a couple of fake air vents made from thin vinyl between the main and middle knuckles, but this combo probably isn't going to help you when your hand is grinding across the pavement.
Which brings up the weakest link in the Mercury chain -- the mesh fabric over the top of the outer two fingers. There's nothing beyond that to protect the tops of those fingers. The pinky has a sliver of Clarino along the outside, but a strip of plain elastic fabric runs up the entire length of the outside of the gloves and probably offers near-zero abrasion protection.
The palms of the gloves are made from Clarino and they're not bad actually, with double rows of stitching and a section or two of extra faux leather to add a minimal amount of protection.
The flip side of that mesh on the Mercury gloves is that you get about the best air flow you'll find in a pair of motorcycle gloves, so that's the tradeoff. And at least the mesh is all once piece.
While it may sound like I'm being kind of harsh, actually for the 26 bucks you'll pay for a pair of these, you're getting a square deal, as long as you understand the cost/benefit/risk calculus.
Besides the highly reflective striping, the most prominent feature of the Mercury gloves is the large main knuckle protector. It is double-stitched to a padded floating section over the knuckles and although the retailer descriptions claim that it's "metal mesh armor", I doubt this very much because there's nothing about it that feels or looks like metal.
It's possible I'm mistaken about that, of course. But let's face it: the manufacturers, distributors and retailers of inexpensive motorcycle gear tend to play fast and loose with the words and brand-name-dropping in their product descriptions unfortunately. This seems to be more of a problem with low-end gear than the high-end stuff. High-end gear has the certifications and uses brand-name ingredients; that's what you're paying for.
Anyway, the main knuckle protector appears to be a molded plastic insert with a type of tightly-woven meshed fabric on top. It looks like a cross between fiberglass cloth and carbon fiber matting. However, it also seems like it might provide pretty decent protection and at the very least, it's the most protective part of these gloves.
As far as I know, there has never been a study done on which part of a motorcycle glove takes the most punishment in a crash. I'd assume that if you're sliding on your belly, you'll have your hands out, palms down. On your back, maybe palms down also, but who knows?
The big protector obviously blocks any air from flowing through at that particular point on the gloves, but the back of the wrist is covered with the same mesh as the tops of the fingers and there's a good amount of air flow through that section also.
Bottom line here is that the main knuckle protector on the Mercury gloves seems pretty good to me and it's the most protective part of these gloves.
The Mercury gloves have a short wrist gauntlet in the current popular style. It's actually pretty comfortable, with sections of elastic on the bottom and a large and wide section of hook-and-loop to secure the glove at the back of the wrist.
It's the only thing that holds the Mercury gloves on your hand and it works nicely; I can't pull the gloves off my hands when they're properly secured with the strap, and that's what counts.
The main knuckle protector described above is double-stitched on to the floating cover and the cover is also double-stitched on to the gloves. The various Clarino panels on the palm are also double-stitched and the rest of the glove uses a blind stitch method, where the stitches are on the inside.
The Mercury gloves are fully lined along the top on the inside and unlined along the bottom (palms). Overall, the gloves are fairly comfortable to wear and certainly they have a lot of air flow. Since these gloves are primarily designed to be lightweight summer gloves for the hottest temperatures in which you'd want to ride a motorcycle, that's fine.
Overall, the interior is comfortable and the only place I can feel the seams on the inside are at the fingertips.
The sizing of the Mercury gloves is a bit off; they run small by about one size. For example, the size large shown here fits more like a size medium and the length of the fingers is short, so my fingertips bump tightly up against the tips of the fingers on the inside.
I normally take a size large, so I should have ordered a size XL in the Mercury gloves. I'm not the only one who has noticed this also; the owner reports on the webBikeWorld affiliate retailers' websites almost all mention the fit issue too.
Otherwise, the gloves feel proportional and the fit and shape is comfortable, especially for warm-weather riding.
I've mentioned it throughout my review but just to confirm, the Mercury gloves are all about hot-weather motorcycle riding and for that, they excel. There's a lot of air flow in these gloves and, in fact, my hands can even get too cold when wearing them if the temperatures drop below 70 or so.
The AGV Sport Mercury gloves have a minimal amount of protection, there's no getting around it. However, they have excellent ventilation for hot-weather riding, so potential owners will have to determine if the compromises are acceptable.
One thing's for sure though: the price is about as low as you'll find, so for $26.10, the current going street price of these gloves, just about everyone could afford to have a pair to stuff in the tank bag for those times when any other glove is just too hot to wear.