Icon Merc Gloves
by "Burn" for webBikeWorld
A few weeks ago, we published our review
of the Marsee "Primatista Gaunto"
Race Gloves and I proclaimed them as my new
This was after previously declaring that
Held Ninja was my favorite pair of motorcycle
gloves; and the
Teknic Violators prior to that.
Call me erratic, inconsistent or
mecurial, but I call it adaptable. This only
proves that change happens, and it pays to be on the
lookout for new trends, technologies and styling.
Besides, "favorite" doesn't necessarily
mean "perfect"! I'll never stop searching for
something new, different and better. Maybe
perfection is out there somewhere, just waiting to be
Which brings us to the "new for 2006"
Icon Merc glove. As we related in our recent
review of the
Icon Mainframe helmet, it appears that Icon is a
brand name for a large collection of globally sourced
items of motorcycle clothing, helmets, gloves and other
accessories. The Merc is the latest example; one
of several glove styles offered by Icon.
The Icon Merc gloves remind me of my
original favorite, the original
Teknic Violator (not the
Violator Pro) gloves.
The Violator Pro gloves are (or were, as
they are no longer manufactured) an uncomplicated design
that fits well and the large gauntlet is easily big
enough to cover the bulkiest motorcycle jacket sleeve
I'm pretty certain that they don't offer
the same level of protection as, for example, the Marsee
gloves, but they're easier to use when I'm in a hurry.
My pair of Icon Merc gloves seem to fit
narrow hands and fingers best. This is fine with
me, as I have slightly smaller than normal hands for a
person of my size. But those with slightly larger
than normal fingers or wider palms may have some
The Mercs have a dual-layer cuff, which
seems to be all the rage in motorcycle gloves lately.
The outer cuff peels off and is attached at the back and
inside wrist only. To put on the gloves, the
owner's hand must first enter the inner cuff. The
wrist is especially narrow; I can barely squeeze my
smaller sized hands through this area, although once
through, the palms and fingers, which also seem narrower
than I expected, are comfortable.
The wrist has an extra cinch strap on
the palm side of the glove, secured by Velcro. The
combination of the narrow wrist opening and the wrist
cinch help make the Merc gloves fit very securely.
The Icon Merc gloves are almost as difficult to pull off
my hands as the Marsee Race Gloves.
The Merc's outer cuff wraps around the
outside of the wrist and secures with a Velcro fastener
underneath. The idea behind a double-layered cuff
is to offer more protection for this sensitive region of
the body. But unless carefully designed,
motorcycle gloves with a double-layered cuff can be
fussy to put on one's hands.
The inner cuff of the Merc gloves seems
to be smaller in diameter than expected, and I found
that this can interfere with some motorcycle jackets,
especially a winter weight jacket or a jacket with its
liner installed. The inner cuff just isn't wide
enough or long enough to go over several of my jackets
without bunching. This is unfortunate, because
otherwise the gloves feel comfortable, they seem to be
well made and my guess it that they would offer good
protection in a crash.
The knuckles are protected with a carbon
fiber molding that is mounted on a "floating" section of
leather that appears to continue down over each finger,
offering a double layer of protection. Each of the
smaller knuckles down the fingers have their own section
of padding attached to the top of this secondary layer.
The fingers have a tapered fit with
hidden stitching. Although the internal stitches
can be felt inside the fingers, the stitching is nicely
trimmed and it doesn't interfere with my hands or
fingernails. The gloves are lined with a thin type
of fleece or flocked material that is relatively
comfortable and seems to offer a small amount of
insulation against the cold, although these are by no
means cold-weather gloves. I'm hoping the lining
will help absorb moisture during warmer weather.
Icon claims that the Merc gloves are
made from cowhide, with goatskin palms. There is
an extra section of material across the top of the palm
near where the fingers start, and this material has
sections of a kind of sticky synthetic material that is
designed to help the rider hold the handlebar grips.
Another section of what feels like
synthetic material covers the "Y" between the thumb and
forefinger on both hands. This is designed as an
extra wear surface for the part of the hand that
contacts the motorcycle grips. The heel of
the hand is also covered with a couple of sections of
padding, as is the outside of the thumbs and the outside
of the pinky fingers.
The back of the wrist has an articulated
section of leather with several flexible ribs, but
again, the wrist opening seems narrow to me.
The Icon Merc gloves are available in
several color combinations. We ordered the solid
black, and they're rather subtle, which is OK by me.
A cool-looking laser-etched Icon logo is located on the
back of the wrist, with a holographic carbon-fiber look
background. A similar logo is located at the end
of the external wrist flap.
My feeling is that the Icon Merc gloves are
good-looking; they're well made and would seemingly
offer good protection to their owner. But if my
size large example (purchased anonymously from an online
retail store) is a good indication of Merc sizing, those
with large or even slightly large hands may have
problems with fit.
As mentioned above, I consider my hands
and wrists to be slightly smaller than normal, and my
fingers are also relatively thin. I have trouble
fitting the Merc gloves over my wrists, although they
feel comfortable once I get them on, and the narrow
wrist and the wrist cinch strap make them feel secure.
Also, the problem with fitting the inner
cuff over a thick motorcycle jacket is an issue to
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Review: Icon Merc Gloves
Retail Price: $90.00
|Colors: Black, white, blue, red,
Comments: Nice gloves, well made but with narrow wrists and
fingers. Inner cuff may not fit over all motorcycle jackets.